Mr. Samuel Abramowitz

Samuel Abramowitz, 36, was a father of 8 and lived at 34 Rue St., Annes, Paris, France and survived the sinking of the Lusitania.  He was a very successful furrier who made the crossing to London and New York twice a year to attend auctions.  His frequent traveling made him known among the Cunard crew, which may have saved his life. During time of the Lusitania, Abramowitz had traveled to America to bring Red Cross necessities over to France.  Abramowitz had heard of rumors on the Lusitania of large amounts of gold bullion being transferred to the United States for safekeeping and or to buy aid for England, but he never saw anything. On the Lusitania's last day, Abramowitz was at the bar exchanging small paper flags with a fellow passenger (family legend says a man by the name of Astor, but no such man appears on the list).  He felt hot and excused himself to go on deck for some fresh air.  He looked out and saw a long black object rapidly approaching just below the water line.  It was the torpedo. The torpedo hit and was followed shortly afterward by another explosion. At the time, it was the custom among the gentlemen to defer their own safety to women and children.  Abramowitz was prepared to go down with the ship, but an officer thrust a pistol into his hand and ordered him to take command of lifeboat 13, which was filled with women and children.  Abramowitz was ordered to shoot anyone that tried to get in the boat.  Luckily, the boat was safely launched. As the occupants of the lifeboat rowed furiously away, a woman (Alice Lines?) thrust a bundle overboard from the ship -- a baby (Audrey Pearl?).  Abramowitz caught it and placed it under his seat.  He could see the coast and fishing boats.  After awhile one of those boats rescued his party of survivors. They were taken to Queenstown where Abramowitz helped to salvage bodies the next day.  Among the dead that he salvaged were twin girls about 7 years old at the time.  Meanwhile in Paris at the cinema Pathe News, his cousin fainted when she saw his picture in the newsreels. After Abramowitz returned to France he suffered a nervous breakdown which lasted for 6 months.  When he recovered he decided to immigrate to New York as soon as the war was over.  His lifejacket from the Lusitania was kept in the family for several years.  He still had the lifejacket as of 1937 when interviewed on the anniversary of the sinking.  The lifejacket has subsequently crumbled to dust having been made of natural cork and sailcloth. Contributors: Melissa Jossa (granddaughter of Samuel Abramowitz) Michael Poirier

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