US researchers fight claims of Brit Titanic victims being more polite

January 23rd, 2009 - 2:55 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 23 (ANI): A new controversy has come up regarding the lives that were lost in the Titanic tragedy, with American researchers putting down claims of politeness being made by the Swiss researchers.

Swiss university researchers had recently suggested that it was because of politeness that 225 British passengers aboard the fatal ship lost their lives in the 1912 disaster.

Though the women and children first policy was followed as the ship was sinking, Professor Bruno Frey of the University of Zurich claimed that many Britons lost their lives because they were courteous, while uncultured Americans were more likely to push ahead in line.

The British were much more aware of the social norms at the time, Fox News quoted him as telling U.K.s Daily Mail newspaper.

They would have been more likely to stand in a queue and wait their turn for boarding the lifeboats than Americans, he stated.

But American researchers have put down Freys claim as an example of Brits putting themselves on a pedestal.

It sounds like post-modern revisionist history, Karen Kamuda, of the Massachusetts-based Titanic Historical Society, said.

To say that Americans act a certain way and the British act a certain way is racist, she added.

But as per Ithaca College social sciences librarian John R. Henderson, who compiled a comprehensive report on the Titanic, the percentage of casualties on the ship was based more on social status than race.

The ship had been divided into three classes based on wealth, and the third class, which was most affordable, had the greatest concentration of immigrants.

Only 25 percent of the passengers in the third class made it out alive, according to Hendersons research.

This was possibly due to the fact that there was no public address system in place on the Titanic. The third class also had less access to lifeboats.

The first class lifeboats were gone by the time the third class was even told (that the ship was going down), Henderson said. (ANI)

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