The forgotten Greek passengers of the Titanic

They started the journey for a better tomorrow and were found on the list of the dead of the most famous shipwreck

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It is without a doubt the most famous shipwreck of all ages. Maybe it has to do with the tragedy of this story. It is not easy, after all, to "digest" that the most modern ship of its time, sank before it even completed its first voyage. It was not a random ship. That is why, after all, he had received descriptions such as "unsinkable" or "ship of dreams".

Dozens of books and so many documentaries, many films including the most famous that won the Oscars, thousands of articles and analyzes, poems, songs, paintings and works of art and even a dozen conspiracy theories about what really happened. Titanic was found from where he traveled with all pride, on the icy bottom of the Atlantic.

About 107 years after the maiden and last voyage of a technological marvel for that time, almost everything has been said and written. There are many stories that have become known. Almost all of them have in them the element of tragedy we talked about earlier.

Some of these stories are the best known. Some others have been relegated. There are also those that are completely forgotten. One of them is that of the four Greeks who started for a better tomorrow but were found on the list of the dead of the most famous shipwreck.

Someone will say - and rightly so - that when at least 1.500 people are lost, it is small-minded to talk about only four. This story of the four Greeks, however, has its own value and in addition the "locality" was and remains one of the criteria of "correct news".

The ship of dreams turned into a "ship of nightmare"

wknt 7 USA, Marseille, Messinia, Shipwreck, New York, Southampton, Titanic

The order for its construction was given at the end of the summer of 1908. At the end of March 1909, its construction began, which was completed with its launch about two years later.

The Titanic was a real technological marvel for its time. A luxury ship of 269 meters and 52,3 tons that reached a total height of 53,3 meters, had seven decks and "caught" 44 kilometers per hour maximum speed.

In total, the Titanic could carry 2.435 passengers and 892 crew. It also had 20 lifeboats. They could accommodate only 1.178 people. It was judged that there was no need for more care as the ship was… unsinkable.

wknt 4 USA, Marseille, Messinia, Shipwreck, New York, Southampton, Titanic

On April 10, 1912 it started from Southampton his maiden voyage to New York, where he was estimated to arrive five days later. The night of the fourth day, however, was to be the last. The Titanic hit an iceberg. Within 2 hours and 40 minutes it had sunk. Only 705 of the 2.224 passengers were rescued. At least 1.500 died. Among them are four Greeks.

The forgotten Greek passengers of the Titanic

wknt 6 USA, Marseille, Messinia, Shipwreck, New York, Southampton, Titanic

Greece at that time was a country where most of its population lived in poverty and misery. It was also a time when the country was on the brink of Balkan wars (the first of which would begin a few months after the Titanic's maiden voyage).

Many young people were looking for the one and only opportunity that would be given to them to pursue the dream of a better tomorrow.

In this category belonged four young people from the small village of Agios Sostis in the municipality of Oichalia, in Messinia.

In 2006 at the Zappeion Megaron, an exhibition of relics of the wreck was held and there the information was published that you will read below and comes from the research done by Rena Giatropoulou.

wknt 1 USA, Marseille, Messinia, Shipwreck, New York, Southampton, Titanic

Ο Vassilis Katavelos he was only 18 years old then. He decided to go to the USA after rumors spread that his younger brother, Panagiotis, who was already there, lived a prodigal life. Following the advice of his fellow villager, Panagiotis Lymperopoulos, he agreed to travel with him.

In Vassilis' concerns about the cost of the transatlantic trip, o Panagiotis Lymperopoulos reassured him by telling him that third-class tickets were not so expensive. So, Vassilis sold some sheep, bought the ticket and traveled to Marseilles with P. Lymperopoulos and two brothers, residents of Agios Sostis.

He boarded the Titanic from the port of Cherbourg with ticket number 2682 C 'Seat. His brother, Panagiotis, was the first to learn of his death from the newspapers he sold. A few weeks after the shipwreck, his body was retrieved from the ship McKay-Bennett, but because he could not be identified by his family, he was thrown into the sea on April 22, 1912. His brother simply received a tsatsara and Vassilis' birth certificate.

wknt 5 USA, Marseille, Messinia, Shipwreck, New York, Southampton, Titanic

33-year-old Panagiotis Lymperopoulos lived in Germany for several years New York. He had a good life and had managed to open his own metal handicraft workshop. He had returned to his homeland in April 1912, in order to baptize his son Kostas in the church of Ai Giannis.

Before Easter that year and despite the insistence of his wife, Angeliki, to stay together to spend the holidays, he decided to travel with the Titanic. His wife had a premonition that something bad would happen and begged him not to leave. He, however, was determined even when they arrived at her port  Marseille with Vassilis Katavelos wrote that "we will travel with the best steamer in the world" in order to reassure her.

He boarded the Titanic from the port of Cherbourg with ticket number 2683 C 'Seat. When the ship hit the iceberg, Lymperopoulos left the DG position. With the help of the English he knew, he put on a life jacket and fell into the icy waters. He swam to a lifeboat, where three other people were. Unfortunately, the boat was swept away by the waters and was only found two months later off the coast of Canada. The shipwrecked were naturally dead and were tied to the boat with their pants belts. Their life jackets were torn with their teeth, probably in an attempt to fool their hunger. His wife and son Panagiotis Lymperopoulos received the items found in his pockets: his wedding ring, a gold brooch, a watch, an agenda and some money. He was buried in a Canadian cemetery.

wknt 2 USA, Marseille, Messinia, Shipwreck, New York, Southampton, Titanic

The third of the Greeks, Apostolos Chronopoulos he was 26 years old then. He first went to America at the age of 18 and worked as an interpreter in a craft. He had decided to take his younger brother with him, Dimitris Chronopoulos, who was 21 years old in 1912. Initially, the two brothers were going to travel to America by another ocean liner, but when they arrived in Marseilles with Panagiotis Lymperopoulos and Vassilis Katavelos, the former persuaded them to change their tickets and travel with the Titanic to get there faster. The fate of the two brothers was not known. It is not known whether they were dragged with the Titanic to the bottom or whether their bodies were found and sunk at sea.

Today, in the mountain village of Agios Sostis in Messinia, there is a small monument (created only in 2001) for the four male victims of the Titanic. "In memory of the four Greek victims of the Titanic of 1912 seeking better fortune in USA for themselves and their families. Vassilios G. Katavelou-Panagiotou K. Lymperopoulou-Dimitriou M. Chronopoulou "writes.