02 June 1912
[Uusi Suometar was one of the most reputable newspapers of its time in Finland. In the 2nd June, 1912, issue there was an article based on an interview with Anna Turja. It states the following:
The roommates of Anna Turja were Hedwig Turkula (65 years), Sofia Laitinen, Maria and Katri Jussila and Helga Hirvonen (22 years) with her 2-year-old child Hedwig. Miss Turja was already sleeping at the time of the collision and she didn't know anything about it until her roommate Sofia Laitinen woke her up, telling her that something had happened to the ship and that there was some commotion among the passengers up on the deck. Soon after a young Finnish man appeared at the door of the cabin, too, and said: "Get up or soon you will be at the bottom of the ocean." When Miss Turja got dressed and got up on the deck with Miss Laitinen, she noticed a lot of commotion and movement. Many people fainted and were not aware of anything. Generally, the Finns were in no panic and they had gathered in the music room on the deck to listen to music. As late as half past twelve in the night Miss Turja had been listening to music. (...)
When Miss Turja visited the cabin of Miss Panula, the poor wife was dressing the sleepy and crying children in a hopeless and panicky state. "We will never get away from here alive," she said to herself in despair.
The Finnish women had decided to stay together in order to get to the rescue ship together that they had been waiting for. They had no urge to get in the lifeboats but thought that they should let the hastiest get in them first. Only the elderly Hedwig Turkula went to a lifeboat and grabbed a sailor by the coat button, and she was lifted to a lifeboat. Miss Turja didn't panic. Together with Miss Laitinen, they visited their cabin, where they also had something to eat. There they could be in peace; elsewhere, there was noise and commotion. Miss Turja was saved in the next to last lifeboat. Her friend Miss Laitinen had asked her to go with her on the uppermost deck, but when she got there, Miss Turja turned instinctively back and got on the second class deck, where she was lifted into a lifeboat by the rescue crew. After that she didn't see Miss Laitinen, who went down with the ship. She didn't see any other women on deck either. She thought that the Finnish women had gone on the uppermost deck to wait for the rescue ship.
Thanks to Kalman Tanito for this clipping.
Back to Articles