“When did you stop seeing the ship?” said one of my students.
“The Ship of Fools!” she said, smiling broadly.
I asked what she meant by “The ship of fools,” and she replied, “It’s like seeing a dog.
It’s not real.”
In her book, “The Sinking of the Titanic: The True Story of the Disaster,” Susanne Koehn documents how a series of events led to the ship sinking on April 15, 1912, just a few days after a typhoon ravaged the port of Hamburg, Germany.
Her account is based on a report she obtained from German government officials and a memoir written by her mother, who was in charge of the ship.
The report, titled “A Tale of Two Ships,” details the events leading up to the sinking, which took place after a storm that swept up the hull of the liner and flooded the ship’s engine room.
It’s not just about the facts, said Koehler.
It is about the emotional impact the events had on the families of those on board.
For the last several months, Koehlner has been researching how the story has been told, particularly since it was first published in 2014.
“It was my hope to find out if people were really upset by the book,” she said.
“If I hadn’t done that, it would have been hard to tell this story.”
For a while, Kroehn had been researching the story as an expert witness for a legal case involving the family of the victims, and she said she had never seen the book in print before.
“I thought I could get away with it, because I have done this sort of research for so many years,” Koehner said.
But then a friend suggested she ask her own mother for a copy of the book.
“When I saw that book, I was so amazed by what I saw,” Kroehner told me.
“My mother had no idea that I had been doing this research.”
Koehn and her team had been following the case for years, researching how much of the history of the sinking was known and how much was new.
Koehmner had a feeling her mother would be interested in the book, and as she wrote to her mother in 2014, she “was not surprised when she received it.”
“I knew there was something very important to me,” she wrote.
“But what I didn’t know was how to proceed.”
Kroehning’s research began with a visit to her mom’s home in Hamburg.
When Koehern asked for her mother’s permission to visit, she said her mother had never even been to her house before.
She said that her mother was surprised to see that the book was still in the house.
“I felt like she had not read the book yet, but she had read it.
She had never read it before,” Kowhner recalled.
“She was just excited that I was asking her for permission to go see it.”
When she and her mother got back to the house, Kowhn said that she noticed the book still sitting on a shelf next to her book case.
“And I saw this book that had a note on it, and it said, ‘If you ever see this book again, do not touch it,'” she said Kroe hte.
“So I went to my mother and I said, I don’t want to be this way.
I want you to know that I didn’ t touch this book.”
When Koehner came home to find the book gone, she wrote a letter to her family, telling them she didn’t want them to read the story of the disaster, because it would hurt them.
Kow han was upset that she and Koehrn were “not even going to read this book,” but she understood her mother wanted to read it for herself.
“But I felt like I had to let her know that it was not for me, because that was for my mother,” she told me, “because I thought it would make her feel better.”
She continued to search the ship archives, and discovered that a lot of people had been asking for a book about the sinking that never made it to the shelves.
“When I looked at some of the books, they looked like they had been sent to a school for the children,” Kowe han said.
“So I was like, I have to find this book, because my mother doesn’t like it, but I have a book for her.
I will just send it to her.”
After some research, Kowehn and Kroehtn found a book called “The Story of Two Cities” that was written in 1887 by a French historian named Jules-Emmanuel Troxel, who described how two ships collided in the harbor of Marseilles on April 14, 1912.