Michel Navratil Biography

Fashion Designer (c. 1880–1912)
Michel Navratil was a tailor from Slovakia who died during the sinking of the RMS Titanic.


Michel Navratil was born in Szered, Slovakia in 1880. In April, 1912, he kidnapped his two sons from his estranged wife and--under assumed names--booked passage to America on board the RMS Titanic. After the collision, Navratil's sons made it onto a lifeboat but Navratil himself did not. The boys' mother later recognized them in a newspaper photo and brought them back to France.


Tailor, Titanic victim. Born in Szered, Slovakia in 1880. In 1902, Michel Navratil moved to Nice, France, where he set out to became a tailor. He married Marcelle Caretto in 1907, and the couple had two boys, Michel and Edmond. By 1912, the couple had separated after accusations of Marcelle??s infidelity.

In April, Navratil kidnapped his sons who were then living with their mother and booked them passage on board the Titanic to travel to America. They boarded at Southampton under the assumed names of Mr. Louis M. Hoffman and his sons, Loto and Louis. After the collision, women and children were instructed to board the lifeboats first. The two boys survived the sinking, Navratil did not.

Michel and Edmond, toddlers who didn??t speak any English, were known as the ??Titanic Orphans?? and were sheltered in a private New York home by the Children??s Aid Society. Their mother eventually recognized them in a newspaper photograph that referred to the boys as ??Louis and Lola.?? She reunited with her sons on May 16, and the three sailed back to France.


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