March 21, 1906


The whispering seduction of the sea is often fatal.

In 1906, Hermann Remarque claimed to hear singing whenever he took his sons, Erich and Irwin, out with him went he fished off the coast of Massachusetts.

Hermann’s wife had died of fever in 1905, and neighbors stated that Hermann never quite seemed to recover from her loss. The boys were often kept out of school to accompany their father when he left from the Cross marina for his daily fishing trips. He wanted to teach them a trade and to have their help in earning a wage.

On March 13th, 1906, Hermann and his sons left the marina, and the small fishing smack didn’t return until March 21st.

The boys were alone on the smack, their father missing.

When the boys were questioned as to the location of their father, they both replied that he had gone overboard.

At first, the police feared it was a horrific accident.

Finally, after some lengthy questioning, they learned that it was intentional.

For three days, according to the boys, they could hear the sound of women singing. Their father heard it as well.

Always he sought out the source. On the 17th, he found it. A group of women half-submerged in the chilly Atlantic waters.

The women beckoned to him, and Hermann Remarque stood up and dove into the water, vanishing beneath the waves.

The women followed him down quickly, all but one of them.

She remained for a moment, smiling a sharp-toothed grin at the boys.

The woman spoke to them and told them to return in 14 years.

Cross detectives stated that it was madness that drove Hermann Remarque to leap into the Atlantic.

On March 17th, 1920, Erich and Irwin set sail from Cross in their smack.

The empty boat was recovered three weeks later.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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