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Is a Warning Enough to Extinguish Guilt?

On the 22nd of April, 1915, Germany issues a warning to all travelers not to sail in the waters near Britain. Fifteen days later, a German U-boat sinks the Lusitania, killing 1,198 people.

The German warning is not printed in newspapers until May 1, 1915 - the day Lusitania leaves New York City for her transatlantic crossing. Although the ship departs two hours late, we are left to wonder whether all the passengers actually knew about the warning.

If you were booked on a ship like the Lusitania, which received warning of a possible sinking en route, how would you view the threat?

Would the threat, as actually issued by the German Embassy, be enough to cause you to leave the ship? Why, or why not?

When Lusitania sank, she lost 1,198 men, women and children. Who was responsible for all those deaths?

Was the warning, issued by Germany’s embassy, enough to extinguish any responsibility Germany may have had for the sinking and the loss of so many lives? Explain your answer.

Do you view Germany’s warning any differently than you would view the threat of death from an armed robber or a terrorist?  Why, or why not?


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