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Measuring Loss on the Titanic

Making Connections

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

After the Titanic sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912, hundreds of the survivors, families of victims, and owners of cargo filed claims against the White Star Line for loss of life, property, and for injuries sustained. Their claims totaled $16.4 million. Examine their claims to see the values of items lost, how people survived the disaster, and the social class differences aboard history's most infamous ship.


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

Measuring Loss on the Titanic

Making Connections

Examine the documents and text included in this activity. Fill in any blanks in the sequence with your thoughts and write your conclusion response in the space provided.

Photograph of a lifeboat carrying TITANIC survivors...


Closely examine the claims filed for loss of life and answer the following questions in the next available blank text box:

How much money did the family member's ask for in these claims? How did people assess the value of their family member's life?

What do these claims tell you about the social class differences on board the Titanic?

What are some similarities and differences between these claims?

Claim of Carrie T. Chaffee, Walter R. Reed, and Robert B. Reed, Administrators of the Estate of Herbert Fuller Chaffee


Claim of Nicholas Veale and Edwin Veale, as Administrators of the Estate of James Veale


Claim of A. Hume, Father of John Hume Law


Claim of Carl Johan Bjorklund, Father, and Erika Kristina Bjorklund, Mother of Ernst Herbert Bjorklund


Enter your response
Closely examine the claims filed for loss of property and answer the following questions in the next available blank text box:

How much money did the survivors ask for in these claims? How did people assess the value of their property?

What do these claims tell you about the social class differences on board the Titanic?

What are some similarities and differences between these claims?

Claim of Margaret Brown


Claim of H. Bjornstrom Steffanson


Claim of Albina Bassani


Claim of Yum Hee


Enter your response
Note: These claims also include information about personal items lost. For this part of the activity, focus only on the portion related to their injuries.

Closely examine the claims filed for injuries and answer the following questions in the next available blank text box:

How much money did each survivor ask for in these claims? How did people assign a value to the injury they sustained?

How did these people survive the Titanic disaster?

Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)


Claim of George Rheims for Injuries Received and Property Lost


Claim of Patrick O'Keefe


Claim of Anna Sofia Sjoblom


Enter your response



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Activity Element

Photograph of a lifeboat carrying TITANIC survivors...

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2

Activity Element

Claim of Carrie T. Chaffee, Walter R. Reed, and Robert B. Reed, Administrators of the Estate of Herbert Fuller Chaffee

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3

Activity Element

Claim of Nicholas Veale and Edwin Veale, as Administrators of the Estate of James Veale

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4

Activity Element

Claim of A. Hume, Father of John Hume Law

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5

Activity Element

Claim of Carl Johan Bjorklund, Father, and Erika Kristina Bjorklund, Mother of Ernst Herbert Bjorklund

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6

Activity Element

Claim of Margaret Brown

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7

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Claim of H. Bjornstrom Steffanson

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8

Activity Element

Claim of Albina Bassani

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9

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Claim of Yum Hee

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10

Activity Element

Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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11

Activity Element

Claim of George Rheims for Injuries Received and Property Lost

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12

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Claim of Patrick O'Keefe

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13

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Claim of Anna Sofia Sjoblom

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Conclusion

Measuring Loss on the Titanic

Making Connections

  • What do these claims tell you about the Titanic disaster?
  • Do you think the survivors, families of victims, and owners of cargo deserved the full value they were seeking? Why or why not?


Your Response




Document

Photograph of a Lifeboat Carrying Titanic Survivors

4/15/1912

After colliding with an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean, R.M.S. Titanic sank on April 15, 1912. The Titanic only had enough lifeboats to carry 1,178 of the 2,225 passengers and crew to safety. Here a group floats to safety aboard a lifeboat. The original caption reads: Photograph of a lifeboat carrying TITANIC survivors. The following partial caption appears on the back of the fractured mat: "...H.B. Harris, Geo. Thinis (?), Mr. and Mrs. J. Milton (?), H.B. Staffanson (?), H. Woolman (?), Nairatil (?) children, Mys. Compton in stern - transferred from No. 14." The writing on this mat is faded and difficult to read.

This photograph comes from the “In the Matter of the Petition of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited, for Limitation of its Liability as owner of the steamship TITANIC” case that began after the sinking of the Titanic. This case was initiated to limit the liability of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Ltd., for loss of life and property resulting from the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage. The case file contains court papers, evidence, and claims of survivors and representatives of the deceased.
This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 278338
Full Citation: Photograph of a Lifeboat Carrying Titanic Survivors; 4/15/1912; In the Matter of the Petition of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited, for Limitation of its Liability as owner of the steamship TITANIC; Admiralty Case Files, 1790 - 1966; Records of District Courts of the United States, ; National Archives at New York, New York, NY. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/lifeboat-titanic-survivors, July 21, 2024]


Photograph of a Lifeboat Carrying Titanic Survivors

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Document

Claim of Carrie T. Chaffee, Walter R. Reed, and Robert B. Reed, Administrators of the Estate of Herbert Fuller Chaffee

1913

This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 6210885
Full Citation: Claim of Carrie T. Chaffee, Walter R. Reed, and Robert B. Reed, Administrators of the Estate of Herbert Fuller Chaffee; 1913; Records of District Courts of the United States, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/claim-of-carrie-t-chaffee-walter-r-reed-and-robert-b-reed-administrators-of-the-estate-of-herbert-fuller-chaffee, July 21, 2024]


Claim of Carrie T. Chaffee, Walter R. Reed, and Robert B. Reed, Administrators of the Estate of Herbert Fuller Chaffee

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Claim of Carrie T. Chaffee, Walter R. Reed, and Robert B. Reed, Administrators of the Estate of Herbert Fuller Chaffee

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Claim of Carrie T. Chaffee, Walter R. Reed, and Robert B. Reed, Administrators of the Estate of Herbert Fuller Chaffee

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Claim of Carrie T. Chaffee, Walter R. Reed, and Robert B. Reed, Administrators of the Estate of Herbert Fuller Chaffee

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Claim of Carrie T. Chaffee, Walter R. Reed, and Robert B. Reed, Administrators of the Estate of Herbert Fuller Chaffee

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Document

Claim of Nicholas Veale and Edwin Veale, as Administrators of the Estate of James Veale

1913

This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 6210888
Full Citation: Claim of Nicholas Veale and Edwin Veale, as Administrators of the Estate of James Veale; 1913; Records of District Courts of the United States, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/claim-of-nicholas-veale-and-edwin-veale-as-administrators-of-the-estate-of-james-veale, July 21, 2024]


Claim of Nicholas Veale and Edwin Veale, as Administrators of the Estate of James Veale

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Claim of Nicholas Veale and Edwin Veale, as Administrators of the Estate of James Veale

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Claim of Nicholas Veale and Edwin Veale, as Administrators of the Estate of James Veale

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Claim of Nicholas Veale and Edwin Veale, as Administrators of the Estate of James Veale

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Claim of Nicholas Veale and Edwin Veale, as Administrators of the Estate of James Veale

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Claim of Nicholas Veale and Edwin Veale, as Administrators of the Estate of James Veale

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Claim of Nicholas Veale and Edwin Veale, as Administrators of the Estate of James Veale

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Document

Claim of A. Hume, Father of John Hume Law

1913

This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 6210890
Full Citation: Claim of A. Hume, Father of John Hume Law; 1913; Records of District Courts of the United States, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/claim-of-a-hume-father-of-john-hume-law, July 21, 2024]


Claim of A. Hume, Father of John Hume Law

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Claim of A. Hume, Father of John Hume Law

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Claim of A. Hume, Father of John Hume Law

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Claim of A. Hume, Father of John Hume Law

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Claim of A. Hume, Father of John Hume Law

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Claim of A. Hume, Father of John Hume Law

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Document

Claim of Carl Johan Bjorklund, Father, and Erika Kristina Bjorklund, Mother of Ernst Herbert Bjorklund

1913

This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 6210889
Full Citation: Claim of Carl Johan Bjorklund, Father, and Erika Kristina Bjorklund, Mother of Ernst Herbert Bjorklund; 1913; Records of District Courts of the United States, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/claim-of-carl-johan-bjorklund-father-and-erika-kristina-bjorklund-mother-of-ernst-herbert-bjorklund, July 21, 2024]


Claim of Carl Johan Bjorklund, Father, and Erika Kristina Bjorklund, Mother of Ernst Herbert Bjorklund

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Claim of Carl Johan Bjorklund, Father, and Erika Kristina Bjorklund, Mother of Ernst Herbert Bjorklund

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Claim of Carl Johan Bjorklund, Father, and Erika Kristina Bjorklund, Mother of Ernst Herbert Bjorklund

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Claim of Carl Johan Bjorklund, Father, and Erika Kristina Bjorklund, Mother of Ernst Herbert Bjorklund

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Claim of Carl Johan Bjorklund, Father, and Erika Kristina Bjorklund, Mother of Ernst Herbert Bjorklund

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Claim of Carl Johan Bjorklund, Father, and Erika Kristina Bjorklund, Mother of Ernst Herbert Bjorklund

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Claim of Carl Johan Bjorklund, Father, and Erika Kristina Bjorklund, Mother of Ernst Herbert Bjorklund

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Document

Claim of Margaret Brown

1913

This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 6210870
Full Citation: Claim of Margaret Brown; 1913; Records of District Courts of the United States, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/claim-of-margaret-brown, July 21, 2024]


Claim of Margaret Brown

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Claim of Margaret Brown

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Claim of Margaret Brown

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Claim of Margaret Brown

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Claim of Margaret Brown

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Claim of Margaret Brown

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Document

Claim of H. Bjornstrom Steffanson

1913

This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 6210869
Full Citation: Claim of H. Bjornstrom Steffanson; 1913; Records of District Courts of the United States, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/claim-of-h-bjornstrom-steffanson, July 21, 2024]


Claim of H. Bjornstrom Steffanson

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Claim of H. Bjornstrom Steffanson

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Claim of H. Bjornstrom Steffanson

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Document

Claim of Albina Bassani

1/13/1913

This claim was presented to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Filed by Albina Bassani, a first-class passenger on the steamship Titanic, it claims that she lost clothing, jewelry, and money when the Titanic sank. It further claims that the Oceanic Steamship Navigation Company, Limited, which owned the Titanic, owed her compensation.
This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 1634268
Full Citation: Claim of Albina Bassani; 1/13/1913; Records of District Courts of the United States, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/claim-of-albina-bassani, July 21, 2024]


Claim of Albina Bassani

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Claim of Albina Bassani

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Claim of Albina Bassani

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Claim of Albina Bassani

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Document

Claim of Yum Hee

1913

Yum Hee travelled in steerage aboard the Titanic. He survived the disaster and filed a claim for his lost property. As part of his claim, he included a list of the items he brought aboard with him.

He initially calculated the value of his items in British pounds (£) and then used the contemporary exchange rate (1 £ = $4.86) to convert his claim to U.S. Dollars. So, his items were worth 18 £, 14 s, or the equivalent of $91.85.

This document comes from the “In the Matter of the Petition of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited, for Limitation of its Liability as owner of the steamship TITANIC” case that began after the sinking of the Titanic. This case was initiated to limit the liability of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Ltd., for loss of life and property resulting from the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage. The case file contains court papers, evidence, and claims of survivors and representatives of the deceased.
This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 6210878
Full Citation: Claim of Yum Hee; 1913; In the Matter of the Petition of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited, for Limitation of its Liability as owner of the steamship TITANIC; Admiralty Case Files, 1790 - 1966; Records of District Courts of the United States, ; National Archives at New York, New York, NY. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/claim-yum-hee, July 21, 2024]


Claim of Yum Hee

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Claim of Yum Hee

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Claim of Yum Hee

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Claim of Yum Hee

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Claim of Yum Hee

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Document

Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

1913

This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 6210895
Full Citation: Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill); 1913; Records of District Courts of the United States, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/claim-of-bertha-e-noon-nee-bertha-e-mulvehill, July 21, 2024]


Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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Claim of Bertha E. Noon (nee Bertha E. Mulvehill)

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Document

Claim of George Rheims for Injuries Received and Property Lost

1913

This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 6210892
Full Citation: Claim of George Rheims for Injuries Received and Property Lost; 1913; Records of District Courts of the United States, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/claim-of-george-rheims-for-injuries-received-and-property-lost, July 21, 2024]


Claim of George Rheims for Injuries Received and Property Lost

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Claim of George Rheims for Injuries Received and Property Lost

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Claim of George Rheims for Injuries Received and Property Lost

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Claim of George Rheims for Injuries Received and Property Lost

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Claim of George Rheims for Injuries Received and Property Lost

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Document

Claim of Patrick O'Keefe

1913

This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 6210899
Full Citation: Claim of Patrick O'Keefe; 1913; Records of District Courts of the United States, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/claim-of-patrick-okeefe, July 21, 2024]


Claim of Patrick O'Keefe

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Claim of Patrick O'Keefe

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Claim of Patrick O'Keefe

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Claim of Patrick O'Keefe

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Claim of Patrick O'Keefe

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Claim of Patrick O'Keefe

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Claim of Patrick O'Keefe

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Claim of Patrick O'Keefe

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Claim of Patrick O'Keefe

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Document

Claim of Anna Sofia Sjoblom

1913

This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 6210897
Full Citation: Claim of Anna Sofia Sjoblom; 1913; Records of District Courts of the United States, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/claim-of-anna-sofia-sjoblom, July 21, 2024]


Claim of Anna Sofia Sjoblom

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Claim of Anna Sofia Sjoblom

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Claim of Anna Sofia Sjoblom

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