MINISTRY OF INFRASTRUCTURE OF UKRAINE

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Bertha Rapoport

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Bertha Rapoport (06.15.1914 - 12.07.1967) is the only one at that time woman with a degree of sea captain in the Black Sea. She was born in Odesa. Father Ya.Rapoport was a carpenter with work experience of 56 years. Mother R.Rapoport was a housewife.


Bertha Rapoport graduated from high school in 1928 and entered at Odesa Maritime College on the Navigators department and graduated from it in 1931 with a degree of maritime navigator. Started to work in February 1932 as a 4th mate. It was quite complicated for a girl to study at maritime school along with for 17-year "navigator in a skirt" to fit into the group of sailors, which were always skeptical against women at sea. However she could not only fit, but managed to rise to the rank of captain mate!

 

In June 1938, during the events in Spain Bertha along with the crew of "Katayama" was in fascist captivity in the port of Palma on the island of Mallorca. But she held herself bravely with dignity of Soviet seafarer.

In June 1939 at the insistence of the Soviet government the crew was released from captivity and returned to the homeland. Bertha immediately joined the ranks of the Party. In October 1941 she was sent to the Caspian fleet.

 

In September 1944 Rapoport was appointed the Chief Inspector at the office of the Captain of the port, in 1948 she became a Shift Dispatcher of Port’s Fleet.

 

In 2006, by decision of the Trade Union Committee and port’s administration the memory of Bertha Rapoport was immortalized with a memorial plaque made by the famous sculptor A.Kopev, dedicated to the "legendary Bertha" - so she was called in the Navy.

 

T.Ovrutskaya