She was born on August 16th, 1887 in Aarwangen, Switzerland. She lost her mother when she was eleven and had six siblings. Emma was often looked after by her older sister Rosa before Emma moved to Cannes in 1908. By 1912, she was working as a maid and was working with Léontine Aubart.
Léontine and her lover Benjamin Guggenheim were planning to travel on the RMS Titanic with Emma and Guggenheim's valet Victor Giglio. Before leaving Paris a friend visited Léontine. Mme. Aubart showed her new umbrella and opened it. The friend got a pale face and said superstitiously that a disaster would happen soon, Miss Sägesser should take good care of her Lady.
Miss Sägesser and Mme. Aubart boarded the Titanic as first class passengers at Cherbourg and occupied cabin B-35. On April 14th they went to bed around 11 pm. Emma felt a little seasick, so she fell immediately asleep. Suddenly she was woken by two short bumps. She thought Titanic had stranded and stayed in bed. Mme. Aubart investigated what had happened and came back very calm and went to bed again. A while later they put coats over their nightgowns and went to Guggenheim's staterooms. He still was asleep. Guggenheims valet Victor Giglio said: "Never mind, icebergs! What is a iceberg?" The woman persuaded them to come on deck.
On the Boat-Deck they parted and Guggenheim said to Emma (in German) "We will soon each other again! It's just a repair. Tomorrow the Titanic will go on again". Emma and Mme. Aubart entered Lifeboat 9. Aubart did so reluctantly because she does not want to leave her lover. Around 1:30 am the boat was lowered.
After being rescued by the RMS Carpathia, Mme. Aubart had a nervous breakdown and had to be comforted by her maid. Emma sent a telegram to her sister Bertha in Paris (paid for by her employer Aubart):
Berthe Segesser 30, Charles Baudelaire Paris Sauvée Amities Emma (Saved greetings Emma)
Life after TitanicEdit
Unfortunately it was not transmitted; the operators had to much work to do. It is not known where the two ladies resided at New York. Mme. Aubart was given money from the Guggenheims to keep her quiet. Emma and her Lady eventually went back to Europe on May 3rd, 1912 on board the Adriatic, which reached Liverpool on May 11th. From there they travelled back to Paris. Emma left Madame Aubart shortly afterwards.
In 1917 Emma lived in St. Gallen, Switzerland and moved the same year to Zürich, where she worked as saleswoman at the stores Globus and Jelmoli. In March 1926 she married Karl Ernst Arnold. Together they ran a cigar shop at 91 Kanzlei-strasse. Their address was 49 An der Schipfe, Zürich. The couple had no children. A month after the death of her husband Emma Arnold-Sägesser died on May 24th, 1964.