ERNEST H.LATHAM, Jr.
WHAT STRANGE FATE
J. Breckinridge Bayne. An American Doctor on the Romanian Front, 1916 – 1919
Bilingual edition, Vremea Press, 2016
WHERE: Libraria Humanitas – Kretzulescu bookstore, Calea Victoriei No.45
WHEN: Thursday, December 8, 6:00 p.m.
Speakers: Silvia Colfescu, Bogdan Antoniu, Ioana Ieronim and the author.
Dr. Breckinridge Bayne arrived in Bucharest exactly 100 years ago, in November 1916. He volunteered his service as a surgeon, after Romania had entered the war. He operated on the wounded while the war was raging close by and saved many lives. He also worked to contain typhus and cholera epidemics in Romanian villages. He stayed with his seriously wounded patients under the German occupation, even when he had to open a new hospital for them in Bucharest, as the only doctor, without any qualified staff.
An inspiring story from WWI.
American historian and diplomat Ernest H. Latham Jr. rediscovered this fascinating figure, the American physician Bayne, and, with him, a most dramatic fragment of Romanian history.
“A sensitive, meticulously-researched, and elegantly written study.” – Dennis Deletant
“A fascinating account of an American doctor who volunteered his medical services in World War I Romania. The experiences he relates in detail give valuable insight into the chaos and hardships faced by the population and the medical personnel as well, during a devastating German attack and harsh occupation.” – Genn Torrey
„ Bayne’s Romanian sojourn has all the ingredients of an adventure novel. Bayne has the well-deserved lead role in a grand cast of characters on a vast and important stage. But it is not romance or fantasy, it is real. The book is a fitting tribute to Dr. Bayne, as well as to the Romanian people and to the Romania he discovered and loved.”— Glee E. Wilson
“The challenge Bayne faced in treating horrific wounds and fatal epidemics without a trained staff or sufficient medical supplies, the dedication he and his staff (Romanian and foreign) showed in serving their patients, all of these give us a greater insight into Romania’s story in the Great War.” – Bogdan Antoniu
„Off in the dim twilight I could see the lowering ridges of the great Carpathians whose vastness in the past had always offered sanctuary in times of oppression… As I sat there I knew I was going to miss this little country whose fortunes I had shared, and I wondered what strange fate had guided me there.” – Breckinridge Bayne
ERNEST H. LATHAM, Jr., American historian and diplomat. Cultural attaché in Romania (1983-1987). Author of Timeless and Transitory: 20th Century Relations Between Romania and the English Speaking World (Vremea Press, 2012), In Caesar’s Household (Vremea Press, 2013) and numerous articles and reviews about Romania. Fulbright Professor in Romania (2000 ˗ 2002). Ph.D. from the University of Bucharest (1987). He lectures on Romania and Moldova at the Foreign Service Institute (U.S. Department of State)