In March 2015, a military case from the First World War was donated to the Transylvanian Museum. It accompanied Dr. Wilhelm Hager during World War I to the southern front – to Bosnia and the Isonzo, and then to the eastern front, to Galicia, Bukovina, Bessarabia and, finally, in 1918 to South Tyrol. Also as a Romanian citizen after 1918, Dr. Hager once again had to fight, this time on the side of the Romanian army. In 1919-1920 he took part in the campaign on the Tisza River as a medical officer of the reserve (medic cǎpitan).
The owner of the military case, the physician and later pediatrician Dr. Hugo Wilhelm Hager (1891-1965) is one of the outstanding personalities in Transylvanian health care in the first half of the 20th century. The fact that his memory has faded among the generations that grew up in Transylvania after 1945 is also due to the fact that, during the Romanian-Communist period, Saxon history and its important figures in this region were left out of the official culture of remembrance. Hugo Wilhelm Hager came from an upper-class
deu. Hermannstadt, hun. Nagyszeben

Sibiu (rom. Sibiu, hung. Nagyszeben) is a city in central Romania. With almost 147,000 inhabitants it is the capital of the Sibiu County. It is located in the historical region of Transylvania and is an important place of the German speaking minority of the Transylvanian Saxons. Sibiu is located about 275 km northeast of Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

family. His medical studies led him to the universities in 
ron. Cluj, hun. Kolozsvár, lat. Claudiopolis, lat. Claudianopolis

Cluj-Napoca (German: Klausenburg, Hungarian: Kolozsvár) is a major city in the Transylvanian county of Cluj in northwestern Romania. It is the second largest city in Romania with about 324,000 inhabitants.

, then named Kolozsvár, Vienna, Munich, Berlin and 

Budapest is the capital of Hungary and the largest city in the country with about 1.7 million inhabitants. It is located in central Hungary on the Danube River. Budapest was created in 1873 by the merger of the cities of Buda and Pest.

 from 1909. He was living in the Hungarian capital when the war began, and had to leave for the front on 1 August 1914 to serve as a medical sergeant. Here he experienced the battle of 
deu. Lemberg, pol. Lwów, eng. Lviv, rus. Lwow, rus. Львов, yid. Lemberg, yid. לעמבערג, ukr. Львів, ukr. L'viv

Lviv (German: Lemberg, Ukrainian: Львів, Polish: Lwów) is a city in western Ukraine in the oblast of the same name. With nearly 730,000 inhabitants (2015), Lviv is one of the largest cities in Ukraine. The city was part of Poland and Austria-Hungary for a long time.

Due to the war in Ukraine, it is possible that this information is no longer up to date.

 and the subsequent retreat from eastern 
deu. Galizien, yid. גאַליציע‎, yid. Galitsiye, ron. Halici, ron. Galiția, hun. Halics, hun. Gácsország, hun. Kaliz, hun. Galícia, ces. Halič, slk. Halič, rus. Галиция, rus. Galizija, ukr. Галичина, ukr. Halytschyna, pol. Galicja

Galicia is a historical landscape, which today is almost entirely located on the territory of Poland and Ukraine. The part in southeastern Poland is usually referred to as Western Galicia, and the part in western Ukraine as Eastern Galicia. Before 1772, Galicia belonged for centuries to the Polish-Lithuanian noble republic, and subsequently and until 1918 - as part of the crown land "Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria" - to the Habsburg Empire.

, during which he fell ill with dysentery. Back in Budapest, Wilhelm Hager completed his studies and received his doctorate in November 1914. Less than two weeks later, he was working as a deputy medical assistant on the Carpathian Front. He was awarded the Silver Medal for Bravery (1st class) for his services.
On May 1, 1915, he was promoted to assistant physician. The officer's case, which has been preserved to this day, probably dates from this time. In 1917 he was promoted to senior physician.
As a front-line physician, Dr. Hager fought his own battles with cholera, typhoid, smallpox and frostbite. His front-line experiences and fervent personal commitment to the preservation of human life – as evidenced by numerous awards that have been preserved to this day – shaped the Sibiu physician, instilling in him a deep sense of humanity.
After the end of the war, the young doctor's character, which had matured in the service of “humanism“ “humanism“ Humanism refers to various educational philosophies and attitudes that strive to improve human existence. Humanism can also refer to a practice or behavior that respects human dignity. , was able to develop fully. After studying in Düsseldorf and working at the University Hospital in Tübingen, the future specialist and father settled in his hometown of Sibiu where he established his own pediatric practice. The progressive doctor earned lasting merits in his tireless voluntary work in the still new field of child welfare, as exemplified by the Child Protection Association founded by Luise Schiel. Under the umbrella of this association, Dr. Hager first founded a maternity counseling center, then a pediatric nursing school, which set standards for decades to come. Together with Luise Schiel, he finally realized the ambitious dream of setting up a children's hospital, which he presided over on an honorary basis from the very beginning and whose development he continued to steer for many years after nationalization in 1948. In addition, Dr. Hager was active as a municipal doctor serving the poor and orphanages, and also working as a welfare doctor at the municipal Inspectorate for Hygiene.
From the time of his deployment on the Eastern Front, a living memory of Wilhelm Hager has been passed down in his family, a view that shows him as a bridge builder who, beyond the trenches, recognizes in the enemy the man and comrade-in-arms, and reaches out to him.
Christmas with the Enemy
On Christmas 1917, Dr. Wilhelm Hager was a battalion physician in the imperial "Infantry Regiment No. 31 Hermannstadt", which was stationed at the front near 
rus. Хотин, ukr. Хотин, pol. Chocim, ron. Hotin, eng. Khotyn, yid. כעטין‎

Khotyn is a city in southwestern Ukraine. It had about 11,000 inhabitants in 2004 and is located northeast of Chernivtsi, in the historical region of Bessarabia. It is especially known for its late medieval fortress near a historical crossing over the Dniester River. Due to this strategically important location, Khotyn was the scene of repeated significant battles over the centuries with a correspondingly frequent change of rulers. Before World War II, it was also an important center of Jewish life in Bessarabia.

Due to the war in Ukraine, it is possible that this information is no longer up to date.

. During a ceasefire, the doctor, marked only with the Red Cross armband to represent his rank, ventured into the positions of the Russian enemy to deliver an invitation to a joint Christmas celebration. Among those who accepted the invitation was a Russian physician named Dr. Elanski, who had recently completed his medical studies in Berlin. Dr. Hager's daughter Margarete, whose married name was Margarete Mederus, would later describe the meeting, quoting her father's words, as follows:
"We talked about the professors there [in Berlin], about common experiences at the front, like typhus and leave. After the dinner and a lot of Polish schnapps, the Russian military personnel went back to their positions. [...] I didn't think I would ever hear from him again." 
Although the two men never met in person again, their respective interest in each other's fate ultimately led to a pen-pal friendship that even the events of World War II could not stop. "In 1937, at a medical congress in Berlin, I learned that Elanski was a lecturer at the Leningrad Military Medical Academy," Wilhelm Hager wrote in his memoirs in 1944. After the Red Army invaded 
deu. Siebenbürgen, deu. Transsylvanien, deu. Transsilvanien, ron. Transilvania, ron. Ardeal

Transylvania is a historical landscape in modern Romania. It is situated in the center of the country and is populated by about 6.8 million people. The major city of Transylvania is Cluj-Napoca. German-speaking minorities used to live in Transylvania.

, Hager was told that Dr. Elanski was in the country, had passed Sibiu with the Red Army troops, and was already near
hun. Arad, deu. Arad

Arad is a city in western Romania. The city is inhabited by about 160,000 people and is in the northern part of the historical Banat region, or in the southern part of the Kreish region. Within Romania, Arad belongs to Transylvania.

. He reached him via field mail. The men arranged a meeting, but it did not take place because of the deportations that were now beginning. 
It was only later, in 1958, that Hager's daughter Margarete, who at the time was on tour in 
eng. Moscow, deu. Moskau, rus. Москва́

Moscow (Russian Москва́) is the capital of Russia and also the largest city in the country. With about 12.5 million inhabitants, Moscow is the largest city on the European continent.

 as first violinist with the Bucharest State Philharmonic, made her way to the now head professor of the Russian Military Academy at the Burdienko Institute: 
"I got as far as his office, and to legitimize my presence there, I showed Elanski two photographs of my father and Elanski at the command post on that Christmas of 1917. Elanski expressed his pleasure again and again and invited me to his home. However, because I was under constant surveillance, this visit never took place." 
However, the meeting helped to refresh the friendship: "Elanski sent gifts of books to Sibiu."
Dr. Hager's towering personality and ability to bring people together acted as a mediating force on more than one occasion during the difficult years immediately following World War II, as he negotiated relief and aid for the distressed Saxon community. An excerpt from the funeral oration of Friedrich Müller, Bishop of the Evangelical Regional Church A. B. in 
deu. Rumänien, ron. România

Romania is a country in southeastern Europe with a population of almost 20 million people. The capital of the country is Bucharest. The state is situated directly on the Black Sea, the Carpathian Mountains and borders Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine and Moldova. Romania was established in 1859 from the merger of Moldova and Wallachia. Romania is home to Transylvania, the central region for the German minority there.

, at the grave of the doctor, who died in 1965, recalled how: "The garrison commander of the Soviet troop unit in Sibiu, named Moruzov, got to know our people (!) when his wife delivered their child in the institution looked after by Dr. Hager and Fräulein Schiel. The child was also looked after there for a time. This experience affected Moruzov in such a way that he later took steps which became of important help for us; we had to keep silent about the effects of this help, and, apart from me, the only person who knows about it is the one who bestowed it.[...] Of similar significance was the relationship that Dr. Wilhelm Hager established with the Romanian Red Cross during the Second World War. He was thus able to give us exceedingly important help in aiding our fellow believers who had been sent out to do reconstruction work in the
Soviet Union
deu. Union der Sozialistischen Sowjetrepubliken, deu. Sowjetunion, rus. Союз Советских Социалистических Республик, rus. Sovetskiy Soyuz, rus. Советский Союз

The Soviet Union (SU or USSR, Russian: Союз Советских Социалистических Республик, СССР) was a state in Eastern Europe, Central and Northern Asia existing from 1922 to 1991. The USSR was inhabited by about 290 million people and formed the largest territorial state in the world, with about 22.5 million square km. The Soviet Union was a socialist soviet republic with a one-party system.

. That was during the time when our church was engaged in diaconal service."
Dr. Wilhelm Hager's military chest was donated to the Transylvanian Museum in 2015 by his children, Dr. Hans Hager and Mrs. Elisabeth Klusch, along with papers and archival materials documenting the life and achievements of this dedicated physician.
English translation: William Connor