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November 4th, 2010 · 4 Comments · Diary, PEOPLE


Capt. Vicentiu Livovschi & Family during ca 1912, Buzau

Captain Pharmacist Vicentiu Vicentiu Livovschi Roman, aged 33 with his wife Stefania Burada, aged 29 and three of their five children (from left to right): Victor (aged 4 ). Angelica (aged 3) and Valeriu (aged 6).

Capt Vicentiu Livovschi on the Bulgarian Front, during the Second Balkan War (1913). This is the official Wedding Photo of his Orderly who married a Bulgarian native girl from Shivitza. At the wedding ceremony Capt Livovschi acted as Witness in Church

Vicentiu was a graduate in Pharmacy of the University of Bucharest (1896-1900) after which he did his military service (1900-1902) with the Tulcea  nr 33 Regiment (Dorobanti) where he gained the grade of Captain. He served in the second Balkan War (1912-1913) on the Bulgarian front at the end of which he took a lease of the Drogheria Centrala, in Buzau, situated opposite the town hall on strada Targului.

At the beginning of the Great War in 1916 as Romania was occupied by the Prussian armies, Livovschi entrusted his Pharmacy to an administrator. He was drafted as Major in the Army’s Medical Corps being posted to the Military HQ Hospital  nr 6, alongside Drs Varlam, Amza Jianu and Victor Gomoiu.

Dr Victor Gomoiu (left) and Vicentiu Livovschi at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Army Reservists (Uniunea Ofiterilor in Rezerva) 1935

In the wake of the advance of the German armies, Major Livovschi commandeered a train to evacuate refugees from Buzau to  Northern Moldavia which was not yet occupied by the Germans. During the rout of the Romanian Armies Vicentiu’s family suffered severe losses with a brother killed at the Caineni Pass in the Carpathians and another brother suffering from shell shock of which he died later.

On his way to Northern Moldavia, Vicentiu’s train was diverted from Buzau to Brasov, a city of Transylvania which was under imminent threat of occupation by the Germans. Here he managed to organize the evacuation of 3,000 wounded soldiers from the Military Hospital in Brasov and move them to the relative safety of the unoccupied territory, no mean feat given the chaos of the country and the total lack of logistic resources.

On 24 Jul 1917, by Royal Decree, published in the official  newspaper  “Romania” nr 169, of  the Royal Romanian Army’s General HQ at Iasi: Captain V.Z.Livovschi was,  “Granted the Order of the Crown of Romania with swords (Coroana Romaniei cu Spade),  with the grade of Knight (Cavaler) to Pharmacist Captain (Reserve) Vicentiu Zenovie Livovschi, for the Evacuation of the Military Hospital nr 3, for having  frustrated the enemy from capturing several trains laden with wounded soldiers and equipment, from the city of Brasov, in September 1916”  (N.B. it refers to  the evacuation from Brasov of 3,000  wounded  soldiers and medical equipment during a single night, when the Romanian troops withdrew from Transylvania in the wake of German advance)

On the Moldavian front Livovschi who spoke Russian,  was a liaison officer with the Imperial Russian Armies Command, a task for which he was awarded by Czar Nicholas II the Order of St Stanislas.

Romanian Army Gas Warfare Eschool at Cernauti under the Command of Major V. Livovschi 1919

During the war, Vicentiu’s family joined him in Moldavia, settling in the village of Podul Iloaiei,  near Iasi, where the youngest daughter Mariana was born.
In 1919 he was promoted to Lieut Colonel and on being demobilised he became a Colonel for his services in organizing the School of Gas Warfare (Scoala de Gaze) at Chisnau in 1919.

After the war he became President of the Association of Demobilised Officers, (UOR – Uniunea Ofiterilor in Rezerva) having as secretary his cousin Victor Stanescu. He was President of the Red Cross, Deputy Mayor of Buzau, President of the Association “Amicii Artei” ( Friends of the Arts), which had a theatre and an orchestra and  founded with members of his family the town’s first musical Quartet.

On his return from the Great War, between 1920 and 1941  Vicentiu Livovschi took an active part in the

Colonel Vicentiu Livovschi on Remembrance Day parade in Buzau 1935

town’s cultural and civic life. In his professional field as a pharmacist he created in his laboratory new beauty products  (crema “Si”, pudra “Do”) and was running a thriving Pharmacy.

Deputy Mayor Livovschi (Panama hat) inaugurating the town's first modern fire engine of Buzau in July 1928

As Deputy Mayor of Buzau,  he tabled the motion of providing the town’s  first modern fire engine to replace the antiquated horse-drawn water pump.

Vicentiu Livovschi, Commander of the Buzau Boyscouts (Cohorta Buzau) ca 1923

In 1920, with the help of his eldest son Valeriu,  Vicentiu Livovschi founded the County’s Boyscout movement (Cohorta Buzau), whose Commander he was. As such he organized at Mamaia, annual summer camps for the boyscouts. These are mentioned by Mircea Eliade in his “Memoirs of the Equinox” and in his novel “Romanul unui adolescent miop”. Vicentiu Livovschi further served as  Governor of the Boys Technical College (Liceul Industrial de Baieti, Buzau) .

Vicentiu Livovschi in his Pharmacy Laboratory in Buzau where he prepared new beauty products

In Buzau he registered a patent nr 21033 (model V.Z.Livovsky) for “Camping-Comfort” a portable suitcase-bed-table-tent-luggage, awarded the gold medal at the National Exhibition of Inventions and national products, under the patronage of the Romanian Ministry for Industry and Commerce.

His house and pharmacy in downtown Buzau were burned down during the retreat of the German armies in 1944, Two years later in 1946 he rebuilt the Pharmacyonly to have it confiscated and nationalised in June 1948 by the communist regime. Like the entire professional elite of a country which he served well, he was left in his retirement without any means of survival other then depending on the financial help of his four children. He was lucky not to die a political prisoner during the witch hunt which destroyed most of his generation: although living at the limit of poverty he remained to the end  optimistic and dignified until his demise in Bucharest, in the 1950s.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Emi

    Va salut! Numele meu este Emanuel Erena, sunt din Bucuresti si lucrez in Inspectoratul pentru Situatii de Urgenta ” Dealu Spirii” al Municipiului Bucuresti. Totodata sunt si colectionar de fotografie veche si carte postala cu tot ceea ce este legat de aceasta tematica frumoasa, pompierii romani, fie ca vorbim despre pompierii militari , fie ca vorbim despre serviciile voluntare de pompieri. Am dezvoltat in ultimii doi ani aceasta colectie care a ajuns pe la circa 250 de piese incluzand pompieri fotografiati individual, in grup, la defilari sau exercitii, in timpul interventiilor, am multe imagini cu foisoare de foc, turnuri de apa, cazarme ale pompierilor, tehnica de lupta etc etc. Nu pot sa nu apreciez fotografia dumneavoastra pe care ati postat-o in acest articol , in care apare autospeciala Magirus, la acea vreme proaspat importata din Germania .
    Daca va puteti lipsi de aceasta fotografie in original, cu siguranta isi va gasi un loc de cinste in colectia mea, doar sa spuneti pretentiile financiare si voi face tot posibilul sa imi tin promisiunea. Daca nu, un scan la o calitate superioara ar fi excelent alaturi de permisiunea dvs de a folosi imaginea intr-o lucrare dedicata pompierilor, un album pe care intentionez sa il concep si sa il public in urmatorii 2 ani. Astept cu interes decizia dvs.

    Cu stima,
    Emanuel Erena

    • editor

      Domnule Emanuel Erena,
      Va multumesc pentru interesul care il aratati pentru articolul de mai sus si cu permisiunea Dvs voi adauga detaliul referitor la marca autospecialei cu pricina sau poate mai adaugati unele detalii tehnice asupra performantei masinii respective.
      In privinta propunerii Dvs inteleg foarte bine interesul Dvs de colectoonar, interes care il impartasesc cu Dvs.
      Problema cu care ma confrunt este ca fotografia aceasta face parte din albumul de familie care a apartinut bunicului meu: familia a fost cumplit afectata de cele doua razboaie si mai apoi, bruma care a mai ramas dupa razboi a fost nationalizata de de regimul omunist: elita intelectuala a tarii din care facea parte familia mea a fost adusa la sapa de lemn – sigur nu este vina nici a Dvs si nici a mea, dar in circumstantele in care traim si asa destzarati si fara a primi nici o compensatie, inafara de promisiuni desarte, toata bruma ce ne a mai ramas sunt doar niste amintiri si fotografii de familie, care le apartin urmasilor.
      Al Dvs

  • Emi

    Stimate Domn,

    Va multumesc pentru timpul alocat acestei cereri, va inteleg perfect avand in vedere ca nu e o simpla poza din colectia dvs pe care sa o achizitionati de pe internet sau de prin vreun targ de antichitati, ci este o amintire de familie.
    Daca nu sunt prea indraznet, va rog sa imi trimiteti si mie un scan la o rezolutie buna (minim 300 dpi ) pe adresa de e-mail mai jos mentionata si va promit ca in momentul in care voi folosi imaginea, voi mentiona sursa asa cum imi indicati dvs.
    Autospeciala din imagine provine de la fabrica Magirus din Ulm, Germania fondata de Dietrich Magirus (1824–1895) si a fost achizitionata intre anii 1925-1926 la ordinul A.S.R. Principele Carol , daca doriti puteti sa adaugati aceasta informatie.

    Cu stima,
    Emanuel Erena

  • Emanuel Erena

    Buna ziua! Asa cum va spuneam in urma cu un an, am inceput sa lucrez la album. Apreciez si eu , la fel ca si dvs, lucrurile ramase in familie de generatii si va asigur ca respect decizia dvs de a nu instraina originalul. Nu pot sa nu indranesc inca o data sa va rog sa-mi permiteti utilizarea imaginii alaturi de alte 200 de imagini, intr-un proiect ce implica lansarea primului album dedicat istoriei pompierilor romani. Daca se poate, mi-ar prinde bine un scan putin mai bun calitativ dar daca este prea mult ceea ce va cer, ma descurc si cu acesta. Totusi nu imi permit sa fac acest lucru decat cu permisiunea dvs si sper ca o sa imi sustineti acest efort pe care il fac, prin acordarea permisiunii solicitate. Albumul va fi lansat in luna august a anului in curs de ziua Inspectoratului Bucuresti, deja lucrez la el si sper intr-un raspuns pozitiv in timp util includerii imaginii in album.

    Cu stima,
    Emanuel Erena