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    Dr. Ilarie (Hilarion) Mitrea

    Carol I

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    Dr. Ilarie (Ilarion, Hilarie, Hilarion) Mitrea had a most interesting career in the second half of the 19th century, being in the service of three states on three continents. Here are some details of his remarkable life.

    Ilarie Mitrea was born on 6 May 1842 in a Romanian family from the Transylvanian village of Răşinari (at that time in the Austrian Empire and known in German as St?dterdorf). He studied medicine in Cluj and Vienna and in 1864 he obtained a doctoral degree from the University of W?rzburg. After serving for a few months as a military medic of the Austrian Army in the Mediterranean garrison at Pola he became part of Maximilian's expeditionary corps to Mexico. After Maximilian's execution in 1867, Dr. Mitrea worked briefly (until the end of the year) in the service of the Mexican republic of Benito Ju?rez. Upon returning to his native village in 1868, Dr. Mitrea was harassed by the local authorities who threatened to charge him with treason (even though he entered the Mexican service only after becoming unemployed following the failure of Maximilian's expedition). The real reason was probably the general persecution of ethnic Romanian intellectuals as part of the Hungarisation policy introduced following Austria's 1867 cessation of Transylvania to Hungary. Disappointed by the unfair harassment, in 1870 Dr. Mitrea enrolled as captain in the Dutch Army with the name Hilarion Mitrea and served for 21 years as military medic in the Dutch colonies in Asia. There, Dr. Mitrea gathered an important collection of specimens from the local fauna that was donated in 1882 to the National History Museum in the Romanian capital of Bucharest. In 1891 he retired from the Dutch Army with the rank of General Medic. He briefly returned to his native Transylvanian village and then settled in Vienna where he died in 1904.

    He had two children, one of them settled in Switzerland after studying there and the other one in Romania.

    If you find any further details about this officer, please let me know. Thank you.

    I will also post this short biography in the Dutch section.

    Edited by Carol I
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