His birthplace in Gravenhurst, Ontario was declared a historical landmark in 1976. He was considered a hero for his work during the "Long March" of Mao Zedong. Who was he?
#84840. Asked by pmac41. (Aug 23 07 3:38 AM)
Dr. Henry Norman Bethune, MD (March 3, 1890 – November 12, 1939) was a Canadian physician, medical innovator, and humanitarian. In Chinese, he is known as "Bai Qiu-en".|
As a thoracic surgeon, he travelled to Spain (1936-1937), aiding the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War and to China (1938-1939), aiding the Chinese in their war with Japan, in both cases performing battlefield surgical operations on war casualties.
In China, he worked with carpenters and blacksmiths to forge new surgical tools, and established training for doctors, nurses and orderlies. He redesigned packing containers to serve as operating tables.
He treated wounded Japanese prisoners.
Bethune died on November 12, 1939, of blood poisoning from a cut he received when performing surgery, while with the Communist Party of China's Eighth Route Army in the midst of the second Sino-Japanese War.
Virtually unknown in his homeland during his lifetime, Doctor Bethune finally received international recognition when Chairman Mao Zedong of the People's Republic of China published his essay entitled: "In Memory of Norman Bethune", which documented the final months of the doctor's life in China.
Mao made the essay required reading for the entire Chinese population.
Mao concluded in that essay: "We must all learn the spirit of absolute selflessness from him. With this spirit everyone can be very helpful to each other.
A man's ability may be great or small, but if he has this spirit, he is already noble-minded and pure, a man of moral integrity and above vulgar interests, a man who is of value to the people."
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