The pages of this book reveal a truly uncommon life obtained from a highly credible and competent source. The author of the recollections, Tamás Kornfeld, i.e. Thomas DeKornfeld, M.D, was born into one of the richest families in Hungary in 1924. His paternal grandfather, Baron Zsigmond Kornfeld, was sent to Hungary by the Rothschilds in Vienna, settled in Budapest and became the president of both the General Bank of Credit and of the Hungarian Stock Exchange. His maternal grandfather, Baron Manfred Weiss, established the largest industrial establishment in Hungary. His father, Baron Móric Kornfeld, was a member of the Upper Chamber of Parliament, a Director of the Hungarian National Bank and the owner of the 4,000 acre estate in Ireg. Another outstanding member of the family was his Uncle Ferenc Chorin, Jr. one of the most outstanding businessmen of the period.
The young man clearly had practically unlimited opportunities but chose a medical career in order to help poor people. These plans came to naught after the German occupation of Hungary in March, 1944. Fortunately he and his family were able to leave Hungary under an agreement with the Germans and were taken safely to Portugal. Thomas came to the United States in 1945 and, after some military service, resumed his education culminating eventually in a professorship in anesthesiology. He was most active in the development of education in respiratory care and is the author of some seventy papers and books. In the present volume he not only clearly demonstrates his deep obligation to his adopted country but also gives a sharp and sometimes incisive picture of his childhood, youth and extended family.