Dr. Sawyer traveled to Europe and England several times during the course of World War II, often with the U.S. Health Commission
to Europe, a group of public health experts charged with assessing wartime public health problems and planning for their control.
In this letter, he described how the war was changing everyday routines and priorities.
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1940-04-13 (April 13, 1940)
Sawyer, Wilbur A.
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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Controlling Disease during World War II, 1939-1944
Here we are in Brussells, Dr. Warren and I, ready for another day of interviews and visiting. We came here from Paris yesterday
and shall return there to-morrow, as plane service between here and London has been interrupted. We expect to fly from Paris
to London Monday morning. So far we have been able to follow out our program in full in spite of the events in Norway.
Yesterday, after calling in the Medical Adviser to the colonies about yellow fever research in Africa, we made a visit to
Dr. Van den Berghe,
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who read a paper on yellow fever at last summer's Congress for Microbiology in New York. He broke his leg recently in
an automobile accident and has been laid up in his home. His wife is naturally much concerned with the possibility of sudden
German invasion and the necessity of fleeing with two young children and a husband with a broken leg! There are few outward
signs of the war here,--no blackouts no food restrictions. In France there are rules about the kinds of food you can eat
on certain days, but you have plenty.
This morning we shall go to Antwerp to visit the School of Tropical Medicine of which Prof. Rodhain's is director, and
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at noon we shall see the Minister of the Colonies.
I have written Peg, but I do not know whether she and Wallace have reached London yet. I hope to see them next week.
Dr. Warren is ready to start for the station, so I must stop.