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Dr. H. Martin Deranian of Worcester, MA, will launch his new book, Miracle Man of the Western Front: Dr. Varaztad H. Kazanjian, Pioneer Plastic Surgeon, with a lecture and book signing on Thursday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA. (Please note earlier starting time.) Dr. Deranian will share some of the information he has gathered about this fascinating figure in his many years of research that have gone into preparing the book.
Deranian is also the author of Worcester Is America: The Story of the Worcester Armenians: the Early Years and the translator of the NAASR-published Hussenig: the Origin, History, and Destruction of an Armenian Town, written by his father, Hagop Deranian. He also has a longstanding dental practice in Worcester, where he has lived nearly his entire life.
Miracle Man of the Western Front is the story of Varaztad H. Kazanjian, who helped invent modern plastic surgery by finding creative ways to restore the faces of soldiers injured on the battlefields of World War I.
Remarkable Journey from Oppression to Innovation
Kazanjian was smuggled out of Ottoman Armenia in the 1890s to escape imprisonment for distributing pamphlets protesting the oppression of Armenians by the Ottoman government. He arrived at Ellis Island just as a series of massacres began to claim the lives of tens of thousands of Armenians in Turkey.
From Ellis Island, he traveled to Worcester, Massachusetts, then one of the most ethnically diverse cities of its size in the United States. For several years, he worked at Washburn & Moen, the wire mill that employed nearly one-third of the city’s Armenian community. During

those years, he attended evening classes at Dix Street and Belmont Street Schools without missing a single night of school. Along the way, he began to nurture a dream of being a dentist.
By the time World War I broke out, Kazanjian had married, was chief of Harvard’s Prosthetic Dentistry Department, and had built both a thriving practice and a reputation for treating the most difficult cases. In 1915, Kazanjian accepted a three-month assignment with the Harvard Medical Unit to treat the wounded on the battlefields of France. Drawing on the dexterity with wire he had acquired as a teenager, his prosthetic work in Harvard’s dental lab, and his penchant for innovation, he devised new ways to reconstruct the faces of soldiers with horrendous facial injuries.
Book Many Years in the Making
Miracle Man of the Western Front covers a great deal of historical, geographical, and medical ground. It also provides glimpses into the lives and work of some of those who were there at the creation of modern plastic surgery.
The publication of this book marks the 60th anniversary of the occasion when Martin Deranian, then a young dental student, introduced himself to Kazanjian. No matter how busy Deranian was—with his family, dental practice, teaching assignments, and community activities—he never stopped collecting stories, information, and artifacts about the life and career of the “miracle man.” In the foreword to the book, Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Murray says, “Dr. Deranian has devoted a lifetime to perpetuating the truly outstanding contributions of Dr. Kazanjian.”
Miracle Man of the Western Front will be on sale and available for signing by the author. A reception with refreshments will take place at the conclusion of the evening.
Admission to the event is free (donations appreciated). The NAASR Center is located opposite the First Armenian Church and next to the U.S. Post Office. Ample parking is available around the building and in adjacent areas. The lecture will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m.
More information about the lecture is available by calling 617-489-1610, faxing 617-484-1759, e-mailing, or writing to NAASR, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA


Il sito è curato dall'Arch. Vahé Vartanian e dal Dott. Enzo Mainardi;
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