The article recounts major life experiences of the two Henri Stahl, father and son, in the period just prior to and during the difficult years of World War I. Seen through the sparse and sometimes vaguely outlined background of the nascence of sociology as a science in Romania, one gains insight into the future sociologist Henri H. Stahl. Although focus is placed upon the father, who was actively involved in the military conflict and whose emotional account of the Porumbacu battle is to be found in the Annex, several defining events in Henri H. Stahl’s early life are emphasized. Among those are: his first fieldwork experiences in the company of his father in the preliminary years of World War I; his first indirect contacts with a Romanian village and peasants viewed through volumes and journals from his father’s library (many inscribed in the Sămănătorism – “The Sower” movement); his eventual direct contract with peasant life through the military orderly Iordache and his wife, Voica, both from the village Fălăștoaca in Giurgiu County. The article thus focuses on lesser known aspects of the life of sociologist Henri H. Stahl, the experiences, events and encounters that marked his childhood and formative teenage years and ultimately played a role in determining his evolution into a researcher of rural life.
Keywords: Henri Stahl, Henri H. Stahl, origins of Romanian sociology, World War I.