Mountaineer and author Heinrich Harrer, Dec. 7

<B>Mountaineer and author Heinrich Harrer, Dec. 7</B><BR> Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer and former Nazi who befriended the young Dalai Lama and was portrayed by actor Brad Pitt in the film <i>Seven Years in Tibet</i>, died on Saturday,  Jan. 7, 2006,  in a hospital in Friesach, Austria. He was 93.  In 1938, he was one of four men who first scaled the treacherous north face of Switzerland's 13,025-foot Eiger.  Fifteen men had died trying that route, dubbed the "murder wall." After completing the trek, Harrer wrote: "I was conscious of the privilege of having been allowed to live." Adolf Hitler personally congratulated him and was photographed with Harrer and his teammates. Next, he joined a team financed by Germans — some believed for Nazi propaganda — which planned to scale the previously unclimbed Nanga Parbat, a 26,660-foot mountain in Kashmir. But as they were completing preparations in British-occupied India in 1939, war broke out. He was captured and spent five years in British internment camps within sight of the Himalayas. Harrer learned Hindustani, Japanese and Tibetan, then escaped and found his way to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.  Harrer got a job as a gardener and later became a translator for the government. Eventually he gained introduction to the sheltered adolescent Dalai Lama, taught him mathematics, English and sports and became his lifelong friend. Harrer planned to spend the rest of his life in Tibet. But the Chinese invasion in October 1950 forced him to change his plans and he fled. His Tibetan memoir, which was published and became a bestseller in the United States in 1954, has been translated into 48 languages and sold more than 3 million copies. He penned a dozen other books. This photo with Tibetan monks was taken in Nuremberg, Germany, in February 1995
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( AP/ Frank Boxler, file / January 10, 2006 )

Mountaineer and author Heinrich Harrer, Dec. 7
Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer and former Nazi who befriended the young Dalai Lama and was portrayed by actor Brad Pitt in the film Seven Years in Tibet, died on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006, in a hospital in Friesach, Austria. He was 93. In 1938, he was one of four men who first scaled the treacherous north face of Switzerland's 13,025-foot Eiger. Fifteen men had died trying that route, dubbed the "murder wall." After completing the trek, Harrer wrote: "I was conscious of the privilege of having been allowed to live." Adolf Hitler personally congratulated him and was photographed with Harrer and his teammates. Next, he joined a team financed by Germans — some believed for Nazi propaganda — which planned to scale the previously unclimbed Nanga Parbat, a 26,660-foot mountain in Kashmir. But as they were completing preparations in British-occupied India in 1939, war broke out. He was captured and spent five years in British internment camps within sight of the Himalayas. Harrer learned Hindustani, Japanese and Tibetan, then escaped and found his way to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Harrer got a job as a gardener and later became a translator for the government. Eventually he gained introduction to the sheltered adolescent Dalai Lama, taught him mathematics, English and sports and became his lifelong friend. Harrer planned to spend the rest of his life in Tibet. But the Chinese invasion in October 1950 forced him to change his plans and he fled. His Tibetan memoir, which was published and became a bestseller in the United States in 1954, has been translated into 48 languages and sold more than 3 million copies. He penned a dozen other books. This photo with Tibetan monks was taken in Nuremberg, Germany, in February 1995

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