Heinrich Harrer was a member of the first team to ascend the North Wall of the Eiger. in 1938 for which feat he was asked to join the German Nanga Parbat expedition in 1939. This expedition was completed and Harrer and his climbing companions were interned in Dehra, Dun India.
Brad Pitt recounted Harrer's exploits in the film of the same name. Harrer was a very brave man and was capable of escaping imprisonment three times to finally trek along the Himalayas and Tingri where porters were secured for Mt Everset and bluff his way through Tibetan travel regulations and strict officials to eventually reach the forbidden city of Lhasa.
Harrer a sports instructor and Aufschnaiter an agricultural engineer were in demand in Lhasa where everything was down to endless supplies of manual labourers and the assent of the King and latterly the 14 year old Dalai Lama. Harrer describes the dominance of religious ritual in Tibet. February marked the Tibetan New Year with flags, tsampa (gruel), monks and beggars in abundance. Harrer was eventually required to tutor the Dalai Lama who learned about world politics and faced the ever threatening Communist Chinese claim to invade Tibet.
Harrer was present when the Dalai Lama and the royal household fled to India. Harrer reluctantly returned to Europe and lamented the lack of UN response when they abandoned Tibet.