Heinrich Harrer was an Austrian mountain climber who traveled through the Himalayas in the 1940s in order to reach the forbidden city of Lhasa, Tibet, where the Dalai Lama had lived. He was initially on an expedition with a German team to climb Namba Parba, a mountian in the Himalayas. His team was captured by Indian soldiers and taken to prison camps, but they escaped by dressing as British soldiers and Indian mechanics. After escaping, Heinrich Harrer traveled with fellow mountain climber, Aufschnaiter, on an extremely cold, hungry, and difficult journey through the Himalayas. He eventually reached Lhasa, Tibet, a city which didn’t allow any foreign visitors. When news spread that a strange Austrian was in the city, the Dalai Lama heard and wanted him to be his tutor. Heinrich Harrer began teaching the Dalai Lama about the western world, and showing him Western films. They became close friends. During Harrer’s stay, China invaded Tibet, destroying Buddhist monasteries and ancient architecture. Heinrich Harrer soon left the country, wrote several books about his experience, and continued to advocate for the freedom of Tibet until his death in 2006. Eventually, his journey was reenacted in a movie (7 Years in Tibet) and he was portrayed by a young Brad Pitt. What a life.
(the submitter has also added that when it came out in 1997 that he had been a member of the SS and NSDAP , he was harshly criticized for never mentioning it in interviews and in his own books. another point of critique is that the Nazis used his adventures for propaganda purposes.)