Like many heroes, the narrator of this remarkable story, his own, was a reluctant and even unwilling one. It happened when he was confronted with a moral dilemma and something within him made the right choice, to the surprise and even the disapproval of the rest of him that much wanted to protect his young family. He too was young. The time was early 1945, when savage World War II was coming to an end in Europe. Alfred Wallner, a doctor serving in the lower Austrian alps as the Allied armies closed in on Germany’s appalling Third Reich that Austria had joined in 1938, detested the Nazis but not enough to risk virtually certain death if he’d be caught helping Americans. But he did help a team of them and was quickly caught, after which he was taken to a Gestapo prison where the people he met, from his cellmates to the warders, were not merely a fascinating cast of characters but also a fair sample of the types one encounters in any country under stress. In that way and others, Dr. Wallner’s story is a cautionary as well as a gripping tale, and it contains a great surprise.