Religion: German Interpreter

Major Reinold von Thadden cut a fine figure as a German army officer, but he earned few laurels in Hitler's army. As occupation commander of Louvain in Belgium, he saved thousands of Belgian civilians from arrest and deportation. (Since the war's end, many have publicly thanked him.) In September 1944, just before the Allies recaptured Louvain, he calmly risked being shot by disobeying a direct SS order to execute Belgian hostages. "You know that I am a German officer," he replied. "You know that I am a Christian, too."

This week Reinold von Thadden, 60, was in the U.S. for a...

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