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A German army captain, Hosenfeld initially welcomed Adolf Hitler and the rise of the Nazi Party. But while stationed in Poland during the war, he witnessed the savage treatment the Nazis imposed on Jews, Poles, Russians, and other people. Hosenfeld's moral conscience led him to reject this brutality and become a rescuer, often at the risk of his own life.
Wilm Hosenfeld's heroism was not known outside of Poland until Szpilman's bestselling memoir The Pianist revealed an amazing man whose compassion saved more than 60 people from the Nazis' clutches. (Hosenfeld, unnamed, appears in a short scene in the Academy Award-winning film of the same name.) In 2007, Hosenfeld was posthumously awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, one of Po