Seven Years in Tibet (German: Sieben Jahre in Tibet. Mein Leben am Hofe des Dalai Lama) is an autobiographical travel book written by Austrian Nazi mountaineer Heinrich Harrer based on his real life experiences in Tibet between 1944 and 1951 during the Second World War and the interim period before the Communist Chinese People's Liberation Army invaded Tibet in 1950.
The book covers the escape of Harrer, and his companion Peter Aufschnaiter, from a British internment camp in India. Harrer and Aufschnaiter then travelled across Tibet to Lhasa, the capital. Here they spent several years, and Harrer describes the contemporary Tibetan culture in detail. Harrer subsequently became a tutor and friend of the 14th Dalai Lama.
Seven Years in Tibet was translated into 53 languages, became a bestseller in the United States in 1954, and sold three million copies.
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“The real stumbling-block of totalitarian régimes is not the spiritual need of men for freedom of thought; it is mens inability to stand the physical and nervous strain of a permanent state of excitement, except during a few years of their youth.”
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