Franz hasel, a 40-year-old pacifist, was drafted and assigned to Pioneer Company 699, Hitler's elite troops who built bridges at the front lines. His religious scruples did not endear him to his superiors. Sarcastically dubbed "carrot eater" and "Bible reader," he finally gained the respect of his unit. Just before he was sent deep into Russia--where all but seven of his 1,200-man unit would die--he secretly discarded his gun, fearing that, as the company sharpshooter, he might be tempted to kill. In Russia he faced a new problem: how to warn the local Jews before the SS got to them.