Hans Habe, 66, a Hungarian-born author who volunteered for the French Army at the start of World War II, was captured by the Germans and escaped to write of his experiences and join the U.S. Army, died Friday in Switzerland.
Mr. Habe grew up in Vienna, left a university in 1930 to follow a career in journalism and won attention after publishing in 1932 a report that Adelf Hitler's true name was Schicklgruber.
When World War II broke out, Mr. Habe, long an anti-Nazi, left Geneva where he was working as a correspondent, and joined the French Army.
He fought in the battle of France until his capture on June 22, 1940. After escaping, he made his way to the United States, where he wrote. "A Thousand Shall Fall," a widely read and discussed book that told of French defeatism, demoralization and unpreparedness.
Mr. Habe's book formed part of the basis for a popular MGM film, "The Cross of Lorraine," which was released in 1943.
In January of that year, Mr. Habe joined the U.S. Army as a private. He served in Africa, Italy, Luxembourg and Germany, winning the Bronze Star and other decorations, and rising to the rank of major.
At the end of the war he was made editor in chief of 18 newspapers established in Germany by U.S. authorities.
"Running the Neue Zeitung on the presses which printed Hitler's Volkische Beobachter belongs to the greatest satisfations of my life," he once said.
In 1946, he returned to the United States to live and witer in Hollywood. He went back to Germany in 1949, to work as a journalist and editor of tow weekly publications, but came back to the United Staes in 1952.
Aubsequently, he lived for 17 years in Ascona, Switzerland where he continued writing books.
he wroter in all, 22, including "Kathrine" "The Mission," "Off Limits" and "The Devil's Agent."
Self-described as a man who was "unable to live without seeing my name in print every day," he also wroter colums for West German newspapers.
Mr. Habe was married six times, most recently to Licci Balla, a singer. A daughter by an earlier marriage was found beaten and stabbed to death in Los Angeles Jan. 1, 1969.