author of In Solitary Witness, the story of Franz Jaegerstaetter, an Austrian peasant beheaded in 1943 in a Brandenburg prison for refusing to serve in the German army during World War II.
Franz Jaegerstaetter was beatified last October.
"His was, at least to me, the real story," Zahn wrote in Commonweal [$], a Catholic magazine, in 1997. "A priest - given his calling, his education, his training - might be expected to take such a stand; but the witness of a simple peasant who had a wife and three young daughters at home deserved more intensive study."
The real story might be whether or not there is an historical basis for Mr. Zahn's expectation about who will risk his life to take such a stand.