Unlikely Warrior

A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army

As a young adult in wartime Vienna, Georg Rauch helped his mother hide dozens of Jews from the Gestapo behind false walls in their top-floor apartment and arrange for their safe transport out of the country. His family was among the few who worked underground to resist Nazi rule. Then came the day he was drafted into Hitler’s army and shipped out to fight on the Eastern front as part of the German infantry—in spite of his having confessed his own Jewish ancestry. Thus begins the incredible journey of a nineteen year old thrust unwillingly into an unjust war, who must use his smarts, skills, and bare-knuckled determination to stay alive in the trenches, avoid starvation and exposure during the brutal Russian winter, survive more than one Soviet labor camp, and somehow find his way back home.


About the Author:

Georg Rauch, a former WWII soldier and POW survivor, became a professional artist who exhibited extensively in Europe, the United States, and Mexico (art catalog and CV available upon request). Rauch and his wife, Phyllis, made their home overlooking Lake Chapala in the central highlands of Mexico. His memoir was the inspiration for the play, Funker Rauch, written by British playwright Michael Burrell, and premiered at the summer Fringe Festival in Edmonton, Alberta.

About the Translator

Phyllis Rauch has her Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. In 1965 she was working at the International Kinderbibliothek (International Youth Library) in Munich and the Amerika Gedenkbibliotek (American Memorial Library) in Berlin, when she met Georg Rauch on vacation in Vienna. They were married a year later. She is fluent in Spanish as well as in German and has written extensively for the magazines, El Ojo del Lago and Lake Chapala Review, as well the Mexican websites Mexconnect and Living at Lake Chapala.