Unlikely Warrior by George Rauch
Phyllis Porter Rauch - Editor and Assistant
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.
Unlikely Warrior is Rauch's true account of this extraordinary adventure.
UPDATE ON THE BOOK!
Every self-published author has one major dream, and very seldom does that dream comes true.
In Mexico there is a tradition of Day of the Dead altars. We place photos of our dear departed ones, lots of marigold blossoms, and examples of favorite foods, drinks, and habits.
On Nov 1st, 1913, almost exactly six years to the day after Georg’s death, I was lighting candles on the altar dedicated to him and to my mother when the phone rang. I heard the voice of my New York agent saying, “Phyllis, I have some news for you.”
I said, “Since this is the first time we’ve spoken on the phone, it has to be good news.” And I was correct.
Thirty years after Georg wrote his memoir in German in 1984, while I simultaneously translated it into English, and after 30 years of my constant efforts to bring his book to a wider audience, never giving up on that goal, Farrar, Strous and Giroux/Macmillan had picked up our book. It was that famous dream, finally come true.
Next followed the typical year of editing, though my editor, Wesley said the book was so well done, very little editing would be required. However the book would need a change of cover, of title (to Unlikely Warrior, A Jew in Hitler’s Army), of book design and all else that goes into making a final book.
On February 2015 the hardback version was released. At the same time, since Scholastic Books had also come on board, Unlikely Warrior was published in a paperback version just for schools. The Junior Literary Guild also picked it up. Farrar, Strous and Giroux had decided to promote the book primarily to young adults, but the book would also be included in their adult catalog.
Although many adult men and women, have praised and wept after reading the manuscript and the self-published version, I think my publisher was wise to choosing to direct Georg’s memoir to young people, since it is the story of an 18-21 year old, who managed to survive a horrific war primarily by his talents; self taught Morse code, radio building, cooking, even playing the harmonica and a good dollop of luck.
Soon Unlikely Warrior was receiving rave reviews from School Library Journal, People Magazine, and many others (See review pages)
Our book was selected was recently published in Italian and soon it comes out in Polish.
Since I never stop dreaming, I won’t give up on hoping for Spanish and German versions. And most important, the movie!