Thursday, October 21, 2010


Hi again, I mentioned in last months entry that The Jew with the Iron Cross is finally available on Kindle for just $6.00. What a bargain. After that success I noticed that yes, the book's on Kindle, but lacking all the 5 star reviews that are available on So after more mails and skyping, Amazon nicely put up the many great reviews. Now, of the two books with the same name, Georg's book holds the number 1 spot which it richly deserves.

It's always wonderful to receive an enthusiastic letter from a reader who has just discovered the our book. It was a special treat to hear from a woman, born the same year as Georg, who now lives in Toronto. I suspect that, if she wished, Karin Mumm could write an equally compelling book.

Hallo Phyllis

I was absolutely fascinated by your excellent  translation of this deeply  exciting book! I phoned twice, your maid gave me your e-mail yesterday and told me that your husband passed away about 3 years ago. Sorry to hear that, I hope he did not have to suffer too much. His greatest luck in life was that he found you.

Your book was given to me by a friend.--- I am Karin von Kuegelgen de Mumm  born 1924 in Monterrey/Mexico from German parents I think the same year as your husband's.  Since my Dad (a medical Dr) died in 1935 his last wish was to have the children educated in Germany.That was the reason we spend the years 1938-1945 in Freiburg i.Br. Germany.
Is the book also available in German.

How far is Jocotepec from Mexico City? How and how long would it take to go there by bus? I would love to spend a few days in your bed and breakfast.

Warm greetings, Karin

After I answered Karin, I received some additional, interesting information:
"Great we made contact. Thank you for your kind letter. On Nov. 3rd I will think of your courageous George.on Nov. 5th  1935 my dad died in Mexico....
How I would have loved to talk with your husband!!! He mentioned Roda Wieser the graphologist,his mother's friend, she was also my aunt's friend who was also a graphologist and I have a book of hers.--I was soooo glad to read that after all his suffering he finally could reunite with his mother!!!"

I look forward to more contact with Karin and maybe even a face to face meeting in Mexico? I'm always fascinated by life's coincidences, as in this case with the Roda Wieser connection. As we say in German, Die Welt ist Klein. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 2010 - The Movie Treatment

I don't think I mentioned in the blog that the nice fellow who called me that night in April at the Cameron trading post was a man of his word. He followed through on his promise to make something happen with the movie of the book.  About a month ago I got a phone call asking my permission to have a movie treatment made of the book. This is something that usually costs quite a bit of money, but thanks to the fact that a few special people loved and believed in the book, the momentum had begun.

Of course I said yes, but didn't hear anything more for a while. While wandering the web I happened upon a blog belonging to the writer who won the chance to write Georg's movie treatment. His name is Coy Lothrop. I loved his enthusiasm for the book.  The fact that Georg went on to become a lifelong artist especially appealed to him.

I got in touch with Coy via Facebook and we've been in communication. Finally, today, I received Coy's completed movie treatment, sent by Author Solutions.

It's kind of crazy around here right now, with Mexico celebrating two great anniversaries: the Revolution 200 years ago and the War for Independence 100 years ago. My B and B is overflowing and there are multiple events every day. Tomorrow, for example I'm going to be walking with thousands of other Adelitas (look it  up) from the boardwalk to othe plaza.

Being one of those who don't rip the wrappings off their Christmas gifts, but rather prefer to drag out the pleasure of the moment, I'm going to wait until the weekend when I hope to have some quiet time (elsewhere) to then read the movie treatment.

September 2010 Kindle version of the book

I've had my kindle since last January and am definitely a fan. So it was wonderful news to hear this week that The Jew with the Iron Cross is finally on Kindle. Amazingly there is a newer book by the same title, so if you want to get to Georg's kindle book quickly, here is the link: 

If you still prefer the original paperback version and would like to start stocking up for Christmas gifts (I recall the reader who gifted 10 friends one Christmas) here is the book link: 

August 2010

There was a book signing here in Mexico at the Lake Chapala Society. I sold a few books, bought a few as well, and had the opportunity of meeting some interesting lakeside authors I hadn't known previously. The absolutely best thing that happened though was when an older couple stopped by my table and we began to talk. Slowly I learned that they were both born in the Ukraine (where much of Georg's book takes place.) They are also Jewish and most of the wife's large family had died during the war, either as soldiers killed by the Germans or through persecution. Only she and her mother survived. I asked if she might have known about the large POW camp in Kiev where Georg was held during the last year of the war. What she replied amazed and touched me deeply.  "I was a little girl and we  had next to nothing to eat ourselves, but I remember very clearly that my mother and I we would gather up pieces of bread, take them to the POW camp, and push them through the wires for the prisoners." Given the circumstances, such kindness and capacity for forgiveness, is almost unbelievable. But we were looking into each other's eyes, and I knew that what she remembered was truth.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Wed, June 30, 2010 10:16:08 AM
from Sweden re. your book

Lars Gyllenhaal [Chat now]

Dear Mr. Rauch,

Your book has made a very strong impression on me. I am so grateful that you went through all the trouble of writing it.

I am a member of the Swedish Union of Authors as well as an elected lifetime member of the Swedish Military History Commission and write books and conduct research for TV-documentaries - mainly about WWII. My main website in English is:

Recently my previous book was published in English:

One of those portrayed most extensively in the book is Nils Rosén, a Swedish "Mischling" who in 1943 volunteered for the Wehrmacht and was accepted (he hid his Jewish ancestry, naturally). Like you he served in Ukraine and Romania. He passed away just last year. A fine man, who, of course, was sad to have volunteered.

The maps in our book are by Tom Houlihan - but he was not the one who told me about you. I found you through some google search because of Bryan Mark Rigg´s books, that I have reviewed.

Now, my question to you is if you still hold the Swedish rights for your book, yourself? If so I will tell two Swedish publishers that they ought to contact you ASAP.

BTW I ´d like to know, if possible, if any German or other publishers have approached you. They certainly should have.

Best regards,

Lars Gyllenhaal

May 2010 LA Times Book Festival at UCLA Campus

Lucky me! According to my publisher I was the last one to sign up for the prestigious LA Times Book Festival. By waiting so long I got a special deal, but since I understood that it was "first come, first served," I feared that my own book signing would probably take place at midnight. But, lucky again, I got a great midday hour.

The publisher provided the books for free, and each of us at the booth had one hour to sign 75 books. Quickly calculating, it was clear that we would be signing each book within less than a minute. Amazingly, I managed not only to sign 71 books in my hour, but I felt I had also smiled, made eye contact, answered questions,and enjoyed all the different ages, races, and economic classes of each person who was also smiling while tucking The Jew with the Iron Cross into his or her festival bag.

I was on in bed at the Cameron Trading Post in the middle of the Navajo Nation, when I received an email from a new enthusiastic reader. He said (as have many others) that Georg's book must be made into a movie. He also promised to contact people he knew who could possible make this happen. Very exciting, to say the least.

April 2010 Spanish Version of the Book

Mexican visitors to Los Dos, my Mexican bed and breakfast, have been saying, "We're so sorry we can't read Georg's book. Too bad it's not available in Spanish. I decided to try to meet that demand, and now the Spanish version, El Judio con el Cruz de Hierro is in its third edition.

I have a very dear friend to thank for the quality and perfection of the final Spanish version. Deborah Fountain, born in Mexico to American parents, is totally bi-lingual and she spotted a number of words and expressions in the Spanish version (translated by a Cuban) that could have been confusing to Mexican readers. She took home from her Mexican vacation copies of the book in English and Spanish. With infinite care and love she went over the entire book, correcting and improving the Spanish translation. I'm looking forward to her visit this coming Thanksgiving!

Not too long ago a Mexican woman said during breakfast, "I'm having feelings of deja vu. My 15 year old son was asked to buy, read and write about a book, written in English, about World War II for his English class. He was happy to find the perfect book at Sandi's book store in Chapalita, Guadalajara, Jalisco."

The mother had been totally unaware that she was going to be vacationing at the home and studio of the author of the book, The Jew with the Iron Cross, and she couldn't wait to tell her son about it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Friends of the book

It's always nice to receive emails from fans. Some have received our book as a gift, others had it recommended by a friend, and many have simply discovered it on, or one of the many other websites where it's for sale. But it's even more of a treat to meet a fan in person. Recently a Canadian couple (originally from Germany) were heading north from their winter vacation on Mexico's Pacific coast. The wife was determined that she wasn't going to leave Mexico before discovering Georg's home and studio on Lake Chapala. It wasn't easy finding us, but they were determined. Luckily we had a villa available for the night. The next morning, over breakfast on the terrace, I answered questions about Georg and the book which had been featured in the woman's Ontario book club. All of the women had been deeply moved by Georg's story.
This visit had a special side note: Friends of ours from Toronto had heard about our book being featured in the book club. They removed his paintings from their walls and put together a computer slide show about Georg, his work and home. This was then presented to the women of the club. I'd heard about the event, but never expected to meet one who had been there in person.