Germans in the Woods by Tim Rauch

In honor of Veteran’s Day, the Rauch Bros. have posted on-line their short but powerful film Germans in the Woods. The film’s audio track is recorded by WWII vet Joseph Robertson who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. More details about the film can be found on the Rauch Bros. website and their online store offers pieces of original artwork from the film.


  • http://www.toonsatwar.blogspot.com David

    Wow.

    Besides my interest in Disney, I have interviewed 50 or so WW II veterans, capturing not only their memories of the war, but also what it was like to grow-up during the Great Depression.

    Some of the more powerful interviews have included a USS Arizona Pearl Harbor survivor; a recon platoon Sgt. who went behind German lines to help arrest #2 Nazi Herman Goering one week before the war officially ended; a crash rescue boat crewman who participated in the landings at Iwo Jima and whose job it was to fish the bodies of young, dead, Marines out of the water; a Canadian Typhoon pilot who flew 96 air to ground support missions starting with D-Day+4 to the Battle of the Bulge, Operation Market Garden and the crossing of the Rhine River; a B-17 bombardier who was shot down over Italy and later helped plan the so-called Great Escape from German POW camp Stalag Luft III; Rangers who landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, plus many others.

    Their stories, much like this one, are riveting…powerful…and sad…

  • Gary Pearson

    As we observe Remembrance Day in Canada today, this is a beautiful personal little film about war. As justified as the Second World War was, it was still such a senseless waste of life and a failure of mankind to resolve things without such barbarism. I showed it to my 8 year old son and he said “It’s too bad, but he had to shoot him.”

  • http://looneyrewatch.blogspot.com Ken Miller

    What a great cartoon. I love that the medium can be so effectively used for serious cultural expression as well as humor

  • http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/ Nina Paley

    Very well done.

  • Rio

    Amazing.

  • http://stephenneary.blogspot.com pizzaforeveryone

    way to go rauch bros!

    I hope Q&A goes up after the festivals as well.

  • http://www.andrewchesworth.com Andrew Chesworth

    This film moved me to tears while I was on break in the middle of the day. Tremendous stuff – what a beautiful way to share that story.

    Well done, Rauch Bros. Thank you.

  • http://rauchbrothers.com Mike Rauch

    Thanks Everybody! @Pizza, keep your eyes open. Q&A should probably be up in a few months…

  • Lucas

    It’s a beautiful short.

    It made me sad, and made me think “this man shot a Nazi in wartime, thought he looked like an angel and is haunted by that shooting. In part, just the act of killing another person up close is cause for that, and there’s likely some added remorse because the other soldier was young, but I can’t escape the part about him being blonde, blue-eyed, fair-skinned, so handsome. A Nazi soldier and he saw an angel. It makes me wonder if he’d fought in Iraq and killed a handsome, young Iraqi soldier if he’d be haunted by it in the same way. I’d like to think he would, but fear that he wouldn’t.” An unintended effect of the short, but one that was there for me.

  • kent

    Lucas, I’m not trying to be a jerk, but I think your comment says more about you than that soldier you don’t know.

  • Dave

    I was very moved by this. Thank you for sharing. This is a wonderful example that the boundaries for animation are infinite and there are so many interesting stories to tell (and ways to tell them) that are outside the arena of mainstream animation.

  • Roger Freedman

    This is a very powerful film, and I thank the Rauch Brothers for making it available.

    Sad to say, there are those who seem to think these stories should not be told. See the comments section of the post about this video on drawn.ca (http://drawn.ca/2009/11/11/germans-in-the-woods/#comments) to see what I mean…

  • http://atomickidcartoons.blogspot.com/ Adam Murray

    Glad I finally got to see the whole video of this. Awesome work.

  • http://ghostdigits.blogspot.com Kat

    Awesome film, awesome guys.

  • Wayne

    We’ve seen documentary footage of wars, and we’ve heard people tell their stories. And yet, animation seems to be the most poignant way to communicate such a message. What a medium this is.

  • http://www.rauchbrothers.com Tim Rauch

    @Lucas -

    I understand what you are trying to say. Sometimes our ability to humanize our enemy has a lot to do with how closely we can relate to them – culturally, ethnically, etc.

    I think it’s important to note that the young German soldier was a member of the Hitler Youth. During WWII, young Germans were made to join a sort of young-person’s military. Boys as young as twelve and thirteen were in this group. For the most part, they served on the homefront, but toward the end of the war they were sent to the front lines. The training they received was poor and the casualties in their ranks were high.

    Their is something particularly sad and affecting about the death of a child soldier.

  • Lucas

    Tim, thanks for the reply. I did know about the Hitlerjugend, and it is a horror of that war, and the child involvement in Vietnam and Iraq is horrifying as well, although with that fighting taking place on their home soil, more understandable. The recognition of youth as well as the simple act of killing another person so close up and personally are definitely affecting, even when its as necessary as he stated (calling for a surrender and having a gun raised to him). I definitely empathise there, but aside from that was a visceral reaction to his description of the blonde, blue-eyed, fair-skinned, handsome boy as angelic and I had to wonder how many other soldiers in WWII would have thought the same, or how many Vietnam War soldiers would in similar circumstances or the Iraq war. World War II was the last war the United States has fought against white enemies, and durring that war, in the U.S., most German Americans were treated no different from usual, while many Asian americans were treated openly horribly and even sent to camps.

    Pieces like this are intended to make people think, and those are some of the thoughts this also conjured for me along side the more obvious sadness and empathy for a soldier who had to kill another person up close and live haunted by the image of that soldier the rest of his life.

  • http://www.tastyhand.com David Sheahan

    This is one of those pieces that makes your heart swell and swell with feeling. Thanks for making it guys.