Georg and Phyllis Rauch
Georg Rauch was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1924. Due to his mother's Jewish lineage, he grew up in German occupied Austria as a 3rd class citizen, ignored by teachers and denied many privileges. He helped his mother to obtain food on the black market for the Jews hidden behind false walls in their Viennese apartment. In spite of the family's opposition to Hitler and all he stood for, at 18 Georg was drafted into the German army and sent to the Russian front. The Jew with the Iron Cross, A Record of Survival in WWII Russia, chronicles his four years as a foot soldier, in the trenches and finally as a Russian prisoner of war. After returning home, weighing 85 lbs, he spent another year and a half in an alpine sanatorium with bone TB contracted in the prison camp. Finally, at 26, he was free and his real life, that of a professional artist began. He traveled and showed widely in post-war Europe. After meeting his future wife Phyllis in 1965, Georg immigrated to the United States where he worked and exhibited from New York to California. In 1976 the couple moved to their dream house in central Mexico. "In many of my paintings you can see a portion of the horizon. This dividing line between land or water and the sky has symbolized for me distance and the yearning or curiosity to discover what lies beyond. From my Mexican home, nestled on a hillside, I can see such a piece of the horizon. It belongs just as much to my life as do the sun and the moon, my wife, the pure air, and the fact that here, in a warm clilmate with light and strong colors, I can paint in peace every day of the year. I paint what I see around me and what I find in myself.
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