Lest we forget – an amazing story from WWII

Germans in the Woods from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

*Post by Nathan

November 11, 2011

This is a beautiful video that the StoryCorps project put out last year and was first posted here in September, 2010. It animates one solider’s haunting experience of killing a young german boy during World War II. I simply can’t imagine what that it would be like, but know the experience would haunt me. The love that the protagonist of this story has for the man he kills is heart breaking and so human.

I’ve often thought about what it would be like to go to war. To have no other choice than to fight for your freedom and that of your family and friends. The elders in my family did not fight in WWII. My grandfather Bill Haskett never went into action and my Dad’s Dad, Grampa Stan, had a cleft palette and couldn’t serve. But my stepfather, Jose, was a solidier for almost a decade in El Salvador. I would come home late at night and he’d be sitting on the couch in the dark remembering the faces of those he had seen killed. Sometimes he’d talk about it. He works at a hotel now and it amazes me that he manages to go through life, like the protagonist of this video, with those faces in his head.

This piece was animated by the Rauch Bros who also did the amazing Danny and Annie and the Q&A between the boy with Aspergers and his mother videos. Two of my absolute favourite videos last year. I actually had a chance to meet Mike Rauch when I was out in Brooklyn with Jorah last March. A great all around guy and so humble. He said these videos typically take 6 months to design, animate and score. As we do more and more animation in our studio I can only hope that we get the chance to do something this ambitious. Animation is such a limitless medium when it comes to telling stories.