Book: HENRY - A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America by Katrina Shawvercategories: Book, Biography, Nonfiction, Auschwitz, World War II, WWII, Poland, Buchenwald, Holocaust
Katrina Shawverabout this book: "HENRY: A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America" is a view of the Holocaust as seen through the eyes of a Polish (Catholic) political prisoner imprisoned in German concentration camps for three years during WWII. I met Henry Zguda in 2002 on a random phone tip when I wrote for the newspaper. I still can't explain why I impulsively called him up and suggested we work together to write his story. He was already eighty-five years old, so I knew the stories had to be captured right away. Indeed, Henry only lived for one year after I met him. Fortunately, I met Henry at the right time before his tale and artifacts were lost to history.
HENRY is an important contribution to WWII history, and a reminder that no group of people was safe from Hitler's wrath and targeting. The account follows an interview format, told with a pragmatic gallows humor, which closely mirrors our talks and friendship. A lot of history is woven throughout, to establish the context and setting of a time and place few people alive experienced. This account also honors millions of other Poles, Christian and Jewish, who lost their lives during more than six years of war and occupation by Hitler and Stalin. The also book contains more than eighty rare original documents and photos, verified stories not written elsewhere, and even a secret murder plot that almost worked. Ever heard of a puffhaus? Prisoner mail? Stehebunker? Deposit accounts for prisoners? Read HENRY to find out.
I spent fifteen years writing and researching "HENRY: A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America," a story I was inexplicably entrusted with. I hope you enjoy the end result and have some 'aha' moments. If you are a discerning adult looking for an intelligent read, this book is for you.
what to read next: if you read and liked this book...
Video 1: Book Trailer - Henry: A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America
Video 2: Meet Author Katrina Shawver - and the Story of Writing "HENRY, a Polish Swimmer
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