Henry by Katrina Shawver


When Katrina Shawver met the eighty-five year old Henry Zguda, he possessed an exceptional memory, a surprising cache of original documents and photos, and a knack for meeting the right people at the right time. Couched in the interview style of Tuesdays with Morrie, Henry relates in his own voice a life as a champion swimmer, interrupted by three years imprisoned in Auschwitz and Buchenwald as a Polish political prisoner. With a pragmatic gallow...

Details Henry

Release DateNov 1st, 2017
PublisherKoehler Books
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, War, World War II, Holocaust, Adventure, Survival, European Literature, Polish Literature

Reviews Henry

  • *Avonna
    Check out all of my reviews at http://www.avonnalovesgenres.comHENRY: A POLISH SWIMMER’S TRUE STORY OF FRIENDSHIP FROM AUSCHWITZ TO AMERICA by Katrina Shawver is a memoir/biography that had me turning the pages and finishing this memorable read in just two sittings.Katrina Shawver was trying to come up with a new story for her column in ‘The Arizona Republic’ when she heard about a former Polish swimming star who survived the death camps of...
  • James Martin
    HENRY is an extraordinary addition to the body of WWII literature. It is the harrowing personal experiences of this Catholic Pole as a prisoner in the German concentration camps of Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Dachau that yield information found nowhere else and keep the reader riveted to the page. Shawver has captured the essence of Henry as he weathered unbelievable hard times and yet retained his human dignity and hope in spite of everything. A ...
  • Amy Shannon
    Inspiring!Getting to know Henry is absolutely inspiring. Henry spells out and reconstructions his life for the author, bringing his story of survival from one of the darkest and horrific times in history. It was created by the author's interviews with Henry Zguda, and it was remarkable. "Henry was a Catholic Pole who had been arrested, tortured, and imprisoned for three years in concentration camps for one reason only: he was Polish, and Germany ...
  • Hobart
    This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.--- Looking for something for her Arizona Republic column, Katrina Shawver found and interviewed Henry Zguda, a octogenarian, who'd been a competitive swimmer in Poland who'd spent three years in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. The interview struck a chord with her and she soon returned to his home to propose they write a book about his experiences.This book is the result of a series of interviews Sh...
  • Amy
    Henry: A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America by Katrina Shawver is a fabulous read. I highly recommend it!
  • Jack Mayer
    Elie Wiesel said “'When you listen to a witness, you become a witness.” Katrina Shawver’s luminous non-fiction, Henry:A Polish Swimmer’s True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America is a beautifully rendered act of witness and love about an extraordinary Pole, Henry Zguda, a Christian, a political prisoner in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Shawver’s compelling narrative illuminates Henry’s memories as well as his heart and his enduri...
  • Nancy
    I really wanted to give this book a higher rating. However, the organization and writing were a distraction. The author admits she had a hard time pulling the hours of interviews and her extensive research together. Unfortunately she didn’t get enough help to make this work as important as the material deserves. What has become of talented editors? Henry’s remembrances of growing up in Poland, as a survivor of WWII concentration camps, the Na...
  • Agnes
    Krakow was one of the Polish cities that suffered severely from human casualties during the Second World War. When the cities such as Warsaw, Poznan, Bialystok, Gdansk or Elblag were virtually razed to the ground and suffered under the subsequent marches of hostile forces and the long-lasting Nazi occupation, Krakow being the largest and most important city in southern Poland, remained almost untouched. It is possible that this kind of situation ...
  • Janet
    This is the fascinating story of an extraordinary Polish man, Henry Zguda, who experienced horrific cruelty and miraculous rescues while at Auschwitz and other concentration camps during WWII. After the war, he eventually made his way to the US and survived to find happiness for the remainder of his life. He claimed to have survived due to two things: luck and meeting people who were able to help him. I would add two more reasons: he was a seriou...
  • Maria Ryan
    A GiftI will admit that I am drawn to stories of the holocaust and the trials suffered in the Second World War. I have read a number of books both fiction and non-fiction regarding this topic. I have a great admiration and respect for anyone who has suffered through that time and I feel that their stories must continue to be heard as often and by as many of us as possible.Shawver had the privilege of meeting Henry Zguda, a Polish survivor of Aush...
  • Priya
    Having read quite a bit of fiction set around WW2 times,I was not unfamiliar with some of the horrors of the war.Nevertheless, this account of a survivor, a man who actually went through all that torture and lived to tell the tale, was truly chilling!Henry's story brought out the fact that along with Jews, many Poles were also imprisoned in the concentration camps, something which I for one didn't know.The horrible conditions of the camps, the ba...
  • Michelle Kidwell
    Henry: A Polish Swimmer’s True Story of Friendship From Auschwitz to Americaby Katrina ShawverKoehler BooksIndependent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members’ TitlesBiographies & Memoirs , HistoryPub Date 01 Nov 2017I am reviewing a copy of Henry: A Polish Swimmer’s True Story Of Friendship From Auschwitz to America from Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and Netgalley:This book only came to Fruition through multiple first ...
  • Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
    Henry – A Polish Swimmer’s True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America by Katrina Shawver is a biography on a Polish national who survived the horrors of concentration camps and World War II. Ms. Shawver is a journalist and a public speaker who happened to live near Mr. Zguda.This is one of those books I take pleasure in reading. The book combines personal experiences of the subject, the author, and a bit of history to create a fascina...
  • Susan
    Henry Zguda, a Catholic Pole, survived the concentration camps of World War II. He is the first one to say it was because he was lucky and had friends in good places. Through his conversations with Ms. Shawver, the reader gets an inside look at the daily events in the life of a prisoner. There really wasn't much about Mr. Zguda being a swimmer. I expected more of that. What I didn't expect was all the additional information provided about politic...
  • Marcia Fine
    HENRY —A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America by Katrina ShawverKatrina Shawver has written an accurate account of one man's journey through the Holocaust who wasn't Jewish. We cannot forget the others who stood up for us when few were willing to do so. Henry Zguda was a hero, one, who with his strong, tall body and handsome countenance, was liked by everyone he met.That is, until he was picked up with his sports ...
  • Mariejkt
    "Henry" by Katrina Shawver is a book about Henry a polish swimmers life and friendships from Auschwitz to America. What a powerful book, yes, books from Holocaust survivors are almost always powerful but this one was different. Why do I say different as the author writes what Henry reveals to her and he did not hold back anything he seen even pictures he had. Some of the things this man had seen and told about I had no idea about as I had not hea...
  • Heidi
    Received this book from NetGalley for my honest review.This book was told to Katrina Shawver by Henry Zguda. Katrina interviewed Henry for a short story and from that short story she realized that Henry had so much more to tell. Henry was from Poland and was sent to numerous concentration camps. Hitler didn't just exterminate Jews and only put Jews in concentration camps it was a lot of different people to include people from Poland. This story i...
  • Jay Williams
    I was a little disappointed to discover this book is as much about the author as it is about Henry. Henry's descriptions of Poland and the concentration camps were extremely good and interesting. The author's first hand account of her visits to the areas in the book was quite good for the present day. Her description of the political structure of ancient Poland was a little naïve and superficial. Henry's story is a remarkable testimony to the st...
  • Shari Stauch
    This is more topical today than ever, and a brilliant portrait by Shawver of a man imprisoned in Auschwitz. He was Polish, and a Christian, just in the wrong place at a dark time in history. The amazing telling, in Henry's own voice, reveals an impeccable character. And the items in his possession, illustrated throughout the pages (and now many in museums) are a revelation. I thought I knew much of the history of these dark times, I learned so mu...
  • Lynn
    The chance phone tip leads journalist Katrina Shawver to Henry Zguda, who has led a most amazing life and has a most compelling story to tell. A story about his boyhood in Poland prior to WWII, about German occupation, about Auschwitz-Birkenau. Henry spoke with a thick Polish accent, though he spoke four other languages: German, French, Latin and English. With the words, "Henry, what do you think if we write a book?", this fascinating story comes...
  • Tehila
    When I started reading Henry’s story, I expected to learn about one man’s experiences. Ms Shawver and Henry taught me many things; my surprise at some of the events in Henry’s time in the camp system mirror Ms Shawver’s own. My only regret about this book is one shared the author - I wish more had been included.I will definitely be rereading this book, after my friends have finished sharing it amongst themselves.I received a free copy of ...
  • Videoclimber(AKA)MTsLilSis
    Henry's story is inspiring and amazing. Shawver's writing is in desperate need of proofreading and editing. The storyline is disjointed, hard to follow, and at times repetitive. Sadly the poor writing style distracted from the story. This could have and should have been a five star read.*Thank you to NetGalley, The Publisher, and The Author for allowing me to read an ARC of this book. The opinions are my own and are not influenced by the gift of ...
  • Lucy Meeker
    An important book that gives a lot of hope in dark times! I consider this book an extremely well-written book and I recommend it if you're interested in holocaust literature or if you like a wonderful true story of survival and the human spirit.
  • Jane
    Katrina Shawver is a journalist, and in 2002 when hunting out a story for her newspaper, she met Henry Zguda, a survivor of the concentration camps Auschwitz and Buchenwald, and wrote a piece on him. It was a short piece, at the time just another story among the hundreds that Shawver turned in.But the small glimpse of Henry's tale – or, rather, perhaps, the strong personality of the 85-year-old Polish man, and that of his American wife, had hoo...