2 pm | SATURDAY, JANUARY 27
Author Katrina Shawver will discuss her debut book, Henry: A Polish Swimmer’s True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America, a unique nonfiction biography.
January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The author will discuss why we need to keep teaching against the lessons of hate and prejudice by remembering and honoring the very real victims and survivors of WWII and the Holocaust. In that sense, Henry: A Polish Swimmer’s True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America is both an important contribution to the history of the time, and a timely reminder that given the right circumstances, no one is truly safe from being targeted for hate and discrimination.
The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, Los Angeles recently added Henry: A Polish Swimmer’s True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America to their list of recomended titles »
About the Book
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 a difficult three years imprisoned in Auschwitz and Buchenwald as a Polish political prisoner. With a pragmatic gallows humor, and sense of hope, he showed the author how to truly live for today, preferably with a shot of good Polish vodka. Henry's path of resiliency and power of connection are as relevant today, as they were in World War II. Told in an interview format, Henry relates a life as a champion swimmer and coach, interrupted by three years imprisoned in Auschwitz and Buchenwald as a Catholic Polish political prisoner. This bridge to history is told with a pragmatic gallows humor and is supported by extensive research, original documents, and rare photos not seen elsewhere. Ultimately, Henry is the story a resilient young man who survives by his wits, humor, friends, and a healthy dose of luck. If you are a discerning adult looking for an intelligent read, this book is for you.
Praise for the Book
“Henry is an exceptional read! If you are into real life World War II survival stories that are very detailed this is your book! Katrina Shawver’s ability to transport the reader back into time is truly remarkable! Every chapter makes you want to keep on reading about this truly remarkable man that survived so much and yet was so humble. Best book I have read on Auschwitz!” – J.R. Sharp, CDR USN (ret), author of Feeding the Enemy
“By painstakingly reconstructing Henry Zguda’s remarkable story of survival, Katrina Shawver sheds light on one of the darkest chapters in human history—in particular, on the plight of Catholic Poles who found themselves in concentration camps like Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Henry is both poignant and inspiring.“ – Andrew Nagorski, author of The Nazi Hunters and Hitlerland
About the Author
Katrina Shawver is an experienced writer, blogger, speaker, and the author of Henry – A Polish Swimmer’s True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America, an adult nonfiction biography released in 2017 to high praise. She holds a BA from the University of Arizona in English/Political Science, and began her writing career more than twenty years ago by writing hundreds of newspaper columns for The Arizona Republic. In addition to a variety of previous careers in software support, the paralegal profession, tax preparation, and answering phones for a forensic psychiatrist, she has presented at the community college level on Poland Under Hitler and Stalin. Her favorite quote is ”What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband Rick. For more information visit her website where she blogs regularly »