In honor of the record blizzard blanketing the East Coast, I thought of a Polish winter. In 1946, the high Tatra mountains offered Henry Zguda secluded safety from certain communist leaders looking to arrest him after the war. A friend hired Henry as a caretaker of a mountain cabin in the mountains. Thus, Henry spent the winter of 1945-46 skiing in safety in the Tatra Mountains.
“Auschwitz had a wonderful orchestra.” With that line, Henry Zguda introduced me to a lesser known component of all German concentration camps – music. For some lucky prisoners, musical ability saved their lives, because they were selected for the camp orchestra. Henry worked for the director of the Auschwitz orchestra, so was able to describe it in first-hand detail.
The video recording for my April 15 talk “Poles as Victims and Heroes under Hitler and Stalin” given at Scottsdale Community College can be viewed online at the link below. After a few minutes of introductions the talk gets into the real core of the presentation. Many thanks go to John Liffiton and the video production of SCC who did a great job hosting the entire week. Na zdrowie!
(Video currently available under the tab “Video Presentation.”)
April 29, 2015 marks 70 years since the liberation of Dachau concentration camp, when American troops reached the camp. Henry Zguda was liberated at Dachau following a two week death march from Buchenwald. After nearly three years in German custody, he was so weak, malnourished and ill with typhus his friends carried him to a bunk after he laid down in the gutter for a sip of water. Below is the experience in his words: