Auschwitz, the 30. August 1942
My dear mother!
What’s new with you my dear mother. I am anxious because I haven’t received a letter. I am healthy thank God but I don’t know how your health is. Please answer every letter I send because every message from you makes me really happy.
What’s new at work, how is the happiest person on earth Lupa and how much does he weigh after the wedding. Did Ms. Genia already get married or is she waiting for us. Did you speak with Motyczynski, he knows what you’re supposed to do. Did you write to uncle Franz, he’s supposed to send me the money. Write to me whether you have sold some of my stuff, if you need the money than you can go ahead and do that, but be wary of all strangers who want to help you now and don’t give them any money, ideally speak with Mr. Tadziu whether Lutowski has brought back my old coat from the tailor. Kisses and greetings for all.
Note – In this letter Henry asks about Ms. Gena – his girlfriend before his arrest. However he is asking about whether she is married yet or not. I asked Henry about that since he had obviously liked her a great deal. He told me a funny epilogue.
Do you know she kept going to the Germans to secure my release so many times she kept seeing the same German officer. They started getting together, and guess who she gets engaged to? This same German officer she was trying to get to help her win my freedom.
You mean your girlfriend married a Nazi??
No! I never said he was a Nazi, I said he was in the German army. Not everyone in the German army was for Hitler, but if you’re German you had no choice. In fact he had been Austrian – when Hitler invaded Austria men had no choice whether to serve – you served.
I have a picture here of her. See – isn’t she beautiful. After the war I visited her and her husband. He ran a Mercedes dealership. – Henry Zguda
When I relayed this story to a new friend shortly after I met Henry, she stopped and didn’t say anything. I was worried I’d offended her. It was quite the opposite. “You see Katrina, everyone seems to think if you were German you agreed with Hitler. My family emigrated from Germany to Brazil right before the start of World War II. But people never get that being German doesn’t mean you participated.”
Note – Henry’s camp letters and artifacts were donated to the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 following his death.