Army Sport Club in Warsaw

Note – Henry has now recovered his health in the high Tatra mountains, but the communist guards were trying to arrest him for smuggling tires into Poland, and people out.  The communists have arrested his close friends in Krakow for working in the Polish underground (against communists) and delivering BBC news. Krakow is not safe for Henry anymore. 

 I needed a job and I had friends. (Jozef) Cyrankiewicz was now premier of Poland. My friend

Mietek Kowalski from Buchenwald was working for the government in Warsaw. Kowalski was on the train with me from Auschwitz to Buchenwald.  He was smart like hell and we had the same sense of humor.  His brother was Russian in charge of Moscow rail station.  He and his brother spoke Russian very well. At Buchenwald he was well respected by the communists. 

So now I find myself running from the communists right into the mouth of the communists. I left immediately by train to Warsaw.  Kowalski recommended me to the Polish Academy of Sports as a sports coach. We were part of the army, and I hid right under the communists’ noses with famous Polish athletes. The teachers there were all former Olympians from 1946. 

Once there, I had to pass a health exam. By now I was 30 years old and too old for student. They said I could not join because I have heart palpitations on my aorta, from the pleurisy I had at the end of the war. I couldn’t do track and field or basketball anymore. I couldn’t run for an hour with my lungs. But I could swim for an hour because it was less stress. Swimming is horizontal so it is healthy. The heart doesn’t have to pump blood up to head and shoulders. You are even level – I recommend swimming for anyone with a weak heart.

My friend Kowalski telephoned on my behalf and they let me do swimming. They made me head of the Army Sport Club in Warsaw, in charge of swimming. – Henry Zguda

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