What People are Saying

“Katrina Shawver, a well-respected journalist and public speaker, has used her interviewing skills to write a solid biography on Auschwitz-Buchenwald-Death March-Dachau and Communist Poland survivor Henry Zguda. She weaves his memories with historical research to tell an important story of courage and tenacity. It is presented so that everyone will learn, and will not want to lay the book down. Additionally, there are numerous photos that greatly enhance the story, helping readers visualize the people and horrors as well as the beautiful times of Zguda’s life.  We know that we should never forget the Holocaust, and Shawver is ensuring that we won’t.“

John Liffiton, Professor and Director Genocide Conferences, Scottsdale Community College

“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

“Through all his hardships Henry Zguda never lost hope or his sense of humor, which is present throughout the book. This is a much-needed addition to your library.

The Polish American Journal

“Henry Zguda is a man you would like to know. When you read Henry, the interview-based story of his life, you will indeed come to know this hardy and hopeful soul, from his youthful days as a champion swimmer to his post-war life in Communist Poland and, finally, in the United States of America. However, 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. Highly recommended.

James Conroyd Martin, author of The Poland Trilogy and IPPY Gold Medal Winner The Boy Who Wanted Wings

This remarkable true story will take you on a historical journey, filled with a firsthand account of how one man survived the impossible, and then found the love of his life.” 

J. L. Witterick, International best selling author of My Mother’s Secret

“Every personal testimony of the Holocaust is an essential contribution to history, and worthy of preservation. In Henry, Katrina Shawver accepts the challenge of hearing and sharing Henry Zguda’s captivating experience of being imprisoned in more than one concentration camp. Together, they bring to light an abundance of extraordinary details and observations that expand our understanding of this time. Shawver uses her expertise as a journalist in her impressive research that takes her to sites in Henry’s narrative, adding an intriguing layer of authenticity. This book is an important addition to Holocaust literature.” 

Valerie Foster, author of

The Risk of Sorrow: Conversations with Holocaust Survivor, Helen Handler

“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 enduring humor. She has rescued Henry’s vital piece of Holocaust history so that we don’t forget, and as an immunization against recurrence. Everyone who reads Henry becomes a witness.

Jack Mayer, Vermont writer and pediatrician, author of

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project, and Before the Court of Heaven.

“The treasure trove of documents and images, from vintage photos from the Buchenwald Memorial to Henry’s letters (some 70 original photos and rare German documents) is just one thing that sets Henry apart from any other survivor’s story, making it a top ‘must have’ acquisition for any collection strong in Holocaust survival accounts. Henry is especially recommended for any holding strong in Polish community heritage, World War II history, and the world of competitive swimming.” Read full review

D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer,

Midwest Book Review

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