Skiing, Hiking and Leaving the Tatra Mountains

Remember after the war communists took over (Poland.)  If you were too nationalist (e.g. pro-Polish) then the Russians killed anyone working against them. 
I make a business on the side smuggling tires from Czech to Poland.  I was on my skis constantly going back and forth – to pull the tires on the rope on the snow.  I ski to my friend in Morskie Oko (deep mountain lake.)  There was another tourist home there.  My friend, Adam Gurka, was at that time longer than me. 

So every day I go 10 kilometers up the hill to have a drink with Adam, and then I slide home easy to the roztoka. I made friends right away behind the border, with Slovakians taking care of a home like me.  You know  Polish and Slovakians have very similar language. 
Down the road were the Polish border guards, and they guarded the traffic out of Poland, stopping refugees (I assume refugees leaving Poland, but I never asked.) So when I go into Zakopane I have to be careful not to go through the border, so I have to go more than 15 kilometers.  There was a road, it was easy to go with a horse. 
One of the Polish guards was one of the guys from Auschwitz. So one night he came and warned me “Henry, you better go from here. They found out about the tires and know you are helping people across the mountains.”  I say nothing to noone, leave at night on my skis and go back to Krakow.  I’m out of there. – Henry Zguda
Undated photos are from Henry’s personal photo album.  The originals are not much clearer than these. But from the looks of it he was a pretty good skier and pretty sturdy mountain hiker. Of course, if you live in the mountains and it’s ten kilometers up hill to your closest friend, fifteen kilometers into town for supplies you bring back in a backpack, I can see how Henry regained his strength during his time in the high Tatra Mountains. In the summer he hiked, in the winter he skied.  I can only imagine how beautiful the hiking photo would be if color photos were available back then. He did talk about hiking above the tree line to the top of mountains.

Henry mentioned that his roztoka was down the hill from Wołoszyn Mountain.  When I searched for the mountain, the tourist photos looked very similar to the background in Henry’s hiking photo.
Note – If you haven’t read the earlier posts, Henry was an athlete for many years prior to his arrest and detention in Auschwitz.  

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