Water polo in East Germany

As we talked about travelling to other cities for swimming and water polo, Henry remembered a trip to East Germany. 

In Leipzig, Germany they have a sports academy. We played against the East Germans there. You know, a good water polo player should be able to swim 100 meters in a minute.  Then you have six or seven guys like that you have a good team.  I play with the 16 year olds and I was good because I wasn’t afraid of these guys.  You swim different in water polo, you swim rough with elbow in the face. Very rough.
I remember a match with East Germany in Leipzig, I lost a tooth to this guy’s elbow. They were all stronger than us, they fight when they play.  Afterwards we all friends with our black eyes, swollen lips, broken teeth, etc.  There was usually a banquet later after the match. 

I met President Walter Ulbricht, head of East Germany then. We met during the opera show of Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio.  Of course the next day I have a day off, and meet a nice German girl.  Kissing, schmissing.  I brag that I met the president.  She spat and swore and called him terrible names.  The average people hated him because they hated the communists.  I remember her calling him something of a male goat- a very rude term in German. – Henry Zguda

Background notes – Walter Ulbricht (1893 – 1973) was a German communist politician. Per several web sites he was the first secretary of the Socialist Unity Party, or leader of the communist party in Germany.  He was effectively the actual leader of East Germany. If Henry said ‘President’ – I’m sure he’s referring to simply the ‘man in charge.’  

Share Post

Tags: Henry Zguda Stories