Katrina is an experienced writer, speaker, and lifelong history geek. She holds a BA from the University of Arizona in English/Political Science and has excelled at the School of Trial and Error. In 2002, while writing for the Arizona Republic newspaper, she met Henry Zguda, a Polish Catholic survivor of German concentration camps. She soon offered to write his incredible story. She spent many years researching Poland, World War II, and the Holocaust.
The Polish American Congress - Arizona division awarded Katrina their 2018 Polish Heritage Award for “her contribution to the documentation of the suffering inflicted on Polish people during the Holocaust.” Give her a good book, cozy chair, and a glass of Merlot and she sighs contentment.
Henry: A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America
This incredible true story is both a witness to the Holocaust through Polish eyes and the story of how Henry Zguda, a Polish (Catholic) competitive swimmer, survives Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps to live the American dream. At times humorous, always gut-honest, this account fills a huge gap in historical accounts of Poles during World War II.
Katrina Shawver met Henry in 2002 when she wrote for the Arizona Republic newspaper and after one meeting offered to write his story. Relevant history is woven into the account, resulting in a unique perspective of both Jewish and Polish suffering in Nazi-occupied Poland. Henry’s story is backed by authentic documents and photos and meticulous research. Endorsed by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland-Los Angeles. The book has been translated into both Polish and Czech.
Recipient, 2018 Polish Heritage Award, Polish American Congress of Arizona
2018 Arizona Authors Association Literary Contest - First Place for Published Non-Fiction
2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award – Silver for Biography
2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards - First Place Category Winner of the 2018 Journey Book Awards for Narrative Non-Fiction