Yesterday a radio report confirmed that General Sikorski had become Prime Minister of our government, while financial matters would be overseen by Koc. The German authorities announced that all men aged 17-45 had to be registered (possibly for military service). Demobilized soldiers and prisoners from Silesia have to be dressed in German uniforms and join their army.
The evening radio brought painful news that after 3 weeks of heroic resistance Warsaw fell.
My son is in captivity in [Cieszanów] – where the whole division surrendered. A lot of prisoners were brought in (battles near Tomaszów), officers have gathered in the courtyard of the barracks at Mazowiecka Street, where our ladies bring them food and underwear.
Warsaw is defending itself. Vice President Klimecki in the Montelupich Prison is said to have flu. Life has become still, grey and sad. Foul weather.
The lights are on only in the city centre – other streets, such as Karmela Długa, remain in the dark. We were told stories about starving Germans, but their soldiers turned out to be sturdy fellas, well-fed and equipped.
The city is slowly getting calmer and more normal. Soldiers wander around unarmed. Refugees from all corners of Poland are still coming back; those crowds that fled in terror, blocking the army march. They tell us that the Prosecutor's Office transported their files in a hearse and the Board of Education removed their files on dinghies and, unfortunately, drowned the files in the Vistula River. The poor scouts abandoned their quarters in Śląska street in a complete disorder.
Yesterday at 1.30, Vice President Klimecki was arrested. The reason for this was for the shooting of two German soldiers on the farms who were civilian (only wearing armbands). When Vice President Klimecki expressed the opinion that they could have been shot by other German soldiers by accident - he was arrested for "insulting the army."
This painful day ended with refreshing news from Warsaw: although the Castle and Belvedere Palace and many other buildings were bombed, Warsaw is still defending itself.
We received a new treacherous stab in the back. The Soviets entered Belarus, allegedly for the protection of the country because the government fled. We know what this protection means - these are attempts to divide Poland and fulfill the treaty with Germany.
The saddest moment of the day is waking up and seeing that what seemed to be a painful nightmare is a reality.
Warsaw is defending itself, but the circle around it is getting tighter. Lviv is under heavy bombardments. Boryslav is taken.
The Gestapo settled on ul. Piłsudski. In Sokole, wardrobes were smashed and the office was sealed. In Kobierzyn and in Dąbie, there are about 3,000 of our captives who are not really well-fed.
Yesterday, groups of older troops suddenly departed in the morning and there were fewer soldiers in the city. Officers are visiting the city and Wawel by car and buying Kraków postcards. The city physician was asked to open brothels for the army. Through its delegates, the committee intervened regarding prisoners so that they would not be kept in the city prison, and from there several hundred of them were taken out yesterday. The radio reports that the Germans continue to drop bombs on free cities, including Krzemieniec, where there were diplomatic corps and probably also our government.
Since morning there is intensive anti-aircraft shooting - apparently our intelligence planes are circulating. German bombers in motion. There are now German police announcements on the streets, calling on officials to report to their offices and start working, requesting that all stores be opened, and all Jewish businesses marked with a Zionist star. The weather is still hot, without clouds. Only columns of troops and supplies pass through Kraków. The Citizens’ Committee led by P. Łubieńska has already set up a few food distribution points for the refugees and the poor - handing out bread and tea. Apparently our city hall prisoners were privately fed as well, and are to be transported from there later. German soldiers are running around the streets, they seem to be the local crew and police who regulate traffic at several points. In the evening we listen to the radio from Warsaw II and from London.
Life seems to be slowly returning to normal, because one has to live in spite of everything. On the street there are peasant carts, farmers from nearby villages going back home with their modest belongings – and here and there also Jewish families. At noon, troops pass by again – the tram traffic is interrupted. There are rumours that Hitler himself will come to Kraków. The registration of pensioners for insurance will begin on Monday, and the rector Lehr-Spławiński also demands the registration of teachers. The citizens' committee is to move to a Catholic home. The 6:30pm curfew, when everyone has to close their gates and turn off the lights, is becoming unpleasant and burdensome.
This morning I was – so to speak – in the belly of a beast. Dr Surzycki and I went to the German headquarters in the French Hotel, to get an approval of the Civic Committee from the general. The general was busy heading the conference. Adjutant Captain Schönberg (or maybe Schönbock) received us very kindly and promised to see our request through, verifying the composition and the goals of the committee. (We still fear the Committee will constantly be held hostage).
Sunny day, so after work in the Civic Committee and Civic Guard we went to see the damage to houses on Pawia Street and in the area. Trams are running all the time and brightening the atmosphere in a deserted city, especially on the days of air raids. On the other hand, the lack of horses and any means of transportation prevents the removal of the garbage, animal carcasses or even corpses from under the telegraph station.
A German officer found a way though, as director Polaczek-Kornecki told me, of burying 50 or 60 corpses, victims of the bombing in Swoszowice. He ordered the soldiers to bring 50 Jews. They were absolutely terrified when he made them form a line. The poor men were shaking, fearing they are going to be shot. But they were given spades and picks, put in the carts and off they went to dig graves. They had to get back on foot.
Shops are working again and are partly open thanks to the city administrator's announcement. In front of grocery shops, there are lines, watched by the Civic Guard. One can get some bread, but there is no milk.
The morning after this cold night was beautiful and almost quiet. It seemed as if we had repelled the attack.
But it was the opposite. The silence and empty streets showed that our army had withdrawn so that Kraków would not be bombarded. Indeed, sometime between 9 and 10 they entered the city. Vice President Klimecki appeared on the 3rd bridge, from where German forces were already firing. Soon after, at around 10 o'clock, a German colonel came to the city hall with a lieutenant and a sergeant (I am not sure of the charge) and a translator (a Polish civilian) and I had the opportunity to attend the meeting – so different from the one that took place 24 years ago in the President's parlour. In a polite tone, the German colonel dictated the first conditions: Kraków inhabitants would give up their weapons, and fugitives and stragglers from the Polish army would surrender. People would be allowed to circulate freely, but from 6pm to 5am traffic would be unconditionally closed, and the German forces would be safe and unharmed. See more
Details of the provisioning and location of the occupying troops were to be discussed in a smaller group. I left the city hall with a feeling that was difficult to describe, and there were clouds of smoke rising from the warehouses of the train station in the distance. But the day had a peculiar ending. At noon, a messenger from the city hall came to me saying that all members of the committee were to gather there, and that the German general in command would come. All of us, even the ladies, were there (except the Metropolitan Bishop).
Instead of the general, some senior military officer came to us, and told us that members of the committee would be taken as hostages (on orders of the general) – to ensure the safety of troops marching on the city. They had to be chosen from among the 25 of us. A patrol of 40 soldiers was placed in the courtyard – and for the first time we remained in [detention] to secure the safety of German soldiers with our lives. We were somewhat hungry because almost nobody had eaten dinner. Thin sandwiches brought from Hawełka and tea made on the spot saved us.