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.
Our 36th wedding anniversary – unfortunately we are celebrating it in silence; – only distant shots are heard. Panic and fleeing crowds make for unpleasant scenes – the city is empty everywhere. Since morning, we have been forming a Civil Guard, because the mob is already robbing a cigar factory, a mill, an alcohol shop. The guards have even abandoned the prisons, and security must be sent there. The southern militia begins its shift around four o’clock. Meanwhile, it will also gather at noon and in the evening at 6pm under the leadership of the Citizens’ Committee of Metropolitan Bishop Sapieha, divided into economic, financial, charity divisions, etc.
Today is fairly peaceful - our artillery is driving the planes away. In the morning, there was a commotion because of the news that Germans will enter Krakow at any moment. The city is surrendering to avoid bombardments.
Authorities and offices have already been evacuated. President Czuchajowski and the magistrate director left, supposedly taking the municipal treasury with them. Heads of construction and plants directors Orzelin and Jeleński also left. With tears in his eyes, Vice-president Klimecki was trying to calm other officials down and recommending they get to work as usual. Together with Mr Meyerhold, we asked for the establishment of the Civic Committee this morning and the preparation of an appeal to the citizens and organisation of the Civic Guard.
My family, of course, sits tight and will not leave Krakow, although nearly the whole house is empty. See more
A number of young people have been leaving Krakow on foot or by bike. We fed them at our place, including the cousin of the engineer captain, who blew up bridges after the army had crossed (Jordanów). Aid raids were less severe and more distant. There are no newspapers. Illustrated Courrier DailyPolish daily newspaper left to Lvov. They will only be publishing a local edition here with a limited number of articles.
Krakow is said to be cut off and railways are damaged. The evacuation of authorities and offices is being carried out by car. We don't know what the evening will bring. There’s comforting news on the radio that England and France have joined the military operations. I am looking at the damage in the Pędzichów and Staszica streets (bombers were aiming at the school), on the Planty by the theatre, at the Lubicz street (clearly aimed at the train station), and on Łobzowska street,. Broken glass on Szlak and Pędzichów Streets, many people wounded.
A couple hundred steps away, at the corner of Pędzichów and Szlak streets, bombs set fire to a house. Later, some warehouses near the west station caught fire as well. I barely had time to wash myself and ran outside, only managing to throw on a coat.