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Ludwik Landau

In 1929-1939, he developed methods for dividing national income by social classes and researched the socio-economic structure of Poland. In 1939, he was working in the underground Institute of Social Economy. At that time, he developed an economic program for the Polish Socialist Party and prepared cyclical economic analyses on the economic situation in Poland and Germany.

Ludwik Landau

In 1929-1939, he developed methods for dividing national income by social classes and researched the socio-economic structure of Poland. In 1939, he was working in the underground Institute of Social Economy. At that time, he developed an economic program for the Polish Socialist Party and prepared cyclical economic analyses on the economic situation in Poland and Germany.

They make announcements explaining the situation: the truce expires at noon and the Germans are in their right to enter the city. On the first day, they only have the right to go as far as Jerusalem Avenue. The reason for this gradual pace is the demand of the Germans to have the city cleared from mines and, if possible, barricades prior to their arrival. Another factor slowing down the pace of the occupation is the disarmament of Polish troops. 

According to the terms of capitulation, all soldiers must surrender their weapons and stay home. Therefore, soldiers have been instructed to arrive at the designated disarmament point and sign all the necessary documents.

The morning brought calming down. For now, we do not realize what it is. Accustomed the previous week to shelling the city, we assumed that this time the silence is temporary and does not mean a change in the situation. The impression was enormous when we heard messages from a person in contact with the municipal authorities: a truce is being concluded, there are negotiations for the capitulation of Warsaw! It was a very mixed feeling: on the one hand, a sense of relief after three days of constant bombing, on the other - an awareness that the moment that was predicted and awaited by us was the beginning of a new difficult period in the life of the nation.

At noon, phones stop working; in the afternoon, electricity stops and water disappears from the taps, even in the basement. Because of the fires caused by the bombing, there will be no gas for several days, we are deprived of everything: telephone communication, gas, electricity, and water. The lack of electricity means not only lack of light: we are deprived of any communication with the world. The radio, our most valuable source of information, doesn’t work, and newspapers also stopped when the printing house was shut down.

In the evening, the Germans stopped outside the city. As we found out later, these were motorised troops and tanks, far ahead of the core of the German forces. We have gotten used to frequent bombardment raids, and there are new sounds in this war: gunshots just outside of Warsaw.

Today was, it seems, the culminating moment in some of the most tragic events of our times: the departure of young men from Warsaw. The request came by an official radio message: there was a speech by Col. Umiastowski, who called on young men of military age to leave the city before the arrival of the German army. This departure took on insane proportions. People were driven by a sense of duty, the wish to deprive the occupant of the best forces, or a sense of self-interest, or fear of occupying troops, or rumours and predictions that men would be executed or that everyone would be sent to concentration camps – even now I can’t come to terms with what is happening.

The radio announced – and then repeated several times – that the Germans had broken through the frontlines and that they could now be near Warsaw shortly; and that because of this there was an appeal to the citizens of Warsaw to dig trenches. In my neighbourhood, Lublin Square was designated as a meeting point for those volunteering for work. At night, in the darkness of an air-raid emergency, the streets were swarming.

Things were not very well organised, but as well as they could be in such circumstances. In any case two hours went by before the detachment from my street (which was already neatly narrowed by then) was ordered to go dig in its designated location. New "diggers" were brought in from the street, in theory nighttime volunteers, but they were treated as forced recruits. People not used to this work were barely able to raise their shovels after a few hours.

14:15

Warfare had begun. Today we had first air raids over Warsaw. Still so unexpected, that many took them for a test of the air defence efficiency. Still in the first day reports spread – I think coming from a place of encouragement – about the Polish army taking Danzig, English navy bombarding Hamburg and joint squadrons from England, France and Poland bombing Berlin. Soon these rumours turned out to be completely false. In reality, the German army is moving up into Poland with lightning speed.

I personally was a pessimist who thought that Polish and German forces are so disproportionate, that nobody could say we could hold up against the German army and its technical equipment. Though I could not have imagined the pace of these events.

Mobilisation posters appear. At first in small numbers so you have to search for them all over the city or wait with the crowd in front of the police station to read them. Later they were plastered in bigger numbers. The size of mobilisation is amazing: not one, or even several age-brackets, but everyone with regular mobilisation cards is being called upon. As follows: reserve privates up to 40 years, officers up to 60 years of age. Crowds of mobilized men appear on all sides. I was not mobilised as I have a so-called mobilisation exemption certificate.