I wanted Warsaw to be great. I believed it would be great. My colleagues and I made plans, drafted the great future of Warsaw. And Warsaw is great. It happened sooner than we thought. Not in fifty years, not in a hundred, but today I see that Warsaw is great.
Speaking to you now, I see her through the windows in all her greatness and glory, surrounded by clouds of smoke, flames of fire, the wonderful, indestructible, mighty, fighting Warsaw. And although wonderful orphanages have now been replaced by rubble, although barricades covered with corpses have now replaced parks, although our libraries and hospitals are burning – Warsaw is defending its honour at the pinnacle of greatness and glory today, not in fifty years, not in a hundred years.
The storm of artillery fire over Warsaw scares us. What will be left of Warsaw? Just a pile of rubble?
During the day, cars and motorbikes deafen the sound of cannons, but at night ... Maybe the bombing at night is stronger? People are more worried. They cannot sleep, so they cannot rest. Every day here they say that Warsaw is kaput. But it is heroically holding on.
Our holy day is over. Mourning is on every face. As our prophet said, “The whole head is sick and the whole heart faint." There is not one family who has not endured a sacrifice of some sort, human or material. Many of my friends have turned gray. It is hard to recognize them.
On the Day of Atonement the enemy displayed even greater might than usual. He did not give us an hour's respite.
The campaign in Poland has ended. So far, 450,000 prisoners; 1,200 large weapons taken. Mussolini, in a speech, once again calls on the Western powers to be sensible.
Today I handed out food stamps at the Tattenbachstrasse location.
Starting day after tomorrow, new ration cards for food. The German people will now get per week: one pound of meat, five pounds of bread, three quarters of a pound of fats, three quarters of a pound of sugar, and a pound of ersatz coffee made of roasted barley seeds. Heavy labourers are to get double rations, and Dr. Goebbels - clever man! - has decided to classify us foreign correspondents as heavy labourers.
There hasn’t been any bread in a long time. There is no meat. They started to sell horsemeat, and the newspapers praise its taste, even for soup. I was nominated as President of the Jewish Religious Community in Warsaw by President Starzyński. A historical role in the besieged city. I will try to live up to it. – The entire city was bombarded all night, perhaps even more strongly than before. There is great damage to buildings and people. Sparks from the burned station fell on the school. In the office (Sienkiewicza 4) shrapnel fell on the fifth floor for the second time, demolishing two rooms. We're moving to the fourth floor.
For centuries, we have been repeating the same mistakes – confidence in one's strength, neglect of others, empty boasts, arrogant platitudes. There is something childish in this lack of responsibility, in assuming that things will always work out on their own. To be sober or even reasonable automatically means to be a bad Pole.
After lunch I went by train to Stansted to spend the week-end with the Bessboroughs.
We had an excellent dinner (nowhere is the food better than at Stansted) and afterwards Moyra and I alternately played backgammon and played with an unusually elaborate wireless set, from which we heard a German announcer broadcasting rather ineffectively, in English, about the wickedness of the English blockade measures. To be legal, he said, a blockade must be effective: let us hope that it may be, in every sense.
The situation is getting worse day by day. One of the reasons is the growing hunger, another one is that the help that everyone's waiting for still does not come. Our courage is still greatly admired abroad... words, words, words.
The French Government offered the President of the Republic of Poland and the Polish government the opportunity of establishment on French territory while maintaining full sovereign rights and extraterritorial power.
If necessary, every effort should be made to ensure that the government there does not deny the principle that the highest Polish authorities retain all attributes of sovereignty, like in Belgium in 1914. If necessary, the above can be notified or addressed in public declarations.
No changes in the matter of the Polish president and government's trip to France. Our political attention is directed to the matter of the president's departure for constitutional reasons. A government without a president is limited. The president may establish a new government and act in the name of the state.
Refugees from Poland are starting to come in. The Zalewskis, Szembek, Słonimski and Tuwim came. Zaleski is the same, his wife is unrecognisable. They went through terrifying experiences.
The Soviets are to occupy the Polish territories up to the Vistula, Narew, and San. Some are afraid and I want to run away with the Germans, but we stay. In our court, a cooperative is being established for all employees of courts, lawyers, notaries (on a democratic basis). We can already walk the streets for two hours longer, until 6 pm, and have the lights turned on in homes. Many Polish prisoners of war pass through Lublin, stretching in an unbroken line under German escort. A sad sight. Crowds on the streets. Soldiers rant at the government for having let this defeat happen, at the officers and at the staring crowd. The siege of Warsaw. Bombings...