Citizens! Today was a difficult day for Warsaw. Enemy missiles hit hundreds of homes. But above all, they hit the Castle, hit the cathedral, hit the Jesuit church, hit many places dear to our hearts. These are barbaric methods, hitting churches or national monuments on purpose, like the Castle or Belvedere. These barbaric methods that have nothing to do with war, this is not war. These cutthroat methods must arouse anger, severe anger that will avenge all the wrongs that the Warsaw population is experiencing today.
I saw an airplane come up against the sky, then another, three, five, eight, like stones thrown against a lighted window. The air force was leaving Poland.
‘Are you expecting many refugees?’ I asked a Roumanian Captain of the Guard.
‘Many of those people have been waiting twelve hours’
After some argument, the Captain allowed us to pass, and we walked on to the bridge, the Dniester like a band of hammered metal under our feet. I wondered how disorganized we should find things on the Polish side; would there be any wild shooting?
As the groups of refugees came by, I noticed that they included Polish soldiers, not in formation, but walking with the blind look of men under orders.
‘What are you leaving Poland for?’
‘I have no idea, Pani. We’ve not fought anyone yet. We are being sent out under orders. I think we’re being made fools and cowards of’
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.
I gave an order as the garrison chief of the town of Navahrudak. In the order, I demanded that local authorities and citizens maintain order, shops continue their business as usual; the Soviet ruble is now equal to the Polish zloty. I gave an order to surrender weapons and military equipment. All Polish officers have to register with the city executive.
Russia invades Poland. I learn this at five o’clock from Paul who also brings letters (the Beaver, Wanda). Real anxiety. I can accept the war only if I think we’ll win. I realize how stupidly I persuaded myself that it would be over in a year, and without any changes. My past life is stuck to me like a scab. I only accepted leaving it without regret through the hope that I would find it again, just as it was.
The Russians marched into Poland today as well, ‘to safeguard the interests of the Russian minority’. Poland’s now as far down on its knees as it can get, so they must be thinking of sending a negotiator to Germany.
There’s still not much action on the western front, but according to today’s paper Hitler’s planning a huge air offensive against Britain. We hear of very worrying developments at sea: countless ships torpedoed or blown up by mines. Supply routes to Germany must be more or less cut off, I think.
I went to the early service at Broadheath. After breakfast, when the others went to church, I walked through the fields for about an hour, and returned to the house in time to hear, on the 12.00 p.m. wireless bulletin, the harrowing news of Russia's invasion of Poland. The announcement by which the Soviet Government attempted to justify their act of unequalled greed and immorality is without doubt the most revolting document that modern history has produced. For the first time since the war began I felt really depressed, and frantic at the impossibility of our taking any effective action to prevent this crime. And yet I remember thinking, less than a year ago, that the Poles deserved the darkest fate in view of the way they treated the Czechs and that nobody could feel sorry for them if their turn came next.
I went to the market, then to Khreshchatyk. I wanted to buy shoes for the boys. There’s nothing for them to wear now. Returning from Khreshchatyk, I heard the news on the tram: "Our troops crossed the border." They said that the radio broadcast a report from Molotov - it said that the Red Army would go help our brothers - Ukrainians and Belarusians of Poland.
I do not know how I managed to keep it together and not cry, my heart sank. People who have relatives and friends in Poland were worried and were listening to the stories; others were indifferent and took no part in the conversation. I wanted to get home as quickly as possible.
Politically now quite at a loss. Peace in a couple of weeks and Hitler all-powerful? Or will England-France fight? But how, where and with what chance of success? On the one hand Germany now appeared to have all the trumps, really all of them in its hand. On the other: why the ever greater shortage of foodstuffs? And has England ever admitted defeat without a fight? Ever blindly taken up a lost cause???
Brest-Litowsk has fallen. Invasion of Russian troops into the Polish state area. The first encounter between Russian and German troops.
Bad, screeching radio transmission, barely audible, brings horrible news: the castle and the cathedral were bombed, the population is evacuated. The French station transmits a message from President Mościcki, who left Poland. It ends with: "Providence will bring justice." The latest news is that the Soviet army entered Polish territory.
Greater optimism today about the Russian attitude. We’d like to hope that their entry into Poland is a precautionary measure or a tactic of blackmail against the Germans. Yesterday Corporal Paul said very decidedly: ‘If the Russians come into the game, we’ll no longer just have to accept any peace we can.’
According to official reports, Russian troops invaded Poland. Those who profit from the war, the beer trade and the game of scat, win. The fourth section of Poland for these people is a fait accompli. This is exactly the picture that takes shape in the minds of my fellow citizens. I stand alone again - I can’t imagine Russia doing anything for the benefit of Germany. Hitler in his book "Mein Kampf" directly states that the expansion of the living space of Germany is possible only by seizing land in the East, and therefore it is clear to any reasonable person: a tough clash with the Slavs is inevitable.
Here we have the fourth partition of Poland, the abandonment of the slogan ‘the USSR needs no foot of foreign soil’, the appropriation of the fascist hypocrisies about ‘blood-brotherhood\, the liberation of ‘brothers’ (of Slav descent), all the terminology of nationalism. This is addressed to the German fascists, but at the same time to the Soviet troops.
What happened over these few days, God! A country that is as if it didn’t exist anymore – is it possible! These cities – like Lviv, Krakow – are silent on the radio, cities, no trains go there, messages don’t reach them, letters and newspapers can’t be sent out! Warsaw...