The enemy has little artillery. The worst are the road conditions, here and especially on the left wing of the 3rd Army. There are stops at every one of the many blown bridges, which have received only hurried, makeshift repairs. In many places the vehicles have to be sent through one at a time. Thousands of refugees with children, cattle and wagons stream back from the Bug on the road to Pultusk. Frightful misery, but what can I do, I must have the roads clear. Traffic control is miserable in spite of all my exhortations and suggestions. Issued a sharply-worded order on traffic discipline. Unless we get some discipline we'll never get the motorized corps with its four divisions through and to the front.
The enemy is at the gates, and he sends his angels of death to proclaim his coming. One must admit that the bombs are not being dropped deliberately to harm the peaceful inhabitants. Hitler kept his word. And gas bombs are not being used, so all the preparations for them were superfluous. But our torments from the bombs he is aiming at military objectives within the city are affecting residential neighborhoods. In my beautiful apartment on the first floor there are a few panicky, frightened neighbors gathered from among the residents of the block whose apartments are on a higher floor, and who are hence in greater danger. And then - suddenly - the clap of thunder! We ran downstairs to the cellar, even though we might be buried alive there if the walls collapse. This was a shattering scene.
During the alarm, we stand by the gate. We can hear banging. The door opens and closes with a crash. The hallway is cramped. Everyone is calling: something to drink! There are shouts, screams. Suddenly, a woman comes in, shouting: gas! Some military officer and Kalina put on masks, and the rest of us put on pads made of gauze and soaked in a solution of baking soda with water, held at the back of the head with an elastic band or a ribbon. We went upstairs because the higher you go, the weaker the gas. Apparently the gas can’t fully reach the fourth floor. Bomb explosions can be seen through the window. It turned out it was not gas, only smoke from the bomb explosion.
From a reliable source about the situation this morning: Germany has moved from the north to a distance of 8 km from the capital, from the south 15 km and from the west 40 km. It is a matter of the shortest time before the city falls. Fires in many places.
I went to the roof, and despondently looked at the horizon closing in on all sides. I took pictures. The weather is still great.
Political reports until 1933 are now stored in the armoured cabinet where there used to be ciphers, blanks passports, stamps, seals and other notes. I do not want to burn the ciphers. Swedish flags are hung on two walls of the house, like oriental rugs.
They appointed me platoon commander of 9th company.
The Germans have occupied Warsaw. The campaign lasted eight days and the Western powers, as Hitler foresaw, have not intervened. But Hitler is lost if the Western powers do not capitulate and conclude a peace (as they will). His war is contained, all he can do is break through or starve. Of course, Chamberlain’s leaflets are not going to bring about a revolution in Germany. A childish delusion, were it not plain eyewash. A Swedish paper reports that only after reports of victories were people heard in Berlin greeting one another in restaurants with ‘heil Hitler’. See more
The Russo-German pact, of course, caused great confusion among the proletariat everywhere. The communists immediately claimed that it was a contribution to peace by the Soviet Union and should be respected. A few hours afterwards, war broke out, and Hitler claimed in major appeals that this pact had made it possible for him to lead the country against Poland. Now it may be that the Soviet Union assumed that the Western powers would never enter a war for Poland’s sake. Today, on the 8th day, this assumption is still not invalidated. As matters stand, the Soviet Union would now be facing Germany alone with Poland, for the West is not yet fighting. It’s possible that, in that case, Poland would not have tried to defend herself. Chamberlain’s line (Hitler is to be directed against the Soviet Union) would then have triumphed. Now, however, it is more than possible that Poland will be subjugated without any great war, and Poland is in the East and not in the West. And the union will, in the eyes of the proletariat of the world, bear the terrible stigma of aiding and abetting fascism, the wildest element in capitalism and the most hostile to the workers. I don’t think more can be said than the union saved its skin at the cost of leaving the proletariat of the world without solutions, hopes or help.
In the morning they posted an announcement in Polish and German (German first) calling on people to remain calm when the German troops march in.
Signed: The Citizens' Committee of the City of Lodz.
We pass some fallows and paddock, a big gaping hole from a bomb amongst the fields. We lie in the woods for a long time again, in a beautiful grove, in the ditches of the old war. Bogusław, as if he felt the separation, does not leave my side. We look at the sky again.
Chaos continues. The post is no longer functioning. In Sulejówek, the post office is closed. The post-commander Ms. Drożdżowa is afraid of being held responsible for not having carried out her postal duties. Zosia reassured her, promising she would be fully protected from responsibility for not having sorted the mail. The gendarmes from the Marshal's villa departed at the command of their superiors. The railway station is closed. The power plant also.
Apparently, the Germans intend to create a Polish government right after the capture of Warsaw, and, through Mussolini, propose peace to England and France, and in the case of a refusal, strike with their full might with the help of the Italians and even the Russians. This last point seems highly doubtful to me.
A persistent rumour claimed 9th of September to be a day for Hitler. No one knew why. Civilians were telling this to soldiers, soldiers relayed it to civilians. This rumour was travelling from mouth to mouth, pervaded the air. In the end everyone was asking the same: "What's going to happen with Hitler today?" I myself was sure something was bound to happen.
Change of personnel at the Ministry – Deladier at Foreign Affairs with Champetier de Ribes, Pernot at Blockade Ministry at Armament Ministry. I write to Maupeou to suggest to Archduke Otto to adopt a clear attitude.
Thérèse Neumann, the stigmatic of Konnersreuth, is dead.
This death almost coincides with the opening of hostilities by Germany. Thus, according to Josephus at the time of the Siege of Jerusalem, those great voices in the Temple were heard to exclaim, "Let us leave this place!"
The defense of Warsaw has been turned over to the Polish General Czuma and he is entrenching himself in the city. And where will we be? In the cellars! When I think of this war I shudder. Our sacrifices will reach into the tens of thousands. Warsaw will be turned into a second Madrid.
Relative peace in Łuck. The city is full of cars and people. There is a noticeable lack of food and alcohol products.
Villani reports that the Germans have asked for the free use of the railroad at Kaya to attack Poland from the rear. The request, without threats at this time, was made today by Ribbentrop over the telephone. Czaky informs us at four o'clock that the first German troops will be despatched tomorrow at twelve. The Hungarians do not wish to yield to the demand. They are aware that this is a prelude to an actual occupation of the country. And they are right.