Dr. Goebbels convoked a special press conference this morning. We piled over to the Propaganda Ministry thinking maybe peace had come, or something. The little Doktor stalked in, snorting like a bull, and proceeded to devote his entire time to an attack on Knickerbocker, whom he called "an international liar and counterfeiter." The Doc said that he himself, as a journalist, had never defamed anyone in his life!
Seems Knick published a story saying the top Nazis had deposited gold abroad to guard against a rainy day in case they lost the war. This made Doktor G . furious . He revealed he had broadcast from the German shortwave stations Thursday night (September 21) a call to Knick offering him ten per cent of any sum he could prove the Nazis had salted abroad. A curious offer. He said he gave him until . Saturday night (last night) to prove it. Apparently Knick was at sea, bound for New York. The story around here is that Knick radioed back that as with all German ultimatums the time limit had expired before he received it .
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.
We left Gdańsk that we’ve known for a long time: in more joyful circumstancesб we often frequented the way to Gdynia. On all streets of the Free City, you can see mottoes: "Welcome to Sopot, our leader," "Gdańsk is free thanks to you, our Führer", "Command, Führer, we will follow you". Gdańsk WAS free, this sentence is closer to the truth. All this is caused by the gag reflex. I had the feeling of driving through the cult site of a fanatical, blind idolatry sect.
Bombardments all night. There is no gas, water, electricity, bread. A horrible day. Four incendiary bombs and shrapnel were dropped on the house where we live. Jaś put them out with sand. Then bombs from bomber aircrafts. Then fires from all sides. All the glass from the windows shattered. The family moved to Wilcza Street in the evening. I’m spending the night on Wspólna Street.
The streets of Lodz feel eerie. Although richly decorated with Nazi flags, they are gray and sad.
An official price list for food products has been announced, but profiteering remains rampant. People voluntarily offer more money just to get the goods, so they won't have to chase around begging for necessities. A person has to wait in line for bread for five or six hours, only to go away empty-handed 50 percent of the time. They are still seizing people for forced labor. Nothing seems to go well.
Almost four weeks have elapsed since the war began.
I have struggled with periostitis in my ankle for almost 1 1/2 months, hobbled on September 1 only to the Reichstag and in the evening to the Führer, then stayed home until a short time ago. So I have been on the sidelines of the immediate events—and would not have been enlisted in them even if things had been different, because today the Führer's sphere in decisive measure is constituted of men different from those of the Kampfzeit. Nonetheless, I have been kept steadily informed, have spoken with many, and have been able to reflect more deliberately about my sentiments and those of others. Thus some things may be recorded here so that I can read them in the light of future times with a nod or with amazement, as a reflection of decisive days in German history.
Apparently, Hitler was in Minsk. Warsaw is fighting. Tonight, fewer shots. The Germans say that they will leave Warsaw and the Soviet army will come in their place. They even advised us to escape to the left bank of the river. What for? To take refuge from the barbarians? Which ones are the barbarians? History will tell.
The fact is that the Duce is in favor of peace only, because the position of a neutral is not at all to his liking. In the last few days he has repeated that a great nation cannot remain eternally in such a position without losing face, and that someday it should prepare to intervene. I cannot contradict him, because that would make matters worse.
The Soviet Union needs to expand its security system, for which it needs access to the Baltic Sea. If Estonia does not wish to sign an agreement of mutual assistance with us, we will have to resort to other ways to guarantee our security.
Estonia will preserve its independence, its government, parliament, foreign and domestic policy, army, and economic structure.
I spent the day in Deauville. A calm, beautiful day. The beach is empty. Only a few young boys and girls are walking around. Long walks with my daughters, especially Anka, who does not want to leave my side.
The troops retire gradually to the other side of the Line. The munition dumps are broken up.
We have little to do so Viry has introduced Sunday amusements for our men: concerts in a barn, football, horse-racing (using our clumsy farm animals), hunting the rose. In this last game a cluster of ribbons is tied to a rider's shoulder; the rider twists and turns about times without number in order to escape, the man who seizes his flower must fix it to his own shoulder and in turn be chased. Reward to the winners; a bottle of wine, naturally.
Letter to Strauss [II Army Corps], who is to direct the attack on Modlin. In it I described the state of the field forces in front of Praga, the inadequate concentration of effect of the heavy artillery firing on Warsaw, and gave suggestions for the conduct of the attack and the employment of the artillery.
After weeks of driving and fighting, the panzer divisions and their tanks are worn out and require a thorough overhaul and rest. In a conversation with Halder, I described to him my impression of our infantry, but pointed out that the constant forest fighting had played on the nerves of my troops and that my assessment might not apply generally.
Now 60 Russians are to be let out of Warsaw. I am curious to see what happens tomorrow!