We flew to Moscow to resolve issues arising from the Soviet entry into Poland. We received a friendly, almost cordial welcome from Stalin and Molotov.
All hell breaks loose over Mokotow. Bombs go off so often that we cannot tell one explosion from another. It is one continuous, prolonged sound. First, we see a piece of soil or a part of the wall flying high into the air, then there is a bang, and, finally, we see fragments of buildings and brick plaster fall down.
There was a terrible raid at night. Dozens of dead and wounded.
The afternoon is quiet. People are getting more optimistic. Something has happened. There are many rumors. Starzyński issued a proclamation.
Radio reported that if Warsaw doesn’t surrender, it will be destroyed.
It is very sad. Women are crying. A very bad night.
Soviet troops have occupied areas beyond the Bug and San. German troops are retreating. However, rumor has it that the line of occupation will run along the border of the Kingdom of Poland.
The Soviet delegation arrived. Crowds of people were watching their tanks and cars. The Germans broke up the crowd. People in Lublin said that these delegates bought various goods, especially watches, and paid rather well.
Kawałkowski and Dąbrowski arrived to inform us about the best possible way to proclaim General Sikorski Commander of the Polish Armed Forces. Dąbrowski drafted an explanatory note showing that - due to the lack of active command of the army, and following the custom of the Polish army, General Sikorski, as the person holding the highest rank in the Polish army in France, has the right to assume command without any additional formalities.
I went to the Jewish Community at Zeughausstrasse 3. The house is adjacent to the empty square on which the destroyed synagogue stood. It was no pleasant errand for me: I am Protestant, my sister is Jewish. And it was an errand in vain, as I had foreseen: There is a ban on Jews moving to the city and district of Dresden.
To the extent that there is nothing more of interest to be reported on Poland, the newspaper is drained of content. Polemics against English lies. Confirmation from a newspaper in Manila or somewhere that Germany is invincible, that a continuation of war is pointless.—Meanwhile ration cards, blackout, imprisonment. Impossible to tell when and how it will end.
I went to the State Opera tonight before my broadcast, George Kidd of U .P. suggesting it would be good for our nerves. It was the opening night of the season and the piece an old favourite, Weber's Freischiitz. I was a little surprised at the state of my nerves. I could not sit through it. I could not stand the sight of all the satisfied burghers, men and women, many of them in evening dress, and even the music didn't sound right. Amusing only was a special sheet of paper in the program instructing what to do in case of an air-raid alarm. Since there is no cellar in the Opera, a map showed me how to get to my cellar, which was Number One Keller. The alarm, the instructions said, would be announced from the stage. I was then to keep calm, call for my hat and coat at the Garderobe, and proceed to the cellar. At the all-clear I was to return to the Opera, check my hat and coat, and the opera would go on from where it left off. There was no alarm. Ribbentrop is in Moscow and we wonder what he's up to.
Command announced that, in light of the current international situation, the Soviet government is in talks with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in order to sign agreements on mutual assistance. To avoid any potential complications, the government has made the decision to concentrate Soviet troops on the borders. My mood worsened immediately. It’s clear now that there might be war.
The representative of the defenders of Warsaw, the Polish General Rommel, arrived today at Headquarters, I Corps [Petzel] - thus once again with 3rd Army - to offer the unconditional surrender of the city. All firing ceased; leaflets were dropped urging Modlin to surrender. See more
Drove to 1st [Kortzfleisch] and 12th [Leyen] Divisions. Troops I met on the way gave a very fresh impression; the horses, too, look quite good after four weeks of a war of movement. General von Kortzfleisch has a very favorable opinion of the field forces! Very encouraging, for Kortzfleisch is dependable and knows what's going on. He strongly underlined the view that speed and boldness of action are vital in a war of movement. There can be no stopping while on the attack! He has a high opinion of heavy infantry weapons; especially the MG 34 machine-gun. His 1st Division's attack against a fortified field position (four enemy batteries, individual bunkers) proceeded as if on the training grounds. Two kilometers in three hours with the entire division! Regimental and battalion command should be better. To this end Kortzfleisch asked for more unit exercises in peacetime, similar to the situation before the World War. Quite correct!
Something has changed on the front near Warsaw, if the news about organizing the Allied army on Hel is true. Yesterday the Germans left Sulejówek, Żurawka, Okuniew, leaving very little manpower. Not sure whether it's a regrouping of troops or a defeat, or besieging and taking Warsaw by hunger. Guns are barely shooting. On the other hand, German troops are driving out Germans settled in this area to Prussia. They ask them to load the most valuable things, take livestock and head to carts.
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.
Berlin gives us absolutely no information. It is from the press agencies that we find out that von Ribbentrop has left for Moscow. But the scope of his trip is entirely unknown to us. Alleging that he has very little time at his disposal, von Ribbentrop refused to receive Attolico. This is bad....