The partial mobilisation carried out so far by the Soviets has disturbed the economic and transport apparatus and caused some panic among the population. It seems to be the starting point for a larger political game on the part of the Soviets. According to neutral sources, the mobilisation caused surprise and disorientation at the German embassy. The English ambassador was instructed to investigate the possibility of delivering aircraft and machine guns to us through a Czech MP. The ambassador is skeptical about the possibility and will inform me of the result.
We are finally walking forward, but slowly, because Zarębski is "in pain" due to his heavy luggage. In exchange for his suitcase, he tries to get a backpack. Just after Wojsławice, he finally succeeds. He exchanges the suitcase for a backpack from a local boy scout. We are waiting with Eichhorn for him to repack in a roadside cottage and we eat sour milk with potatoes. Some villager from the neighbouring hut describes the war situation, saying that things will be bad for us if the president does not ask Stalin for help. Zarębski comes around and we move forward. We reach Huta. It's hot. We rest a bit in the shade of the trees. We continue to walk onwards. Zarębski buys some great sausage in a village shop. We walk further through Turowiec. We rest in the woods again. We walk. At the end of Turowiec, we have a chat with local villagers who show us a cross-country path towards Białopol. Finally, we pass, by crossing it, the road from Hrubieszów to Chełm and we reach Białopol at dusk.
On Wednesday/Thursday night, at one o'clock Dr. Krysiak receives an alarming phone call from the city commander: "The hospital remains an international institution, do not move the sick, individual and free evacuation." The steward claims that immediately afterward he was ordered by the commandant to evacuate the hospital.
In the afternoon Szczebrzeszyn was heavily shelled. In the evening the Germans arrived.
Sleeping in the car in the open air made me wake early. It was a clear morning, already light.
Suddenly, ahead of me, I saw a column of dust. ‘Part of the retreating Polish forces?’ I wondered. I watched until I could see the men marching, with a precision, it seemed to me, that one had not often noticed in the Poles. Then I caught in my breath, with a hollow feeling under my heart. I was sitting looking at a detachment of the German Army. For a moment I was so scared that, instead of turning the car, I shut off the engine and sat there, while the green uniforms got nearer. Then I shook myself, started up, and drove madly across the fields.
The enemy mercilessly poured his wrath on the Jewish quarter with incendiary bombs. We too experienced such a bomb at 22 Nowolipki Street, opposite where we are. The effect is like an earthquake. But worst of all is the chaos which follows among the victims. No one knows where he is running. Each one runs to a place that has already been abandoned by another as unsafe. Carrying babies and bundles, distracted and terrified people desperately look for a haven. Tens of thousands of broken refugees find themselves lost in a strange city. These people fill every courtyard and every stairway, and during the turmoil of the fires there are none more miserable. Afterward you hear details that curdle the blood. Hundreds of families are left with nothing their wealth has been burned, their apartments destroyed, their possessions lost.
How has Warsaw, the royal, beautiful, and beloved city become desolate!
Man, wife + baby. Refugees from Lodz. They had nothing but a car and four handbags. Yet he could get gas because he was one of the civilian defenders of Lwow against the Russians. “Brave then, and brave again now”, he said. “But”, with a look at his wife and baby, then overhead at the bombers, “what can I do against them?” pointing to sky. Yes, what could whole city do against “them”? The second largest city in Poland, totally defenceless against plane attack! Perhaps they did have anti-aircraft guns.. If so, even more disgraceful for not having any ammunition.
During the conversation Lord Halifax asked a few questions that showed his concern about the further development of the situation.
1) What is the likelihood of further resistance on our part after the Germans take Warsaw and what impact would this have; through what roads can war convoys reach Poland?
2) Are there possibilities of receiving supplies from Russia, and if so, on what scale?
3) Do we have reasons to believe that the Russian mobilisation is directed against us, are there concerns on our end about the Russian position? See more
4) Does the Ambassador imagine that Germany could propose peace to Poland, and potentially - at what moment could they do it? How would this kind of offer be received by us?
In connection with the last question, the Ambassador replied that he did not believe it possible - if peace was proposed - that Poland would accept; for there would be no social class or political faction that could undertake negotiations or sign the imposed conditions. The whole nation is too united in patriotism for it to be possible.
All of Warsaw peaceful. There was no raid. Many residents of Warsaw were surprised, but the reason is simple - bad weather. In Poland, basically everyone complains about the weather, everyone complains about the climate. It is said that for six months it is cold and for six months it is winter. Well, just as we have always wished for nice weather, now since September 1, Poles have wished for bad weather like never before. Bad weather, and especially rain, which can seriously affect operations.
The local press reports news, allegedly from Berlin, about an uprising in Eastern Małopolska and unrest among Belarusians seeking to create an independent republic. I attach some importance to this information because it was disseminated to reservists in Moscow a few days ago.
I am going to reconnoitre some positions where we shall be able to put the men, horses and reserve vehicles under cover, at four to five hundred yard intervals, when the shelling begins. I must also be prepared for a check to our attack and a successful German counter-attack; for to be more than half a mile ahead of the Maginot Line is like being caught in a mouse trap—it is impossible to cross over the Line through the fields because of the barbed wire and the anti-tank traps. One is forced to keep to the roads which alone are clear. But the roads are narrow, they will be terribly shelled, littered up with wounded men, and with troops going up or returning. So I look out for ditches, hollows and folds of the ground near the Maginot Line where I can camouflage my company while awaiting a free passage along a road.
"Pravda" publishes an introductory article on the causes of Poland's military defeat, which it ties not only to the advantage of German technology and the lack of effective assistance from Western countries, but to errors of Polish minority policy. Minorities in Poland are deprived of all rights, treated as colonies and therefore there is no internal consolidation in Poland, without which there is no military strength. The article looks like it lays the groundwork for a potential decision. Tass issued an official announcement about the violation of the Soviet border on 12th inst. Four of our aircraft landed on Soviet territory".
I have not seen the war, which seems impossible to grasp, but I have seen the world of the war. It’s simply the militarized world. The meaning of things has changed. An inn is still there, it’s still decked out and welcoming, but its welcome is empty; in other words this possibility self-destructs and becomes absurd. An inn welcomes people in exchange for moneyand evokes a bourgeois freedom, the freedom of money. But the world of war is a world without money and without freedom. See more
This inn has been requisitioned by the Administration. Soldiers are staying in it, they don’t pay and they don’t stay there freely. For anyone who reads the word ‘Commissariat’ written on its front door, the inn evokes a new meaning: that of gratuitous compulsion. At the same time it has become a pure implement—in other words, whatever former luxury the object possessed, it has now been made to serve solely as a necessity. The pretty room designed to charm the traveller is simply a den for the soldiers occupying it. They sleep there, but on straw. The bed is removed or not touched. And so, long before a bomb destroys the man-made object, the human meaning of the object is already destroyed. In wartime we wander through an implement-world. Exactly as in the barracks. It’s just that, since the pretty charms of things remain, the result is at each moment a kind of evanescent appeal of a world that has disappeared, a continual illusion.
We stop in a Jewish house belonging to a certain Uszer. They welcome us in a very hospitable manner. They prepare tea from our supplies, provide milk, bread and eggs. We order milk for the next day, Eichhorn buys a kilogram of honey from the youngest Uszer girl and hands her a silver powder-box as a souvenir. We go to sleep in the barn, happy to have had a warm dinner for the first time in several days. Our sleep was slightly disturbed by a pram left on the straw, but in the end, the night was bearable. We were only worried about the – rather close – gunshots.
I have answered Halifax, ending my letter with an allusion to possible action by the Duce to re-establish peace.
Magistrati has had a very important conference with Goering, who seems to have been persuaded of the advisability of Italy's remaining neutral. Such a position will help Germany more than our eventual entrance into the conflict. One surprising thing-Goering gave a hint of the impending intervention of Russia, which is to absorb a part of Poland. In fact, Russia is showing signs of restlessness. It is mobilizing numerous classes and the Zars prints news of Polish boundary raids and provocations. How unimaginative people are when they intend to quarrel.
I have never seen a bigger mess in my life than in the headquarters of the Civil Guard in Warsaw. I asked about the possibility of meeting with the commander or his deputy, Mr. Gebethner, but no one knew where they were at the moment, and besides, everyone from the doorman up was amazed that someone wanted to do something. This place was rather the impression of a club of lost gentlemen. And I was enraged to hear that these gentlemen organized the bread delivery exclusively for their own use.
The Germans cross the Vistula near Sandomierz. The battle of Kutno continues. Germans surround Warsaw from the east and begin encircling from the north-west. They conquer Osowiec - a border fortress and bomb Warsaw and the retreating Polish troops. Radio Warsaw I and "Raszyn" fell silent. We have no news.