August 24, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: August 24 - Roosevelt Turns His Back On Poland

Child Praying at Grave
The Old Town Sector of Warsaw has been the target of numerous German attacks especially around the barricades of its southern perimeter. Insurgents are battling the Germans ferociously and have managed to dislodge them from Radziwillow Palace on Bielanska Street. In City Centre, the grouping Belt has succeded in recapturing the area between Marszalkowska and Poznanska Streets.  However the Germans managed to seize a part of the ruins of Jan Bozy Hospital.

The Germans have seized a part of the ruined buildings of Jan Bozy Hospital on Bonifraterska Street, a school on Rybaki Street, and an apartment house on the premises of the State Securities Plant. After heavy fighting, the insurgents succeeded in keeping control of the ruins of the Simonsa passage on Dluga Street. They have set up defensive positionts in the ruins at 27/29 Dluga Street, calling it the “Heavenly Mother’s Redoubt”. Polish units are defending the Old Town and are fighting back enemy attacks from the south while retaining outposts on Miodowa, Podwale and Piwna Streets. Polish forces from the east maintain control of Brzozowa Street.

In Srodmiescie German forces have launched methodical attacks on insurgent outposts on Kredytowa, Krolewska, Towarowa, Chmielna and Zelazna Streets. Insurgents on Krucza, Wspolna, Hoza, Wilcza and Koszykowa Streets are under constant heavy enemy fire. The Germans have attempted to take over some houses on Króoewska Street near the Saski Gardens and on Grzybowska Street and have launched fierce attacks at the Railway Hostel and the Postal Railway Station, as well as insurgent positions along Towarowa Street. Meanwhile in southern Srodmiescie, after a fierce struggle, insurgent troops managed to seize a German outpost on Zulinskiego Street and take over the quarter between Poznanska, Żulinskiego, Marszalkowska and Nowogrodzka Streets.

AK Machine Gunner

Polish Sniper

The AK has issued another radio broadcast pleading for help from Warsaw citizens for infants and children who are hit the hardest in the Uprising. The battles have taken a heaavy toll on the morale on Varsavians,– constant bombardment from German bombers and artillery fire, overwhelming casualties, the wounded,  dwindling food and water supplies. The devastation to the city and its people is unimaginable. The citizens of Warsaw are desperately struggling to survive and are beginning to blame the AK for their misery.

Polish children orphans

Wounded Polish Insurgents in Hospital (location unknown)
Throughout the German occupation, the residents of Warsaw have turned to their faith. Polish tradition adheres strongly to the Roman Catholic Church, and identifies it with the freedom and independence of their homeland. Holy Mary is deeply revered as the “Queen of Poland”. Everywhere there are pictures of Holy Mary and Jesus Christ. Churches are full of worshipers, and where churches no longer exist, Mass is celebrated in its ruins. There are also makeshift altars in bombed out apartment buildings where people gather to pray together in the evening. Throughout the Uprising, Holy Mass has had a special meaning to the Poles. It has drawn the community together and strengthened their faith, hope and the search for inner strength to overcome the enormity of human suffering in this place that the world forgot.

WARSZAWA 1944 - Poległym Niepokonanym w hołdzie (00:05:18m)



President Roosevelt sent a radio message to Churchill today stating that there is nothing that he or Churchill could do to convince the Soviet government to allow Allied planes access to Soviet airfields in order to conduct airdrops to Poland. By all intents and purposes, America has given up on Poland. He stated “I do not see that we can take any additional steps at the present time that promise results....Stalin’s reply...to our joint message...is far from encouraging to our wishes to assist.”  

The following video is a partial segment of President Roosevelts speech recorded 1938. FDR Pleads For Democracy, Fireside Chat #12 1938/04/20 (00:01:23m)
 


A unique radio message was transmitted to the Polish Government in Exile in London from Warsaw “Lightning” Station, in which a poem was recited, and one that had become widely known during the Uprising. Here is a translation:

 
Why do you sing a mourning chorale in London,
While here we have long awaited a time to rejoice?
At the sides of their lovers, girls are fighting here,
And small children join them, and their blood flows proudly.
Hello....Here is the heart of Poland!...Hear Warsaw speaking!
Throw the dirges out of your broadcasts;
Our spirit is so strong it will support even you!
We don`t need your applause!
We demand ammunition!!! 

Churchill and Stalin


Warsaws secret radio station "Lightning" has been broadcasting since the early days of the Uprising.  Here is a special segment of yesterdays report. (in English)  To listen, please click on the following link. The audio is often inaudible due to static, morse code, and gun shots in the background but parts of the message can still be heard clearly. 

 "This is Warsaw Calling. This is Warsaw Calling. This is Warsaw Calling All the Free Nations...."   The voice of the announcer is that of Lt. John Ward broadcasting messages from the secret AK radio station, Blystawicka. He is the only British soldier who is a member of the Armia Krajowa. He has been dispatching messages to London since the first week of the Uprising demanding allied assistance and reporting on the details of daily events.

 
To hear "Lightning" broadcast in Polish please click here
Amid great fanfare, Polish underground radio broadcast an ecstatic and joyful message to the French Resistance (FFI - Forces francaises de l'interieur) for their great victory against German occupaton. The Uprising began just five days ago on August 19, 1944 by the French Resistance, quickly followed by military backup from the Free French Army of Liberation and the U.S. 4th Infantry Division. The French Resistance has put up a formidable fight attacking and have captured enemy fuel trucks, destroyed road signs, sabotaged German vehicles, cut communication lines, bombed gasoline depots, attacked isolated pockets of Germans, and liberated a Nazi prison (on the outskirts of Paris). By the end of the Uprising the FFI had control of most of Paris while German units held most of the main monuments and strong points. Skirmishes reached its peak two days ago when some German units tried to leave their strongposts. 

 
FFI uprising on 19 August, one insurgent wearing an Adrian helmet
Yesterday at 09:00 hours Choltitz ordered that the Grand Palais, an FFI stronghold be burned to the ground and German tanks launched a barrage of fire against the barricades. Hitler had given an order to inflict the maximum amount of damage on the city. In this battle lasting mere days, about 1,000 French Resistance fighters were killed and another 1,500 wounded This morning huge crowds of Parisians are in the streets in joyous celebration and are welcoming the 2nd French Armoured Division which had swept the western area of Paris including the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysee. The Americans cleared the eastern part.  Warsaw citizens are elated of the news of Paris' liberation; their spirits are lifted that at any moment their much needed help will arrive.  They continue to fight with renewed strength.

 
LIBERATION OF PARIS

To hear "Lightning" broadcast
addressed to just-liberated France (in French)
please click on the following link:

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