August 3, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: August 3 - Polish Prime Minister meets with Stalin

Polish Soldiers with home-made mortars
Polish insurgents launched a fierce offensive against German lines and have captured the City Centre and several other districts located on the left bank of the Vistula River. Despite these early victories the AK has not been able to capture the bridges and airports. In City Centre, the Second Lieutenant “Zdunin” captured Pocztowy Station on Zelazna Street and Blank Palace as well as Mostowski Palace.  As a result Teatralny Square has become the line of southern defense of Old Town sector. Meanwhile, the district of Wola was bombed today. Fighting in Ochota proves to be too powerful – only a few AK units have decided to remain and have taken positions in several buildings. German forces succeeded in surrounding and destroying one Soviet armoured Corps, in East of Warsaw today. The Soviet 3rd armoured corps had to withdraw to avoid encirclement.

In Ochota, Srodmiescie and Wola German forces are using Polish civilians as “living shields” to protect cover their tanks against insurgent fire. Houses in Wola, Mokotow and Ochota have been set on fire and civilians slaughtered. 

Despite the horrible onslaught, the insurgents strike back. In Srodmiescie, the Poles succeeded in capturing strategically important areas: the Postal Railway Station and Aleje Jerozolimskie (near Zelazna Street), the Dom Turystyczny hostel on Starynkiewicz Square and the German police station "Nordwache" at the juncture of Chlodna and Zelazna Streets. In southern Srodmiescie, the Poles also captured a considerable part of the Institute of Technology. Polish positions in the southern part Mokotow are strengthened. Polish fighting in Praga however has stopped due in insurmountable German fire power. The Commander of the Praga District Lt. Co. Antoni Zurawski "Bober" has redeployed his troops to underground work.

Germans strike hard from Poniatowski Bridge towards the Main Railway Station. By evening the Luftwaffe launch the first bombing raids of Warsaw beginning with Wola.

PKWN Manifesto of July 22, 1944
At 9:30 pm this evening, Polish Prime Minister Stanislaw Mikolajczyk met with Marshal Stalin in an effort to make arrangements for Mikolajczyk to travel to Warsaw and begin preparations for the establishment of a new Polish government there. Mikolajczyk added that he expected Warsaw to be free very soon to which Stalin replied, “Pray God!”   But the Soviet leader refused his request on the grounds that the Soviet Union has broken off diplomatic relations with Poland and does not recognize the legitimacy of the Polish Government in Exile. Furthermore Stalin explained that the Soviet government is already assisting the Polish Committee of National Liberation, or PKWN (also known as the Lublin Committee) with which diplomatic relations have already been established. The Lublin Committee was officially proclaimed in July 21, 1944 under the direction of the Soviet State National Council. On July 22, the Committee published a Manifesto announcing radical governmental reforms, the Soviet commitment to fight against Nazi Germany, nationalization of industries, and rejection of the Polish Government in Exile in London.

Stalin also met with the War Council to discuss among other things the future of Poland. He adamantly declared that "We Bolsheviks’ have from the first day of the Great Patriotic War seen the historic liberation mission of the Red Army. Now the moment has come to liberate the peoples of Europe from fascist enslavement. It is our internationalist duty to help the Polish people in the rebirth of a strong, independent, democratic Poland....I repeat, no other power should be recognized except the Polish Committee of National Liberation!"

(1/5) Timewatch Battle for Warsaw World War II (00:10:00m)

Jewish Fighers during Warsaw Ghetto Uprising 1943
  The leader of the Jewish Fighter’s Organization, Isaac Cukierman (pseudonym Antek) issued a proclamation today urging Polish Jews to join the ranks of the AK soldiers. He stated that “ We summon all surviving fighters of the ZOB (Jewish Fighter’s Organization) and all able-bodied Jewish young people to continue their resistance and fight; nobody should be allowed to stand aside. Join the ranks of insurgents! Through battle to victory, to a free, independent, strong, and just Poland!” His rallying cry was heard as about 1,000 Jews have enlisted in either the AK or the ZOB. The number may indeed be much higher as many Jews have been using false names and documents to evade German persecution. They were not only Polish Jews, but Jews from other parts of Europe who were arrested and deported to prison camps in Poland. Many of them were liberated by Polish insurgents. Despite the distrust between some of the Poles and Jews, the Jewish fighters are determined to arms themselves and fight the Nazi Germans. After two days of anxious waiting, the pilots of Polish Squadron No. 1586 are still unable to fly to Warsaw due to weather constraints. Their four planes have been dispatched to other missions over Italy.Originally they were called the 301 Squadron "Land of Pomerania" but have since adopted the name of "Defenders of Warsaw". They have participated extensively in bombing raids over France and Germany. Polish HQ decided to disband the squadron on April 7, 1943 due to lack of manpower. 
Polish airmen in front of Handley Halifax Plane (year unknown)
The remaining crews were attached to RAF Tempsford No.138 RAF Squadron flying Handley Halifax planes.   Amidst the fighting, Cadet Jozef Szczepanski “Ziutek” of the “Parasol” battalion wrote lyrics for the song “Pałacyk Michla”  which gained instant popularity and has spread quickly throughout besieged Warsaw. Ziutek was a member of the squad that attempted to assassinate Nazi official, Wilhelm Koppe. Szczepanski was a poet and a soldier of the 1st Platoon of the 1st Company Agat of the Batalion Parasol. On December 31, 1943 he publicly recited his first poem Dzis ide walczyc - mamo (Today, I am going fighting, Mother), in a house on 12 Swietojanska street in Warsaw. Shortly afterwards he became a bard of Parasol. During the Warsaw Uprising he was a squad leader in the Parasol Batalion (mostly composed of youths. Many of them joined from Szare Szeregi the underground scouting group). He took command of the entire unit after its previous commander was killed.    Pałacyk Michla - Chór Studentów Akademii Muzycznej im. Fryderyka Chopina w Warszawie (00:03:17M)     

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