September 30, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: September 30 ZOLIBORZ SURRENDERS!

At dawn today, without preliminary artillery fire, German troops made a surprise attack on Polish positions located in Zoliborz, and have seized the "Zgoda", a large housing cooperative situated on Slowackiego Street. The attacks were followed by another barrage of strong artillery fire against Gdanska Street and Wilsona Square. Amid the maelstorm insurgents managed to establish contact with members of the 1st Army of the Polish Armed Forces.  By midday fierce battles ensued for control of individual houses along the lower part of Mickiewicza and Krasinskiego Streets.

Meanwhile several Polish troops were scheduled to evacuate to the right bank of the Vistula in the afternoon and had begun their retreat upon the orders of their commander, Lt. Col. Mieczyslaw Niedzielski "Zywiciel". However bad weather has made it impossible for them to make the crossing. Some Polish troops attempted to force their way through but were stopped.

Col. "Wachnowski"
Amid the fighting negotations have been underway since early this morning for a cease-fire and the evacuation of civilians. Upon the orders of General Komorowski "Bor",  Col. Karol Ziemski “Wachnowski” and Lt. Jerzy Kaminski “Scibor” have been appointed to negotiate with General Erich von dem Bach, and General Kaellner, the commander of the 19th armored division regarding the cessation of operations in Zoliborz.

At 5:00 p.m. Col. “Wachnowski” relayed the terms of capitulation to Lt. Col. “Zywiciel” and at around 6 p.m. the district of Zoliborz surrendered. For the next five hours members of the Armia Krajowa (Home Army) troops have laid down their weapons, and marched to Pionier Park in Powazki under German escort.

Polish emissaries have been negotiating with General Bach in his headquarters in Ozarow for the past couple of days concerning the terms of capitulation and the issue of evacuation of civilians from Srodmiescie. The Polish delegation was able to obtain consent for a cease-fire between 5:00 am and 7:00 pm on October 1st and 2nd during which over 200,000 Polish civilians will be evacuated. The Germans have established five specific points as the evacuation routes - at the western entries of Grzybowska, Panska, Piusa and Sniadeckich Streets at the Institute of Technology, and also in Aleje Jerozolimskie Street.

Since the Uprising began, General von dem Bach Zelewski had approached the Poles on three occasions with surrender proposals, terms which included guarantees and assurances of formal status of combattant rights to the insurgents. Despite the agreement, about 150 insurgents were shot today when they emerged from the sewers. They had been travelling underneath Warsaw and as fate would have it mistakenly merged in the district of Mokotow Sector, which is now in German hands.

Eric von dem Bach
Throughout the Uprising, hundreds of thousands of Poles have been killed, many of them civilians. Upon Himmlers orders, General Geibel had carried out mass murder of countless men, women and children. German soldiers of the Kampfgruppe Reinefarth would routinely surround houses, blocks and streets with the objective of killing as many people as possible. They shot through windows, entrances to houses, and threw grenades. Nobody was spared, all the young, the old, the sick and wounded were massacred on the spot. Houses were set on fire and people were burned alive in their own homes. Gasoline was poured on piles of corpses in the streets and set on fire. In one area, 18 women, all of whom were nurses, were taken and shot. One woman who had just given birth to her child was raped by 8 SS men. She died from the brutal trauma.

Polish Intelligentsia Rounded Up and  Blindfolded by Nazis before Execution 1940
Photo taken secretly by Polish Underground (in Palmiry)
Insurgents Executed - Warsaw Uprising

German soldiers conducted mass execution of Polish hostages in Palmiry in retaliation for an attack on a Nazi police station by the underground organization "White Eagle"
Today, SS Senior Colonel Dirlewanger was awarded the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross for his action against Warsaw, in particular for horrendous massacre of Poles in the districts of Wola and Ochota on August 4th. In the span of a few days the infamous SS Dirlewanger troops and SS RONA brigade slaughtered from 40,000 to 100,000 civilians and POWs, many of them women and children. Although German Command publicly disapproved of the barbaric methods used by Dirlewanger and his troops, he was nevertheless awarded with the highest of honours.  German Command also bestowed honours  to SS Heinz Reinefarth who received oak leaves to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Reinfarth participated in the Wola Massacres and has been responsible for many other atrocities recently committed in the districts of Powisle and Czerniakow including the murder of POWs and wounded insurgents in hospital.

General "Bor"
At the end of September General Bor sent this message simultaneously to the Polish Prime Minister and the Commander in Chief in London,  “The food situation for the army and civilian population is catastrophic. For some time we have not been eating enough, and within a few days the rest of the stock will be exhausted. We are facing famine, complete exhaustion, and epidemic. Mortality among the children is still on the upswing, case of death from starvation are occurring among adults. The Uprising will collapse for lack of food...”

Despite appeals for assistance, and the frequency of urgent radio message, there was no action taken by Britain or United States.  Throughout the Uprising, there have been over 6,600 messages either received or transmitted. It amounts to 104 messages per day. Most of the demands have been for allied air assistance. However, sources indicate that a second relief flight coded Operation Frantic 8 is being planned by the Americans. Clearance was received just today from the Russian authorities, and cargo is in its last stages of preparation. The flight is scheduled for October.

General Bor, as the commander of the Armia Krajowa has fought tirelessly to defend Warsaw and Poland from the German onslaught, but with the battle now having been lost, the next most grave concern is the future of Poland's independence and sovereignty. It will be a fight to the very last hour.  Bor also stated his message that  “The fighting insurgents and the community expect concrete decisions; not only assistance for Warsaw, but also a clear statement on ways of recovering Poland’s independent existence and sovereignty threatened by the aggressive policy of the Soviet Union...” There has been no comment by either American or British officials.

The BBC in London has reported that Gen. Kazimierz Sosnkowski has resigned, and that the Polish President Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz has appointed General Tadeusz Komorowski “Bor” Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces.

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