October 1, 2011

Warsaw Uprising 1944: October 1 Thousand of Civilians Evacuate Warsaw

A truce was in effect today from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm in accordance with the agreement reached yesterday between members of the Polish Delegation and German Command. Thousands of Polish civilians were evacuated along designated exits.  Sources indicate that many insurgents have disguised themselves as civilians in a desperate effort to evade capture. They have managed to blend in during the evacuation and are planning to return to underground units to continue the fight against the Germans. After the end of today's truce, the Germans resumed bombing the Srodmiescie district with increased ferocity. Another truce will be in effect tomorrow for continued evacuation of civilians.

German Rocket Launchers Fire Upon Warsaw September 1944

The situation is hopeless. After the collapse of Mokotow and Zoliborz districts the grim reality is setting in that the allies are not going to provide any realistic assistance whatsoever. Polish Home Command and the Delegates of the Polish Government have decided to continue the capitulation talks. General Tadeusz Komorowski "Bor" had appointed a delegation to conduct negotiations comprising of  Col. Kazimierz Iranek-Osmcki "Heller", Lt. Col. Zygmunt Dobrowolski "Zyndram", Lt. Col. Franciszek Herman "Boguslawski", and their interpreter, Captain Alfred Korczynski "Sas".  During the night the Polish delegation, in consultation with General Antoni Chrusciel "Monter" drafted an agreement on cessation of hostilities in Warsaw that is to serve as the basis for negotiations with the Germans.

General von dem Bach
Major Kazimierz Szternal
Negotiations are extremely tense. At one point a tough Polish combat officer, AK Major Kazimierz Szternal confronted the General von dem Bach, the German Commander of Warsaw and said, “You, the nation which gave Goethe and Schiller to the world, have tried through terror to take away from us the rights of existence and freedom”. The German general merely shrugged and said, "This is War."

The last air drop for Warsaw that was scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled by Soviet authorities. The mission was scrapped because the Soviet government claims that all the Warsaw partisans have already evacuated the city. This is clearly untrue as there are still thousands of insurgents throughout the city. In any case, any allied assistance provided at this point in time would be too late.  There is no reaction from British or American authorities.

Stalin Cancels Air Drop
General Bor has broadcast a special radio message to the Armia Krajowa (AK) declaring that “Fighting in Warsaw no longer has any chance of success, and I have decided to terminate it.”  He nominated General Okulicki as his successor, the next commander of the AK. Bor ordered Polish troops that all efforts must now be focused on the defence of the population. He also announced that immediately after the cease-fire, he will negotiate a surrender.

While this news did not come as a surprise to Poles, it is nonetheless a reality that bears heavily on Polish hopes for liberation. Despite General Bor's decision, the AK rank and file are adamantly opposed to capitulation. Reports indicate that entire Polish units are refusing to surrender.  An AK officer, second lieutenant, and shoemaker by profession, reacted to the news with violent protest.  He was reported to have grabbed a revolver and shouted that he would "not allow anybody to surrender"  His commanding officer, Colonel Zywiciel handed him his own revolver saying, "Then you have to start with me and shoot me, because I am responsible for conveying that order to my soldiers" The lieutenant did not shoot him but broke down into incomprehensible sobs.  Some insurgents have committed suicide to avoid being taken into German captivity.  
During the truce barely 8,000 Poles had evacuated Srodmiescie.  However the Germans claim that the number of civilians evacuated were about 200,000 to 250,000.

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