A Polish Academic Information Center Exhibit         
The 1994 Warsaw Uprising - An assertion of sovereignty and hope.

Women couriers brave German fire

August 3, 1944

I reached Marszałowska Street without any problem, but no further, for the shoot ing from the direction of the Saski Park is furious. Two men stand by the barricade waiting for the right moment to dash across. The street has a sinister look: glass, broken bricks and wires litter it. In the middle, a streetcar lies on its side. I am gripped by fear, again. Someone makes a dash from the other side. Right behind him a red flash as a shell hits the streetcar.

Supposedly, the crossing on Złota Street is safer. I retrace my steps but the situation there is similar. I try several times to force myself to make the dash, but, lacking courage, I am unable. What the blood hell! I must reach Górczewska Street with the order, damn it! At last, a group of men dash across, one after another. I follow them and make it. - The devil is not as awful as portrayed - Through various courtyards and cellars, I reach Zielna Street, but there it's even worse than on Marszałkowska! Yet, having conquered my fear, I want to run across. The men whom I followed stop me, however.

"What's the hurry?" they ask. "Take it easy."
"I am a liaison officer and have an urgent order to deliver!" I reply.
"That's why you had better wait; what use would it be if you and your order got hit?"
We wait about 15 minutes. Finally, they decide.
"I will dash across first, "says one of them, "and I will cover the rest of you."
He makes it across. Unfortunately, the next one is hit and collapses just short of the doorway on the other side. No sense taking chances. We wait another ten minutes. I get impatient. How long can one wait. I have to get there. I spot Lodka in a doorway on the other side. She dashes across. Shots ring out but she reaches us.

"Listen," she says "don't take notice of these guys. They wait for hours to make the dash. It's a waste of time. Get to the other side; I'll wait and see how it goes for you.,'
The guys look at me crossly. I sprint across. In the middle, a volley of shots, then another. I make it. Lodka waves her hand, the guys shout 'Well done, girls" and get ready to follow.

From the diary of Teresa Wilska
transl: Peter K. Gessner


Info-Poland a clearinghouse of information about Poland, Polish Universities, Polish Studies, etc.
© 2000 Polish Academic Information Center, University at Buffalo. All rights reserved.
Info-Poland   |    art and culture   |    history   |    universities   |    studies   |    scholars   |    classroom   |    book chapters   |    sitemaps   |    users' comments