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The 1994 Warsaw Uprising - An assertion of sovereignty and hope.

Women delivering ammunition through the sewers

August 21, 1944

"How long will it take us?" we ask.
"Two to three hours, depending" replies Mirka, our sewer guide.
We slip our shoulders into the straps of the grenade and ammunition rucksacks which are handed out to us. They are made so that the load hangs on the chest.

We descend into the sewer: it's elliptical in cross-section, three feet high and two wide. We each have a stick the length of which matches the width of the sewer. Using it, we proceed with a toad-like step, that is, by resting the stick on the sides of the sewer we have a support for our arms. Leaning forward we can move a step forward at a time. It's really tiring.

Suddenly, Mirka gives us an order:
"Lights out, absolute silence, we are crossing under an area held by Germans."
We maintain contact by touching the leg of the person in front. As we pass under an uncovered manhole, we clearly hear German being spoken. Our hearts pound. Did they hear us?

Finally, we reach our destination. First Mirka climbs out to reconnoiter the area.
"Come out quickly and rush to the nearest doorway," she tells us upon returning.

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


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