This Day in History: October 2

In the first of an ongoing series, the ASW History Club looks at what happened on this day in history.

by Julia Owerko

On this day in history, the Warsaw Uprising has come to an end. After 63 days the AK capitulated and the official ceasefire was signed on the night of October 2-3. Civilians were then forced to flee the city and soldiers were taken into imprisonment. However, many prisoners managed to sneak by as civilians. After the exodus of about 650 thousand civilians, the Germans received an order to bring Warsaw to the ground. 

  • The city must completely disappear from the surface of the earth and serve only as a transport station for the Wehrmacht. No stone can remain standing. Every building must be razed to its foundation.

— SS chief Heinrich Himmler, 17 October, SS officers conference (quoted in Irene Tomaszewski’s Inside a Gestapo Prison: The Letters of Krystyna Wituska, 1942-1944).

  • 72% of living space and 90% of monuments were destroyed
  • 200 thousand messages were transported by the Scout Field Mail (Harcerska Poczta Polowa), the mail services fulfilled by young kids and youth, like the survivor Dr. Kruszewski.
  • Between 150-200 thousand civilians died in the 63 days
  • 16 thousand members of the Polish resistance movement died.
  • 10 thousand Nazis died.
  • 15 thousand Polish rebels and soldiers were imprisoned, according to Wprost.

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