At this point in his diaries Józef returns to describing the preparations taking place in the final days before the outbreak of war:


On the morning of the 31st August we were surprised to see a flyer being posted: ”Mobilisation”. Everyone capable of carrying weapons should report at such and such a place

Something here smells more and more distinctly of war.

There is hectic movement in our camp… “Everything has to be prepared for departure at any moment”. Senior officers fill the gaps; papers are packed in the office and sent to a depot somewhere. Stray lancers are still reporting for duty. The commander distributes maps etc.

Together with the clerk and some residents, the commander carries everything from the office to an emptied house, prepared by an elderly officer cadet. I take up residence there on the first floor. (There were some good pears here.)

I don’t know why the commander makes so many trips or what “headquarters” are saying amongst themselves. Anyway what business is it of mine?

Around 10 in the evening we lie down to sleep.

1/09/ 1939


This is Józef’s last entry in this section.

However many times I see these last words, they still send a chill down my spine as I think about what these young men were about to face.


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