5 Pages


WithJoseph Rykwert

In this chapter, the author recollects the memories of his early life. War noises got very loud by late August. On the night of 31 August/1 September, he had not yet gone to bed when the lights failed in the house – mains electricity had been cut off. Collecting a torch, his father took him down to the garage. He switched on the car radio and listened, bewildered for all the many warnings, as the President, Ignacy Moscicki, announced that Poland had rejected a German ultimatum. The war had started. On the night of 16/17 September, Vyechyslav Molotov made his infamous speech announcing that Poland no longer had a legitimate government and that the Red Army would protect the eastern Polish territories. The siege end on 27 September, but all knew that it would mean the isolation of the Jewish community and its gradual annihilation.