Saturday, 2 September
Even on 31 August, following radio reports, I still expected a postponement. However, it happened that very same night!
At first, people failed to grasp the true significance of the events. In the morning the rumour in Little Town that a German-Polish agreement was sure to be reached. Some gleaned that from the radio news, while others simply repeated what they had heard. Many expected a repetition of our own surrender from last September. Such is the power of propaganda. Even the more intelligent radio listeners seem to have fallen for the reports of the recurring series of German advances and their successes.
On the following day, the situation began to clarify, and everyone came to realize: Poland will not surrender! Throughout the day and into the evening, questions arose: What about France and England? So much mistrust and uncertainty had developed in people's minds after the events of last September.
From these ordinary citizens who are the stakes that global politics places in its game, let us turn our eyes toward it.
We won't witness much. Its “strategies” will remain a mystery even to history. Politicians guard their professional secrets jealously, much like great chefs and poets. Perhaps they cannot even express themselves accurately about their craft. The enigma of “backroom deals” surrounds the politics of democracies, just as it did in monarchies. Despite the secrecy that characterized diplomatic negotiations last week, history will eventually unveil a framework of ideas with some approximate and practical degree of truth.
What can we say today?
Chamberlain’s addresses in parliament: his courteous and steadfast assurances that England will honour its obligations, his wry comparison of the supply situations in England and Germany, the latter entering the war with food rationing; additional naval mobilization; the reported evacuation of children from London on August 31, and so forth – all of these actions left no room for doubt regarding England’s intentions. And this intention is clear: the removal of Nazi Germany and Hitler’s regime.
Today, Czech radio addressed the subject of the German and Russian populations. How would capitalist countries react if there existed a genuine alliance, not between Nazi Germany and Bolshevik Russia, but between Bolshevik Russia and Bolshevik Germany?
In any event, it happened! Now, no one can stop the forces that have been set into motion. Speculations about whether Ribbentrop presented the note to the English Ambassador quickly or slowly, when exactly the English response arrived, when exactly the terms were officially conveyed to Poland, and how and when it replied or did not reply – these are secondary matters.