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13.00 hours. We set out on an excursion, making the most of the wonderful sunshine.

We're in a wooded valley. A forest - green undergrowth. It's so wonderful here, so quiet, and cosy and warm. It is so delightful to be in the very womb of nature.

It doesn't feel at the moment as if I'm far away, so far away from my homeland; I feel as if I'm in a Polish wood - on a Sunday excursion in a forest near Torun.

In the thicket Bruno plays a Strauss waltz on his mouth organ. I would cry if I were a child. His playing is an expression of despair and inconsolable longing. The tune - "I had to leave you, to go to a distant land ... maybe forever". How hard it is to come to terms with those words - maybe forever.

La Habanera - my record in my lovely little room. My sweet Mychna and I, embracing on the little sofa, dreaming, listening. Oh, delightful days, how I yearn for you!

Camp de Campiagne. 26 January

Today we are to move on from here; we've already received our dry rations.

The happy-go-lucky youngsters are playing cards for money. They've got a few francs and now they will lose them - it's a waste giving money to these people.

12.00 hours. We're all ready, in a short while we will march off to the loading station. The sun, a beautiful day: a pleasant trip, especially since we're poor and without much baggage.

14.00 hours. A rest after a long march. We've arrived. We left the camp at 12.25. We walked along a stony country road winding its way along the rocky hillsides surrounded by thorny bushes. We looked like a pilgrimage of the faithful.

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The train has set off - taking us into the unknown. Taking us closer to the great arena, where the battle for life or death will be fought. The battle for our very existence will be fought, for our right to life. It must be pointed out that the army is transported in a civilised manner here, not using horses like in Poland. Third class carriages, soft seats.

The train set out at 14.35. A mountainous landscape. The train darts through tunnels. We've already passed through two. One was very long - it took four minutes at high speed.

The loading station was in a place called Cassis. Aubagne, the station where the train next stopped. The train stopped at the station in Marseilles, and now we're passing through Marseilles.

The train travels at great speed, like our express trains. Quickly we pass through various towns. A mountainous land, with rocky hills ranging to left and right. Steadily we climb up among them and travel through underground tunnels. We spent some 10 minutes in one of them, and it should be noted that the train doesn't slow down.

A beautiful land, a land of rock and stone. One doesn't see wild tracts like those in Poland.

A decent, upright sort of tree, the pine covers the rocky ground here. We pass red and white farm buildings, and stylish villas along the way. I don't see any wooden houses.

Well! If I did I would think I was off on holiday in Polesie.

We travel alongisde some broad river.

The sun sets. A rosy co loured western sky.

There's no sign of snow, even on the higher slopes. The greenery continues. It must be hardy vegetation, because one can see frozen puddles. Apart from coniferous trees, of course, which aren't afraid of the frosts.

According to the sun we're going in a north-westerly direction.

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We pass uninhabited areas. The terrain is rocky and mountainous, overgrown with green bushes. From a distance, it looks similar to our heathers. Some grass-covered areas, look like home in November, before the snows come.

We also pass through some attractive places, rather like our summer resorts, although these are more stony. Fences, various porches, all made of stone. A reflection of the prehistoric stone age in my imagination.

Dusk descends. Miramas - the train stops.

We sing. The feeble blue light doesn't allow us to play bridge.

27 January

03.00 hours. It's impossible to last out the night. Every limb aches. And yet sleep overcomes us, the chaps are exhausted. We stand at the station in Carcassone - I think we're heading for Bordeaux.

06.45 hours. We've left Toulouse.

It's a different landscape here. No stone or pine. Lowlands, bare deciduous trees or with yellowing leaves that have not dropped yet. A misty morning. Here, the landscape is similar to ours, in Poland. There are in fact many forests in France.

09.35 hours. A huge surprise. We get out in a small town - Caussade.

Saturday, a day of surprises. A day of happy and sad surprises.

We were just finishing the rubber [of bridge]. The train stopped normally at a small halt. Out of the blue we're told to get out. A tiny little station, lots of French staff officers, a band outside the station Is this to welcome us? Sometimes we would talk in jest about

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being greeted by a band; and yet here our fatuous words have become reality. The band is for us.

They gathered us together in the square in front of the station. The band played our national anthem. We stood like stone statues having assumed a military bearing.

A sublime moment. The French officers saluted, standing straight and upright. A shiver of triumph raced through one's body. It was the spirit soaring. Oh, Poland - the spirit called - See, you're not lost yet. You are still great; look they're playing fanfares for you, in your honour great people bow their heads.

They played the French national anthem, and the feelings of emotion were just as profound. I saw the Merciful Greatness, who will not allow us to be harmed by anyone.

In time to the music we marched into town. "Poland is not yet lost"* - shouted some good woman. No, not lost - I believed that she was not lost, but the thought crossed my mind that maybe she had been lost there where she was meant to be?!

A parade in front of a building decorated in France's national colours. The French soldiers' quick step puts us in good mood. And the music had a unique sound. I remembered a military parade of some southern army with its strange music, that I saw once in a film. We laughed, maybe because at that moment we were happy.

The raising of our national flag. The company of honour presented arms, and the band played our anthem. Again, a moment charged with emotion, of great import. Then the raising of the French tricolour (red, white and blue). Again a parade, and again that cheerful French step.

At the end girls with friendly welcoming smiles served us with glasses of mulled wine.

A really good, friendly relationship develops between our chaps and the French. Our hearts were impassioned with sincerity and gratitude towards the French.

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They,put us in cars and brought us here. Barracks, normal barracks. Another surprise - this time not so cheerful. After all we came here to work, we wanted to get down to the task in hand! And here we are sitting and vegetating in some barracks - sharing the fate of our neighbours, the interned Spanish communists. Oh God! give us patience, and understanding that we must wait. Still...

Sunday. 28 January

I was on guard duty last night. I haven't finished yet; it's supposed to go on until 8 o'clock, but who knows if it will last that long, I doubt it. Patrolling around the barracks, goodness knows what for. One has the right conditions for thinking, one must have good food and a good night's sleep. What for - when there is a French guard detail. Civilians with bare hands. These are nocturnal penitents, not sentries.

Half an hour has passed since that patrol went home. Ours is supposed to wander around until 8.00. It's 5.30. They've no intention of getting up.

Dawn breaks outside. Let them sleep, what's the point in ruining one's boots in the mud.

Reading these words anyone would think - what sort of soldiers are these, look how they view their duty?

So. Duty ceases to be a duty if there is no good purpose to it.

17.10 hours. Poor living conditions. Can't go out anywhere - the clay soil is sodden and clings all the way up to the ankles. Dark barracks. Bad food and even little of that, and some haven't even been given eating utensils yet. There are no washrooms where one

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could have a proper wash or launder dirty underwear.

Everyone is miserable. If only we could see that our officers cared, but they aren't here, they've made themselves comfortable and quite at home in the town.

29 January

We're stuffing palliasses for our new arrivals.

I'm looking at the Spaniards' camp. A frightful scene. All just young cripples, without arms, without legs. God, what was it all for, they're intelligent people, couldn't they have come to terms with one another.

The sun shines after a misty morning. It's more cheerful.

We've finished playing bridge; all day long we play for minuscule stakes - makes it more interesting. After all, we have to find ways of passing the time - one could go mad from boredom.

Again, quite a few of our chaps have arrived. The bad conditions are bound to get even worse. The supply of provisions is poor. The food isn't getting any better. Too bad, I understand the present situation in France - they're doing a lot for us anyway.

They've dressed us in navy overalls - we look like some kind of special forces. We're playing at being an army in earnest now. Only it worries me that so far nothing has changed in the army, still the same old shortcomings. Pre-war regulations. I get so angry when I see an ensign, the head of our barrack, bursting in on people in a rage, on people who are more intelligent than he is. He imposes discipline, without having any idea what discipline is, treating people like tools given over to him for his own use. When will they train soldiers to have a sense of morality, instil a moral discipline. We're in need of this

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sort of discipline. I comfort myself with the thought that these are the same people who command as best they can without any new instructions. Maybe there is a revival, an understanding and a sense of unity in our regular army.

Camp de Jude, 30 January

The ceremony of the raising of the Polish and French flags has taken place. A general from the French Air Force was present. It was a most splendid occasion. I was happy as I looked at our national standard flying triumphantly, declaring that Poland exists. How good it feels to be a Polish soldier in one's own army.

10.05 hours. We sit hungry - there is no coffee yet. I don't know whose fault it is that the kitchens have so many shortcomings - what makes it worse is that they are managed by ourselves.

Lunch. It's hard to believe that this is lunch. I ate some watery pea soup from a tin (because there was a shortage of plates, of course). There's no bread, we each received a quarter of a kilo - my hungry stomach has been needing it for some time. If this goes on things may get really bad. Is there anything worse than hunger, and what use is a hungry man? I can't believe that the French don't supply us with sufficient food - after all at all our previous stations the food was good. How sad, that at this moment when we have begun to manage for ourselves, hunger is creeping in on us.

At the raising of the flag today, the General said that he was certain that we believed in God's Providence, and that Poland would rise again. I'm not sure why these words made me think. After all I believe in God's Providence. Some seriously daring thought has

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entered my mind that "Things get worse when one doesn't rely on one's own abilities, but on Providence which is patient and bides its time".

The atmosphere is lighter and more cheerful in the tent today; the sunny day has somehow succeeded in seeping through various chinks to reach our bunks, dissipating the usual darkness.

31 January, Wednesday

The last day of January. If only it were the last day of February. It would be spring. We wait for the spring with longing, we expect a great deal from her. The Polish martyrs in Poland also yearn for her just as much. I've been listening to "The Voice of Poland"*. Words fail me. Just one thing - I'm not going to be so naive, I'm losing my belief in a quick end to this war. It's hard to come to terms with this. But it is so, the Germans have stopped believing in the positive results of a 'lightning war'**. They're dealing with a partner that is different to Poland. They're moving on to a war of attrition. They have understood. They see support in the East. Ha! who would do otherwise in Hitler's place?

The war for oil has begun. Naturally, the amount of fuel to which one has access could settle the war one way or another. After all, these days the war is being won by the tank,


* "Gros Polski" (The Voice of Poland) - a Polish-speaking radio station which in 1940 would presumably have been transmitting from France.

** Reference to "Blitzkrieg", German method of warfare combining operations by land and air.

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the airplane, or some other mechanical entity, which without petrol would be useless.

In the meantime the war is moving east. Hitler is attempting to persuade Stalin to forget about pointless Finland and to move east, against the realms of the British Empire (Hitler needs oil). There, he says, Stalin will gain and he'll recover the losses he sustained in Finland.

Yes, Hitler sees that the military giant of Russia, would break up against the "dwarf", and might be threatened with total defeat, and Hitler by the same token would lose a powerful partner, who is so necessary to him in the present situation.

Oh, foolish Stalin, do you not see this image of your Great Russia in collapse. Yes, the hand of justice is stronger than your own, its mind cleverer than yours - the end of your inhuman rule draws near, and you don't even see this.

I've returned from the dining room having had my lunch. Those who don't have any eating utensils get them in the dining room. Lunch is eaten in several shifts. They've given out a few more dishes; I was one of those who received a pretty faience plate. Lunch consisted of water, gruel and a few small potatoes. Not three courses, but one - it was soup. I don't write this to complain like the others; after all this for me is my "Daily Bread", but I record it simply as a fact of life.

In the voivodship of Poznan, Polish women aged 16 and over are being deported into the depths of Germany for forced labour - so writes 'Voice of Poland'. It makes me shudder all over. The mothers of our future generation. The sweetness in our lives. (Oh! how miserable life is without a woman.) They will serve the Germans as toys for their pleasure. How can one come to terms with this? Is there any greater crime, can one imagine any greater injury? A terrible thought forms in my mind - revenge will be sweet.

It's just before lights out. Half of us are in bed already. My spirits have been raised and I feel more cheerful having read the commentary in 'Voice of Poland'. Atlast people

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are beginning to understand that whatever arms one fights with, one will die by those very arms. What advice can there be for the arrogant beast who has talked himself into believing in his own all-powerful superiority and now persecutes the whole world. The bomb will be the hand of God as he hurls a thunderbolt from the heavens and once and for all destroys this inhuman beast in the defence of Christianity and innocent peoples. Oh, that Providence might inspire the just that they may understand.

Camp de Judes, 1 February

The Pole is after all a backward person, who lacks understanding; no-one can please him, he himself does not know what he wants. The company of honour comprising 80 people from our barrack was to be in attendance at the raising of the flag. It was difficult to muster all those people: "I don't feel like getting up", whinges and whines of dissatisfaction. The new chief, Ensign Pawlicki, a man of understanding, had to get himself het up and start ranting at people, because nothing else would work with this lot. The demands for better grub are voiced by all, yet none pay any heed to what is expected of them to gain it by right. I wonder if it is at all possible to educate these people? Of course, I don't mean everyone.

Our camp's new commanding officer has arrived. A lieutenant colonel, in uniform, sent from our Air Force Headquarters. What a good impression he made on our people. Personally I'm very pleased that Poland is after all being reborn. This man from the main headquarters is a "new" Pole and a "new" commanding officer. Why elaborate on one's own opinions; it suffices to repeat his words which contain all that is good. "You are not

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