125.981/74: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany ( Kirk ) to the Secretary of State

1750. My 1701, October 12, 6 p.m. Haering and Birkeland arrived at Warsaw on the morning of October 15 on board special train provided by the German Foreign Office for about 70 representatives of foreign nations. The majority of these representatives returned to [Page 686] Berlin on the same train arriving today and Haering, who together with Birkeland remained in Warsaw, sends me the following report for transmission to the Department.

“The train was routed indirectly via Scheidemuehl, Bromberg, Lowicz and required much advance preparation being the first nonmilitary train to Warsaw. Regular communication with Warsaw is not expected for several weeks.

Warsaw badly damaged as a whole. German sources indicate that of 17,000 buildings in the city about 14,000 are damaged and two military attachés in present party estimate that at least 50 percent of all buildings are severely damaged or have been destroyed. Considerable progress has been made in restoring water and lighting services in some parts of city but all excepting few dwellings are windowless and interiors subject to weather damage.

Chylinski in good health and has done fine job. Deserves commendation. Reports that German authorities have shown great courtesy and cooperation.

List of Americans remaining in Warsaw on attached list (list will be sent by pouch).

Arrangements being made to transfer archives and records from severely damaged Consulate General building to Chancery as Consulate General building may be affected by frost and deterioration to the extent of collapsing. Will operate from Chancery.

Ambassador’s residence totally destroyed, likewise French Embassy, both having apparently been burned by incendiary bombs. British Embassy only slightly damaged.

Apartments of Chylinski and Birkeland badly damaged. That of Morton29 in good shape. Apartments of other officers have some slight shrapnel damage and leakage, while effects are exposed account [of] almost universal windowless condition. Therefore urgently recommend that blanket authority be given promptly to ship effects of all officers to neutral destination as soon as shipping facilities and packing available in order that any transport obtainable at Warsaw may be promptly taken up. Otherwise officers’ belongings will continue to deteriorate rapidly. Evidence of pilferage in some apartments allegedly by Polish solidiery but also possibly by civilians.

All officers are requested to furnish instructions regarding payment of servants and rents if they have not already done so. Most servants present. Taft’s30 furniture intact.”

Repeat to Paris information Biddle and to Oslo for Consul General Davis.

  1. William R. Morton, American Vice Consul at Warsaw.
  2. Orray Taft, Jr., former American Vice Consul at Warsaw.