Capitulation of Remaining Polish Forces in Warsaw

On October 2 General Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski signed the capitulation of the remaining Polish forces (Warszawski Korpus Armii Krajowej or Home Army Warsaw Corps) in the German headquarters in the presence of general von dem Bach.

According to the capitulation treaty, the Home Army soldiers were to be treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention and the civilian population was to be treated humanely.

The next day the Germans began to disarm the Home Army soldiers. Most of them were later sent to POW camps in various parts of Germany. At the same time the civilian population (approximately 700,000) was resettled to concentration camps west of Warsaw. Many soldiers, fearing German atrocities in captivity, chose to blend into the civilian population, escape Warsaw among them and continue the fight later.

When it became clear during the last days of September that Zoliborz had to fall, the Staff of the Home Army finally decided to negotiate a surrender agreement with the Germans. Almost without exception the men who took this decision were those who had agreed to start the uprising on July 31. The isolated rebels in the City Center were in a hopeless position; the other remaining pockets of resistance were surrendering one after the other. In addition, disappointment that further air-supplies from the U.S. Air Force had failed to materialize and that the Red Army had abandoned their attempts to cross the Vistula also played a significant role in that fateful decision of September 28.

As the Germans wished, the evacuation of the civilian populace now proceeded on a larger scale, unhindered by the Polish authorities. Nonetheless, Bor signaled London on the 28th that "if the Red Army begins to attack again in the next few days, we will interrupt the evacuation and take up arms again." Because the Russians did not even now do anything to help, the Poles worked out their suggestions for the surrender agreement on the night of October 2. The most important demands were:

1. That all members of the AK be treated as prisoners of war according to international regulations.

2. Immunity from prosecution for all members of the AK sought by the authorities because of political assassination and acts of terrorism committed before the beginning of the uprising.

3. No reprisals to be taken against the Polish people.