Dworek Reichenów

When the Warsaw uprising began on 1 August 1944, the Polish army reaped initial successes against the German occupying power. But the success of the uprising rested on whether the Soviet Red army, which was on the other side of the river Wisla, came to the rescue or not. When it did not, the fate of the Home Army was sealed and slowly but surely the better-equipped German units ground down the inferior-equipped poles. At the end of September negotiations began on a capitulation between the commander of the Home army General Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski and the German commander SS-Obergruppenführer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski. Bach-Zelewski had established its headquarters in a mansion house (Dworek Reichenow) in Ozarow Mazowiecki west of Warsaw, where the capitulation was signed on 3 October 1944. In the capitulation, the soldiers of the Home army were given the status of prisoners of war and were thus treated in accordance with the Geneva convention. The soldiers were therefore sent to prisoner-of-war camps, but some soldiers distrusted the German promises and would rather hide among the civilian population than German captivity. Warsaw’s approximately 700,000 inhabitants were sent in turn to camps to the west. However, about 1,000 people managed to hide among Warsaw’s ruins until the Red Army entered the city in mid-January 1945.

Current status: Preserved with monument (2015).

Address: Józefa Poniatowskiego 1, 05-850 Ozarów Mazowiecki.

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The mansion remains on private land and was uninhabited in May 2015. It is surrounded by a wall with a locked gate but it is still possible to get a good review of the mansion from the outside. It is of course tempting to climb over the wall in order to get closer to history, but sometimes you have to respect and accept that history can only be viewed from a distance.

Follow up in books: Davies, Norman: Rising ’44: The Battle for Warsaw (2004).