Sunday, December 24, 2017

The incredible true story of when WWI stopped for enemy armies to celebrate Christmas together

I suggest reading the whole article at the following link. Very moving. Gives hope for the human species.

Ben Brimelow
Dec. 24, 2017

World War I is, for good reason, remembered as one of the worst wars fought in human history.

Millions of soldiers and civilians died in a conflict that changed the way war was waged and set the stage for the rest of the 20th century.

But for one night and one day, some units in the warring parties — the armies of France and Britain on one side, and Germany on the other — put down their weapons for the briefest of moments to celebrate a holiday that brought opposing sides together.


Huddled in their trenches on Christmas Eve, soldiers on both sides across the entire Western frontline celebrated the holiday as best as they could. Soon, all along the frontline combatants began to leave their trenches without their weapons, and meet enemy soldiers in no man's land.

What followed was an amazing episode for humanity; enemies who were just hours ago slaughtering each other at a level unseen in human history, were talking, singing, dancing, and eating together as if they were friends.


Perhaps the best way to sum up the truce was said by a British soldier whose letter to the Carlisle Journal was published on January 5, 1915:

"All this talk of hate, all this firing at each other that has raged since the beginning of the war quelled and stayed by the magic of Christmas," he wrote. "It is a great hope for future peace when two great nations hating each other as foes have seldom hated, one side vowing eternal hate and vengeance and setting their venom to music, should on Christmas day and for all that the word implies, lay down their arms, exchange smokes and wish each other happiness."



John McCutcheon wrote the song "Christmas in the Trenches" about this.

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