Christmas in the Trenches

Image result for pictures of the trenches in christmas
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people,
Living life in peace……
Pic:  Christmas in the trenches Dec 20th 1914

 

It was December 25, 1914, only 5 months into World War I. German, British, and French soldiers, already sick and tired of the senseless killing, disobeyed their superiors and fraternized with “the enemy” along two-thirds of the Western Front (a crime punishable by death in times of war). German troops held Christmas trees up out of the trenches with signs, “Merry Christmas.”

“You no shoot, we no shoot.” Thousands of troops streamed across a no-man’s land strewn with rotting corpses. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged photographs of loved ones back home, shared rations, played football, even roasted some pigs. Soldiers embraced men they had been trying to kill a few short hours before. They agreed to warn each other if the top brass forced them to fire their weapons, and to aim high.

A shudder ran through the high command on either side. Here was disaster in the making: soldiers declaring their brotherhood with each other and refusing to fight. Generals on both sides declared this spontaneous peacemaking to be treasonous and subject to court-martial. By March 1915 the fraternization movement had been eradicated and the killing machine put back in full operation. By the time of the armistice in 1918, fifteen million would be slaughtered.

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one……..

24 thoughts on “Christmas in the Trenches

    1. I agree Kristine. They had a unique and precious opportunity to listen to these young men and make change. It’s heartbreaking to think of all the lives that were taken. 😞

  1. Karen, I have read this over and over and have seen this story elsewhere some years ago. I love the true humanity of the experience – at great risk. However, I feel it is also a cautionary tale about the power of the killing machine. It is alive and well today and has no regard for humanity. As we enter the holiday season, my prayer for peace is broader and deeper…that hearts will be changed, and that all who may be a part of any killing machine on the planet will remember their own humanity which may help them see it in others. “War is not healthy for children or other living things.”

  2. The perfect Lennon lyrics to go with what is a Christmas story with much hope. Athough the truce didn’t last it does show that the power of a potential brotherhood could give respite from the horrors of the killing and fighting, however brief it was … I enjoyed your post very much …

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