Christmas Eve 1914 During Fighting In World War 1

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Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executives

 

 

German and British troops photographed near Ploegsteert, Belgium December 24, 1914.  On this Christmas Eve 2014 it will be 100 years since German and Allied troops laid down their arms to meet and celebrate the holiday together.  The photo and story below appeared in the December 2014 issue of National Geographic .

 

   

 

“In December 1914 invading German troops and the defending Allies were dug in along battle lines in Belgium and France. From sodden trenches soldiers shot at each other across a no-man’s-land strewn with injured and dead comrades. But on December 24, at points along the western front, Germans planted lighted trees on trench parapets and the Allies joined them in an impromptu peace: the Christmas Truce of World War 1, a hundred years ago this month.

The truce “bubbled up from the ranks” despite edicts against fraternization, says historian Stanley Weintraub whose book Silent Night tells the story. After shouted exchanges promising “You no shoot, we no shoot,” some erstwhile enemies serenaded each other with carols. Others emerged from trenches to shake hands and share a smoke. Many agreed to extend the peace into Christmas Day so they could meet again and bury their dead. Each side helped the other dig graves and hold memorials; at one, a Scottish chaplain led a bilingual recitation of the 23rd Psalm. Troops shared food and gifts sent from home, traded uniform buttons as souvenirs, and competed in soccer matches.

“No one there wanted to continue the war,” Weintraub says. But the trop brass did, and threatened to punish troops shirking duty. As the new year began, both sides “went on withe the grim business at hand,” Weintraub says. But they fondly recalled the truce in letters home and diary entries: “How marvelously wonderful,” a German soldier wrote, “yet how strange.” - Patricia Edmonds  

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

 

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Karen Kruschka
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Wayne Johnson Thabk you and the very same to you

Dec 27, 2014 03:12 AM #28
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Karen Kruschka
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Nick T Pappas   Yes, and sadly so

Dec 27, 2014 03:13 AM #29
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Karen Kruschka
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Joan Cox   Thank you8 very much

Dec 27, 2014 03:14 AM #30
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Jerry Newman
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Hi Karen. Nice photo for Christmas Eve in 1914, and No One wanted to continue with war. Very Nice how enemies were drawn together that Christmas Day over 100 years ago.

Wishing You and Arthur a Wonderful New Year!

Dec 27, 2014 04:46 AM #31
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Kathy Streib
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Dec 27, 2014 09:52 AM #32
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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
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I recently saw a video (commercial?) about this event; I think it's wonderful that they were all just kindred spirits for a while. It must have been very hard to return to the fighting.

Dec 27, 2014 09:17 PM #33
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Ed Silva
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Our local paper did an article on this truce in the Christmas paper.  It seems to reinforce the belief that when 2 sides disagree, let the people at the top that are so offended do the fighting and leave the poor guys that just take orders to watch.

Dec 28, 2014 02:28 AM #34
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Liz Wallace
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Karen thank you so much for this post and thanks to Kathy for putting the link in her Sunday post.  Maybe just maybe peace on earth is possible.

Dec 28, 2014 02:42 AM #35
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Karen Kruschka
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Jerry Newman   It was an amzing event not to be replayed today

Dec 28, 2014 02:53 AM #36
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Kathy Streib   That is very kind - thank you

Dec 28, 2014 02:54 AM #37
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Kat Palmiotti   I am sure you are right

Dec 28, 2014 02:56 AM #38
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Ed Silva So true, So true

Dec 28, 2014 02:57 AM #39
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Liz Wallace   I pray for it

Dec 28, 2014 02:58 AM #40
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Cheryl Ritchie
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That is very interesting. I think I saw a movie with this concept. 

Dec 28, 2014 02:34 PM #41
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Cheryl Ritchie   That doesn't surprise me

Dec 29, 2014 05:05 AM #42
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Sharon & Bruce Walter
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Karen, I just watched a documentary about this very event and it was incredibly interesting just like your post!   It is so sad that the average men who would do the brunt of the fighting and dying were threatened and ordered by their superior officers to continue the incessant killing along the trench lines that would not move for another four bloody years!

Jan 14, 2015 11:36 PM #43
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Karen Kruschka
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Sharon & Bruce Walter A very sad commentary

Jan 15, 2015 02:28 AM #44
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William Feela
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My Grandfather was there that year.  He lost several family members in that war.

Jan 20, 2015 12:39 PM #45
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Karen Kruschka
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William Feela Most people have no idea how costly WWI

Jan 21, 2015 02:17 AM #46
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Karen Kruschka

Life was so interesting back then. Being a history buff I am fascinated with things like this

Jul 14, 2015 01:12 PM #47
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