The Christmas Truce of WWI

[[ 03Jun2021 ]] 10:38 → Just I found about this remarbale piece of history whilst watching Robert Sapolsky’s [[ TED Talk ]]

How It Came About to be!

Both of the armies, british and german are away from their home and miss the Christmas Eve which they were supposed to be celebrating at their homes but weren’t because of the the current work.

The trenches were were close in distance and the soldiers would often make remarks on one another often rude but sometimes funny. On a similar occasion before the christmas eve a german soldier sad “tomorrow you no kill, we no kill” probably funnily.

The christmas day started as germans were singing christmas to each other and soon went on to the no mans land (war area) and started there.

They’ve together helped eachother dig for the dead and bury them.

Seeing unarmed germans a singing christmas carols they joined them, soon they started sharing gifts of cigartes and other things that soldiers in war liked idk what, and probably they also played football.

This lasted until their officers commanded them to stop doing this and return back.

Looking Back

This remarable feat happened only once in 1914, five months after the outbreak of war, out of the 4year history of World War I from 1914 to 1918, and the interesting part comes from the media and how this was viewed later.

People back at home and media their piced up this news and were obviously shocked and weren’t able to fathom this feat! stories and letters from soldiers were shared with media were published and still there was skepticism, but as more and more images got released this got more accepted as an actual fact and not a myth from wartales.

But “how this enent was viewed and recalled later” changed significantly over the next few decades, it was in later first years celebrated and in 20’s 30’s remembered but in 40’s got discounted because of how it got conflicted witth the ideal image of a soldier and the act of killing another men of same kind celebrating christmas didn’t quite fit into the picture all together.

For the same reasons, the officers later avoided this kind of stuff as it meant celebrating with people whom you’ve had to fight and kill. which didn’t fit together.

This was only once in a history moment, though it didn’t help stop the war in any significant way. This still a quite significant and remarkable story to learn about.

In Media

  • Christmas Truce of 1914 - History.com
    • German Lieutenant Kurt Zehmisch recalled: “How marvelously wonderful, yet how strange it was. The English officers felt the same way about it. Thus Christmas, the celebration of Love, managed to bring mortal enemies together as friends for a time.”
    • Soldiers on the Western Front did not expect to celebrate on the battlefield, but even a world war could not destroy the Christmas spirit.

Documentaries

Images

Enemy Forces Standing United

Looking at the above image one can’t help but wonder what the soldiers whould’ve felt on that particular christmas eve to talk with the people they were made to think of enemies, to exchange cigartes, to play, to celebrate and finally saying goodbyiee only to point guns at very same people next day.

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