In the thick of the trenches of World War I, the Central Powers pitted themselves against the Triple Entente day after day, month after month, year after year. They faced bombing, gassing, disease, rats and of course death for the sake of their countries. Each side was indoctrinated with the evils of the other but at times it was realized that the “other side” was made up of human beings like them. Human beings who missed home. Sons, husbands and fathers.
At no other time until the end of the war was this seen like it was during The Christmas Truce of 1914. With promises that troops would be home by Christmas broken, the Western Front exploded not with bombs but with silence and goodwill towards men. Although this is not an officially recognized event, and there are parts of the front where firing continued, The Christmas Truce actually happened along a number of places on the front line. Not only were hostilities put on hold, but soldiers agreed that this would happen so that each side could bury their dead. Additionally, many believe a football match broke out (although this has not been proven). Letters home also wrote about how each side swapped rations like cigarettes and sang O Come All Ye Faithful over the trenches.
1914 marked the only Christmas Truce of this scale in the war and it should be noted that in many places (particularly where Germans met soldiers of Prussian origin) the truce did not occur at all or started but did not work out. But still, isn’t it a nice idea? Even in the thickest of evil, the darkest of hours, we can see something good in our enemies. It also draws attention to the fact that the people fighting wars are most often, not the people who started them.
To finish, I’d like to show you this cool commercial about the Christmas Truce that was recently put out.