No one wants to think about war when they are trying to focus on Christmas. Generally, I would hope no one likes to think about war at all, although for some it is their life’s work and career to pay attention to just such things.
So what was going on in the year 1914 at the time and season of Christmas? War. A war that had French and German troops in trenches, on French land, hiding from the other while they at the same time hoped to have to opportunity to destroy them; for most for no other reason than it would save their own life.
It may not be 100% clear who first called for the truce between the troops, but the story tells us that the initial singing of Christmas carols came from the German trenches, and was able to completely silence the other noises of the war-torn night unlike anything else. ‘Silent Night’, sung in German, did just that.
Numerous letters were sent to loved ones from the men who were in these trenches on this Christmas Eve night. Men who were glad to put down their guns, climb out of the trenches, and approach the enemy to shake hands and trade souvenirs. As the first few made those frightening first steps toward the enemy, the others began to do the same, seeing that they were indeed safe in their endeavors. Games were played, food and drink were shared, and mementos traded amongst the soldiers, all who commented to others that the ‘enemy’ was quite alright after all.
This story shares the narrative of these soldiers, as well as some of the letters that were sent home. This is a wonderful story; both comforting as well as something that makes you realize what has been sacrificed for the freedoms we have.
Reblogged this on WWI Christmas Truce Centennial.
I’ve heard of this story and am glad there’s a book on it. I’m definitely adding this to my tbr pile. Great review!
I am sure you will enjoy it! Thanks for reading!