Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Christmas Truce of 1914




Merry Christmas to you from Jennifer Uhlarik! I hope you all are having a wonderful day with family and friends, and remembering the true meaning of this blessed season.

Perhaps some of you have already heard of the Christmas Truce of 1914, but I was so taken with the story that I thought I would share it with you. It’s such a wonderful piece of history, you can’t help but enjoy it, even if it’s not “new” to you. The story goes like this:

On Christmas Eve, just five months after the start of World War I, soldiers from both sides sat shivering in their respective trenches along the Western Front when the Germans began to sing Christmas carols. The familiar songs carried across the distance to the English, and they also began to sing. It’s said that in some places, soldiers brought out instruments to accompany the singing. Through the night, both German and English troops sang in their respective languages.
 
Soldiers mingling during the Christmas Truce of 1914.
 

By dawn on Christmas morning, a few brave Germans ventured out of their trenches to cross into no-man’s land and approach the Allied forces. At first, the English soldiers were wary, expecting a trick, but they saw that none of the opposing troops carried weapons. Only then did they crawl out of their trenches and step out to meet their fellow man.


Enjoying a moment of peace in the thick of war.


These troops converged between their respective sides, shook hands, talked, and even played a friendly game of soccer together. Having nothing other than what little they could carry with them, they exchanged cigarettes and chocolate as gifts. For a brief time, Allied and German soldiers met together in order to celebrate Christmas. It mattered not that later that day or the next they would return to fighting. For that one moment, they were at peace, staring into the eyes of their avowed enemies in order to experience a moment of true peace and harmony.


My wish for you this Christmas is that you will also experience true peace as you contemplate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. May you all be blessed today and all year through! Merry CHRISTmas!
 
 

Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen, when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has won five writing competitions and finaled in two other competitions. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, teenaged son, and four fur children.

10 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas! I absolutely love this story.

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    1. Isn't it an amazing story, Rebecca? I just loved it when I first heard the story, and my fascination hasn't waned with it yet. :) Merry Christmas!

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  2. A great story especially to see that the Germans, the aggressors, stepped out and started singing first. Thans very much and Merry Christmas to you also. Sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Yes, the fact that the Germans were the ones to make the first overtures toward their enemies surprised me also, Sharon! Glad you were able to stop by today. Merry Christmas!

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  3. I did my own post on the Christmas truce at the stitches thru time blogspot! The men in the trenches doing the fighting didn't want war. Too bad they couldn't have ended it instead of the politicians.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Terri! I agree. The men did not want war, and it warms my heart to think that for that moment, they found peace in the midst of the war, death, and chaos around them.

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  4. Jennifer, I love this story too. The Christmas spirit can overcome anything even war. Something similar happened during the Civil War, too, when Union soldiers passed out toys to impoverished southern children.

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    1. I vaguely recall something about the Civil War episode you mentioned, Margaret. I'll have to dig and see if I can't find more about it. :)

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  5. This even is beautifully portrayed in my favorite Christmas Movie, "Joyeux Noel."

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    1. I haven't seen "Joyeux Noel," Stephanie. I will have to find and watch it one of these days soon. Thanks for telling me.

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