HOW CHRISTMAS STOPPED THE FIGHTENING IN THE TRENCHES OF WW I 12/08/2009


"It was a cold night in 1915 and on the Western
Front. Over in this elongated trench were the Germans . . .
and here in this elongated trench were the British. It was
bitter cold . . . and there was snow. In both trenches the
men huddled together . . . trying to get warm. Overhead
there was the burst of guns . . . the cannons. But as
midnight -- Christmas Eve --neared . . . strangely the guns
stopped. From the German tenches . . . there was singing:
'Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! Alles schlaft, einsam wacht.'
Then from the British trenches . . . the response in English:
'Silent night. . . holy night . . all is calm . . . all is
bright.' Then again from the German trenches: 'Oh, little
town of Bethlehem . . . How still we see thee lie!' And the
antiphonal singing continued . . . from one trench to
another. Suddenly . . .out of the German trenches . . . the
soldiers pouted out . . . and raced across 'no man's land.'
The German officers . . . always seeking to maintain order
if nothing else -- screamed at them to return to their posts.
. . but they paid no attention. And where to run just a few
moments ago would have meant certain death . . . now there
was not around except joking . . . laughter . . . joy. And
the British troops poured out of their trenches. They met in
no man's land . . . and they embraced each other . . . and
they fraternized for two or three house. Repetitively they
made this statement: 'Let the war stop . . . it's
Christmas Eve !'
(author unknown)

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