The Power Of Christmas: WWI - Enemies Came From Trenches And Exchanged Gifts!!

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posted on Dec, 24 2010 @ 02:56 PM
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I always think about this story around christmas time.

No matter if your atheist or Jewish, Christmas time brings people together.

Even in the worst of times.


On Christmas Eve, the gunshots and artillery gradually stopped. The temperature had dropped suddenly the night before, and the mud in the trenches and the ground of No Man's Land were frozen solid, and covered with a thin layer of Christmas snow. Carols sung by first one side and then the other, floated across No Man's Land. Cautiously, men began to emerge from their trenches, and when no shots were fired, walked out toward the enemy lines. Men who had tried to kill each other, instead shook hands, shared gifts from home, and forgot about the war. It was late at night when the men turned back to their own lines, calling goodbye and promising not to fight the next day.

Christmas Day dawned to a thick fog and an eerie silence. Then a voice rang out from the German side, "You no shoot, we no shoot." It was a Christmas no one in either army would ever forget. A Christmas when men made friends with their enemy, instead of shooting them. A Christmas when the soldiers on the front lines defied their commanders, and said, "I will not fight. I will see no one as my enemy."


www2.scholastic.com...
edit on 24/12/2010 by Mirthful Me because: All Caps Title.



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posted on Dec, 24 2010 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by Jeanius
 


I always think of the Christmas Truce this time of year. What was really notable for me was the fact that the generals had to threaten to shoot their own troops to get them fighting again. It really brings home the point that countries don't really fight wars, just a handful of "leaders." If left to the people, there would be a lot less war.



posted on Dec, 24 2010 @ 03:14 PM
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reply to post by Jeanius
 


I always get a lump in my throat reading about this.

It goes to show that if the adventurers and hawks in civilian / upper echelon military authority had to actually get out there on the front lines of a conflict with the ordinary soldiers, there'd be a whole lot less conflicts.

S&F!



posted on Dec, 24 2010 @ 03:17 PM
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Originally posted by VictorVonDoom
reply to post by Jeanius
 


I always think of the Christmas Truce this time of year. What was really notable for me was the fact that the generals had to threaten to shoot their own troops to get them fighting again. It really brings home the point that countries don't really fight wars, just a handful of "leaders." If left to the people, there would be a lot less war.


Exactly. It's always the bums who will never bleed who want the fight. The ordinary soldier is probably the last one who wants to go into a war because they know they will be the first to bleed.



posted on Dec, 24 2010 @ 03:21 PM
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I remember when i was a child my grandad keeping the family mesmerised with this,grandad was a natural story teller and made what happened back then come to life,the tale went very much like you portrayed what made me nearly cry was when he told us that men on both sides even though they could not understand each others language would proudly show pictures of there family to the so called enemy,share a cigarette then on Christmas day they had a football match,if i remember rightly next day they were back to killing each other,i remember grandad saying with a sad shake of the head ",had things been different we could have been friends "This was about one German who he had got on particularly well with,he finished with" he could have been one of the soldiers i killed later "Once again with a sad head shake



posted on Dec, 24 2010 @ 03:28 PM
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I'm an atheist, but we celebrate Christmas. It's a pretty secular holiday now in a lot of ways. So, we were standing in line to see Santa last night and this old Jewish woman was behind us with her daughter-in-law, son, and grandkids going on and on and on about how obscene it all was. Throughout the course of the line she loudly proclaimed:

- She would NEVER have been allowed to visit Santa as a kid
- She hates when Hanukkah comes too early and then they get no presents around xmas when everyone else does
- Santa isn't real and parents shouldn't tell their kids he is (yes in a line full of kids waiting to see Santa lol) and she expounded on this giving examples of kids in her life that have been told the truth
- Told her grandson he should ask Santa for peace in Afghanistan (pfffft)
- Our founding fathers would NEVER have stood for such a public display of "religion"

And a whole bunch of other fairly offensive stuff related to the holiday and also stuff having nothing at all to do with Christmas ("you're making THREE pies, for FOUR people???" on and on and on harping on her poor daughter in law who weathered it with the utmost grace).

As we were leaving and they were approaching Santa, I quietly leaned over and told her "9/11 was an inside job". I didn't stick around to see her response. Hell I'm as liberal as they come, but she was just plain narrow minded.

Ironically, we were treated to a screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas afterward, where I overheard an unkind comparison (by another parent) of the old lady to the Grinch that was just spot on. Hahaha. Oh well, guess the Christmas spirit affects some people differently. Happy holidays ATS.



posted on Dec, 24 2010 @ 04:14 PM
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reply to post by Jeanius
 

I once saw about this on a documentary. I felt that it was both beautiful and sad it gave me the chills two enemies coming together to celebrate yet in days they would be going back to kill each other. The commanders on both sides were afraid of this peace. It made me think what if more people did something like this. If they refused their commanding officers orders to go back to war there could have been peace. It made me feel that soldiers are nothing more then tools of the governments that order them around.



posted on Dec, 24 2010 @ 06:48 PM
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I heard about this a long time ago. It's amazing. Didn't something like this happen during the civil war, too?



posted on Dec, 24 2010 @ 08:34 PM
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Originally posted by Skid Mark
I heard about this a long time ago. It's amazing. Didn't something like this happen during the civil war, too?


Yes, but not as much. This only really happened between the pickets, ie the soldiers who were positioned in advance of the main armies to act as forward eyes and alert the main armies if the enemy began approaching. They would sometimes have casual meetings that were frowned upon by their superior officers.

But, there was still fighting and skirmishing during years of the Civil War on Christmas.

I think there was a Civil War movie, maybe "Gods and Generals" where Confederates and Union soldiers were depicted meeting over a river and trading coffee and tobacco and things. Not sure what it was based on but I'm sure that sort of thing happened here and there; there were definitely much stranger things that happened during that war.



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 12:31 AM
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I remember this beautiful story, one that should be retold throughout the ages.Thank you for bringing it forward and doing it honor.



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 02:03 AM
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Thanks for this, I sent this to all yet hope my Army buddies and people that know what it means and reflect upon the present state of warfare. God Bless!
Merry Christmas.



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 02:39 AM
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Thank you for posting this.....I was actually telling someone about this earlier today.
I have always wondered why the soldiers would go back to shooting and killing each other after such a moving event. I see that someone was describing how the generals actually had to threaten to shoot their own men to get them back to fighting.

For me, therein lies the whole problem! It is really the problem with people in general and much of the reason our world is in its current state. It seems that as soon as anyone's life is threatened they automatically fall in line and do as they are told. I say (and I am using this case as just one example) if you don't want to do such terrible things and don't believe in and buy into wars.....the general threatens to shoot you....shoot him!
I am sure some will laugh at such a statement and some will say "well if we did that then we could never efficiently fight any war"....and in many ways maybe they would be right....maybe we could never fight an efficient war. OR....maybe if our education wasn't so dumbed down we would actually have a country full of people smart enough to realize when we were under direct threat. That way we could fight only when we had to. Anyways...I am going to go way off tangent if I keep it up with what we could and couldn't do....

What I was trying to address with this post is the fact that it seems to me that every time someone's life is threatened they fall in line. Why is that? Why are people so scared of dying? Why are people so afraid to stand up for themselves? Why would people willingly be slaves to a system they don't believe in rather than standing up for what is right....EVEN if it means death?
I guess this is a mentality I just don't understand and in many ways I am VERY glad I don't understand such lines of thinking.....Personally I would/will die for what I believe in long before I submit to such heinous men/systems!
Of course I know many say such things but when it comes down to it would submit. I guess some would say I just don't value my life as much as others do. I don't know. I just don't understand their way of thinking and this is just one example.....with another being the Germans during the Holocaust. I just don't understand how so many would reject such a system but do nothing about it just because there is a threat of death.
Really.....One word comes to mind when I think of such people.....but I will not say it here because I am not sure if it is a violation of T&C



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 07:05 AM
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Did you watch "Pipe of Peace" video, by paul mccartney. I think it's perfect for your thread, here it is :

www.youtube.com...
edit on 25-12-2010 by Trueman because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 07:11 AM
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yeah this story always brings a tear to my eye.

So sad, beautiful and surreal.

Peace



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 07:15 AM
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Originally posted by illece
I remember when i was a child my grandad keeping the family mesmerised with this,grandad was a natural story teller and made what happened back then come to life,the tale went very much like you portrayed what made me nearly cry was when he told us that men on both sides even though they could not understand each others language would proudly show pictures of there family to the so called enemy,share a cigarette then on Christmas day they had a football match,if i remember rightly next day they were back to killing each other,i remember grandad saying with a sad shake of the head ",had things been different we could have been friends "This was about one German who he had got on particularly well with,he finished with" he could have been one of the soldiers i killed later "Once again with a sad head shake



Almost word for word - as told by my Grandfather too.

Peace



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 07:24 AM
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It was a different time back then, both sides had nearly the same backgrounds, celebrated pretty much the same holidays. Had those soldiers on both sides refused to fight, those wars might have ended early.
Today, our modern soldiers fight a different enemy; one that doesnt recognize Christmas or the joy of the holiday, one that will fight and kill on its high holy days.



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 08:24 AM
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Originally posted by bsbray11
I think there was a Civil War movie, maybe "Gods and Generals" where Confederates and Union soldiers were depicted meeting over a river and trading coffee and tobacco and things. Not sure what it was based on but I'm sure that sort of thing happened here and there; there were definitely much stranger things that happened during that war.


In the novel 'RIfles for Watie' which takes place during the Civil War, it shows and explains the trading between Union and Confederate troops. Remember in this war moreso than WWI and others, many times this was fought brother versus brother or cousins vs cousins. And more people than not on either side weren't sure what the real reason they were shooting at each other was, just following orders.


OP, thanks for sharing this story


Merry Christmas everyone!



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 08:50 AM
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You know what would have been an even greater story? This happening during WWII. That would show the true power of Christmas.



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 08:53 AM
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I'm atheist but I appreciate christmas because one day out of 365, half the world forget the shhep routine ways and spend time with their families.

I appreciate all religious holidays because of the same reasons. The only thing with christmas is, well he spent 50 so I have to spend 50. It has to stop.

Christmas is about spending time with loved ones, and getting away from the norm days of capitalism. . .spend spend spend panic panic panic work work die


Happy christmas all x x



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 09:55 AM
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1. It was only a few dozen individuals involved.
2. They were scolded by officers.
3. They started shooting and killing each other the next day.


All the soldiers could have been like "# it, I'm going home to spend Christmas with my family" and the war would have ended then.





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