The Infamous Christmas Truce – Then & Now

The year was 1914 and the world was immersed in war- the Great War. A war that many envisioned to be the war to end all wars. As Autumn came to a close any hope of a quick conflict fell with the leaves, that found their resting place upon the cold damp ground.

Such was the territory that an exhausted allied forces tried to find normalcy in- the trenches.

Beyond the barricades and makeshift safeguards, lied the open fields of death and struggle, appropriately termed, “no man’s land.” Twas here that evidence of war and utter carnage was most axiomatic. To step foot in such country most often warranted a death wish.

Forces on both sides adopted a laissez faire attitude in the trenches at certain times within those first months of the war, but perhaps the most pragmatic and magical came during that first Christmas season.

Early in December of 1914 the then Pope, Benedict XV pleaded for both forces to cease fire during the Christmas holiday. His message was heavily rejected by top commands on both sides. War, as a matter of fact-was no respecter of holidays no matter how holy….or was it? Events that have since been written and told to generations to follow suggest that even in the most violent of atmospheres humanity can triumphantly prevail.