WWI Christmas Truce of 1914

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Christmas is an international holiday that has a place in everyone’s heart (unless you work in retail), religious or not. No time of year brings about more joy, generosity, and unity than Christmas, even during times of war.

Until World War 2, World War 1 was easily the most devastating war of all time. Through all of the tension and deep rooted hatred in war torn Europe, no one would have foreseen a happy holidays, especially not the British soldiers crammed in trenches fighting the Germans. However, on Christmas morning, British soldiers woke up to German troops joyfully cheering “Merry Christmas!” in English. Despite the fact that both sides had stopped firing to sing Christmas carols from their trenches the previous night, the British soldiers were still afraid that the Germans sudden friendliness was a trap. However,  when the British saw the Germans were marching across no man’s land unarmed, they climbed out of their near- claustrophobic trenches and began exchanging gifts, playing soccer, and drinking with the German soldiers.

It was Pope Benedict the 15th himself who suggested the idea of a Christmas cease fire so that soldiers could relax and celebrate Christmas before fighting again a few days later. Unfortunately, neither side officially approved the idea of a cease fire, but that didn’t stop the German and British troops from disobeying their generals in order to go and party with their enemies.

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