On Christmas Day 1914, British & German soldiers practiced PEACE during World War I

Some people know this story, but many people do not.

It is indeed possible for soldiers fighting a brutal war to STOP — AND PRACTICE PEACE — even for one day.  On Christmas Day, 1914, British and German soldiers fighting brutal trench warfare during World War I stopped, laid down their weapons, got out of their trenches, and joined together face-to-face to enjoy human solidarity.

If they can do it for one day, why can’t we do that EVERY day — and STOP WAR ALTOGETHER?



Read this article:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce



“Christmas in the Trenches: — John McCutcheon wrote and performed this amazingly powerful, inspirational song about the December 24, 1914, Christmas Truce during World War I:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJi41RWaTCs


The Christmas Day That Peace Broke Out:  This article about the Christmas Day 1914 truce in Europe appeared on December 25, 2005:  http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/34180-the-christmas-day-that-peace-broke-out


Watch this 2 1/2 minute trailer for a movie about the Christmas Truce (somewhat fictionalized):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRrr-CDXijs


Hear the great peace organizer David Swanson discuss the Christmas Truce for 29 minutes:  http://davidswanson.org/talk-nation-radio-the-christmas-truce/


The 21-minute video at this link explains the 1914 Christmas Truce.  It was produced by a local chapter of Veterans for Peace.  This came from the article on page 11 of the Winter 2017 newsletter of Veterans for Peace.  HERE IS THE VIDEO LINK:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?=kYwKD2dc33A&feature=youtu.be


Here is a one-actor play about Christmas truce in 1914:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/12/24/christmas-day-peace-broke-out


The Whateverly Brothers and Friends performed at the 100th Anniversary Commemoration of the 1914 Christmas Truce. They exquisitely crafted rich harmonies and instrumental textures of WWI songs.  This VIDEO runs 28:41 minutes:  http://youtu.be/W4_KxDAucaA


The Peace Bridge Readers Theater performs a piece around four actual letters written from the Western Front of World War I by soldiers trying to describe the events of December 24th to their friends and families back home. This VIDEO is shorter than 11 minutes:  http://youtu.be/S-qp5RR577o


Christian Skoorsmith, a minister with Community of Christ in Seattle, poses intriguing possibilities that could have happened to prevent World War I by reflecting on the question: “What If?” “What if truce had held?” “If the peace were different, would it have led to World War II?” “What If?” is a question that needs to be answered by us today. Presented during the “1914 Christmas Truce” 100th Anniversary Commemoration in Seattle WA.   This VIDEO is shorter than 11 minutes:  http://youtu.be/65KJy4ZHiKc


The very savvy peace organization Just Foreign Policy (www.justforeignpolicy.org) wrote this encouraging paragraph:

Another important lesson of 1914 is that ceasefires are “propaganda by deed” for peace. Most people in the middle of a war who experienced one day of ceasefire would think: “Why can’t we have another day of nobody trying to blow us up?” After the Christmas Truce, the opposing generals had trouble restarting hostilities along the front, and eventually a lot of the soldiers who had experienced the ceasefire were transferred away from the front so they wouldn’t “contaminate” the other soldiers with their reluctance to shoot. And this is a reason that we should always push for ceasefire. Ceasefires are intrinsically good things, a chance to evacuate the wounded, a chance for civilians to get the necessities of life. But there’s also always a chance that a ceasefire could be extended, that people will get too used to peace to continue fighting.






About GlenAnderson 1515 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at https://parallaxperspectives.org He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093 glen@parallaxperspectives.org