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The Christmas Truce' - When Men Said No To War

 
Anonymous Coward
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12/23/2006 09:11 PM
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The Christmas Truce' - When Men Said No To War
The Christmas Truce' - When Men Said No To War
12-22-6


On Christmas Day, 1914, in the first year of World War I, German, British, and French soldiers disobeyed their superiors and fraternized with "the enemy" along two-thirds of the Western Front. German troops held Christmas trees up out of the trenches with signs, "Merry Christmas." "You no shoot, we no shoot." Thousands of troops streamed across a no-man's land strewn with rotting corpses. They sang Chrismas carols, exchanged photographs of loved ones back home, shared rations, played football, even roasted some pigs. Soldiers embraced men they had been trying to kill a few short hours before. They agreed to warn each other if the top brass forced them to fire their weapons, and to aim high.

A shudder ran through the high command on either side. Here was disaster in the making: soldiers declaring their brotherhood with each other and refusing to fight. Generals on both sides declared this spontaneous peacemaking to be treasonous and subject to court martial. By March, 1915 the fraternization movement had been eradicated and the killing machine put back in full operation. By the time of the armistice in 1918, fifteen million would be slaughtered.

Not many people have heard the story of the Christmas Truce. Military leaders have not gone out of their way to publicize it. On Christmas Day, 1988, a story in the Boston Globe mentioned that a local FM radio host played "Christmas in the Trenches," a ballad about the Christmas Truce, several times and was startled by the effect. The song became the most requested recording during the holidays in Boston on several FM stations. "Even more startling than the number of requests I get is the reaction to the ballad afterward by callers who hadn't heard it before," said the radiohost. "They telephone me deeply moved, sometimes in tears, asking, `What the hell did I just hear?'"

I think I know why the callers were in tears. The Christmas Truce story goes against most of what we have been taught about people. It gives us a glimpse of the world as we wish it could be and says, "This really happened once." It reminds us of those thoughts we keep hidden away, out of range of the TV and newspaper stories that tell us how trivial and mean human life is. It is like hearing that our deepest wishes really are true: the world really could be different.

Excerpted from David G. Stratman, We CAN Change the World: The Real Meaning of Everyday Life (New Democracy Books, 1991). Available for $3.00 from New Democracy Books, P.O. Box 427, Boston, MA 02130.
Anonymous Coward
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12/23/2006 10:52 PM
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Re: The Christmas Truce' - When Men Said No To War
bump
GhostHunter

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12/23/2006 10:59 PM
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Re: The Christmas Truce' - When Men Said No To War
Weird how this thread is here tonight as lastnight I watched a program about what happened that day and how the German soldiers would start singing and the english soldiers would play the bag pipes to the song that the germans were singing (O holy night).This is what brought the two sides together for one night of peace in a terrible war


To bad we haven't learned our lessons about war yet


peace


:GH funny:
Time Is An Event Wasted
Anonymous Coward
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12/23/2006 11:22 PM
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Re: The Christmas Truce' - When Men Said No To War
check out this short movie about the truce, makes you think.


[link to movies.lionhead.com]




peace
Anonymous Coward
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12/24/2006 12:06 AM
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Re: The Christmas Truce' - When Men Said No To War
norespect
Anonymous Coward
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12/24/2006 12:40 AM
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Re: The Christmas Truce' - When Men Said No To War
check out this short movie about the truce, makes you think.


[link to movies.lionhead.com]




peace
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 9644

Thanks, and Merry Christmas all!
Goofy Thum
angel3
xmas xmas xmas xmas xmas xmas xmas xmas xmas xmas xmas wave
Anonymous Coward
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12/24/2006 11:05 AM
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Re: The Christmas Truce' - When Men Said No To War
pdance
Anonymous Coward
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12/24/2006 11:18 AM
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Re: The Christmas Truce' - When Men Said No To War
Yeah, and then the next day it was murder and mayhem all over again. Some Truce
Anonymous Coward
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12/24/2006 12:58 PM
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Re: The Christmas Truce' - When Men Said No To War
[link to www.youtube.com]
Anonymous Coward
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12/24/2006 03:04 PM
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Re: The Christmas Truce' - When Men Said No To War
A kind thing to do at Christmas time was for a sniper to shoot an "enemy" in the kneecap.

They called it a "going home" wound.

Damn warmongers to Hell.

Everybody else, have a great Christmas and New Year!





GLP