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Default The Christmas Truce & Flanders Peace Field Project

August 10th, 2013, 13:46
I read about it for the first time today, result: goosebumps.

The Christmas Truce & Flanders Peace Field Project

On Christmas Eve 1914 the guns fell silent and, as darkness descended, British soldiers heard the sounds of Christmas carols rising from the German lines. The British ranks responded, first by applause and cheering, and then by singing themselves.

Being curious, some soldiers raised their heads above the trenches. In the distance they could see the glow of candles on small Christmas trees. German
heads were also seen peering above the trenches. No shots were fired. Some soldiers raised their heads higher. Shoulders, trunks and entire bodies soon
stood above the trenches.

Soldiers on both sides began to inch closer and eventually met at the heart of No Man’s Land, poignantly surrounded by their fallen comrades, frozen rigid by, and clothed in, frost. They shook hands, exchanged gifts and drinks, swapped cap badges and buttons, and showed one another photographs of their families and loved ones.

This extraordinary encounter continued throughout Christmas Day, during which the dead were buried. Contemporary correspondence and reports from the period suggest that a football was produced and a game of soccer between German and British soldiers was played with the Germans emerging 3-2 winners.

Albert Einstein captured the spirit of the Christmas truce when he said:
Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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August 10th, 2013, 14:38
certainly moving, but….

*wonders how much is true and myth**
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August 10th, 2013, 14:47
It's a well known story, true afaik.
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August 10th, 2013, 16:24
My late uncle was there and kept an exchanged photograph.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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August 13th, 2013, 16:09
Impressive.

Perhaps tit's considered a myth because we nowadays are changed so much ?
Has the loss of Humanity and the subsequent rise of Cynism been so great that people just cannot imagine things like that happening anymore ?



A German saying goes like this :

"Imagine there is war - and no-one goes there/to it."

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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August 13th, 2013, 16:20
WWI is not exactly a good time to point to when you want to make a point about how humanity was better in the past, Alrik. That handshake was but a moment in a conflict that cost at least 15 million lives. For all the failings of our society, >60 years of peace in most of europe is something to be proud of.
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August 13th, 2013, 16:23
The Slogan of the German Peace Movement:
"Stell dir vor, es ist Krieg und keiner geht hin."

has origins in the US:

Original engl.: "Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come." - The People, Yes. Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York 1936

Wiki - Carl Sandburg

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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August 13th, 2013, 16:26
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
WWI is not exactly a good time to point to when you want to make a point about how humanity was better in the past, Alrik. That handshake was but a moment in a conflict that cost at least 15 million lives.
I do know. One of my Grandfathers was in the war, too.

But still - why do people assume that this might be a myth ? I guess it's the Cynism of today assuming it … ?

@HiddenX : Thank you.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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August 13th, 2013, 16:32
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I do know. One of my Grandfathers was in the war, too.

But still - why do people assume that this might be a myth ? I guess it's the Cynism of today assuming it … ?
I don't think so. By the end of WW1 this had pretty much become unthinkable already, as the war went on and became ever more brutal (in particularly after poison gas was used) the opposing sides were increasingly less willing to see the other side as human.
WWII furhter entrenched that.
It's this unforgiving, dehumanized warfare and enmity that we mostly (and rightly) remember from these conflicts, and so this episode seems maybe unbelievable. However it is well documented, so it's actually not generally perceived as a myth.
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