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Christmas in the trenches

Noël dans les tranchées.
The same community of suffering brings hearts together, melts hatreds, gives rise to sympathy between indifferent and even adversarial people.
Louis Barthas vers 1914.
Louis Barthas

The Christmas Truce of 1914 is remembered as an unparalleled demonstration of humanity. On the morning of December 25, 1914, German soldiers stopped firing and came out of the trenches around the Belgian town of Ypres singing Christmas carols. Christmas trees were placed along the firing lines, and British, Belgian, and French soldiers were invited to join in the festivities. But, unfortunately, this truce was not official, and the authorities of each army tried to put an end to it.

Although the principle of “shot, for example,” did not yet exist, measures were taken, and the soldiers concerned were moved to the most dangerous fronts. Louis Barthas, a corporal during the four years of the conflict, wrote about these “fraternizations”: “The same community of suffering brings hearts closer together, melts hatreds, and creates sympathy between people who are indifferent and even adversaries. Those who deny this do not understand anything about human psychology. French and Germans looked at each other and saw that they were all the same men.”

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