Thursday, December 24, 2015

How The Christmas Truce Of 1914 Shows The World Has Become Less Civil

Via comment by Quartermain on The Jeffersonian Democrat: I Am One


It was the first Christmas of World War I. German and British troops had already been dug into the trenches of the Western Front for five months when something of a miracle occurred. Men on both sides spontaneously stopped fighting and ventured out to the middle of the battlefield to greet each other as brothers.

That event, which we now call the Christmas Truce of 1914, gives us a glimpse into what Western civilization was like before the last vestiges of Christendom were snuffed out. And it also points the way forward for those of us who are not satisfied to just enjoy the decline.


  1. A great article and I remember reading this back when I was a sophomore in high school - when they actually taught history - I mentioned it to my father and he said, "You know it's a shame that your Uncle Harold died five years ago, he could have told you about the time he survived a gas attack from the Germans." I was floored and asked my father to elaborate and he summed it up; "A gas shell bounced into your Uncle's trench. He was lucky enough to realize something was wrong and he donned his mask as taught. A number of other fellers weren't quick enough and they paid the price." As a young teenager I was humbled by what I heard, but what stuck with me the most was when my father said, "Your Uncle remarked about how the Germans looked no different from the people who lived in town, or the next farm over from his. He spoke with a few of them after hostilities ended and remarked about how they came from similar backgrounds and pretty much said the same thing, "God knows how we ended up here, or how it came to this." He always said what a waste of time the whole endeavor was."
    Ever since, I have been fascinated with the way the western world was BEFORE the "great" war. Manners, clothing, education, you name it, I'm interested in it. The one thing that makes me sick nowadays is how vulgar most people are. Gone are the manners from that era, for the worse I might add.

    1. Gone are the manners from that era, for the worse I might add.

      Lord only knows. I remember when Dixie and I went to visit my childhood friend George Wiltshire, he mentioned to those present that Brock is always the gentleman, something I admire. I stand when a woman enters the room, hold doors open, say yes Ma'am and Sir to all.

      "You must study to be frank with the world. Frankness is the child of honesty and courage. Say just what you mean to do, on every occasion, and take it for granted that you mean to do right. If a friend asks a favor, you should grant it, if it is reasonable; if not, tell him plainly why you cannot; you would wrong him and wrong yourself by equivocation of any kind.

      Never do a wrong thing to make a friend or keep one; the man who requires you to do so is dearly purchased at the sacrifice. Deal kindly but firmly with all your classmates; you will find it the policy which wears best. Above all, do not appear to others what you are not.

      If you have any fault to find with any one, tell him, not others, of what you complain; there is no more dangerous experiment than that of undertaking to be one thing before a man's face and another behind his back.

      We should live, act, and say nothing to the injury of any one. It is not only for the best as a matter of principle, but it is the path of peace and honor.....
      Duty, then, is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things like the old Puritan. You cannot do more; you should never wish to do less. Never let your mother or me wear one gray hair for any lack of duty on your part.


    Bet you can't guess what my favorite hymm or Christmas Carol is.