Saturday, December 24, 2005

1944 Christmas Truce

Unlike the spontaneous and massive truce that occurred on the Western Front in 1914 that saw Germans, French, English intermingling and playing a few scratch games of soccor, World War II at best had small accidental truces between combatant forces.

In fact the only story that springs to mind is one reported by Lifetime's series Unsolved Mysteries. The Belgium boy who witnessed the event that transpired in his mother's secluded house had wanted to find out what happened to the men from that night.

This was the last winter of World War II. Allied forces were still trying to repulse the last German offensive in the Ardennes when this story happens. Out in the forest was this one farmhouse that housed a woman and her small son. They were preparing to have dinner on Christmas Eve when they heard a knock on the door.

The mother shooed her son away and went to answer the door. She opened it to see three lost and very cold German soldiers who asked if they could warm up a bit. She welcomed them in and bade them to sit at the table, asking if they would care to have something to eat also. Just as the Germans were settled at the table, there was another knock at the door. She went to answer it and there standing in her doorway was another lost patrol, this time two Americans.

To say there was tension would I think be an understatement. Lacking anyway to communicate with the Americans and the Americans also lacking, miraculously a truce was worked out between the German soldiers and the Americans. Soon the Americans and the Germans were sitting across from each other at the table while the woman bustled about getting them something to drink and some hot food. So for just a little while five soldiers sat peacefully at a table sharing hot food with a brave woman and her son.

What was it Elijah said when he fled to the mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments? Oh yes, it was in a gentle breeze that he heard G_d's voice. So too that night in Europe when seven people found peace in the snow covered woods while around them war raged in those same woods.

To all who read this please think on it. Merry Christmas. Or as Najia is trying to teach me to say: Prettige Kerstdagen en Gelukkig Nieuw Jaar!


The MaryHunter said...

Quite a story, quite an image. Thanks for sharing it.

Merry Christmas to you and yours! So glad to have you as a b'sphere friend.

Anonymous said...

And then there's Vrolijk Kerstfeest, which means Merry Christmas Feast ...

And hey, you wanna learn dutch, pick up the phone. I promise not to pass you to the hubby. ^_-

Anna said...

The MaryHunter it is an honor, I assure you, to be counted as such. As I consider you a blog friend.

Najia, hah! That would be so cool. With me mangling everything and my tongue turning into a pretzel. (: