World War I was one of the most horrible wars in Earth’s history. The second largest war ever fought, most of the soldiers were conscripted by their respective governments to kill loads of people who had never personally wronged them, fighting in foreign lands while starving and suffering fatigue and bullet wounds. However, on Christmas in 1914, peace fell over the war zone.
The frontline of the German army put up lights across their trenches while singing Christmas carols. They put up banners that wished the British a ‘Happy Christmas,’ as well as coming out of the trenches to meet the enemy peacefully. Each side non-officially agreed to not shoot each other on Christmas and told stories and exchanged autographs while they were at it.
On Christmas Day, the Germans and the British played soccer with empty jars and bundles of straw instead of a ball. In the middle of no man’s land, a man set up a “barber shop” that was open to both sides, giving out haircuts for cigarettes. Some soldiers used this peace time to retrieve their comrades bodies from the middle of no man’s land to give them a proper memorial.
This inspiring showing of humaneness only occurred once. On every other holiday, commanding officers prohibited any kind of cease-fire to occur. However, the Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that even war cannot take away the natural humanity, the instinct for clemency that makes us human.