‘Christmas Truce’ of 1914 Shows How People Can Live in Peace


L'imaginaire via Wikimedia Commons

A statue commemorating the Christmas Truce of 1914 stands in Mesen, Belgium.

Kalvin Crawford, Staff Writer

WW1 was so impactful that the majority of the countries in the world were involved. Over 30 nations declared war between 1914 and 1918. The majority joined on the side of the Allies, including Serbia, Russia, France, Britain, Italy, and the United States. They were opposed by Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire, who together formed the Central Powers. 

At one period in the war, the Allies and the Central forces came to a truce that is called the “Christmas truce.” The Christmas truce started on Dec. 24, 1914. It started along the Western Front in France and was instigated by the Germans. This event was started by an individual named Pope Benedict XV. He suggested a temporary hiatus in the war to celebrate Christmas. The German troops came out of the trenches and lit candles, and sang Christmas carols soon after the British troops joined them, and then that’s how the truce began. 

It is said that this event shows the peace and goodwill on the earth. The event lasted from Dec. 24 to New Year’s Day. During the Christmas truce, the British and German troops played a game of football (soccer), and apparently, the British lost 2-1.  The higher-ups both British and German disapproved of the truce, believing that it would soften the troops, but it occurred anyway. The men in the trenches took it upon themselves to cautiously reach out to their enemies for a reprieve from fighting.

Personally what comes to mind is that WW1 is the fact that it all started because countries had power but wanted to strive for more. it really says a lot about us. It makes me think that no matter how much power we have we still try to go after more. What I am basically saying is that most people aren’t happy or satisfied with what they have. Another thing is it is kind of useless in some cases to go to war because during that war and after that war, bad blood still rises, no matter what happens even, if we choose to or choose not to go to war.    

In my opinion, the fact that they were able to end the fighting, even for a few days, tells me that there might be some way that we could achieve world peace. At the point in the Christmas truce, where the two forces came together, there is one word that comes to mind: trust. This word comes to mind because literally the German general (or higher) could come out and shake hands with the British general when either could have been assassinated.

Many countries saw WWI as pointless or confusing. Many countries didn’t know what they were fighting for exactly; they just raised their weapons to defend their territory. This was telling me that the war actually could have been avoidable. This war erupted because Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated. He was assassinated due to his perceived threat to Serbian independence. Archduke was the head of the “faction that wanted to avoid war,” he was assassinated by “the Black Hand, ” a secret military society formed in 1901 by the officers of the army of the kingdom of Serbia.

This was all over land that belonged to one country. If countries just trusted each other to exist together, the 20 million people who died in the First World War would not have had to. And if we think about war today, war over territory, the same idea feels to ring true.