Friday, December 26, 2014

When Soldiers Say No to War

The Illustrated London News's illustration of the Christmas Truce. The Illustrated London News's illustration of the Christmas Truce. (Photo: A. C. Michael) 
At this 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce, Camillo Mac Bica remembers the Hootch program, which brought together Soviet and US Cold Warriors and concludes it is not the truce or the occurrence at the Hootch, but war that is the aberration, a violation of human nature.
Christmas in the trenches: The Western Front, 1914
This year we mark the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce. A unique event in the annals of war, when soldiers of World War I, the "war to end all wars," enduring the horrors of trench warfare along the infamous 600-mile Western Front, made a conscious decision to stop the insanity, put down their weapons and said no to war.

As former enemies realized their respective government's deception of dehumanizing the enemy, some soldiers on both sides refused to resume the insanity and the slaughter of those with whom they had become friends.

Amazingly, some say miraculously, despite the knowledge that fraternization with the enemy was regarded by military leaders as treason, a crime punishable by summary execution, many soldiers, recognizing the humanity of the other and their shared sacrifice, cautiously and hesitantly emerged from their opposing trenches to meet and exchange holiday greetings and souvenirs with those who just hours before had been their enemies.

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