25 December 2015

An interlude of human decency and reason when slaughter was the crown jewel of European statecraft.

A golden opportunity to die in
service to stupidity and arrogance.
During a House of Commons debate on March 31, 1930, Sir H. Kingsley Wood, a Cabinet Minister during the next war, and a Major “In the front trenches” at Christmas 1914, recalled that he “took part in what was well known at the time as a truce. We went over in front of the trenches and shook hands with many of our German enemies. A great number of people [now] think we did something that was degrading.” Refusing to presume that, he went on, “The fact is that we did it, and I then came to the conclusion that I have held very firmly ever since, that if we had been left to ourselves there would never have been another shot fired. For a fortnight the truce went on. We were on the most friendly terms, and it was only the fact that we were being controlled by others that made it necessary for us to start trying to shoot one another again.” He blamed the resumption of the war on “the grip of the political system which was bad, and I and others who were there at the time determined there and then never to rest. ... Until we had seen whether we could change it.” But they could not.
"Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce," by Stanley Weintraub, excerpted in "A Will To Peace." By John V. Denson, Mises Institute, 12/25/15.

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