The Christmas Truce of 1914--A Poem by VFP Member Richard Greve

December 02, 2014

(An Historical Occurrence During WW1--a Spontaneous Truce by Soldiers Who Stopped Fighting for a Few Days)

It was early in the war and early in their lives,
but they already knew that their oh-so-brave leaders
had sent them to the slaughter, with cheering crowds, no less.
Blind and dumb a continent goes mad with lust-for-war disease.
In the muddy holes they dug,
lice crawling under caps, and coughing from cold,
they stopped the madness for a few days respite,
to celebrate the prince of peace that their royal
leaders gave lipservice to on Sunday morning.

They sang some songs.
drank a soothing drug they shared
to find a little peace.
They played some ball (they were so young)
and went back to muddy holes to sleep
a final silent night.
It could not last,
their leaders, in their cozy beds, would make sure of that.
For four more years the slaughter reigned
and holes were dug in rows for them,
for their eternal sunless beds,
in the lonely fields of France that don't remember
or redeem.

(c) Richard Greve, December 2014,  (Veteran for Peace, NYC Chapter 34)

There were approximately 16 million deaths in WW1 (9 million soldiers and 7 million civilians), and there were 21 million wounded. WW1 was said to be "The War to End all Wars". This wasn't to happen as we all know.