2016-12-24

Dec. 24. Ce spectacle écoeurant...

Michel Toudy
A series of unofficial ceasefires took place along the Western Front over Christmas 1914, but not every soldier in the trenches was happy. "They celebrate Christmas in our ruins ["Dixmude"]... This disgusting spectacle continued for 15 hours..."*  writes an outraged Michel Toudy in his diary. Michel was a Belgian officer in the grenadiers (6de divisie) serving in the trenches in Diksmuide. He describes in detail the fraternization of his Belgian comrades with the German troops they were intent on killing just days before. Exasperated, he writes "Where are we heading? Everywhere, except to Berlin!"

This story was shared by Jos Bamps at a collection day run by Erfgoedplus.be, it is licensed as CC BY-SA.

To read Michel's diary entries for Christmas 1914 in full and see further pictures, go to http://europeana1914-1918.eu/en/contributions/5883 and remember you can use the tools on the site to translate the story.

* "Ils fêtent le Noël, dans nos ruines... Ce spectacle écoeurant cesse enfin verse 15 heures..."
** "Où allons nous? Partout, sauf à Berlin!"


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This post is part of our Advent calendar. New stories are published every day from Dec 1 until Christmas.

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