View Full Version : Christmas Ardennes 1944

01-08-2005, 05:15 PM
Found this real story in an army magazine (Sorry for my bad translation). No futher comment.

I was twelve years old and we lived in a hut in the Ardennes close to the german €" beligian border. Father used this hut as a hunting lodge in summer but sent us there to escape from the bombing raids of our home town Aachen. About a week ago General v. Rundstedt started the last big german attack at the western front. It was christmas in 1944 when my mother heard a knocking at our door. My mother opened and saw two men with helmets. One of them spoke to her in a language she did not undestood. The other one pointed at a third lying in the snow. Enemies ! These men were armed and could have entered the hut easily but they only begged with their eyes. The wounded seemed rather more dead than alive. €œCome in€ mother said. The american soldiers went in and laid their wounded comerade in my bed. Not anyone of them spoke german. My mother tried it in french and one of them understood her. The name of the leader was Jim his friend´s name was Robin. Harry the wounded slept in my bed his face as white as my sheets. They lost their unit and wandered around the woods searching americans always on the guard of german troops. They all were unshaved but without their equipment they looked like tall boys and that was the way they were treated by my mother. My mother sent me to the larder to get Hermann and potatoes. This was big changing in our christmas program because we fatterned Hermann ( a ****) in the hope of father (served at the Wehrmacht) would be at home for christmas again. Robin looked after Harry while Jim and me helped my mother in the kitchen. While laying the table we heard another knocking at the door. Not afraid anymore I opened thinking about some more lost american soldiers. Outside stood four men in uniforms I knew very well after five years of war: german soldiers €" ours ! I was terrified €" because I knew beside my age that giving enemy soldiers a home was treason. We could have executed all. My mother was afraid too. Her face was white but she went out and said €œhappy christmas€. The leader a Unteroffizier told her that they lost their unit and they would like to stay here until the first light of the dawn. €œYes you may stay here but we already have some other guests tonight€ she answered. €œWho´s there €" americans ?€ asked the Unteroffizier. Mother saw everyone into his eyes nad repeated €œwell €" you all could be my sons and those inside too. One of them is wounded and fights for his life. €œ She raised her voice €œin this holy night we don´t want to think about killing€. The Unteroffizier stared at her for a few seconds. Then my mother broke the silence €œwell wnough said€ clapping in her hands €œlay down your weapons here on the wood and hurry or the others will eat everything alone€. Like dazed they obeyed and layed down their weapons: two pistols, two carabines, a light machine gun and two bazookas. Meanwhile mother spoke hasty with Jim on french and I wondered when the americans gave their weapons to my mom. My mother was in her element while american and german soldiers stood around in an embarrassing situation. With a smile on her face she found a seat for everyone. Without worrying about the situation she returned to the kitchen. But meanwhile Hermann did not grew and my mom sent me to the larder to get more potatoes and rolled oats. While I plundered the larder I heared Harry moaning. When I came back I saw one of the germans looking after his wounds. €œAre you medical€ my mother asked. €œNo but I studied medicine in Heidelberg until a few months.€ Then he explained in english that Harry lost a lot of blood but his wounds were not infected because of the low temperatures. €œHe just needs a lot of silence and a good meal€. Seeing the soldiers sitting there side by side I noticed that these boys were really young. Heinz and Willi both from Cologne were 16, the Unteroffizier aged 23 was the oldest one. He brought a bottle of red wine and stood it on the table but saved a part for the wounded. Then my mom spoke the prayer and I noticed that she had tears in her eyes €œcome Jesus be our guest€¦€. Looking around the table I noticed that also the eyes of the soldiers were wet. They were boys again€¦some from america the others from germany€¦both far away from home€¦.

01-08-2005, 05:35 PM
It's pretty amazing.

I heard about something that happened in the first world war, where on christmas, the two sides had "an hour of peace" and German and British soldiers were together talking to each other in no-man's land.

Good to see that people can look beyond war sometimes.

01-08-2005, 05:52 PM
Thank you Purzel...thanks for sharing...i really cant comment

01-08-2005, 06:13 PM
i thank you to Purzel, and i cant comment either

01-08-2005, 07:43 PM
Excellent story, I appreciate your effort in translating it for us!

01-08-2005, 09:03 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif Excellent Post purzel08!

01-09-2005, 02:50 AM
Thnx....a good christmas read.

01-09-2005, 04:50 AM
I'd like to comment,
Good will to all.
May you all spend your life in peace and not
have to experience the horrors of war.
Cheers,and I hope you all have a very happy
and healthy new year.