WWI Christmas Truce Inspires Call for Ukraine Ceasefire

Invoking the legacy of the 1914 Christmas Truce during WWI, nearly 1,000 leaders of faith communities are calling for peace and negotiations to bring the war to an end, People’s Dispatch reports.

The Illustrated London News’ Jan. 9, 1915, illustration of the “Christmas Truce Between Opposing Trenches” — “fraternising on the field of battle at the season of peace and goodwill.” (Wikimedia Commons)

By Peoples Dispatch

Ahead of the end-of-year holidays, nearly 1,000 faith leaders in the United States are calling for a truce in Ukraine. With 14 million people displaced and over 6,700 civilians confirmed deaths (although the true death toll is estimated to be greater), the war in Ukraine has resulted in enormous violence.

Faith leaders are invoking the legacy of the 1914 Christmas Truce during WWI in calling for peace and negotiations in Ukraine. Led from the ground up by soldiers on both the British and German sides, troops defied their officers and ceased hostilities during Christmas all along the Western Front.

Almost 1,000 faith leaders have signed onto a statement that reads in part,

“In the spirit of the truce that occurred in 1914 during the First World War, we urge our government to take a leadership role in bringing the war in Ukraine to an end through supporting calls for a ceasefire and negotiated settlement, before the conflict results in a nuclear war that could devastate the world’s ecosystems and annihilate all of God’s creation.”

The statement was put together by U.S. peace organizations CODEPINK, National Council of Elders, and Fellowship of Reconciliation–USA (FOR).

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The recent escalations in Ukraine, especially on the part of the U.S., have raised worldwide concerns about the potential of a nuclear confrontation.

President Joe Biden’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), released on Oct. 27, abandons Biden’s 2020 campaign promise of supporting a “no first use” of nuclear weapons policy. It calls for a rebuilding of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, citing threats from Russia and China, despite the fact that U.S. intelligence has admitted that there is no sign that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons.


The U.S. has also sped up storage of upgraded nuclear warheads in Europe as the war rages on in the continent. As the Union of Concerned Scientists wrote in a blog post, “the Biden NPR doubles down on nuclear deterrence and the status quo approach to security that says we all must be prepared to die in less than an hour. That is not a world any of us should want to live in.”

While the U.S. escalates, peace organizations call instead for negotiations. “Negotiation is not a euphemism for capitulation, nor is it a rationalization of Putin’s aggression,” says Medea Benjamin, cofounder CODEPINK. “It is simply a recognition that the end of this war cannot be achieved by more war. Any prospect for a pause in hostilities should be acted on.”

On Nov. 19, peace organizations such as CODEPINK collaborated on an anti-war event hosted by the Peoples Forum and the ANSWER Coalition, also calling for negotiations to end the war in Ukraine.

Speaking to the condemnation of progressive voices for peace in the United States, ANSWER Coalition direct Brian Becker said at the event,

“Whenever people have organized and fought for and mobilized for peace, they draw the wrath of the warmakers…It doesn’t matter if their slogans are soft or mild, whether they talk about negotiations or overturning capitalism, just mobilizing the people against war is a great danger to the warmakers, because if the people finally say NO to war, the wars end. The ruling class can’t do the wars without the people.”

This article is from Peoples Dispatch.

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22 comments for “WWI Christmas Truce Inspires Call for Ukraine Ceasefire

  1. Vera Gottlieb
    December 17, 2022 at 15:19

    Keeping fingers crossed but…WW 1 was no picnic but present-day life is too materialistic…’greed is good’.

  2. peter mcloughlin
    December 17, 2022 at 08:38

    The image of the Christmas Truce is heart-warming and symbolic. There is another more chilling connection with today: world war. But governments today do not see the pattern, just as they didn’t in 1914.

    A free ebook: The Pattern Of History and Fate of Humanity

  3. mgr
    December 16, 2022 at 14:57

    As much as I would love to see an end to the hostilities in Ukraine, I doubt that the US and NATO have seriously decided to “give peace a chance.” Rather, I suspect that they belatedly realize that there is not way that the West will simply skate through an all out confrontation with Russia, especially backed up by China and with the tactic support, as Ray McGovern has pointed pointed out, most or all of the non-white world.

    What is needed are arms control and mutual security agreements. But even if this is offered, it remains fraught. Who is going to guarantee them? German and France who were the guarantors of the Minsk agreements? Perhaps we can ask Ms. Merkel to step in. You think? Perhaps the EU or the “impartial UN”? Or perhaps the US can lead the way with its rules based order where the rules flow like mercury for the benefit of the Western alliance? The “neos” have done their job well in destroying trust which, along with verify, is the only basis for any such agreement.

    Rather we should ask, what concrete action is the US willing to take? Perhaps removing the dual-use missiles in the Baltics and other European locations, filling in the launch silos and removing NATO forces on Russia’s border, or such NATO plans in Finland? After all the bait&switch and deception on the part of the US and NATO toward Russia over the last 30 years and in particular since 2014, the US and NATO really have no standing to say, “trust us.”

    And therein lies the truly calamitous aspect of this whole dire affair born of neocon fever dreams. Probably Nuland is delighted. See Glenn Diesen, Alexander Mercouris, and Ray McGovern at hxxps://www.antiwar.com/blog/2022/12/11/us-intelligence-community-and-conflict-with-russia-ray-mcgovern-alexander-mercouris-glenn-diesen-and-benjamin-abelow/ to understand the incredibly difficult situation in which we now all sit.

    I believe and still hope that real and concrete actions will elicit real and concrete responses. Without that though, it just seems like more deception. Perhaps the lesson, that the “neos” have no interest in understanding is: Beware of burning bridges. You just might need them to save your life.

  4. IJ Scambling
    December 16, 2022 at 09:38

    Valuable review here plus diagnosis (a two hour discussion on December 14):


    Delusion appears to be at the heart of the West’s plans and leadership.

  5. Nat Parry
    December 16, 2022 at 01:03

    I’m all for a Christmas Truce, but just FYI – since Ukraine and Russia observe the Orthodox Christmas, this would be on January 7 not December 25.

    • Thot
      December 17, 2022 at 00:24

      YIly a juste un inconvénient, les Ukrainiens n’ont jamais respecté une trêve et pendant la trêve, ils en profitent pour rassembler leurs forces en vue d’une énième agression. Autre inconvénient majeur, l’Ukraine est dirigée par les USA et tout le monde sait que leur faire confiance est un signe de folie

  6. December 15, 2022 at 18:58

    But won’t that cut into our arms sales? Just think of the profits the weapons makers would forfeit just for a little peace. Is it worth it?

    • Rebecca Turner
      December 16, 2022 at 03:04

      The trade unions of workers in weapons factories here in the UK have usually opposed anything that would create a more peaceful world. Why is it still a respectable occupation? It’s time to revisit the Lucas Aerospace plan from 1976.

    • Highlander
      December 16, 2022 at 05:37

      Until such time as Americans grow a backbone, follow truth, honour and morality and resolves its home grown soddom and gamorrah ….. calling for a truce, from the recipients of American paid butchery….. is farting against thunder

  7. Gitwindoix
    December 15, 2022 at 17:41

    This is not 1914, we exist in a different world, a world tortured by capitalism, raped and pillaged by a small group of “elites”. These individuals have figured out that if they keep the populace dumb and malleable they can keep their ill gotten gains, but there are consequences of creating an ignorant populace.

    Nazis will use this time to rearm and refresh, don’t be foolish. It will get bad before it gets better, best to get the bad out of the way as soon as possible.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      December 15, 2022 at 19:46

      “… a world tortured by capitalism, raped and pillaged by a small group of ‘elites’. These individuals have figured out that if they keep the populace dumb and malleable they can keep their ill gotten gains, but there are consequences of creating an ignorant populace.”

      The same could easily be said about the World War One era.

    • Rebecca Turner
      December 16, 2022 at 03:07

      1914 was also a world tortured by capitalism, raped and pillaged by a small group of “elites”. Why else was there a war between imperialist states? Little has changed. We need a socialist revolution, as the Russians realised and made happen in 1917. To those who think that is a bad idea: you are agreeing with the ruling classes of the UK and USA whose immediate response to the Bolshevik Revolution was to invade Russia. Again, what has changed?

  8. rosemerry
    December 15, 2022 at 16:25

    Sorry, this is NOT “Putin’s aggression” but an existential fight for Russia’s survival against a group of countries who are motivated by hatred and wish to destroy Russia, as was tried so often in the past. In the 1990s Russia was almost taken over and ruined by the “West” pretending to be helping it join its ranks. Vladimir Putin is the one person who managed to turn the tide against the greedy oligarchs and Western corporations which tried so hard to end Russia’s sovereignty. Now this must NOT be allowed to happen.

    • Templar
      December 15, 2022 at 22:22

      More recently highlighted by Angela Merkel’s confession that the 2014/15 Minsk agreements, brokered by Germany and France, were to be a roadmap for peace. She admitted in an interview with Die Zeit last week, that the actual purpose of the Minsk agreements was to give Ukraine time to prepare for a military confrontation with Russia. Hypocrisy writ large.

    • Tim N
      December 16, 2022 at 10:26

      Yes, always infuriating when leftists read out of the neoliberal/neocon playbook.

  9. Red Star
    December 15, 2022 at 16:21

    “Faith leaders are invoking the legacy of the 1914 Christmas Truce during WWI …”

    I may be wrong, but I thought the legacy of the 1914 truce was that when Xmas 1915 rolled around, those controlling the war made sure that it was not repeated.

  10. Kauai John
    December 15, 2022 at 15:22

    While I believe these groups are making good faith efforts, the fact that the article reports that it is only US organizations making the plea will make Russia justifiably suspicious. After Merkel’s confession that the Minsk negotiations were solely a way of arming Ukraine, and then after Boris Johnson torpedoed the April negotiations, Russia would be foolish to deviate from their war plans. Which is not to say that they were planning on fighting over Christmas. If this comes off, it won’t be because of the peace groups efforts, but because Russia was already making such plans.

    Ukraine has been so duplicitous that I wouldn’t believe them.

  11. michael888
    December 15, 2022 at 15:19

    After Merkel’s admission that the Minsk Accords were a farce to give time to Ukraine to integrate Western weapons into their armaments and fortify their positions in the Donbass, is it really likely that the Russians will “give Peace a Chance”? I would be shocked if Putin (and the Russian people) agreed to allow the Ukrainians to recover from their recent beatings. Much more likely that the Russians will press the attack through the winter and leave negotiations until Ukraine is essentially destroyed.

    Any good will has been lost by the treachery of the Minsk Accords and more recent Ukrainian war crimes (nicely covered by Kim Iversen) which will likely result in retaliation. The Western Europeans of WWI and earlier wars were much more civilized than people today.

    • WillD
      December 16, 2022 at 00:25

      Merkel has done more damage than she realises. Not only has she confirmed very clearly Western, in particular German & European duplicity, deceit, dishonesty and total untrustworthiness, she has also signed, or should I say co-signed with Scholtz, Germany’s economic death warrant.

      Putin has clearly got the message – the west cannot be trusted again – at all. The rest of the world now has the same confirmation.

      She has also destroyed her political legacy, not salvaged it as she hoped.

      • Tim N
        December 16, 2022 at 10:29

        I’m sure the Russians are unsurprised by Merkel’s admission. They’ve understood these things for some time.

  12. Renate
    December 15, 2022 at 13:22

    If Pope Francis were serious President Biden would have been excommunicated a long time ago.

    • Joseph Tracy
      December 16, 2022 at 13:30

      The US, UK, who are running this war have said over and over no negotiation but the surrender of Donbass and Crimea. Not going to happen. NATO commander Stoltenberg has recently changed his tune as he faces the reality of massive preparations by Russia. I suspect the US UK deep state knows Ukraine cannot stop Russia and are planning a false flag attack ( chemical or nuclear) to pin on the Russians. But destroying Russia with nuclear power will end their empire also. There are some in the deep state who think they can win or survive a nuclear war, whatever the hell that means because there will be no London, Brussels, D. C., NYC, Langley, No big western Banks, no Sydney, Israel, no you name it-make a list of western power and military centers. All the planning in the world cannot lead to the continuation of the empire after a nuclear war that may all include China, North Korea,.
      I would suggest the churches need to adopt and press for a deep and universal commitment to non-violence and communal sharing as foundational to following the teachings of Jesus.

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