- The darkest Christmas: December 1942 and a world at war
The darkest Christmas: December 1942 and a world at war
December 1942 saw the bloodiest Christmas in the history of mankind. From the islands in the Pacific to the China front, from the trenches in Russia to the battlelines in North Africa, in the skies over Europe and in the depths of the Atlantic, men were killing each other in greater numbers than ever before. The Holocaust continued, and innocent civilians were murdered by the thousands throughout the evil Nazi empire, even as the perpetrators celebrated the birth of Christ.
As the slaughter continued unabatedly, throughout the world there were random acts of kindness, born out of an instinctive feeling of the essential brotherhood of man. These gestures also straddled religious barriers and sometimes included those of non-Christian faiths. Even some Japanese, otherwise embarked on a self declared crusade against the West, relented for a few precious hours in acknowledgment of the holiday.
At the same time, Christmas 1942 saw the injunction of 'good will to man' distorted in ugly and callous ways. At Auschwitz, SS guards played cruel games with their prisoners. In Berlin, the German heart of darkness, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels spent time with his family while still buried in feverish fantasies about the Jewish world conspiracy.
Christmas 1942 saw the entire range of man’s conduct towards his fellow man, reflecting the extremes of behavior, good and bad, that the Second World War gave rise to. The way the holiday was marked around the world tells a deeper and more universal story of the human condition in extraordinary times.
Details: Non-fiction, published 2022.
Format: Soft cover, 256 pages.
Dimensions: 23.0 cm (h) x 15.3 (w).