Christmas, 1942

The Pittsburgh Press (December 19, 1942)

Christmas, 1942

Out of the silent night, the voice of an angel came to the shepherds:

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

Fear not! Frequently in the course of His life did the Son of God repeat these words. Others, speaking in His name, have carried the same reassurance to the troubled of every age. It is a message of comfort today to millions whose hearts, even in the midst of war, devastation and terror, are open in welcome to the King of Kings.

There will be no Christmas celebration in the concentration camps or in the starving villages of Europe; but the tidings of that day will be whispered in the familiar words of the Gospels; and even in the abyss of misery, men will pray with new courage for the reign of peace and goodwill.

We cannot reach these people with our gifts; not even with our words of good cheer. But Christian Americans will surely remember them in their prayers. The power of prayer is beyond imagining. As we pray for the suffering, let us remember that from the lowly cradle of Bethlehem, charity and peace came into the world. It will come again through the grace and mercy and Him who is the Father of all.

Considering the awful hardships and tragedies that engulf Europe, it may seem selfish for Americans to look forward to a season of bounty and conviviality. But that is to misrepresent the significance of Christmas, to overlook the things it stands for and that must survive no matter what catastrophe threatens.

For Christmas is the symbol of our faith in God and in mankind. It stands for the essential qualities that link men of every belief and race. It is the day of the Good Samaritan.

Strip it of its joyous externals – the gaily-lighted trees, the tuneful carols, the bright store windows, the busy rush to mail greeting cards – and underneath will be found the feeling of universal brotherhood, the wish to share with others the blessings that are ours. Christmas is the assurance that after the shadows have lifted from the world, peace and goodwill will again prevail.


Well written, while the situation is much better than a year ago it must have been scary in view of the massive number of family members fighting abroad and the population working overtime to support them. This all with while still a massive distance from Berlin and Tokyo. Victory is looking to be attainable but the enormous distances to cover to get to Berlin, Tokyo or even the liberation of Philippines will take pools of blood and mountains of treasure. For me just looking at the map and seeing how long it took to advance anywhere in World War 1 is depressing from a December 1942 view.

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On the subject of Christmas 1942 i would like to add two points from the German side.

  1. The song “Silent Night, Holy Night” from the Christmas ring broadcast on German radio.

Units from all fronts were connected by radio and the old Christmas carol was sung together. Allegedly, however, the radio link to Stalingrad was faked. At this time there should have been no radio connection there.

You can see it here on Youtube:

  1. The “Madonna of Stalingrad”. The doctor at a field hospital and Pastor Kurt Reuber drew the picture of the Blessed Virgin and Child on the back of a Russian map. On the sides there is the inscription “1942 Christmas in the cauldron - fortress Stalingrad - light, life, love”. The drawing was flown out in one of the last supply aircraft and has been in the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin since 1983.