Waiting for Santa

Two privates playing chess, wearing their best uniforms, while the Christmas tree is decorated with tinsel, shiny glass pinecones, and candles. They are probably serving in Infanterie-Regiment 4 in Kolberg, Prussia. At home in the barracks or in a dugout on the frontline, German soldiers always tried to create some Christmas cheer. The tree could be just a pine branch decorated with tinsel cut from cigarette packages when living in a bunker. If they were lucky, mail had arrived from family back home. Perhaps the package contained a Christstollen, a heavy fruit cake as traditional as Christmas pudding is for the British. Maybe there was a pair of socks, a scarf or a pair of mittens, knitted by a mother or wife, a welcome addition to the winter uniform. If the enemy was quiet, so much the better.

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