How a Holy Night Brought Peace, Healing to These World War II Opponents

(iIxabay/MichaelGaida)

Editor’s Note: This is part two of a two-part article. Read part one here.

She then went inside and shut the door and informed the American soldiers that they had guests but that they would not be harmed. She explained that there were German soldiers who likewise needed help and that they would come inside for supper and stay the night. She then asked for their weapons, and they agreed. She took the American soldiers’ weapons outside and leaned them against the cabin with the German soldiers’ weapons. Then she invited the German soldiers to come inside.

So there they were. The German soldiers were on one side of the living room and the American soldiers on the other side, facing the opposing side while Mrs. Vincken prepared Christmas Eve supper. The silence was apparent. Out of the silence emerged the voices of the German soldiers singing the German hymn “Silent Night” in Latin. “Silent Night” was renowned in both German and Latin. Also, the Lutheran denomination in those days held mass in Latin. So German Lutherans often sang in Latin. Then their American brothers in Christ joined in, singing in English. Tears came down the faces of the German and American soldiers as they sang “Silent Night.”

The German soldiers brought out of their supplies a flask of wine and a loaf of bread. They shared their wine and bread with the American soldiers. With tears running down their faces, they had Communion. Then one of the German soldiers began speaking in perfect English to the American soldiers and said he was a medical student. He offered to operate on the wounded American soldier.

For several hours this German soldier operated with no anesthesia. It was such a meticulous and intense operation that his forehead was perspiring. Finally, he got the bullet out and bandaged up the wounded American soldier. He said the cold weather prevented infection from spreading. Mrs. Vincken had finished preparing the Christmas Eve supper. She invited them to the table and prayed, “Komm, Herr Jesus, and be our guest.” They had Christian fellowship that holy night.

According to Fritz Vincken, in an interview in later years, “There were tears in her eyes, and as I looked around the table, I saw that the battle-weary soldiers were filled with emotion. Their thoughts seemed to be many, many miles away. Now they were boys again, some from America, some from Germany, all far from home.”

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SOURCE: Charisma News, James F. Linzey