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Two Christmas stories.


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My uncle Eric Wilson was taken prisoner at the fall of Tobruk and spent five years working in German coal mines.  One Christmas Eve a drunken German officer entered their barracks brandishing his pistol.  After screaming and cursing and firing off rounds, he staggered over and shot and killed the man in the bunk below my uncle, then staggered out.

As a counterpoint.  There was prison camp in the Blackburn, Burnley area for German prisoners.  One Christmas, the townspeople decided to invite the prisoners to their Christmas Eve service.  It was all agreed and the church's childrens' choir practiced for weeks.  On Christmas Eve, the guards escorted the prisoners to the church where they joined the congregation.  The prisoners were amazed and many were reduced to tears when the children's choir stood and sang Silent Night in the original German. Now that's Christmas.


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