Christmas Photos from the World Wars

December 25, 2015
A Christmas tree standing in front of Block 15 in Auschwitz I Concentration Camp, date unknown
A Christmas tree standing in front of Block 15 in Auschwitz I Concentration Camp, date unknown (Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Archives).

 

British Soldiers bringing in holly for Christmas
British Soldiers bringing in holly for Christmas (Source: The Literary Digest History of the World War, Vol. 2; Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1919.)

 

Christmas Dance for African-American soldiers of 1323rd Engineers, Camp Swift, Texas, 12.23.1943
Christmas Dance for African-American soldiers of 1323rd Engineers, Camp Swift, Texas, Dec. 23, 1943 (U.S. National Archives)

 

Finnish Army unit holding a Christmas service near the Kollaa River, Finland,12.24.1939
Finnish Army unit holding a Christmas service near the Kollaa River, Finland, Dec. 24, 1939 (WWII Database)

 

French soldiers preparing for Christmas dinner at the front
French soldiers preparing for Christmas dinner at the front (The Literary Digest History of the World War, Vol. 2; Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1919)

 

German soldier celebrating Christmas in a trench
German soldier celebrating Christmas in a trench (New York Times, Jan. 31, 1915)

 

M-51 Anti-aircraft Battery looking up at a Christmas Day dog-fight. Near Puffendorf, Germany. 12.25.1944
M-51 Anti-aircraft Battery looking up at a Christmas Day dog-fight. Near Puffendorf, Germany. Dec. 25, 1944 (U.S. National Archives, Department of the Army)

 

Members of 101st Airborne Division walk past comrades killed during the Christmas Eve bombing of Bastogne, Belgium, 12/23/1944
Members of 101st Airborne Division walk past comrades killed during the Christmas Eve bombing of Bastogne, Belgium, 12/23/1944

 

Personnel of USS LEXINGTON celebrate Christmas, 12.1944
Personnel of USS LEXINGTON celebrate Christmas, December 1944 (U.S. National Archives, Dept of the Navy)

 

Sgt. Hiram Prouty of US 175th Infantry Regiment dressed as Santa Claus arriving on a M3 medium tank in Perham Down, England, 12/5/1942
Sgt. Hiram Prouty of US 175th Infantry Regiment dressed as Santa Claus arriving on a M3 medium tank in Perham Down, England, Dec. 1942 (U.S. Army Signal Corps)

 

US 5th Armored Regiment tankers gathering around a fire and opening presents near Eupen, Belgium, Dec. 30, 1944 (U.S. Army Center of Military History)
US 5th Armored Regiment tankers gathering around a fire and opening presents near Eupen, Belgium, Dec. 30, 1944 (U.S. Army Center of Military History)

 

US Army Sgt. Edward F. Good feeding Pfc. Lloyd Demin during the Christmas dinner at a field hospital in the Philippine Islands, 12/25/1944
US Army Sgt. Edward F. Good feeding Pfc. Lloyd Demin during the Christmas dinner at a field hospital in the Philippine Islands, Dec. 25, 1944 (U.S. Army Signal Corps)

 

US Army soldier dressed as Santa Claus at Camp Lee, Virginia, United States, December, 1941
US Army soldier dressed as Santa Claus at Camp Lee, Virginia, United States, December, 1941 (U.S. Army Signal Corps)

 

US Army soldiers sharing care package sent by one of their wives for Christmas, somewhere in Europe, 11/18/1944
US Army soldiers sharing care package sent by one of their wives for Christmas, somewhere in Europe, Nov. 18, 1944 (U.S. Army Signal Corps)

 

Wounded German soldiers at Christmas
Wounded German soldiers at Christmas (Library of Congress)

 

Editor’s Note: This was originally published by War on the Rocks last Christmas