Christmas In Wartime – December 21, 1939
Click on the link here for Audio Player: News of the Week for Dec. 21, 1939
Despite news earlier in the week of the sinking of the German Battleship Admiral Graf Spee, Germany was celebrating Christmas, this week in 1939, with a shipment of some 1 million Christmas trees into Berlin. War news, it seemed, wasn’t going to deter anybody from celebrating. The trees were plentiful but the candles weren’t. And since the average German Christmas tree was decorated with candles, as opposed to those new electric lights, rationing of candles was strict. So the pinch of war was felt despite everything.
But news on other fronts, during this first Christmast Season of War in over 20 years, was less festive. Reports on the internment of the surviving Crew members of the Graf Spee in Montevideo. News of Ireland getting Torpedo boats as a defense measure against German sea attacks. Continued Naval action in the North Sea. A Russian air raid on Finland and reports of action on the Western Front. Japan was set to open the Pearl and Yangtze Rivers to foreign shipping traffic.
That, and a lot more via this wrap up of International News via Mutual reporter Guy Savage for the week ending December 21, 1939.
Probably the last year Christmas was going to be Merry anywhere for a long time.