Cover of the French war bulletin La Guerre Mondale, December 1914. This is actually very interesting, because of all the countries whose troops participated in fraternization, France was the most adamant to censor any news of the truce. Letters from British soldiers describing the truce poured in and were promptly sent by their families to the press and published in papers such as The Illustrated London News, The Illustrated War News and even The New York Times.
“The French, by contrast, muzzled all mention of fraternization. The press was not allowed to print any accounts of the events, not even from foreign papers. Instead, a new degree of stridency appeared in the French press over the Christmas period. Maurice Donnay of the Académie française submitted an article over Christmas to Le Figaro which appeared on the front page on the last day of 1914. It was entitled “La Sainte Haine” (“Sacred Hate”). An article on the day before began with the words “No German can open his mouth or take up his pen without lying.” How out of touch with events of the war the home front in France was becoming was indicated by the booklet La Vie de tranchée, published some months later. In its portrait of life in the trenches it included an anecdote about Anglo-German relations in the front line. The British, it claimed, loved to sing ni chorus in the trenches at night. Ther Germans were supposedly enthralled by this entertainment and would shout wunderbar schön!
And these pigs they want to sing too, and you should hear the sounds that greet them: dogs, cats, tigers… and their voices are drowned out, with lots of vigorous cries of “Shut up!” as well.
Incensed by this insult, the Germans start firing. The English, in turn, laugh themselves sick. That’s how nights at the front are spent, claimed La Vie de tranchée - in good fun! It was the same mentality that both produced this type of fiction and claimed at the same time that every German was a liar.”
-Modris Eksteins, Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age.