DALLAS (Dec. 18, 2014) — Many contemporary holiday cards reflect peaceful tidings, but 100 years ago, peace meant something entirely different to the WWI soldiers who fought bloody combat in the trenches of Northern Europe.
Doctor, artist and explorer Jeff Gusky shares a photo depicting a soldier’s wish for peace from The Hidden World of WWI collection. “These images are reminders of the soldiers’ humanity found in the underground cities where the soldiers lived between battles,” says Dr. Gusky. “No matter which side the soldiers were fighting for, they all had home, family, peace and patriotism on their minds.”
In 1918, a French soldier carved paix – French for peace – into the wall of an underground city along the western front of WWI. Though probably signifying the Armistice that year, historians say that Christmas peace was very much on the minds of all soldiers during their first Christmas at war four years earlier. Copyright © 2011-2014 Jeffrey Gusky. All Rights Reserved.[/caption]According to one blog, “The rank-and-file soldiers spontaneously arranged informal cease-fires with enemy soldiers in the trenches opposite them and, in many cases, met in the No Man’s Land between the trenches to socialize with each other, singing carols, exchanging small gifts and burying the dead (and in some instances, even playing soccer or taking photographs together).” (source: FishWrap)
About The Hidden World of WWI
The Hidden World of WWI is a treasure trove of thousands of photographs of an underground world frozen in time nearly 100 years ago. There, in forgotten underground rock quarries, some dating back to medieval times, WWI soldiers created cities complete with electricity, rail systems, housing, churches, hospitals and art – inscriptions that capture how soldiers from different countries escaped intense trench warfare. You can find samples of the collection at jeffgusky.com. Follow The Hidden World of WWI on Facebook, Instagram and on Twitter where a new photograph will be revealed each day through 2019, the end of the WWI centenary.
About the artist
Jeffrey Gusky, M.D., FACEP, lives two lives — one as a rural emergency physician and the other as a fine-art photographer and explorer. He is a National Geographic photographer and works on assignment for The New York Times.
Two books of black-and-white photography, multiple national exhibitions including the pairing of his work with the Spanish master Francisco de Goya and the legendary early 20th Century photographer Roman Vishniac, inclusion in a Broadway play and the honor of a Gusky traveling exhibition being ranked by Artnet Magazine on its 2009 list of the top 20 museum shows in America mark Jeff Gusky’s fine-art career. He explores the world—photographing traces of the past that reveal how modern life affects our humanity and that inspire us to ask questions about the vulnerabilities of modern life that we have forgotten how to ask.
Press kit photos: http://jeffgusky.photoshelter.com/gallery/Press-Hand-Outs/G0000rVIDAQOWK9w, password: HIDDENWORLD