Monday, February 11, 2013

History stories that make you go Hmmmmmm

Mike Dash runs a terrific history blog at the Smithsonian website, always presenting odd histories with very solid documentation.  So if anyone deserves to be believed on this story of a Siberian family that lived in complete isolation for forty years until contacted by geological explorers, it's him.

But it still has a bit of that feel of the Japanese soldier who missed the end of the war by decades, or the absolutely uncontacted tribe in the Amazon.   Hmmmmm.

Gotta say something the same about the plans of the British government to recreate, for the hundredth anniversary, the brief truce said to have been established by British and German soldiers in the trenches at Christmas 1914.  The story grows more and more poignant with every retelling, and no doubt next year's $100 million recreation will be right over the top -- if we can use that phrase in this context.

Now there do seem to be some accounts by eyewitnesses of a cease fire and some fraternization across the trench lines, any record in the British or German military sources...?  But is there any solid historical evidence for the spontaneous outbreak of peace we are about to see celebrated.  I'd be glad to know..  Hmmmmmm
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