TV PROGRAMME  • Department / Unit Media

Small Hands in a Big War

The first ever television series about the Great War for children 8 to 12 years old.

“Today is August 1, 1914. It’s very hot. The rye harvest began on July 25 and the rye is almost white. As I walked past a field one evening, I picked some ears of rye and hung them over my bed with a thumbtack. As of today, Germany is at war. My mother suggested I keep a diary about the war. She says I’ll find it interesting when I am old. It’s true. When I am 50 or 60 years of age, what I have written as a child will seem strange to me. And it will all be true, because you can’t tell lies in a diary.” An entry from the diary entry of a twelve-year old German girl.

When World War I raged across Europe, thousands of children from different countries recorded their experiences in diaries and letters. Now, 100 years on, these stories are being brought back to life through the series "Small Hands in a Big War."

In each episode, we meet a different child from a different country, and discover how the war changed their lives. Each episode covers a specific theme such as propaganda, revolution, medical war system or honour.

The series uses a combination of high-end drama, carefully selected archive footage, and live animation to create an emotional backdrop. These compelling stories and their uncensored content will connect today’s children with their peers of a 100 years ago.

Sample story:
Gabi was 13-years-old when she began helping at a hospital for wounded soldiers. She quickly realized that her task and that of the doctors and nurses, was not to nurse them back to health for discharge, them but so that they could return to the battle-front.




Production status

HD, 8 episodes

25 minutes

Target age
Children (8 years +) / teens, families

Dutch, English, German, French, Swedish, Welsh and others

April 2014

Anna van der Heide, Nicole van Kilsdonk

Executive Producer
Gunnar Dedio, Loes Wormmeester

Production Company
LOOKS Film & TV GmbH

NTR, S4C, SWR, UR, Filmoption Int’l, Se-Ma-For, Cwmni Da

Supported by

Participating Broadcasters
ARTE Junior, CT, ERT, LTV, RTVSLO, Spiegel Geschichte, TRT, VRT

Matthew Trustram
+41 22 717 26 23

More Information
Author: Maarten van der Duin