Winter in Wartime

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Winter in Wartime
Winter in Wartime - book cover.jpg
English language hardcover edition
Author Jan Terlouw
Original title Oorlogswinter
Country Netherlands
Language English (translation)
Subject World War II
Genre Historical fiction, juvenile fiction
Published New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976
Media type Book
Pages 197
ISBN 9780070635043 [1]
OCLC 1959593

Winter in Wartime (Oorlogswinter, 1972) is a novel by the Dutch writer Jan Terlouw.[2] The story is about a 16-year-old Dutch boy who lives through the last winter of World War II and is based on the author's recollections; Terlouw was 8 when the German army invaded the Netherlands.


Winter in Wartime is one of the most popular Dutch books of the postwar period. It sold an estimated half a million copies, and library estimates indicate that more than a million children read the book. In 2014, Terlouw said he still receives mail, daily, about the book. His primary purpose, he said, was to make it clear to readers that they shouldn't think, after finishing the book, that the war had somehow been a glorious period; the second was to provide—in a moderate manner—a human face for the Germans, something he said had not yet been done by the early 1970s.[3]

In 1973, the novel won the Gouden Griffel.


In 1975, a 13-episode Dutch television mini-series adaptation, Oorlogswinter, directed by Aart Staartjes, aired on the public television station Nederland 1 (now NPO 1).[4][5] In 2008, an eponymous feature film adaptation of the book, directed by Martin Koolhoven, premiered in Amsterdam and the Netherlands.[6][7] On October 1, 2011, Oorlogswinter, a Dutch musical based on the novel, and directed by Rogier van de Weerd, choreographed by Eefke Heit Brink, and scored by Klaas van Donkersgoed and Marieke van Diepen, premiered at the Zaantheater in Zaandam, North Holland.[8]


  1. ^ "Winter in Wartime". OCLC Worldcat. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Scotto, Barbara (March 1, 2012). "Winter in Wartime (review)". Horn Book Magazine. 88 (2): 121. 
  3. ^ Kaaij, Meindert van der (2 May 2014). "Hunkeren naar geborgenheid". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "Full Cast and Crew". Oorlogswinter (1975 TV miniseries). 1975. 
  5. ^ "Oorlogswinter". Retrieved August 9, 2016. 
  6. ^ Stephen, Holden (17 March 2011). "Teenager Encounters Adulthood and Nazis". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Rainer, Peter (1 April 2011). "Winter in Wartime: movie review". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Oorlogswinter-Jan Terlouw: Oorlogswinter (musical)". Weebly (in Dutch). Retrieved August 7, 2016.