Title ID 5779Collection ID799
Title[Milestone [?]; Children’s Village Trogen]
Genre/TypeProfessionalIndependent Artist/Film-makerEducationalNon-fictionPromotional/Publicity
KeywordsBuilding Construction Buildings Ceremonies Charities Children Education Youth Youth Organizations
NationalSwitzerland Europe
ProductionPestalozzi International Village Trust
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration12min. 30sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A silent film documenting the founding of the Pestalozzi Children's Village at Trogen, Switzerland. The village is seen being constructed, children help to make furniture and a ceremony is held to mark its official opening. Children from abroad arrive at the village and take up residence in one of the houses, they are seen enjoying games and learning in the classroom. The film is intersected by titles, providing a narrative to the events.


The film opens with a brief scene of a mass rally in the canton of Bern (?). Title: “... The foundation stone of the Children’s Village was laid on the land presented to the cause by the commune of Trogen.” Children are conducted in song and a man gives a speech to a gathered crowd. A time capsule is buried with two children helping. “The children of Trogen extend their invitation to the war orphans”. A girl cups her hands and shouts. Title: “Come to us, all you boys and girls who have no father and no mother; Come and live with us. Your new home is ready waiting for you.” Title: “Timber for building purposes is donated by the Commune.” Sign: “Heider”. Men haul a large tree truck along a road and timber is cut into planks and measured. Title: “From planning to actual building”. Close-up of a model of the village and shots of houses being built. Title: “Volunteers from fourteen different nations helped to build the Children’s Village”. More shots of houses being built and men digging trenches. Title: “Our motto is to build, not to pull down!”. Men carry timbers and mix cement. Title: “The first house has already got its roof on.” Men tiling roof. Title: "Like old, like young.” Boys sawing timber. Title: "Both young and old lent a willing hand in the houses and workshops". Boys in workshop making furniture. Truck: “Kohlen Koller”. Boys unload furniture into the house. Title: “Another children’s house is ready to provide a new home to a little family of innocent war orphans”. Young children riding on a tram. They are greeted by a man and a welcome party is assembled at the village. The gates have been decorated with flags and greenery. Title: “Here they come! Here they come!”. Children and adults walking along road towards the village. Luggage is transported on small carts. The children arrive at the village and enter a house. Title: “A great day in the Children’s Village; new houses are going to be ‘christened’”. Crowd gathered around a flagpole with the Swiss flag flying. Shots of the village and countryside in the background. Title: “Our heartfelt thank to the generous donors!”. Wooden sign: “Spende der Ciba A.G. Basel”. Wooden sign: "Marai Curie-Sklodowska". Banner: "Winterthurerhaus". Wooden signs: "Les Cigales", "Spende der Stadt Zurich", "Orlcta". Title: "Donations and gifts are more welcome from whomever they may come." Sign: "J S Chinder-Dorf Pestalozzi." Children hand over items from a lorry. Pigs, goats and sheep in a field. Title: "Carefree youth". Girls play with dolls, children play football and other outdoor games. Title “Each house shelters a little family of sixteen children together with their foster-parents. it is here that they gradually recover their lost health and hope. They are taught in their mother’s language and brought up in their father’s faith. One day they will return to their native country as fully grown man and woman”. Children doing classroom activities. Title: “The flags of many nations flutter in peaceful harmony under the symbol of the charitable Swiss Cross”. Shot of Swiss flag flying and smaller flags underneath. “Thus was born, apart from many other relief schemes for the innocent victims of the war, this work of peace, testifying to an undying faith in youth, in the equality of all nations and in a better future for all!” The film ends with a close-up of a Pestalozzi poster with ladybird design. Title: "End."