FINLAND: On Tiptoe

"Do you really think it's so much better?" asked Finns when TIME'S Jack Fleischer returned to Helsinki for the first time in two years. He did.

The city's wartime grey is now covered with bright paint glistening in the long northern sun. Bombed buildings have been repaired. A dozen fine apartment buildings have shot up in one Helsinki district since the armistice of Sept. 19, 1944. There are new cottages and barns along nearby country roads.

Consumer goods are scarce, but Stockmann's, the big department store whose shelves were empty two years ago, now has fine pottery, glassware, furniture, Finnish...

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