THE NETHERLANDS: Little Moscow

Finsterwolde (pop. 3,250) in northeastern Holland, hard by the German frontier, looks like any other scrubbed Dutch town; but it is not. Every year Finsterwolde sends a wire addressed to the Kremlin offering Joseph Stalin birthday congratulations. And Finsterwolde's town fathers have officially made known that should Soviet forces cross the Dutch border, the town would "welcome the Red troops with open arms."

Finsterwolde began electing Communists to its town council after World War I; in peacetime years since 1933, they have been in the majority. In 1949 the Reds won Finsterwolde by 1,022 votes to 751. Since then Hollanders...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!