Historical Social Research

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  • Ab. 38.1
Susanne Keesman: The Communist Menace in Finsterwolde: Conspiring against Local Authorities? Case Study on the Dutch Battle against Communism, 1945-1951. [Abstract]

Since the municipal elections of 1946 (and before in the period 1935-1939), the Communist party had held an absolute majority of seats in the city council of Finsterwolde, a small municipality in the north of the Netherlands. In 1951, the Dutch parliament adopted a custom bill to dismiss this “Little Moscow”. This article reconstructs the decision-making process that preceded the bill in order to analyze the way the communist threat was framed and securitized. For the administration, legitimizing this rather unique move in Dutch history was essential in order to uphold their democratic standards. The focus of this article is therefore twofold. Both the methods the administration used to invest the communists in Finsterwolde with an aura of imminent threat and the communist reactions to these allegations are discussed.