The right side: Dutch Communists 50 years after Stalin

Communist poster calling for resistance to fascism and capitalism (©

When Joseph Stalin died in 1953, many people all over the world truly mourned. Several generations later, this reaction is difficult to understand, given the millions of people who were killed under his regime of terror. Yet many people outside the Soviet Union continued to believe in him and the communist ideology. The Communist Party in The Netherlands was one of the oldest in the world. For those who were born in close-knit red communities, questioning the value of communism amounted to abandoning deep family traditions. Rebel students who joined in the seventies, found it easier to close the chapter. In ‘The Right Side’, former Dutch communists come to terms with their involvement in the Party.

Producer: Hélène Michaud

Broadcast: September 12, 2003