What is the largest micronation
The bizarre micronation waging a “war” against the GDR
By Larissa Königs | June 03, 2020, 11:45 a.m.
A country that is smaller than a soccer field, is not recognized by any nation in the world and is also at war with a state that has not existed for 30 years. It is so absurd that it could not be imagined - welcome to the Republic of Molossia! TRAVELBOOK spoke to the president of the bizarre fantasy state.
There are a lot of bizarre things going on in the US. But few things are as strange as the micronation "Republic of Molossia". The self-proclaimed dwarf state is located in the USA, in the town of Deyton, Nevada. The President of Molossia resides here over 5,300 square meters of land: Kevin Baugh. He rules an empire with 35 inhabitants, but hardly any of them actually live there. Nevertheless, they are all family members, the country is "a family nation", explains Baugh in an interview with TRAVELBOOK. Although this means that new residents cannot be allowed, the population is still growing - thanks to grandchildren or new life partners. Soon one expects the 36th citizen of Molossia, who will then be born in a crazy parallel world.
Nation with its own flag, postage stamps and space program
Because Molossia has, according to Baugh, "everything that a larger nation has". These include: your own flag, your own postage stamps, your own telephone system, a radio station, a post office, a bank and even a space program. With this “space program” they were the first micronation in the world to shoot up a living being. But the mission did not end as spectacularly as one might think. The size and seriousness of the program is adapted to the state in which it is located. The rocket is a toy rocket, the program is nothing more than the ability to shoot the said rocket and the "living object" were seedlings of jumbo beans.
The "Molossia's own railway line" advertised by Baugh turns out to be a model railway. The national parks are nothing more than generous flower beds. And the Molossian money, the currency Valora, is poker chips that have been pasted with paper. It's little things like this that show that Baugh, unlike other self-styled rulers of micronations, views his own country with humor rather than seriousness. Even when he meets with his peers, such as the Grand Duke Travis of the nation of Westarctica, Baugh points out that many of the actions in his country are satirical. Still, the idea of founding your own nation is and remains insane. How do you come to that?
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The creation of Molossia
The Republic of Molossia was founded by Baugh and his friend James on May 26, 1977 - at that time still under the name "Great Republic of Vuldstein". The two men got the idea when they saw the film "The Mouse That Roared", a comedy about the fate of the fantasy state "Great Fenwick". “James moved on to other projects at some point, but I stuck with the idea,” says Baugh. When he settled in northern Nevada in 1989 and bought land there, the home of his nation was finally fixed, which he eventually renamed Molossia. But what exactly is Baugh doing with the fantasy state?
The now retired US sergeant said he was driven by curiosity. “With Molossia, I wanted to feel what actually constitutes a country - be it in terms of government, economy or culture,” says Baugh. He even goes so far that he believes he is at war with another nation. However, this is just as little equipped with an army as Molossia itself - which is mainly due to the fact that it no longer exists. Molossia has been at war with the GDR for more than 40 years.
Molossia and the war with the GDR
The bizarre conflict began in 1983. At that time, Baugh, who at the time was still operating his landless micronation more as a hobby, was stationed for the US Army in West Germany - and was not happy about the job. "I was so annoyed by getting up several times every night to fight the communist threat that I declared war on the closest Eastern bloc nation - the GDR," said Baugh of his declaration of war. When he was finally withdrawn, the Molossian aggressor even temporarily forgot that he was still waging this "war". But then he found out about an island about ten years ago: the Ernst-Thälmann-Insel off Cuba.
This uninhabited island, 15 kilometers long, actually has a rich history that connects it with the GDR. According to Baugh, it was a gift from Fidel Castro to the GDR in 1973, but was forgotten in the dissolution treaties of reunification and is therefore part of the GDR that will continue to exist. It is true that the island still bears the name Thälmanns today, but in fact it has never changed ownership and therefore by no means belonged to the GDR. Baugh doesn't care about that fact. Since the island is uninhabited, he does not see himself in a position to hold peace talks with anyone and "accordingly, the war continues, probably forever," said Baugh.
How long the one-sided conflict has been going on can also be followed on the Molossia website. A small ticker constantly announces which day of the war you are currently in. And just below it can also be used for the "end of the war." All you have to do is buy a war bond. If you are interested for whatever reason: The price for a “Molossian War Bond” is currently 3 dollars.
Around 200 visitors a year in Molossia
The "war bonds" are just one of the bizarre attempts to make money with the micronation. The “economy” is still Molossia's greatest challenge. You are “not a rich nation,” says Baugh. That's why you always have to find ways to move the country forward. One of these ways seems to be opening up to tourism. Baugh and his family offer tours from April through October that introduce visitors to the world of micronation.
The number of tourists is in keeping with the size of the country: only around 200 visitors come every year. You don't need to plan a lot of time, the tour only takes an hour. It is so short because there is simply no more to see, as those interested find out when booking the tours on the website. It gets even shorter if a visitor brings one of the following items, which are strictly prohibited in Molossia: light bulbs, plastic bags, sea wolves, fresh spinach, onions, vendors and missionaries as well as walruses.
In case it hasn't become clear yet, "We're having a lot of fun here," says Baugh. And finally adds patriotically: "Who knows what the future will bring for our small country, the Republic of Molossia!"
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