Ryti, Risto

Ryti, Risto

(rē`stō rü`tē), 1889–1956, Finnish political leader. In 1919 he was elected to the Finnish diet. He later served as minister of finance (1921–24) and as governor of the Bank of Finland (1923–44), winning admiration for improving the country's international credit despite its war debt and the effects of the depression. Prime minister during the Russo-Finnish War of 1939 and 1940, he became president of Finland in late 1940. Ryti's alliance with Germany against the Soviet Union in World War II resulted in his resignation in 1944 after Finland's defeat; Marshal MannerheimMannerheim, Baron Carl Gustav Emil
, 1867–1951, Finnish field marshal and president of Finland (1944–46). Of a distinguished Swedish-Finnish family in Russian-controlled Finland, Mannerheim rose to the rank of general in the czarist army.
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 succeeded him as president. The following year, in a Soviet-sponsored trial, he was convicted as a war criminal. In 1949, Ryti's 10-year sentence was commuted because of his deteriorating health.

Ryti, Risto

 

Born Aug. 3, 1889, in Huittinen; died Oct. 25, 1956, in Helsinki. Finnish political and state figure.

A lawyer by education, Ryti was minister of finance in the periods 1921–22 and 1922–24. He was a leader of the bourgeois Progressive Party of Finland. In 1939 and 1940 he was prime minister of Finland, and from 1940 to 1944, president. He was instrumental in bringing Finland into World War II on the side of fascist Germany against the USSR. In 1946, in a trial of war criminals, a special Finnish court sentenced him to ten years in prison. Ryti was pardoned “for reasons of health” in 1949.

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