Väinö Alfred Tanner

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tanner, Väinö Alfred


Born Mar. 12, 1881, in Helsinki; died there Apr. 19, 1966. Finnish political and state figure.

Tanner joined the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDPF) in 1899. He was a member of the party’s Executive Committee for various periods between 1909 and 1963 and was chairman of the party from 1919 to 1926 and from 1957 to 1963. He was a deputy in Parliament a number of times between 1907 and 1962 and for many years was chairman of the Social Democratic faction in Parliament. After serving as prime minister in 1926 and 1927, Tanner held a number of ministerial posts between 1937 and 1944. In foreign policy he took an anti-Soviet position. After Finland withdrew from World War II in September 1944, Tanner was removed from his position in the government. He was arrested in 1945 and was sentenced by a Finnish tribunal in 1946 to 5½ years of imprisonment for war crimes. He was released by the government in 1948. Tanner’s return to the leadership of the SDPF in 1957 led to a split in the party.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.