|Born||3 Feb 1889|
|Died||25 Oct 1956|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseRisto Heikki Ryti was born in Satakunta, Finland. He studied law in Finland and Oxford, Britain, though WW1 and the Finnish Civil War somewhat interrupted his studies. Soon after the civil war, he ran for the parliament and won a seat with the Progressive Party. In 1921, he was named the finance minister, and 1925 the chairman of the Bank of Finland. In 1934, he was made Knight Commander of the Victorian Order of Britain due to his efforts in improving Anglo-Finnish relations. In 1939, he became the Prime Minister of Finland, in which position he advocated for a negotiation with the Russians to end the Winter War. The resulting peace cost the Finns large tracts of land. In the following year, he became the President of Finland. As president, he viewed Germany as a stronger trade partner, and broke ties with Britain in favor of the new dominant force of the Baltic Sea. In Aug 1940, he entered in a military agreement with Germany, so that when Germany launched Operation Barbarossa and Operation Silver Fox against Russia, Finland also began their Continuation War to reclaim lost territories. Finnish troops were able to do so, and marched significantly beyond to create a buffer zone between Russian forces and the Finnish border. In Jun 1944, Russian troops began a heavy offensive westward, and public sentiments in Finland looked toward a separate peace treaty with Russia. To avoid straining the relationship with Germany, Ryti promised he would not allow Finland to do so, but his promise could only hold for until he remained in office. He resigned later in 1944, and peace negotiation resumed. After the war, he was sentenced to a ten-year prison sentence for his role in starting the Continuation War. He was pardoned in 1949 after he showed some health problems.
Last Major Revision: Jul 2006
Risto Ryti Timeline
|3 Feb 1889Â||Risto Ryti was born.|
|1 Aug 1944Â||President Risto Ryti of Finland resigned; he was to be replaced by Marshal Carl Mannerheim.|
|25 Oct 1956Â||Risto Ryti passed away.|
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