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Pehr Evind Svinhufvud

Svinhufvud, Pehr Evind (pār āˈvĭnd svēnˈhŏˌvəd, svĭnˈhŏvŏd) [key], 1861–1944, president of Finland (1931–37). A judge under the Russian czarist regime in Finland, he played a major part in the movement for Finnish independence and was banished (1914–17) to Siberia. On his return he headed the provisional government and proclaimed (Dec., 1917) the independence of Finland. In alliance with Germany, he directed the war (1918) against the Finnish Bolsheviks, who were aided by the Soviet Union. Svinhufvud became premier in 1930 and in 1931 succeeded K. J. Stahlberg as president of Finland. He took strong measures against the Communists and also suppressed the Fascist movement known as the Lapua, which had helped him to office. In 1937 he was succeeded as president by Kyosti Kallio, of the Agrarian party. Svinhufvud went into retirement, emerging briefly in 1940 to aid in negotiating the Finnish-German treaty.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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