Juho Kusti Paasikivi
Overview
 
Juho Kusti Paasikivi (ˈjuho ˈkusti ˈpɑːsikiʋi; November 27, 1870 – December 14, 1956) was the seventh President of Finland
President of Finland
The President of the Republic of Finland is the nation's head of state. Under the Finnish constitution, executive power is vested in the President and the government, with the President possessing extensive powers. The President is elected directly by the people of Finland for a term of six years....

 (1946–1956). Representing the Finnish Party
Finnish Party
The Finnish Party was a Fennoman conservative political party in the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland and independent Finland. Born out of Finland's language strife in the 1860s, the party sought to improve the position of the Finnish language in Finnish society...

 and the National Coalition Party, he also served as Prime Minister of Finland
Prime Minister of Finland
The Prime Minister is the Head of Government of Finland. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, who is the Head of State. The current Prime Minister is Jyrki Katainen of the National Coalition Party.-Overview:...

 (1918 and 1944–1946), and was generally an influential figure in Finnish economics and politics for over fifty years.
Encyclopedia
Juho Kusti Paasikivi (ˈjuho ˈkusti ˈpɑːsikiʋi; November 27, 1870 – December 14, 1956) was the seventh President of Finland
President of Finland
The President of the Republic of Finland is the nation's head of state. Under the Finnish constitution, executive power is vested in the President and the government, with the President possessing extensive powers. The President is elected directly by the people of Finland for a term of six years....

 (1946–1956). Representing the Finnish Party
Finnish Party
The Finnish Party was a Fennoman conservative political party in the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland and independent Finland. Born out of Finland's language strife in the 1860s, the party sought to improve the position of the Finnish language in Finnish society...

 and the National Coalition Party, he also served as Prime Minister of Finland
Prime Minister of Finland
The Prime Minister is the Head of Government of Finland. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, who is the Head of State. The current Prime Minister is Jyrki Katainen of the National Coalition Party.-Overview:...

 (1918 and 1944–1946), and was generally an influential figure in Finnish economics and politics for over fifty years. He is particularly remembered as a main architect of Finland's foreign policy
Foreign relations of Finland
The foreign relations of Finland are the responsibility of President of Finland, who leads foreign policy in cooperation with the government. Implicitly the government is responsible for internal policy and decision making in the European Union...

 after the Second World War.

He was born as Johan Gustaf Hellsten in 1870 at Hämeenkoski
Hämeenkoski
Hämeenkoski is a municipality of Finland.It is located in the province of Southern Finland and is part of the Päijänne Tavastia region. The municipality has a population of and covers an area of ofwhich...

 in Päijänne Tavastia
Päijänne Tavastia
Päijänne Tavastia is a region in Southern Finland south of the lake Päijänne. It borders the regions Uusimaa, Tavastia Proper, Pirkanmaa, Central Finland, Southern Savonia and Kymenlaakso.- Historical provinces :...

 in Southern Finland
Southern Finland
Southern Finland was a province of Finland from 1997 to 2010. It bordered the provinces of Western Finland and Eastern Finland. It also bordered the Gulf of Finland and Russia.- History :...

, the son of August Hellsten, a merchant, and Karolina Wilhelmina Selin. He Finnicized his name to Juho Kusti Paasikivi in 1885.

Early life and political career

Paasikivi was orphaned at the age of 14 and was raised by his aunt. The young Paasikivi was an enthusiastic athlete and gymnast. He received most of his elementary education in Hämeenlinna
Hämeenlinna
Hämeenlinna is a city and municipality of about inhabitants in the heart of the historical province of Häme in the south of Finland and is the birthplace of composer Jean Sibelius. Today, it belongs to the region of Tavastia Proper, and until 2010 it was the residence city for the Governor of the...

, where he exhibited an early appetite for reading, and was the best pupil in his class. He entered the University of Helsinki
University of Helsinki
The University of Helsinki is a university located in Helsinki, Finland since 1829, but was founded in the city of Turku in 1640 as The Royal Academy of Turku, at that time part of the Swedish Empire. It is the oldest and largest university in Finland with the widest range of disciplines available...

 in 1890, graduating with a Bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 in 1892, and as a lawyer
Lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

 in 1897. That year he married his first wife, Anna Matilda Forsman (1869–1931). They had four children, Annikki (1898–1950), Wellamo (1900–1966), Juhani (1901–1942), and Varma (1903–1941). In 1901, Paasikivi became a Doctor of Law
Doctor of law
Doctor of Law or Doctor of Laws is a doctoral degree in law. The application of the term varies from country to country, and includes degrees such as the LL.D., Ph.D., J.D., J.S.D., and Dr. iur.-Argentina:...

, and was associate professor of Administrative Law at Helsinki University 1902-1903.

He left this post to become Director-in-Chief of Treasury of the Grand Duchy of Finland
Grand Duchy of Finland
The Grand Duchy of Finland was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed 1809–1917 as part of the Russian Empire and was ruled by the Russian czar as Grand Prince.- History :...

, a position he retained until 1914. For practically all of his adult life, Paasikivi moved in the inner circles of Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

's politics. He supported greater autonomy and an independent Cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

 (Senate
Senate of Finland
The Senate of Finland combined the functions of cabinet and supreme court in the Grand Duchy of Finland from 1816 to 1917 and in the independent Republic of Finland from 1917 to 1918....

) for Finland, and resisted Russia's panslavic
Pan-Slavism
Pan-Slavism was a movement in the mid-19th century aimed at unity of all the Slavic peoples. The main focus was in the Balkans where the South Slavs had been ruled for centuries by other empires, Byzantine Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Venice...

 intentions to make Russian the only official language everywhere in the Russian Empire. He belonged, however, to the more complying Fennoman
Fennoman
The Fennomans were the most important political movement in the 19th century Grand Principality of Finland. They succeeded the fennophile interests of the 18th and early 19th century.-History:...

 or Old Finn Party, opposing radical and potentially counter-productive steps which could be perceived as aggressive by the Russians. Paasikivi served as a Finnish Party
Finnish Party
The Finnish Party was a Fennoman conservative political party in the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland and independent Finland. Born out of Finland's language strife in the 1860s, the party sought to improve the position of the Finnish language in Finnish society...

 member of Parliament 1907-1909 and 1910-1913. He served as a member of the Senate 1908-1909, as Head of the Finance Division.

Independence and Civil War

During the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 Paasikivi began to have doubts about the Fennoman Party's obedient line. In 1914, after resigning his position at the Treasury, and also standing down as a member of Parliament, Paasikivi left public life and office. He became Chief General Manager of the Kansallis-Osake-Pankki (KOP) bank, retaining that position until 1934. Paasikivi also served as a member of Helsinki City Council 1915-1918.

After the February Revolution
February Revolution
The February Revolution of 1917 was the first of two revolutions in Russia in 1917. Centered around the then capital Petrograd in March . Its immediate result was the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the end of the Romanov dynasty, and the end of the Russian Empire...

 in Russia 1917, Paasikivi was appointed to committee that began to formulate new legislation for a modernized Grand Duchy. Initially he supported increased autonomy within the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, in opposition to the Social Democrats in the coalition-Senate, who in vain strived for more far-reaching autonomy; but after the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 Paasikivi championed full independence — albeit in the form of constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

.

During the Civil War in Finland
Finnish Civil War
The Finnish Civil War was a part of the national, political and social turmoil caused by World War I in Europe. The Civil War concerned control and leadership of The Grand Duchy of Finland as it achieved independence from Russia after the October Revolution in Petrograd...

 Paasikivi was firmly on the side of the White
White Guard (Finland)
The White Guard was a voluntary militia that emerged victorious over the socialist Red Guard as part of the Whites in the Finnish Civil War of 1918...

 government. As Prime Minister May–November 1918 he strived for continued constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 with Frederick Charles of Hesse (a German Prince) as king, intending to ensure Finland of German support against Bolshevist Russia. However, as Germany lost the World War, monarchy had to be scrapped for a Republic more in the taste of the victorious Entente
Triple Entente
The Triple Entente was the name given to the alliance among Britain, France and Russia after the signing of the Anglo-Russian Entente in 1907....

. Paasikivi's Senate resigned, and he returned to the KOP bank.

Paasikivi, as politically conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

, was a firm opponent of Social Democrats in the cabinet, or Communists in the Parliament. Tentatively he supported the semi-fascist Lapua movement
Lapua Movement
The Lapua Movement , was a Finnish radical nationalist and anti-communist political movement founded in and named after the town of Lapua. After radicalisation it turned towards far-right politics and was banned after a failed coup-d'état in 1932...

 which requested radical measures against the political Left. But eventually the Lapua movement radicalized further, assaulting also Ståhlberg
Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg
Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg was a Finnish jurist and academic, who played a central role in the drafting of the Constitution of Finland in 1919. He was the first President of Finland and a nationalist liberal.-Early life:...

, the Liberal former President of Finland, and Paasikivi like many other supporters turned away from the radical Right. In 1934 he became chairman for the Conservative Kokoomus
National Coalition Party (Finland)
The National Coalition Party is a liberal conservative political party in Finland founded in 1918.The National Coalition Party is one of the four largest parties in Finland, along with the Social Democratic Party, the Centre Party and the True Finns...

 party, as a champion of democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, and achieved the party's rehabilitation after its suspicious closeness to the Lapua movement and the failed coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

, the Mäntsälä Rebellion
Mäntsälä rebellion
The Mäntsälä rebellion was a failed coup attempt by the Lapua Movement to overthrow the Finnish government.On February 27, 1932 some 400 armed members of the Suojeluskunta militia interrupted a meeting of Social Democrats in Mäntsälä with small arms fire...

.

Ambassador in Stockholm

Widowed in 1931, he re-married Allina (Alli) Valve (1879–1960) in 1934 and resigned from politics. However, he was persuaded to accept the position as Ambassador to Sweden, at this time regarded as Finland's most important embassy. Authoritarian regimes seizing power in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 and Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 made Finland increasingly isolated while the Soviet Union threatened. After the gradual dissolution of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

, and as it turned out that France and the United Kingdom were uninterested, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 was the only regime left who possibly could give Finland any support at all. Approximately since the failed Lapua coup, Paasikivi and Mannerheim
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim was the military leader of the Whites in the Finnish Civil War, Commander-in-Chief of Finland's Defence Forces during World War II, Marshal of Finland, and a Finnish statesman. He was Regent of Finland and the sixth President of Finland...

 had belonged to a close circle of Conservative Finns discussing how this could be achieved.

In Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

 Paasikivi strived for Swedish defence guarantees, alternatively a defensive alliance or a defensive union between Finland and Sweden. Since the Civil War the relations between Swedes and Finns had been frosty. The revolutionary turmoil at the end of the World War had in Sweden led to Parliamentarism, increased democracy, and a dominant role for the Swedish Social Democrats. In Finland, however, the result had been a disastrous Civil War
Finnish Civil War
The Finnish Civil War was a part of the national, political and social turmoil caused by World War I in Europe. The Civil War concerned control and leadership of The Grand Duchy of Finland as it achieved independence from Russia after the October Revolution in Petrograd...

 and a total defeat for Socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

. At the same time as when Paasikivi arrived in Stockholm, it became known that President Svinhufvud
Pehr Evind Svinhufvud
Pehr Evind Svinhufvud af Qvalstad , December 15, 1861 – February 29, 1944) was the third President of Finland from 1931 to 1937. Serving as a lawyer, judge, and politician in the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland, he played a major role in the movement for Finnish independence...

 retained his aversion for Parliamentarism and (after pressure from Paasikivi's Conservative Party) had declined to appoint a Cabinet with Social Democrats as Ministers. This didn't improve Paasikivi's reputation among the Swedish Social Democrats dominating the government, who were sufficiently suspicious due to his association with Finland's Monarchist orientation in 1918, and the failed Lapua coup in 1932.

Things actually improved, partly due to Paasikivi's efforts, partly since President Kallio
Kyösti Kallio
Kyösti Kallio was the fourth President of Finland . He was a prominent leader of the Agrarian League, and served as Prime Minister four times and Speaker of the Parliament six times.-Early life:...

 had been elected. As President, Kallio approved of Parliamentarism and appointed Social Democrats to the Cabinet. But the suspicions between Finland and Sweden were too strong: During the Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

 Sweden's support for Finland was considerable, but short of one critical feature: Sweden neither declared war on the Soviet Union nor sent regular troops to Finland's defense. This made many Finns, including Paasikivi himself, judge his mission in Stockholm to have been a failure.

Ambassador in Moscow

Prior to the Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

, Paasikivi became the Finnish representative in the negotiations in Moscow. Seeing that Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 did not intend to change his policies, he supported compliance with some of the demands. When the war broke out, Paasikivi was asked to enter Risto Ryti
Risto Ryti
Risto Heikki Ryti was the fifth President of Finland, from 1940 to 1944. Ryti started his career as a politician in the field of economics and as a political background figure during the interwar period. He made a wide range of international contacts in the world of banking and within the...

’s Cabinet as a Minister without portfolio—in practice in the role of a distinguished political advisor. He ended up in the Cabinet's leading triumvirate together with Risto Ryti
Risto Ryti
Risto Heikki Ryti was the fifth President of Finland, from 1940 to 1944. Ryti started his career as a politician in the field of economics and as a political background figure during the interwar period. He made a wide range of international contacts in the world of banking and within the...

 and Foreign Minister Väinö Tanner
Väinö Tanner
Väinö Tanner was a pioneer and leader in the cooperative movement in Finland, and Prime Minister of Finland from 1926 to 1927....

 (chairman of the Social Democrats). He also led the negotiations for an armistice
Armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

 and the peace, and continued his mission in Moscow as an ambassador. In Moscow he was, by necessity, isolated from the most secret thoughts in Helsinki, and when he found out that these thoughts ran in the direction of revanche with Germany's aid, he resigned. Paasikivi retired for the second time.

Prime Minister and President

In the summer of 1941, when the Continuation War
Continuation War
The Continuation War was the second of two wars fought between Finland and the Soviet Union during World War II.At the time of the war, the Finnish side used the name to make clear its perceived relationship to the preceding Winter War...

 had begun, he took up writing his memoirs. By 1943 he concluded that Germany was going to lose the war and that Finland was in great danger as well. However, his initial opposition against the pro-German politics of 1940-41 was too well known, and his first initiatives for peace negotiations were met with little support both from Field Marshal Mannerheim and from Risto Ryti
Risto Ryti
Risto Heikki Ryti was the fifth President of Finland, from 1940 to 1944. Ryti started his career as a politician in the field of economics and as a political background figure during the interwar period. He made a wide range of international contacts in the world of banking and within the...

, who now had become President.

Immediately after the war, Mannerheim appointed Paasikivi Prime Minister. For the first time in Finland a Communist, Yrjö Leino
Yrjö Leino
Yrjö Leino was a Finnish communist politician. Imprisoned twice for his communist activities, and spending much of the Second World War as an underground communist activist, he served as a minister in three cabinets between 1944 and 1948.- Early years :Yrjö Leino was the only child of tanner Oskar...

, was included in the Cabinet. Paasikivi's policies were realist, but radically different than those of the previous 25 years. His main effort was to prove that Finland would present no threat to the Soviet Union, and that both countries would gain from confident peaceful relations. He had to comply with many Soviet demands, including the War Crimes trial. When Mannerheim resigned, Parliament selected Paasikivi to succeed him as President of the Republic. Paasikivi was then aged seventy-five.

Paasikivi had thus come a long way from his earlier classical conservatism. He now was willing to co-operate regularly with the Social Democrats and, when necessary, even with the Communists, as long as they acted democratically. He only once accepted his party, the Conservatives, into the government as President - and even that government lasted only about six months and was considered more a caretaker or civil-servant government than a regular parliamentary government. He even appointed a Communist or a People's Democrat, Mauno Pekkala, as Prime Minister in 1946. Paasikivi's political flexibility had its limits, however, and this was shown in the Communists' alleged coup attempt or coup plans in the spring of 1948. He ordered some units of the army and navy to Helsinki to defend the capital against a possible Communist attack.

Most modern Finnish historians deny that most Communists wanted a violent coup, especially not without the Soviet support. Later in the spring, when the Parliament passed a non-confidence motion against the Communist Interior Minister Leino, because of controversy about the treatment of prisoners whom he had ordered to be deported to the Soviet Union (they were mostly Ingrians and East Karelians), Paasikivi had to dismiss Leino who refused to resign at once. After the 1948 parliamentary elections, where the Communists dropped from the largest to the third largest party, Paasikivi refused to let them into the government - and the Communists remained in the opposition until 1966 (see, for example, Seppo Zetterberg et al., ed., "A Small Giant of the Finnish History" / Suomen historian pikkujättiläinen, Helsinki: Werner Söderström Publications Ltd., 2003).

As President, Paasikivi kept the foreign relations of Finland
Foreign relations of Finland
The foreign relations of Finland are the responsibility of President of Finland, who leads foreign policy in cooperation with the government. Implicitly the government is responsible for internal policy and decision making in the European Union...

 in the foreground, trying to ensure a stable peace and wider freedom of action. Paasikivi concluded that, all the fine rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

 aside, Finland had to adapt to superpower politics and sign treaties with the Soviet Union to avoid a worse fate. Thus he managed to stabilize Finland's position. This "Paasikivi doctrine" was adhered to for decades, and was named Finlandization
Finlandization
Finlandization is a term used to describe the influence that one powerful country may have on the policies of a smaller neighboring country.It is generally considered to be pejorative, originating in West German political debate of the late 1960s and 1970s...

 in the 1970s.

It should be noted that he was helped in his relations with the Soviet leaders by his ability to speak some Russian and so did not have to use interpreters all the time, like his successor Kekkonen did. Having studied in Russia as a young man, Paasikivi also knew the classic Russian literature and culture (see, for example, "The Diaries of J.K. Paasikivi", edited and published in Finland around 1985-86; Sakari Virkkunen, "The Finnish Presidents II"; "The Republic's Presidents 1940-1956" / Tasavallan presidentit 1940-1956, published in Finland in 1993-94; Tuomo Polvinen, "J.K. Paasikivi: The Statesman's Work of Life" / J.K. Paasikivi: Valtiomiehen elämäntyö, published in several volumes in Finland in the 1990s and 2000s).
Paasikivi stood for re-election in the Presidential election of 1950, where he won 171 out of the 300 electoral college votes. The priorities of his second term were centred largely on domestic politics, in contrast to his first term. Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's death made Paasikivi's job easier. As a lover of sports, and a former athlete and gymnast, Paasikivi had the pleasure, during his second term of office, of opening the 1952 Summer Olympics
1952 Summer Olympics
The 1952 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Helsinki, Finland in 1952. Helsinki had been earlier given the 1940 Summer Olympics, which were cancelled due to World War II...

 held in Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

.

By the end of Paasikivi's second six-year term, Finland had gotten rid of the most urgent political problems resulting from the lost war. The Karelia
Karelia
Karelia , the land of the Karelian peoples, is an area in Northern Europe of historical significance for Finland, Russia, and Sweden...

n refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s had been resettled, the war reparations
War reparations
War reparations are payments intended to cover damage or injury during a war. Generally, the term war reparations refers to money or goods changing hands, rather than such property transfers as the annexation of land.- History :...

 had been paid, rationing
Rationing
Rationing is the controlled distribution of scarce resources, goods, or services. Rationing controls the size of the ration, one's allotted portion of the resources being distributed on a particular day or at a particular time.- In economics :...

 had ended and in January 1956 the Soviet Union removed its troops from Porkkala
Porkkala
Porkkala is a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland located at Kirkkonummi in Southern Finland.The peninsula had great strategic value, as coastal artillery based there would be able to reach more than halfway across the Gulf of Finland...

marine base at Helsinki (see, for example, Zetterberg et al., eds., "A Small Giant of the Finnish History").

He did not actively seek re-election when his second term ended in 1956, ending his term on March 1, 1956, at the age of eighty-five.

More specifically, Paasikivi was willing to serve as President for about two more years if a great majority of politicians asked him to do so. He appeared as a dark horse presidential candidate on the second ballot of the electoral college on February 15, 1956, but was eliminated as the least popular candidate. His last-minute candidacy was based on a misunderstood message from some Conservatives which made him believe that enough Agrarians and Social Democrats would support him.

After his unsuccessful last-minute presidential candidacy, Paasikivi felt betrayed by those politicians who asked him to participate in the election. He even denied giving his consent to the presidential candidacy in a public statement (see, for example, Pekka Hyvärinen, "Finland's Man: Urho Kekkonen's Life" / Suomen mies: Urho Kekkosen elämä, published in Finland in 2000; Tuomo Polvinen, "J.K. Paasikivi: The Statesman's Work of Life", final volume - years 1948-1956). He died in December, having not yet finished his memoirs.

Paasikivi in banknotes

President J.K. Paasikivi, who had strong background in banking, was featured in various Finnish banknotes. He is one of the three presidents of Finland who had appeared in markka-denominated banknotes of Finland.

External links

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