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Murder of Minister of the Interior Ritavuori

Heikki Ritavuori. Portrait bas-relief (sculptor Eemil Halonen, 1926)

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On January 14, 1922, activist Ernst Tandefelt assassinated in Helsinki the Minister of the Interior Heikki Ritavuori, who had opposed the recruitment of Finnish volunteers to the East Karelia and promised to disarm the troops withdrawing there.

The Government decided that Finland should refrain from recruiting volunteers, and that armed forces and arms shipments should not cross the state border. At the same time, however, was allowed to receive refugees and neither the food exports, nor the crossing of the state border by field hospitals and individual Kinship Warriors were prohibited.

Ernst Tandefelt stated in court that Ritavuori was indeed a danger to the Finland, and he had to be eliminated. Also Tandefelt said he had acted alone.

This was the one and only political murder in the history of independent Finland.

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