For forty years, Väinö Tanner (1881–1966) was one of the most influential figures in Finland. He was the prime minister in Finland’s first leftist government and a minister in seven governments. It was largely thanks to Tanner that the Left continued to support the government’s policies during the Winter War and the Continuation War. Tanner, who was sentenced for war guilt and severely criticised by the Soviet Union, returned to politics in the late 1950s, when he was elected chairman of the dissension-ridden Social Democratic Party. It was Tanner who made the Helsinki cooperative Elanto a great enterprise.