Ronimois, Hans

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Ronimois, Hans

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Hans Ernest Ronimois (surname also spelled Ronimus and Hieronimus) was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1912 to Estonian parents and spent his early years in nearby Kronstadt. He and his family fled Russia in 1921, in the wake of the Russian Revolution, and settled in Estonia. He studied law and economics at the University of Tartu (1930-33) and then was an instructor at the same university (1934-37). From 1937 to 1939, Ronimois studied for his doctorate in economics at the University of London. During the initial Soviet occupation of Estonia (1939-41), he taught statistics and public finance. However, when Germany invaded and occupied Estonia in 1941, he refused to lecture in German and retired to the countryside. In 1942 Ronimois managed to escape, fleeing first to the U.S. embassy in Helsinki, Finland, and then to Stockholm, Sweden, where his first wife died in 1945. After the Second World War, he moved to London to continue his studies, and in 1949 he emigrated to Canada, settling in Vancouver and eventually re-marrying. His initial appointment at UBC in 1949 was supported through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. He held a joint position in the UBC Departments of Economics and Slavonic Studies from 1949 to his retirement in 1977. Ronimois was also a frequent public speaker and noted authority on the Soviet Union and international affairs. He died in 1984.


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