Ben Zyskowicz

Ben Zyskowicz

Ben Zyskowicz (2014)
Member of the Finnish Parliament
for Helsinki
Assumed office
1979 (1979)
Personal details
Born (1954-05-24) May 24, 1954
Citizenship Polish (1954-1959)
Finnish (1959-)
Nationality Finland Finnish
Political party National Coalition Party
Occupation politician

Ben Berl Zyskowicz (born 24 May 1954) is a Finnish politician and member of parliament. Zyskowicz was chairman of the Finnish National Coalition Party's (Finnish: Kansallinen Kokoomus) parliamentary group from 1993 to 2006 and has been a member of parliament for the National Coalition Party since 1979.[1] He was the first person of Jewish ancestry to be elected to the Finnish parliament.[2] Following the parliamentary elections in April 2011, Zyskowicz was elected as the speaker of the parliament, for the duration of negotiations over the governing coalition.[3]

Zyskowicz was born in Helsinki to Jewish parents. His father, Abram, was a Polish Jew who had been in the Sachsenhausen and Majdanek concentration camp and moved as a refugee to Sweden, where he met Ben's mother, Ester, a Finnish Jew. Ben had Polish citizenship until 1959 when he was naturalized as a Finnish citizen. Ben has been married to Rahime Husnetdin-Zyskowicz, a member of the Finnish Tatar community, since 1982 and has two daughters, Daniela (1983) and Dinah (1985). He also abstains from alcohol and is known to be a regular at Café Strindberg – a popular celebrity-spotting location on Pohjoisesplanadi in the Helsinki city centre.

Zyskowicz is renowned for being the Finnish politician with the most difficult name to spell. In 2002, Ilta-Sanomat reported that only 16.6% of Finns knew how to correctly spell his name.[4] In 2011 he was elected as the acting speaker of the Finnish parliament. Despite spelling instructions for his name being sent by text message to elected members of parliament, two voting ballots were disqualified for misspelling his name.[5]


  1. "Ben Zyskowicz / National Coalition Party". Parliament of Finland. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  2. "The Virtual Jewish History Tour: Finland". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  3. "Zyskowicz named interim speaker of Finnish Parliament". Helsinki Times. 27 April 2011.
  4. "Ben Tsyskovits, Zyztgovist, Zzyzkovizzits vai Chyskowitch?" (in Finnish). Ilta-Sanomat. 25 February 2002.
  5. "Eduskunta läpäisi kirjoitustestin" (in Finnish). Helsingin Uutiset. 1 May 2011.

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Sauli Niinistö
Speaker of the Parliament of Finland
Succeeded by
Eero Heinäluoma

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