Johan Wilhelm Rangell

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J. W. Rangell
Rangell.jpeg
Prime Minister of Finland
In office
January 4, 1941 – March 5, 1943
Preceded by Risto Ryti
Succeeded by Edwin Linkomies
Personal details
Born October 25, 1894
Hauho, Finland
Died March 12, 1982(1982-03-12) (aged 87)
Helsinki, Finland
Political party National Progressive Party
Alma mater University of Helsinki
Profession Lawyer

Johan Wilhelm (Jukka) Rangell (October 25, 1894 – March 12, 1982) was the Prime Minister of Finland from 1941 to 1943.[1] Educated as a lawyer, he was a close acquaintance of President Risto Ryti before the war, and made his initial career as a banker in the Bank of Finland.[2] He played a role in the efforts at a 1940 Summer Olympics in Helsinki after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) retracted the original choice of Tokyo.[3] After the resignation of President Kyösti Kallio during the Interim Peace, Risto Ryti was elected by the Parliament as the new president of Finland on December 19, 1940, and Rangell rose to the position of Prime Minister. In office, Rangell's expertise and influence dealt mainly with economic issues, while more important foreign policy power rested on Commander-in-Chief Mannerheim, President Ryti and Foreign Minister Witting.[2] Due to his connections to the IOC following the Berlin Olympics, Rangell's political orientation was seen as Pro-German.[2]

Rangell's cabinet's belligerent actions in the Continuation War enjoyed the support of the Parliament. He defended the occupation of East Karelia and the regaining of the areas ceded in the Peace of Moscow.[4] During Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler's state visit to Finland in August 1942, Rangell silenced Himmler's questions concerning the Jewish minority of Finland by famously stating: "Wir haben keine Judenfrage" ("We do not have a Jewish question").[4][5]

In the war-responsibility trials, Rangell was convicted for 6 years of prison in February 1946 for alleged crimes against peace. He was pardoned in 1949. After his release, Rangell did not return to politics, but continued to work for the Finnish Olympic Committee and the IOC until 1967. He also belonged to the board of Kansallis-Osake-Pankki bank.

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Risto Ryti
Prime Minister of Finland
1941–1943
Succeeded by
Edwin Linkomies