Hans Hedtoft

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Hans Hedtoft
Hans hedtoft.jpg
Prime Minister of Denmark
In office
30 September 1953 – 29 January 1955
Monarch Frederick IX
Preceded by Erik Eriksen
Succeeded by H. C. Hansen
In office
13 November 1947 – 30 October 1950
Monarch Frederick IX
Preceded by Knud Kristensen
Succeeded by Erik Eriksen
Personal details
Born (1903-04-21)21 April 1903
Aarhus, Denmark
Died 29 January 1955(1955-01-29) (aged 51)
Stockholm, Sweden
Political party Social Democrats
Spouse(s) Ella Gudrun Ingeborg Holleufer

Hans Hedtoft Hansen (21 April 1903 – 29 January 1955) was Prime Minister of Denmark from 13 November 1947 to 30 October 1950 as the leader of the Cabinet of Hans Hedtoft I and again from 30 September 1953 to 29 January 1955 as the leader of the Cabinet of Hans Hedtoft II.

Hedtoft was a Social Democrat, and had taken over the leadership of his party from Thorvald Stauning in 1939, but was forced by the Nazis to resign his posts in 1941 because he was too critical of the German occupation of Denmark. In September 1943, he was instrumental in starting the rescue of the Danish Jews.

In his first term progressive taxation was introduced. Also, after the failure to create a Scandinavian defence union, Denmark joined NATO in 1949. In October 1950 his government lost a vote on lifting the rationing of butter. Because this failure to get his policy through signalled that his party had lost its parliamentary support, new elections were called. Erik Eriksen from the Liberal Party was able to form the Cabinet of Erik Eriksen together with the Conservative People's Party on 30 October 1950.

On 30 September 1953 Hedtoft was able to return as Prime Minister, and formed the Cabinet of Hans Hedtoft II, consisting only of the Social Democrats. He did not have the support of the Danish Social Liberal Party as they were unsatisfied with the large amount of resources allocated to the military because of Denmark's obligations to NATO. On 29 January 1955 Hedtoft died suddenly from a heart attack while in a meeting in the Nordic Council in Stockholm. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by his friend and Foreign Minister H. C. Hansen. The liner MS Hans Hedtoft was named after him.

Hedtoft was married to Ella Gudrun Ingeborg Holleufer. She died in 1954 from Addison's disease, aged 48.

References[edit]

  • Kristian Hvidt, Statsministre i Danmark fra 1913 til 1995 (1995)
  • Hans Hedtoft. Encyclopædia Britannica.
Hans Hedtoft in his office, Copenhagen, 1954
Grave of Hans and Ella Hedtoft at the Vestre Cemetery in Copenhagen
Political offices
Preceded by
Title created
Social and Work Minister of Denmark
5 May 1945 – 7 November 1945
Succeeded by
Søren P. Larsen
Preceded by
Knud Kristensen
Prime Minister of Denmark
13 November 1947 – 30 October 1950
Succeeded by
Erik Eriksen
Preceded by
Erik Eriksen
Prime Minister of Denmark
30 September 1953 – 29 January 1955
Succeeded by
H. C. Hansen
Party political offices
Preceded by
Thorvald Stauning
Leader of the Danish Social Democrats
1939–1955
Succeeded by
H. C. Hansen