Kukk, Juhan

Born 13 April 1885 Salla parish in Virumaa – died 4 December 1942 Archangelsk

Statesman and economist, State Elder 1922-23

Graduated in 1910 from the Riga Polytechnic Institute. In 1917 was elected an envoy of the Estonian Provincial Assembly. One of the main authors of the 1918 independence manifesto (Manifesto to All Peoples of Estonia). Member of the left-centrist Labour Party. In 1919-20 member of the Constituent Assembly and in 1920-26 of the Parliament, and in 1922-23 State Elder. Retreated from politics in mid 1920s. In 1924-26 president of the Bank of Estonia and in 1931-40 director of the Baltic Cotton Factory.  

Disapproving of the autocratic regime of President Konstantin Päts established in 1934, Kukk signed the brief memorandum in 1936 with three former state elders (Jaan Tõnisson, Ants Piip and Jaan Teemant), demanding the restoration of democracy. Due to the censorship in the Republic of Estonia the text was only published in the Finnish press. Was arrested in 1940 by the occupying Soviet forces and sent to Russia where he died in a prison camp.

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