August Rei

* 22.03.1886 at Pilistvere, Viljandi County
† 29.03.1963 in Stockholm


Head of State (Elder of State)
Prime Minister in duties of the President


In 1918-1919, Minister of labour and Social Welfare of the Provisional Government, Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister of Education. In 1919-1920 Chairman of the Constitutent Assambly (Asutav Kogu). In 1923-1925, Head of the Estonian delegation in the Estonian- Latvian Border Committee. In 1925-1926 Chairman of the II Riigikogu, 1932-1933 Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1936-1937 Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1938-1940 the Estonian Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Minister of Foreign Affairs in O. Tief's Government in September 1944. In 1919-1920 member of the Constituent Assembly, 1920-1934/1937 member of the I-V Riigikogu.

Studied in the Tartu Emperor Alexander High School (the former State High School of of Livonian Province), finished the Novgorod State High School. In 1904-1905 and in 1907- 1911, studied law in the St. Petersburg University.

In 1905-1907 he participated in the Russian revolution of 1905, in 1906 edited the underground paper "Sotsiaaldemokraat" (Social Democrat) in Tallinn. In 1912-1913 was in compulsory army service, in 1913-1914 a lawyer in Viljandi. In 1914-1917 an artillery officer in World War I in the Fort of St. Petersburg, in 1917-1918 in the Estonian army units (formed after the Second Russian Revolution in March 1917 by they initiative of Estonian politicians, who achieved the permission to concentrate the Estonian soldiers, who served in Russian Imperial Army, into Estonian territory), was the Assistant Chairman of the Supreme Committee of the Estonian military. In 1917 and 1919 the Editor-in-Chief of the paper "Sotsiaaldemokraat", in 1927-1928 the editor of "Rahva Sõna" (Word of the People). Up to 1936 also a barrister, defended Aadu Birk in 1927. In 1930-1934, Head of the Tallinn City Council. In 1940 the Estonian Ambassador to the Soviet Union, escaped to Sweden via Riga in June 1940. In 1946-1949 Chairman of the Estonian National Foundation in exile, in 1947-1963 Chairman of the Estonian National Council.

1930-1936 President of the Alliance Francaise, 1937-1938 Assistant Chairman of the Estonian Foreign Relations Society, has also been chairman of the Estonian Workers' Musical Union and the Tallinn Workers' Music Society, the "Rahva Sõna" (Word of the People) publishers' ltd., publishing house "Täht" (Star), the foundation "Tallinna Rahvamaja" (Tallinn People's House), Tallinn Workers' Theatre and Tallinn Workers' Sports Society.

Cross of Freedom III/1, 1932, Honorary Doctor of Law of Tartu University.

Has written and translated socialist works, published memoirs.

On 27.08.2006 was reburied to the Metsakalmistu in Tallinn.