Edwin Linkomies
Humanist of the day

Edwin Linkomies

Edwin Linkomies forged a career both as an academic and a politician. During a long tenure at the University of Helsinki he held the Chair of Roman Letters and the office of Rector. Linkomies had a considerable influence on Finnish academic policy, placing due emphasis on scholarly endeavour and cultural heritage. As Prime Minister in the early stages of the 1941-1944 Continuation War, he was involved in complex negotiations with the co-belligerents, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, in an attempt to extricate Finland from the world conflict.

Edwin Linkomies

Edwin Johan Hildegard Linkomies (Flinck until 1928)
Born 22 December, 1894, Viipuri. Died 8 September, 1963, Helsinki.

Master of Arts, 1913 (Latin and General History, Philosophy and Greek), Imperial Alexander University
Doctor of Philosophy, 1923, University of Helsinki
Honorary Doctor of Laws, 1963, University of Helsinki

Docent of Roman Philology, 1921–1923, University of Helsinki
Professor of Roman Letters, 1923–1963, Vice-rector 1932–1943, Rector 1956–1962, and Chancellor 1962–1963, University of Helsinki
Member of Parliament, 1933–1945, Deputy Speaker 1933–1943, Prime Minister 1943–1944

Held positions in the Helsinki City Council, Chair of the Sibelius Academy executive board and Chair of the National Coalition Party.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Written by Lauri Lönnström
Translated by John Calton

Edwin Linkomies’ political career began in 1918 with the establishment of the National Coalition Party and he was appointed to the board of the Uusi Suomi newspaper, which backed the party. It was there that he got to know both the party’s and the newspaper’s ideological bent. His political views were shaped during this time and he came to view not only the communists but also the Social Democrats as a threat to the country’s security.

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