Jens Krag

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Person.png Jens Krag   Alchetron Dbpedia IMDB WikidataRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Jens Krag.jpg
Born15 September 1914
Died22 June 1978 (Age 63)
Alma materUniversity of Copenhagen
Spouse • Birgit Tengroth
• Helle Virkner
PartySocial Democrats (Denmark)
Danish politician who attended 3 Bilderberg conferences, 2 of them as Prime Minster of Denmark. Supporter of Danish membership of NATO in 1949, then went to "see more of the world" at the Danish embassy in the United States. Brought the country into the EEC (later European Union) in 1972.

Employment.png Prime Minister of Denmark Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
September 3, 1962 - February 2, 1968

Employment.png Prime Minister of Denmark Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
October 11, 1971 - October 5, 1972
Succeeded byAnker Jørgensen
Brought Denmark into the EEC

Employment.png Denmark/Trade Minister

In office
November 13, 1947 - September 16, 1950

Employment.png Denmark/Foreign Minister

In office
October 8, 1958 - September 3, 1962
Succeeded byPer Hækkerup

Employment.png Denmark/Foreign Minister

In office
November 28, 1966 - October 1, 1967
Preceded byPer Hækkerup

Employment.png Denmark/Minister without Portfolio

In office
September 30, 1953 - October 31, 1953

Employment.png Denmark/Minister of Economy and Work

In office
October 31, 1953 - May 28, 1957

Employment.png Denmark/Minister for Foreign Financial Affairs

In office
October 8, 1958 - September 3, 1962

Employment.png President of the Nordic Council

In office
Preceded byJens Krag
Succeeded byJens Krag

Employment.png Member of the Folketing Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
1953 - 1973
Succeeded byK. B. Andersen

Employment.png Member of the Folketing Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
1947 - 1950
Resigned in order to "see more of the world", requested a position at the Danish embassy in the United States. Later Prime Minister and multi-Bilderberger

Jens Otto Krag was a Danish politician who was prime minister of Denmark from 1962 to 1968 and from 1971 to 1972, and leader of the Social Democrats from 1962 to 1972. He was president of the Nordic Council in 1971.

He attended 3 Bilderberg conferences, the first one in October 1957, just before his career took off, then Bilderberg/1966 and Bilderberg/1969 as Prime Minster of Denmark.

Early life and career

Krag was born in Randers, Jutland, on 15 September 1914, into the poor family of a tobacconist.[1] He studied at the local gymnasium, and as a teenager joined the Social Democratic Youth of Denmark, the youth wing of the Social Democratic Party.[1] In 1933, Krag began studying economics at the University of Copenhagen. During this period he emerged as an active journalist and teacher in the labour movement, and became acquainted with the leadership of the Social Democrats and the trade unions.[1]

He received his degree in 1940, the same year that Denmark was invaded by Nazi Germany.[1] During the German occupation, Krag worked as a civil servant in a Danish government agency and became a leading advisor to the labour movement on economic matters, as well as a protégé of prominent social democrat and future prime minister Hans Hedtoft.[1]

Political career

In 1944, Krag began his political career as the secretary of a program committee set up by the Social Democratic Party, as it prepared itself for politics in the postwar period.[1] Under his leadership, the committee developed the new party program "Denmark of the Future", which presented proposals for nationalisation and notions of Keynesian economics and economic democracy.[1] Despite the party's poor performance in the first postwar election in 1945, Krag and the new party program of the Social Democrats achieved notoriety in Danish politics.[1]

Member of Folketing

He was elected to Parliament (Folketinget) in 1947 and became Commerce Minister. He supported the strengthening of the Danish military and Danish membership of NATO in 1949.

In 1950 Krag resigned from Parliament partially due to a conflict with Vilhelm Buhl and H. C. Hansen and, in order to become more fluent in the English language and see more of the world, requested a position at the Danish embassy in the United States.[2] He received the position, and was in America until 1953 when he was re-elected to parliament and became a minister without portfolio. He was minister of the new department of foreign economic affairs from 1953 until 1958 and Foreign Minister from 1958 until 1962.

Prime Minister

In September 1962 he succeeded Viggo Kampmann as Prime Minister and leader of the Danish Social Democratic Party. He was Prime Minister until February 1968 when the Social Democrats lost power. He became Prime Minister again in 1971 when his party returned to power. Less than a year into his first term as prime minister, the opposition held a referendum which rejected a set of land laws already passed by Krag's government.

During his second term as Prime Minister, Krag campaigned particularly for European cooperation and unity.[2] He sponsored a referendum for Denmark to join the European Economic Community. In 1972 the referendum passed, but the nation was divided over the issue, and Krag resigned, claiming that he had become tired of politics. His last role in public life was as the European Common Market representative to the United States from 1974 until 1975.

In social policy, a number of progressive reforms were implemented during Krag's time as Prime Minister. Under the New Care of Children and Juveniles Act of May 1964, local child and juvenile welfare committees were authorized to grant cash benefits to certain families with children, to avoid placing children in the care of the Municipal Social Welfare Offices. New criteria for day-care institutions stressing social, educational, and therapeutic aspects were also introduced, and municipalities were obliged to provide facilities for day-care and other related services. Under the Employment Service and Unemployment Insurance Act of February 1967, unemployment benefits were raised and indexed to the official wage index and waiting times were abolished. In addition, an accident insurance act of December 1964 indexed benefits. The Basic Education Act of April 1972 extended compulsory basic education from 7 to 9 years.[3] while A law passed in June 1972 introduced a new scheme for daily cash benefits in cases of sickness and maternity.[4] In 1964, a supplementary pension scheme was established,[5] together with universal child allowances in 1967.[6]


Krag was at one and the same time one of the most charismatic and withdrawn Danish politicians ever. He never enjoyed the attention to which he had to subject himself, and many people found him rather arrogant. According to his most thorough (and quite sympathetic) biographer (Bo Lidegaard, Krag I-II, 2001/2002) he never truly settled into the role as a politician, always considering himself on the way 'to somewhere else'.[7] He had always dreamed of holding the position of governor of the National Bank of Denmark. Only when he had definitively quit politics in 1972 did he realise that he would not be able to achieve this goal.

Private life

Krag had a difficult private life. He was married twice and had a son (Jens Christian born 1960) and a daughter, Astrid Helene "Søsser" (1962–2014), by his second wife, the famous actress Helle Virkner, but also another child outside of wedlock. Both his marriages ended in divorce, largely due to his own infidelity. During his time in politics, he already struggled with alcoholism, an addiction that became more pronounced after his retirement. He died of heart failure in Skiveren, Denmark at the age of 63.

He was an atheist.[8]


Events Participated in

Bilderberg/1957 October4 October 19576 October 1957Italy
The 6th Bilderberg meeting, the latest ever in the year and the first one in Italy.
Bilderberg/196625 March 196627 March 1966Germany
Hotel Nassauer Hof
Top of the agenda of the 15th Bilderberg in Wiesbaden, Germany, was the restructuring of NATO. Since this discussion was held, all permanent holders of the position of NATO Secretary General have attended at least one Bilderberg conference prior to their appointment.
Bilderberg/19699 May 196911 May 1969Denmark
Hotel Marienlyst
The 18th Bilderberg meeting, with 85 participants


  1. a b c d e f g h
  2. a b Skou, Kaare R. (2005). Dansk politik A-Å. Aschehoug, pp. 404-405. ISBN 87-11-11652-8.
  3. Growth to Limits: The Western European Welfare States Since World War II, Volume 4 edited by Peter Flora
  7. Lidegaard, Bo (2001). Jens Otto Krag - 1914–1961 . Gyldendal. ISBN 978-87-02-02203-2.
  8. Politiken, "Folkekirken har brug for frisind", August 19, 2012. "De socialdemokratiske statsministre Stauning, Hedtoft, H.C. Hansen og J. O. Krag var ateister og ikke medlemmer af folkekirken". "The Danish prime ministers Stauning, Hedtoft, H.C. Hansen and J.O. Krag were atheists and not members of the Church of Denmark".
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