Knud Kristensen

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Knud Kristensen
13th Prime Minister of Denmark
In office
7 November 1945 – 13 November 1947
Monarch Christian X
Frederick IX
Preceded by Vilhelm Buhl
Succeeded by Hans Hedtoft
Personal details
Born (1880-10-26)26 October 1880
Hover, Ringkøbing
Died 28 September 1962(1962-09-28) (aged 81)
Political party Venstre

Knud Kristensen (26 October 1880 – 28 September 1962) was Prime Minister of Denmark 7 November 1945 to 13 November 1947 in the first elected government after the German occupation of Denmark during World War II. After the October 1945 election Knud Kristensen formed the Cabinet of Knud Kristensen, a minority government consisting only of his Liberal Venstre party. Kristensen was a farmer by profession. In social policy, Kristensen's time as Prime minister saw the passage of the National Social Insurance act of June 1946, which raised benefits and, although it increased the age limit for old age pensions for men from 60 to 65, it granted old-age pensions to people from the age of 60 in cases of ill-health or special circumstances. Under the Building Subsidy Act of April 1946 low interest rates were made available to central government to support housing construction for the needy, while rent supplements were introduced for families with smaller children.

Kristensen resigned as Prime Minister when the Folketing passed a vote of no confidence because of his failed enthusiasm for incorporating Southern Schleswig into Denmark. Denmark was forced to cede Schleswig and Holstein in the second war of Schleswig in 1864, and had recovered parts of Northern Schleswig in the aftermath of World War I as a result of the Schleswig Plebiscite, but had failed to regain Southern Schleswig. Denmark's new attempt of re-annexation in the vacuum of power after WW2 was unsuccessful due to the violent opposition of South Schleswig's inhabitants with the exception of a German pro-Danish fraction rewarded with food-parcels, referred to as "Bacon-Danes". German public opinion was supported by the British military governor Hugh Vivian Champion de Crespigny wo feared the chaos that would arise in view of the doubled German population within the area after ingesting expellees of former German territories handed to Poland. It is said that a German lady companion of this status helped him in his decisions. See also Danish minority of Southern Schleswig.

The defeat in the Southern Schleswig case estranged Kristensen from his party and when the new constitution was issued 1953 he terminated his membership of Venstre and founded a new party, De Uafhængige ("The Independents"). This new party was unable to gain influence.


  • Kristian Hvidt, Statsministre i Danmark fra 1913 til 1995 (1995)
  • Growth to Limits: The Western European Welfare States Since World War II, Volume 4 edited by Peter Flora

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Bertel Dahlgaard
Interior Minister of Denmark
8 July 1940 – 9 November 1942
Succeeded by
Jørgen Jørgensen
Preceded by
none (Jørgen Jørgensen)
Interior Minister of Denmark
5 May 1945 – 7 November 1945
Succeeded by
Ejnar Martin Kjær
Preceded by
Vilhelm Buhl
Prime Minister of Denmark
7 November 1945 – 13 November 1947
Succeeded by
Hans Hedtoft
Party political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Madsen-Mygdal
Leader of Venstre
Succeeded by
Edvard Sørensen
Preceded by
Party founded
Leader of the Independent Party
Succeeded by
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