Hjalmar Hammarskjöld

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Knut Hjalmar Leonard Hammarskjöld

Birthplace: Väderum, Kalmar County, Sweden
Death: October 12, 1953 (91)
Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden
Place of Burial: Uppsala, Uppsala County, Sweden
Immediate Family:

Son of Knut Wilhelm Hammarskjöld and Maria Lovisa Cöster
Husband of Agnes Maria Carolina Hammarskjöld
Father of Bo Hammarskjöld; Åke Wilhelm Hjalmar Hammarskjöld; Sten Hjalmar Hammarskjöld and Dag Hammarskjöld
Brother of Charlotta Vilhelmina Tisell; Carl Fredrik Teodor Hammarskjöld; Carl-Gustaf Hammarskjöld and Peder Knutsson Hammarskjöld

Occupation: e.o. Professor i speciell privaträtt vid Uppsala universitet, Justitieminister, Ecklesiasikminister, ordförande en NF:s comité och Nobelsiftelsen och ledamot av Svenska Akademien m.m., Landshövding
Managed by: Dag Henrik Gösta Lundqvist
Last Updated:

About Hjalmar Hammarskjöld



The son of Knut, a lieutenant and landowner, and Maria Cöster, Hjalmar Hammarskjöld was born into the Hammarskjöld family in Tuna, Kalmar County. He was a versatile legal expert and prominent as both a scientist and as a legislator. In 1891 he became a professor in Uppsala and had a great influence on Swedish and Nordic civil law. He laid the foundation for his reputation as a great expert in international law at the same time through diligent work in international meetings, and became a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 1904 at The Hague.

As Minister of Justice 1901–02 in Fredrik von Otters government he made an ambitious but unsuccessful attempt to resolve the problems concerning the right to vote, and was, on his resignation, appointed president of the Göta court of appeal. In connection with the dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway, he was minister of education in Christian Lundeberg's coalition government and negotiator in Karlstad. He was thereafter appointed to be the Swedish ambassador to Copenhagen. He returned in 1907 to Uppsala as county governor, but often took leave of absence for various other assignments.

After the peasant armament support march (Swedish: bondetåget) and the resignation of the liberal government, he became head of a non-parliamentarian government in 1914, tasked with solving defense issues. His "bailey government" (Swedish: borggårdsregering) was politically independent, but loyal to the king and rather conservative. It was created on an initiative from Arvid Lindman, the leader of the second chamber, who did not want the king to appoint a war government under the leader of the first chamber, Ernst Trygger.

After the outbreak of the First World War that same year, a truce was established between the parties and the defense problem was solved to the satisfaction of the military. Hammarskjöld was principled and inflexible in his interpretations of civil law during the height of the war. It was during this time that the term "Hunger shield" (Swedish: Hungerskjöld) was coined, because his intractability impeded efforts to support the citizens. He was seen as friendly towards Germany when he rejected the proposal for a common trade agreement with Great Britain that Marcus Wallenberg (senior), brother of the foreign minister Knut Wallenberg, had brought home from London in 1917. The split between the PM and the foreign minister became apparent and the leaders of the right-wing in the parliament revoked their support for the prime minister, who was forced to submit his resignation.

Prime Minister Hammarskjöld on his way from the government building to the parliament in Stockholm in 1917.Hammarskjöld had a dominant nature and was perceived by his opponents as authoritarian and self-willed, but claims that he favoured Germany lack documented support. He had many prestigious assignments, for example chairman of the Nobel Foundation 1929–47 and member of parliament (independent conservative). He was voted into the Swedish Academy in 1918 to the same chair as Prime Minister Louis De Geer had occupied, number 17. Hammarskjöld's son, Dag, inherited the chair, as well as the position, after his death. Hammarskjöld's investigations were a major contributing factor to the decision to establish the Supreme Administrative Court.

Hjalmar Hammarskjöld died on October 12, 1953 in Stockholm.



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Hjalmar Hammarskjöld's Timeline

February 4, 1862
Väderum, Kalmar County, Sweden
June 3, 1891
April 10, 1893
September 8, 1900
Stockholm, Sweden
July 29, 1905
Jönköping, Jonkoping County, Sweden
October 12, 1953
Age 91
Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden
Uppsala, Uppsala County, Sweden