Ado Birk

Ado Birk (also known as Aadu Birk, Aado Birk or Avdei Birk; 14 November [O.S. 2 November] 1883 – 2 February 1942), was an Estonian politician who was the Estonian Prime Minister for three days, from 28 July 1920 to 30 July 1920.

Ado Birk
Ado Birk.jpg
3rd Prime Minister of Estonia
In office
28 July 1920 – 30 July 1920
Preceded byJaan Tõnisson
Succeeded byJaan Tõnisson
Personal details
Born(1883-11-14)14 November 1883
Mõnnaste, Tarvastu Parish, Governorate of Livonia, Russian Empire
Died2 February 1942(1942-02-02) (aged 58)
Sosva, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russian SFSR, USSR
NationalityEstonian
Political partyPeople's Party
National Centre Party
later none
Alma materSaint Petersburg Theological Academy
University of Tartu
Saint Petersburg State University
University of Leipzig
Professionlawyer

BiographyEdit

Ado Birk was born in Kulbisaare farmstead,[1] Mõnnaste village, Tarvastu Parish, Kreis Fellin, Governorate of Livonia. He graduated from the Theological (Orthodox) Seminary in Riga, studied in the Saint Petersburg Theological Academy, and in the law departments of the Tartu (1907–1908), Saint Petersburg (1908–1911) and Leipzig (1911) universities.

Between 1911 and 1912 he was Head of the Tallinn Statistical Bureau. From 1912 to 1917 he worked as a solicitor to barrister Jaan Poska.

In 1917 he was made provisional secretary of the Estonian Province Assembly (Eesti Maanõukogu), and in 1918 was made representative of Estonia in Helsinki, Finland. From 1918 to 1919 he was Chairman of Estonian Province Assembly and chairman of General Committee of Elections to the Constituent Assembly (Asutav Kogu). From 1919 to 1920 he was vice chairman of Constituent Assembly and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was prime minister for three days from 28 July 1920 to 30 July 1920. Between 1917 and 1924, Birk was also chairman of the Tallinn Voluntary Society of Firemen, in 1919–1922 chairman of the All-Estonian Union of Firemen. He was again appointed foreign minister in 1925 but on a caretaker capacity.[2]

He served in the Estonian mission to Russia from 1922 to 1926.[3] An account detailed how he was recruited by the Soviet's department of intelligence (KRO) acting under a false flag.[3]

In the second half of 1920s and in the 1930s, he became active in the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church (EAOC), and in 1939–1940 was the Ecumenical Secretary of the EAOC whilst serving as a businessman in Tallinn.

With the onset of the Second World War, he was arrested by the NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, (the Soviet secret police) and on 14 June 1941, was in the Sosva prison camp, and was sentenced to death but died before the execution at Sosva, Sverdlovsk oblast, Russia (see Gulag).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ado Birk võeti lõplikult Eesti riigipeade seltskonda". Postimees (in Estonian). 29 July 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  2. ^ Tamman, Tina (2011). The last ambassador: August Torma, soldier, diplomat, spy. Amsterdam: Rodopi. p. 39. ISBN 978-90-420-3314-6.
  3. ^ a b Haslam, Jonathan (2015). Near and Distant Neighbors: A New History of Soviet Intelligence. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-374-21990-1.
Political offices
Preceded by
Jaan Tõnisson
Prime Minister of Estonia
28 July 1920 – 30 July 1920
Succeeded by
Jaan Tõnisson
Preceded by
Ants Piip
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1919–1920
Succeeded by
Kaarel Robert Pusta
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Tõnis Vares
Envoy of Estonia to Soviet Union
1922–1926
Succeeded by
Heinrich Laretei