Hugo Bernhard Rahamägi

Hugo Bernhard Rahamägi (2 June 1886 - 1 September 1941) was a prominent Estonian prelate and politician who served as Minister for Education in the Estonian government between 1924 and 1925 and later as Bishop of Tallinn and Primate of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church from 1934 till 1939.

The Most Reverend

Hugo Bernhard Rahamägi
Bishop of Tallinn
Primate of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Hugo Bernhard Rahamägi.jpg
ChurchEstonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Elected19 June 1934
PredecessorJakob Kukk
SuccessorJohan Kõpp
Ordination16 April 1914
Consecration16 September 1934
by Erling Eidem
Personal details
Born(1886-06-02)June 2, 1886
Kurtna, Harju County, Russian Empire (Present-day Estonia)
DiedSeptember 1, 1941(1941-09-01) (aged 55)
Kirov, Kirov Oblast, Russia, Soviet Union
ParentsMart Rahhamäggi & Louise Amalie Drellneck
SpouseEdith Hendrikson
Melanie Kuljus

Early life and educationEdit

Rahamägi was born on June 2, 1886 in Kurtna, Harju County in the Russian Empire, what is now present-day Estonia. He attended the Jõgisoo Rural Municipality School between 1893 and 1895 and then the Keila Parish School from 1895 till 1905. He also studied at the University of Tartu from 106 till 1913 and graduated in theology in 1913. He earned his doctorate in 1920 from the University of Berlin while he defended his dissertation titled 1924 The Reasons for the Decrease of the Fertility of the Estonian People and the Way to Eliminate It.[1]

Ordination and careerEdit

Rahamägi was ordained priest on April 16, 1914 in St. Mary's Cathedral, Tallinn. He was appointed as vicar of the Church of the Holy Spirit, Tallinn. He also served the congregations in Kaarma, Kuressaare from 1914 till 1920. In 1920 he became associate professor of Systematic Theology at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Tartu and in 1921 he became acting professor. Between 1922 and 1924 he also served as head of the faculty of Theology. He was appointed to serve as Minister for Education of Estonia in 1924 and retained the post till 1925. In 1926 he became Professor of Systematic Theology at the Faculty of Theology.[2]


On June 19, 1934, Rahamägi was elected Bishop of Tallinn and Primate of the Church with 226 votes in favour and 131 votes against. He was consecrated September 16, 1934 by the Archbishop of Uppsala, Erling Eidem. In 1938 he became a member of the Riiginõukogu or State Council. He also worked to further the establishment of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Arrest and ExecutionEdit

Rahamägi was arrested by Soviet troops on April 26, 1941 and accused of abusing his powers to expand the church's influence on the state. He was taken to Russia where he was executed in Kirov, Kirov Oblast on September 1, 1941.


Preceded by
Jakob Kukk
Archbishop of Tallinn
Primate of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church

Succeeded by
Johan Kõpp