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Birte Weiss (born 1 May 1941) is a Danish journalist and social democrat politician, who served in various capacities in the government of Denmark. She now works as a journalist for the newspaper Weekendavisen.

Birte Weiss
Minister of Interior
In office
1993 – 20 October 1997
Succeeded byThorkild Simonsen
Personal details
Born (1941-05-01) 1 May 1941 (age 78)
Political partySocial Democrats


Early life and educationEdit

Weiss was born on 1 May 1941.[1] She was trained as a journalist with the social democrat press from 1960 to 1963.[1] Later she attended the University of Copenhagen and studied there comparative literature.[1]


Weiss began her career as a journalist, working for Demokraten and then for Information.[1] Later she joined politics and became a member of the Danish parliament for the social democrats for two terms; from 1971 to 1973 and from 1975 to 2001.[2] She was the chairperson of the council of Denmark’s Radio/TV from 1981 yo 1986.[2] She served as the deputy chairperson of the social democrats from 1994 to 1996 and first vice-chairperson of the Folketing from 1998 to 1999.[3]

She assumed varied cabinet positions. Her first ministerial post was the minister of interior and she served from 1993 to 1997. She resigned from office on 20 October and Thorkild Simonsen succeeded her in the post.[4] She was also the minister of church affairs and was in office from 1994 to 1996. She was appointed minister of health in 1996 and her tenure lasted until 1998. Lastly she served as the minister of research and information technology from 1999 to 2001.[2]


When she was the interior minister Weiss delivered a bill in 1996, stating that a foreigner, who is guilty of drug-related crime, should be deported from Denmark.[5] A documentary, En minister krydser sit spor (A Minister Backtracks), filmed by Danish director Ulrik Holmstrup in 2000 is about the activities of Weiss as interior minister.[6] It narrates the dilemma she faced in dealing with Bosnian refugees in the country.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Weiss is married and has two sons.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Danish government of 2001". VIPS. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "List of Danish female ministers". Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Female Ministers of Interior". Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  4. ^ "October 1997". Rulers. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Report to the UN on Discrimination and Racism in Denmark". The Torch. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  6. ^ a b "En minister krydser sit spor". IMDb. Retrieved 9 September 2013.