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 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 81)
Political partySocial Democrats
Alma materUniversity of Copenhagen

Early life and educationEdit

Weiss was born on 1 May 1941.[1][2] 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] Next she involved in 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 to 1986.[3] She served as the deputy chairperson of the social democrats from 1994 to 1996 and first vice-chairperson of the Parliament from 1998 to 1999.[4]

She assumed various cabinet positions. Her first ministerial post was the minister of interior, and she served in the office from 1993 to 1997.[2] She resigned from the post on 20 October, and Thorkild Simonsen succeeded her in the post.[5] She was also the minister of church affairs which she held from 1994 to 1996. She was appointed minister of health in 1996, and her tenure lasted until 1998.[4] Lastly she served as the minister of research and information technology from 1999 to 2001.[3]


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.[6] A documentary, En minister krydser sit spor (Danish: A Minister Backtracks), filmed by Danish director Ulrik Holmstrup in 2000 is about her activities as interior minister.[7] It narrates the dilemma she faced in dealing with Bosnian refugees in the country.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Weiss is married and has two sons.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "Danish government of 2001". VIPS. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Anna Michalski (1995). A reluctant partner: The pattern of Denmark's involvement in the European Community (PhD thesis). London School of Economics and Political Science. p. 173.
  3. ^ a b c "List of Danish female ministers". Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b Arthur S. Banks; Alan J. Day; Thomas C. Muller, eds. (2016). Political Handbook of the World 1998. Binghamton, NY: CSA Publications. pp. 257–258. ISBN 978-1-349-14951-3.
  5. ^ Jens Rydgren (Winter–Spring 2010). "Radical Right-wing Populism in Denmark and Sweden". The SAIS Review of International Affairs. 30 (1): 64. JSTOR 27000210.
  6. ^ "Report to the UN on Discrimination and Racism in Denmark". The Torch. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  7. ^ a b "En minister krydser sit spor". IMDb. Retrieved 9 September 2013.