Barbara Rosenkranz

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Barbara Rosenkranz
2014 Barbara Rosenkranz (15780670592).jpg
Member of the National Council
In office
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1958-07-20) 20 July 1958 (age 58)
Nationality Austrian
Political party FPÖ
Spouse(s) Horst Rosenkranz
Children 10
Committees Committees for family, health, interior and education affairs

Barbara Rosenkranz (née Schörghofer;[1] born 20 July 1958 in Salzburg) is an Austrian politician for the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), currently serving as the Minister of Building Law and Animal Protection of the State of Lower Austria (since 2008). She was a member of the Parliament of Austria, the National Council, from 2002 to 2008, where she served as Chair of the Committee for Health Affairs. Rosenkranz was the Freedom Party candidate for the Austrian presidential election in 2010.[2][3] Rosenkranz received 15.62% of the vote, coming second after incumbent Heinz Fischer.[4]

Political career[edit]

Member of parliament and state minister[edit]

She was elected to the Parliament of Lower Austria in 1993, and chaired her party group from 2000 onwards. In 2002, she was elected to the National Council of Austria, where she served on the committees for family, health, interior and education affairs, and chaired the committee on health affairs. She was her party's top candidate in Lower Austria in the 2008 election. The election was a major success for her party, which more than doubled their representation in the parliament. She resigned as member of the National Council on 9 April 2008, and the following day she was appointed to the cabinet of the state as Minister of Building Law and Animal Protection.

Party offices[edit]

Barbara Rosenkranz was elected deputy chair of her party in the state of Lower Austria in 1996. She was additionally secretary general of the state party 1998-1999, and in 2003, she was elected chair of the state party. Since 2005, she has also been deputy chair of the Freedom Party at the federal level.

Candidate for President of Austria[edit]

Barbara Rosenkranz was the candidate of the Freedom Party for the Austrian presidential election, 2010. Her candidacy was officially presented by the Freedom Party on 2 March 2010. The Kronen Zeitung, the largest newspaper of Austria, supported her candidacy in articles written by its publisher Hans Dichand. The conservative party, the Austrian People's Party, didn't nominate a candidate (their last presidential candidate was Benita Ferrero-Waldner in 2004, who narrowly lost to Heinz Fischer), but refused to endorse any of the two major candidates, incumbent social democrat Heinz Fischer and Barbara Rosenkranz.

Rosenkranz received 15.6% of the vote, coming second after Fischer. A third candicate, Rudolf Gehring of the small Christian Party, polled 6%. The voter turnout was only 53.6%, however (compared to 70.8% in 2004, and the lowest in modern history).

Political positions[edit]

A self-described national conservative, she is a controversial and polarizing figure in Austria. She has been a vocal critic of the European Union, immigration and restrictions to the freedom of speech like the Austrian anti-Nazi laws.[5][6][7] She is known for her conservative views on the family and social policy[8]

Social policy[edit]

Rosenkranz advocates conservative views on immigration, social policy and the family. She is critical of feminism,[9] and in her book MenschInnen, she argues that gender mainstreaming attempts to create sexless human beings. She advocates equal rights for men and women[10]

She rejects gay marriage and argues marriage is between men and women only.[11]

Barbara Rosenkranz advocates a tough stance on immigration and crime.[12][13]

Views on the European Union[edit]

Barbara Rosenkranz is critical of the European Union. She advocates a decentralized Europe and nation states.[14] She also advocates the reintroduction of border controls.[15]

Views on national socialism[edit]

Rosenkranz' husband, Horst Rosenkranz is a publisher of far right material and was formerly a member of the now-banned National Democratic Party (NDP), a far right party, and the question of whether she shares her husband's beliefs has caused some controversy. Some Austrian media have referred to Rosenkranz as "Reich Mother".[6] In 1995 Rosenkranz brought a defamation case against the publicist Hans-Henning Scharsach for referring to her as an example of a "Kellernazi", that is, a closet sympathizer of National Socialist beliefs. The lawsuit led to a fine against Scharsach's newspaper, "News". This decision was criticised by the European Court of Human Rights, however, as a violation of freedom of speech,[16] as they considered it a matter of opinion, and that Rosenkranz's attitude towards the Nazi past was thoroughly ambiguous. Key points in this ruling were that she had never distanced herself from her husband's activities in the extreme right, and that in the past had been a vocal public opponent of the Verbotsgesetz 1947 law banning Holocaust denial.[17] Both Scharsach and "News" were awarded damages.[18]

When once asked whether she believed in the existence of gas chambers in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II in an interview with Austrian Radio (ORF), she replied that she has the knowledge of an Austrian "who went to school in Austria between 1964 and 1976 -- so that is my knowledge of history and I have no plan whatsoever to change it".[19] As this answer was criticised as being "evasive", she later stated in an interview with Die Presse, that there is no doubt that terrible crimes were committed during the Nazi regime.[20]

Historian Lothar Höbelt, head of the supporting committee for Rosenkranz, criticized the media of a "manipulating campaign" against her, and argued that some of these statements were several years old or taken out of context.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Barbara Rosenkranz is married to Horst Rosenkranz, and has 10 children, 6 girls and 4 boys.[22] She studied history and philosophy at the University of Vienna, but didn't graduate. Although raised as a Catholic, she has criticised the church authorities in Austria, and left the Church several years ago. None of her children are baptized.[23]



  • Barbara Rosenkranz: MenschInnen. Gender Mainstreaming – Auf dem Weg zum geschlechtslosen Menschen. Ares Verlag, Graz 2008, ISBN 978-3-902475-53-4.


  1. ^ Biography of Barbara Rosenkranz auf den Seiten des niederösterreichischen Landtags
  2. ^ Rosenkranz wird für FPÖ kandidieren
  3. ^ : Offizielle Bekanntgabe der Kandidatur zur Bundespräsidentenwahl Archived May 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., 2. März 2010
  4. ^ "Austria president sweeps to victory". Al Jazeera. 25 April 2010. Archived from the original on 27 April 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Austria spooked by Nazi past in election". BBC News. 23 April 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Reich mother on the march in Hitler's homeland". The Independent. London. 24 April 2010. 
  7. ^ Cain, Phil (25 April 2010). "'Reich Mother' Barbara Rosenkranz revitalises far right in Austrian election". The Guardian. London. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Die Presse: Barbara Rosenkranz: „Der Feminismus ist ein Irrweg“, 2. März 2010
  10. ^ Barbara Rosenkranz: MenschInnen. Gender Mainstreaming – Auf dem Weg zum geschlechtslosen Menschen. Ares-Verlag, Graz 2008
  11. ^ Fragen an Barbara Rosenkranz, 27. August 2008
  12. ^ Zur Zeit: „Die Einbürgerungen stoppen!“, February 2008
  13. ^ Die Presse: Rosenkranz: „Über Identität des Landes diskutieren“, 2. März 2010
  14. ^ Fragen an Barbara Rosenkranz Archived September 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., 26. September 2008
  15. ^ FPÖ-NÖ: LR Rosenkranz: Grenzkontrollen sofort wiedereinführen, 26. November 2009
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  17. ^ Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes: Rechtsextreme Funktionäre, Aktivisten und Ideologen. Rechtsextremismus in Österreich. Accessed 2 March 2010.
  18. ^ Chamber judgment in the case of Scharsach and News Verlagsgesellschaft mbH v. Austria Archived May 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Pressemitteilung des EGMR, 13. November 2003
  19. ^
  20. ^ Die [1], 7. März 2010
  21. ^'manipulating'_campaign
  22. ^ Boyes, Roger (24 April 2010). "Rosenkranz rallies far Right on eve of Austria poll". The Times. London. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (pdf) (in German). p. 1797. Retrieved November 2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Minister of Building Law and Animal Protection of Lower Austria
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chair of the Committee for Health Affairs of the National Council of Austria
Succeeded by
Dagmar Belakowitsch-Jenewein
Preceded by
Member of the National Council of Austria
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of the Parliament of Lower Austria
Succeeded by