Her parents, Otto and Anna Binder, were social democrats and Jews and had to emigrate to Sweden during the Nazi regime. Mrs Fischer speaks Swedish fluently. In 1949, her family returned to Austria. She attended grammar school in Vienna and started to study arts at the University of Vienna. In 1968, she married Heinz Fischer, a social democratic politician. In 2004, her husband was elected federal president and she became first lady of Austria. The couple has two children: Philip (born 1972) and Lisa (born 1975).
Former Vice-President of Rettet das Kind Österreich (Save the Children Austria) (1992-1998)
Former President of Verein zur Gründung und zum Betrieb einer Erlebnisausstellung zu den Naturwissenschaften (Association for the creation and operation of an interactive exhibition about the natural sciences) (1993-2000)
Chairperson of Österreichischer Frauenrat (Austrian Women's Council) (since 1995)
Chairperson of Science Center Netzwerk (Science Center Network Society) (since 2005)