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Ursula von der Leyen

Assumed office 
30 November 2009
Preceded by Franz Josef Jung

In office
22 November 2005 – 30 November 2009
Preceded by Renate Schmidt
Succeeded by Kristina Köhler

Minister of Social Affairs, Women, Family Affairs and Health of Lower Saxony
In office
4 March 2003 – 22 November 2005
Preceded by Gitta Trauernicht
Succeeded by Mechthild Ross-Luttmann

Born October 8, 1958 (1958-10-08) (age 51)
Brussels, Belgium
Nationality German
Political party Christian Democratic Union (CDU)
Alma mater Hannover Medical School
Profession Physician
Religion Protestant

Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen (born 8 October 1958) is a conservative German politician.



Von der Leyen was born in Brussels to Heidi Adele and Ernst Albrecht where her father worked at the Council of the European Union. In 1971 the family moved to Lehrte[1]. She studied economics and medicine at the universities of Göttingen, Münster, the London School of Economics, Hannover, and Stanford University. From 1987 to 1992, she worked as assistant doctor at the medical university of Hannover.

Von der Leyen joined the CDU in 1990. From 2003 to 2005 she was a minister in the state government of Lower Saxony. In 2005 she was appointed Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth in the cabinet of Angela Merkel.

Von der Leyen is supposed to succeed Franz Josef Jung as Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs on 30 November 2009.[2]

She is married to Heiko von der Leyen, a professor of medicine. They have seven children.


Countering internet child pornography

She advocated the initiation of a mandatory blockage of child pornography in the internet through Internet service providers via a block list conducted by the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany (BKA), thus creating the basic infrastructure for extensive censorship of websites deemed illegal/immoral/'bad' by the BKA.[3] These actions brought her the nickname "Zensursula", a portmanteau word blending the German word for censorship (“Zensur”) and her given name (“Ursula”).[4] The combination of a sensitive topic like child pornography and internet censorship is said to have caused a rising interest in the Pirate Party.

In July 2009 she referred to the problems of struggling against pedophile pornography on the internet as the responsible persons often use servers located in Africa or India, where "child pornography is legal”.[5][6] This claim was based on a study of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children of 2006[7], however in fact child pornography is illegal in India. Indeed, Indian society has much stricter rules about erotic media than Germany. Von der Leyen later expressed regret for having cited an inaccurate study.[8]

Youth protection

She was the main factor behind the ban and the rating of the Rammstein album Liebe ist für alle da by the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien.[9]



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