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The magnetic stiffness of polycrystalline isotropic barium ferrite has been measured in the region of negative field strength. It is found that the Stoner-Wohlfarth model describes magnetic reversal only for small field strength. Irreversible magnetization processes known from magnetization measurements have strong influence on the field dependence of the magnetic stiffness. The domain splitting of "90° crystallites" which was found in previous investigations proves to be essentially independent of the magnetic history of the sample.