Winfried Kretschmann

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Winfried Kretschmann (2018)

Winfried "Winnie" Kretschmann (born May 17, 1948 in Spaichingen ) is a German politician and member of the Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen party . Since May 12, 2011 he has been the ninth Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg and as such the first Prime Minister of a German state appointed by the Greens . He was re-elected on May 12, 2016 and May 12, 2021. From 2012 to 2013 he was President of the Federal Council . He is also chairman of the supervisory board of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung gGmbH.


Origin, studies and professional activity (1948–1980)

Kretschmann was born as the son of the Roman Catholic elementary school teacher Fritz Kretschmann and his wife Dora in Spaichingen and grew up in Egesheim , a community on the Heuberg . His parents are from Frombork in today Poland belonging Warmia , a "Catholic enclave " in the then predominantly Protestant Prussia , from which it in 1945 sold were. His father wanted his son to become a Catholic priest ; In 1969 the father died after a car accident. Kretschmann describes his father as "very liberal", his mother as "completely apolitical". He had "a very, very harmonious childhood".

After primary school in Zwiefalten -Sonderbuch, Winfried Kretschmann attended a Catholic boarding school in Riedlingen , then went to the Hohenzollern grammar school in Sigmaringen until he graduated from high school in 1968 . He stayed seated once in 11th grade. In his youth he was a senior administrator . During his boarding school, he gave up the desire to become a priest.

From 1968 to 1970 he did his basic military service . From 1970 to 1975 he studied biology and chemistry (later ethics ) at the University of Hohenheim for teaching at grammar schools. In 1977 he passed the second state examination. Because of two candidacies for the student convention, 1972 for the "Communist Student Group / Marxist-Leninists" (university group of the KABD ) and 1973 on the platform of the "Socialist Center" and the " Communist University Group" (KHG), he was threatened with a professional ban due to the radical decree . The Office for the Protection of the Constitution reported the candidacies to the High School Office.

Kretschmann initially taught at a private cosmetics school in Stuttgart . After a review he was a civil servant high school teacher for biology , chemistry and ethics in Stuttgart, Esslingen am Neckar ( Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium ), Mengen , Bad Schussenried and between 1988 and 1995 at the Hohenzollern-Gymnasium in Sigmaringen . He was given several leave of absence to perform his parliamentary mandates.

Political activity

Party career (since 1979)

Winfried Kretschmann (2010)

During his studies Winfried Kretschmann was chairman of the General Student Committee (AStA) at the University of Hohenheim for several years . From 1973 to 1975 he was involved in the university group of the Communist Federation of West Germany and was close to Maoism . Subsequently, he described this “1968 socialization” as a “fundamental political error”.

1979/80 Kretschmann was one of the founders of the Greens Baden-Württemberg . The practicing Catholic is regarded as a liberal - conservative pioneer of his party and was, together with Wolf-Dieter Hasenclever, a protagonist of the small eco-liberal wing of the Greens in the 1980s . This formed at the end of 1983 as an internal party opposition to the eco-socialist wing. Kretschmann represents the constituency of Nürtingen in the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg and was chairman of the green parliamentary group from 1983 to 1984 and from 2002 to 2011.

State politician in Baden-Württemberg (since 1980)

Prime Minister Kretschmann in the middle of the green-red cabinet (2011)

In 1980 he was elected for the first time for the Greens in the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg . In 1983 he succeeded Wolf-Dieter Hasenclever as chairman of the parliamentary group. From 1982 to 1984, Kretschmann was also a member of the district council of the Esslingen district .

In the legislative period from 1984 to 1988 he was not a member of the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg, as the Greens had not nominated any candidates in the three constituencies of the Esslingen district due to missing the deadline. In 1986 and 1987 he was a ministerial advisor to Minister Joschka Fischer in the first green environment ministry in Hesse .

In the state elections in March 1988 , Kretschmann was re-elected to the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg. In 1992 he failed to return to the state parliament. The reason for this was an internal party dispute over waste incineration and the candidacy of Helmut Palmer in the Nürtingen constituency. He has been a member of the state parliament without interruption since the state parliament elections in 1996 (until 2011 with a second mandate , since 2016 with a direct mandate ). As age president , he led the opening of the 17th electoral term of the state parliament.

From 1996 to 2001 Kretschmann was chairman of the committee for the environment and transport in the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg. After Dieter Salomon was elected Lord Mayor of the city of Freiburg im Breisgau , Kretschmann was elected as his successor as leader of the Greens in 2002. In addition, Kretschmann - elected for many years and co-opted as Prime Minister - is a member of the party council of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen Baden-Württemberg .

Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg (since 2011)

Winfried Kretschmann was the Greens' top candidate for the state elections in March 2011 . With 24.2 percent of the vote and 36 MPs, the Greens achieved the best election result in their history in a state election to date. After the CDU with 60 seats and before the SPD with 35 seats, they became the second largest parliamentary group in the state parliament. The election was overshadowed by the Fukushima nuclear disaster . As negotiator for the Greens, Kretschmann negotiated a coalition agreement with the SPD. On May 12, 2011, Kretschmann was elected Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg by the members of the state parliament . He received 73 votes, two more votes than the Greens and the SPD united. The Kretschmann I cabinet was the first government of a federal state to be led by the Greens.

On October 12, 2012, Kretschmann was ordinarily elected President of the German Federal Council for the one-year term of office beginning on November 1, 2012 .

In 2014, Kretschmann came under criticism in his party because Baden-Württemberg was the only federal state with Green government participation to approve an amendment to the asylum law . Thereafter, Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are classified as safe countries of origin , which means that asylum seekers can be deported more quickly. In return, he achieved relief in the residence obligation and the provision of funds. Critics note that this was "agreed long ago in the federal coalition agreement" and that "some agreements [...] even fell short of the improvements agreed in the federal coalition agreement". The Refugee Council of Baden-Württemberg and PRO ASYL therefore see this as a “lazy compromise”. Andreas Linder from the Baden-Württemberg Refugee Council noted at the time: “This legal stipulation ignores and trivializes the diverse social and racist discrimination that asylum seekers are affected by in their countries of origin. Reports from well-known international organizations and personal testimonies from those affected are wiped off the table. ”With regard to Roma from these countries, who are particularly represented in this refugee group, he points out:“ The relatives, some of whom are descendants of the second largest group of victims of National Socialism has become a 'maneuvering mass' ( Romani Rose ) in Germany in terms of migration policy ”. The governments in the Western Balkans “do not need to make any particular effort” because the German Federal Council has classified them as a “safe country of origin”.

In a representative survey in March 2015, 72 percent of those questioned said they were satisfied with the Prime Minister's work.

Under Prime Minister Kretschmann, the state government initiated numerous reforms, for example the introduction of the community school in Baden-Württemberg . In the economic sector, Kretschmann was the first Prime Minister in Germany to put Industry 4.0 and digitization on the political agenda. Under him, the state government also created the conditions for the expansion of wind power in Baden-Württemberg. However, fewer wind turbines were built in the current legislative period than in Erwin Teufel's time . Nine new wind turbines were built in 2013 and four in 2014. 53 plants were built in 2015. The installed capacity during the Kretschmann government is 232 MW in three years, compared to 287 MW in the eleven years of the Teufel government from 1994 to 2005. Another major project was to strengthen citizen participation at the municipal and state political level. In April 2014, he was the first Prime Minister to convene a conference (“Refugee Summit”) in order to find solutions for the refugee situation at the time together with the central municipal associations and other responsible parties .

There was criticism of the state government and thus of the Prime Minister for some of the provisions of the coalition agreement that had not yet been implemented. This concerned, for example, the announced mandatory identification of police officers in large-scale operations, which had failed due to the resistance of the police unions and the then Interior Minister Reinhold Gall .

For the state election on March 13, 2016 , Kretschmann again ran as the top candidate of his party. Under his leadership, the Greens achieved a share of the vote of 30.3 percent, relegating the CDU with its top candidate Guido Wolf to second place (27 percent) for the first time . It was the first time that the Greens were the strongest party in a state election. However, since his coalition partner, the SPD , recorded significant losses of just under 13 percent, the continuation of the previous green-red coalition was no longer possible. After the election, the Prime Minister was open to a traffic light coalition made up of the Greens, the SPD and the FDP . However, the FDP refused such cooperation. At the same time, Kretschmann invited to talks with the CDU for an alliance of the Greens and the CDU, which would be under the leadership of the Greens for the first time. This so-called Kiwi coalition was considered the most likely government coalition in Stuttgart, as the SPD rejected a coalition of CDU, SPD and FDP, in which Wolf would become head of government. On May 12, 2016, Kretschmann was re-elected as Prime Minister by the state parliament and appointed the green-black cabinet .

At the end of 2016, according to several media reports, he was under discussion as a candidate to succeed Joachim Gauck as Federal President. In 2018 Kretschmann published a book entitled What We Want to Rely On: For a New Idea of ​​the Conservative .

In the summer of 2019, Kretschmann announced that he would run again in the state elections in Baden-Württemberg in 2021 and that he was aiming for his third term. At the largely digital party conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic , he was elected the top candidate on December 12, 2020 in Reutlingen with 91.5 percent, which was more than five percentage points less than when he was elected five years ago. Kretschmann had no opponent. His party received 32.6% of the vote in the state elections on March 14, 2021, which was another 2.3 percent increase compared to the 2016 election. As a result, in addition to a new edition of the Kiwi coalition with the CDU, another traffic light coalition of the Greens, SPD and FDP was possible. This time the FDP was also open to such a coalition. After explorations and internal party negotiations, however, the Greens decided at the beginning of April to conduct coalition negotiations with the CDU. After the conclusion of the coalition negotiations, Kretschmann was re-elected Prime Minister by the state parliament on May 12, 2021, and the Kretschmann III cabinet was formed.

On March 19, 2021, Kretschmann received an initial vaccination against COVID-19 with AZD1222 ("AstraZeneca") after the federal government had previously ended the suspension of vaccine use.

Other memberships, offices, honors and awards

Kretschmann is a member of the Diocesan Council of the Archdiocese of Freiburg , the Association of Friends of the Archabbey of St. Martin e. V. and on the Board of Trustees of the Academy of the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart . During his studies he became a member of the Catholic student union Carolingia Hohenheim (not striking, in the CV ). Until 2021 he was an elected member of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK).

Kretschmann is a member of the Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Upper Swabian Society for History and Culture . He is a member of other associations, in his home town of Laiz he is an active member of the Catholic church choir and the shooting club .

The magazine Policy & Communications has been awarded the title of 2011 politicians excellent. In 2016, Kretschmann was awarded the SignsAward in the “Credibility in Communication” category. In 2017 he received the Markgräfler Gutedel Prize for his personal integrity and credibility . In June 2017, Kretschmann was named "Beer Ambassador" by the German Brewers' Association .

In 2018 he received the order against the seriousness of the animal , because with his humanistic understanding of politics and his subtle humor he is a convinced fool and convincing father of the country.

Family and private

Winfried Kretschmann has been married since 1975 and has three children. The family lives in Laiz , a district of Sigmaringen. His wife Gerlinde Kretschmann was a primary school teacher at the Bingen primary school near Sigmaringen until 2011 and a member of the Sigmaringen municipal council from the mid-1990s to 2009, most recently as the leader of the Greens. Kretschmann likes to read Homer and Hannah Arendt and is a fan of VfB Stuttgart .

He is an avowed Catholic. However, he accuses the Catholic Church of being too dogmatic and unable to admit to being wrong. On February 12, 2021, he announced that he would restrict the election campaign for the upcoming state election. He cited his wife's breast cancer as the reason .


Web links

Commons : Winfried Kretschmann  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual references and comments

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  3. Everyone loves Winnie - what makes Kretschmann so popular? , Swabian, accessed on May 12, 2021
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  6. Johannes Kretschmann: Baden-Württemberg: Four Kretschmanns look for traces of their family in the former East Prussia. December 22, 2019, accessed March 14, 2021 .
  7. Interview in taz, 7./8./9. April 2012, p. 21.
  8. Interview in taz, 7./8./9. April 2012, p. 21.
  9. “I'm not a leftist” Die Tageszeitung , pp. 20-21, April 7, 2012
  10. Kretschmann also remained seated, in: BNN No. 170, July 25, 2012, p. 11.
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  16. ... about me. In: Winfried Kretschman, archived from the original on April 20, 2011 ; Retrieved April 20, 2011 .
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  18. Ludger Volmer : Die Grünen , C. Bertelsmann, Munich 2009, p. 138.
  19. Joachim Raschke , Gudrun Heinrich: The Greens. How they became what they are , Bund, Cologne 1993, p. 250.
  20. Jürgen Hoffmann: The double union. Prehistory, course and effects of the merger of the Greens and Alliance 90. Leske + Budrich, Opladen 1998, p. 85; Makoto Nishida: Currents in the Greens (1980–2003). An analysis of informally organized groups within the Greens , Lit-Verlag, Münster 2005, pp. 95 ff.
  21. Green election results 1980–1996 ( Memento from January 8, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 74 kB)
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  24. ^ Coalition agreement between Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and the SPD Baden-Württemberg. (PDF; 1.3 MB) In: Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and SPD Baden-Württemberg, April 27, 2011, accessed on April 27, 2011 .
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  28. ^ Refugee Council Baden-Wuerttemberg, press release of September 19, 2014: On the asylum deal in the Federal Council: Refugee Council Baden-Wuerttemberg disappointed by Prime Minister Kretschmann, in: Rundbrief 03-2014, p. 40, online:
  29. Andreas Linder: "Asylum Compromise" 2014 - cui bono? ASYLUM COMPROMISE / ROMA: Federal Council approves “Safe Countries of Origin” law - Baden-Württemberg makes it possible, in: Rundbrief 03-2014, p. 39, online:
  30. BW trend 2015. In: Südwestrundfunk, March 24, 2015, accessed on May 28, 2015 . (Survey by SWR , Stuttgarter Zeitung and infratest dimap )
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  33. Planning, approval and construction , Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg, accessed in June 2020
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  36. Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector: Development of Wind Energy Expansion, subpage 2. Accessed on March 13, 2016 .
  37. ^ Cabinet passes law for more citizen participation in municipalities , Südwestpresse , February 11, 2015
  38. Kretschmann wants to facilitate legal immigration from the Balkans , Süddeutsche Zeitung , July 27, 2015
  39. Police officers in Baden-Württemberg, mandatory labeling is coming. In: Stuttgarter Zeitung. Stuttgarter Zeitung, December 29, 2014, accessed on May 28, 2015 .
  40. syd / dpa / AFP: Winfried Kretschmann again elected prime minister. In: Spiegel Online . May 12, 2016, accessed May 14, 2020 .
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  46. SWR Aktuell: Baden-Württemberg Kretschmann vaccination , March 19, 2021. His vaccination was also the topic of ARD Extra on the same evening.
  47. Moses from Sigmaringen. Zeit Online , accessed March 31, 2011 .
  48. ^ ZdK election: These 27 candidates were elected to the Catholic Committee . Central Committee of German Catholics. April 20, 2021. Accessed April 21, 2021.
  49. Membership in associations and clubs. In: Winfried Kretschmann, archived from the original on March 31, 2011 ; Retrieved March 31, 2011 .
  50. Kretschmann appointed ambassador for beer. News from the Stuttgarter Zeitung dated June 29, 2017.
  51. Gerlinde Kretschmann - naturally reserved. Soon mother of the country. In: March 30, 2011, accessed April 20, 2011 .
  52. Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen are represented in the Sigmaringen district in the 2009/2014 term of office in:… In: Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen Kreisverband Sigmaringen, archived from the original on January 7, 2012 ; Retrieved April 20, 2011 .
  53. Marc Reichwein: These are Winfried Kretschmann's favorite books. In: The world . February 10, 2019, accessed May 12, 2021 .
  54. Victory in the derby - VfB Stuttgart sends signs of life. In: Welt Online. April 5, 2014, accessed April 5, 2014 .
  55. Kretschmann calls for freedom of expression in the church . In: Zeit Online , March 19, 2015.
  56. Wife falls ill - Kretschmann restricts election campaign , FAZ, February 12, 2021
  57. Deutschlandradio Kultur from May 11, 2011: Oberschwabe with an East Prussian migration background , book review by Pieke Biermann