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Winfried Kretschmann

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Title: Winfried Kretschmann  
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Winfried Kretschmann

Winfried Kretschmann
Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg
Assumed office
12 May 2011
Preceded by Stefan Mappus
President of the Bundesrat
In office
1 November 2012 – 31 October 2013
Preceded by Horst Seehofer
Succeeded by Stephan Weil
Personal details
Born (1948-05-17) 17 May 1948
Spaichingen, Germany
Nationality German
Political party Green
Spouse(s) Gerlinde Kretschmann (since 1975)
Alma mater University of Hohenheim
Occupation Teacher
Religion Roman Catholic

Winfried Kretschmann (born May 17, 1948) is a German politician of the Green Party of Germany. He has been Minister-President of the state of Baden-Württemberg since 12 May 2011 and was President of the German Bundesrat from November 2012 until October 2013.

Kretschmann has been a member of the state parliament, the Landtag of Baden-Württemberg, since 1980, in the constituency of Nürtingen. In 2006 he was the frontrunner in the Baden-Württemberg state election for his party, as he was in the state election on 27 March 2011. He was also the chairman of his party's parliamentary group.[1]

Following the state election of 2011,[2] Kretschmann was elected on 12 May 2011 by the combined Green-SPD majority in the Landtag to succeed Stefan Mappus as Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, becoming the first ever Green Minister-President of any German state.

On 12 October 2012 he was elected President of the German Bundesrat for the term from 1 November 2012 to 31 October 2013.[3] This was the first time since 1953, and only the second time ever, that the President was not drawn from the ranks of either the CDU/CSU or the SPD.


Kretschmann was born at Spaichingen in Baden-Württemberg. His parents were expellees from the catholic Ermland (East Prussia) after World War II.[4] He grew up on the rural Swabian Alb (southern Baden-Württemberg). Kretschmann attended a Catholic boarding school in Sigmaringen and passed his Abitur in Riedlingen. Following his military service, he studied to be a teacher of biology and chemistry (later ethics) at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, graduating in 1977. From 1973 to 1975 he was active in the Communist League of West Germany.[5] He later denounced this orientation towards the revolutionary positions of the German student movement as a "political misapprehension"; today he is more ecologically oriented and counted among the members of the more conservative wing of the Greens.

After three years as a school teacher at Sigmaringen, he went into politics. Kretschmann is one of the founding members of the Baden-Württemberg section of the German Green Party (at Sindelfingen on September 30, 1979).

In 1980, he was for the first time elected into the Landtag, the state parliament, and a first stint of his chairmanship of his party's parliamentary group followed from 1983 to 1985. In 1985 he left Stuttgart to work in Hessen at the ministry of environment, then run by party colleague Joschka Fischer for two years.

In 1988, he returned to Baden-Württemberg, being re-elected into the Landtag in 1988. He lost his seat in 1992, but returned – after four years back as a teacher – in 1996 and held his seat in 2001 and 2006. In 2002, he was again elected chairman of his party's parliamentary group.[6] In May 2011 a coalition of Greens and Social Democrats won over the former predominating conservative CDU Party; Kretschmann was elected as the new state Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg.[7]

Kretschmann is a Catholic and belongs to the more Realpolitik-oriented, centrist wing of the Green Party. He is married, has three children and lives in Sigmaringen.

See also


  1. ^ "Winfried Kretschmann, Fraktionschef der Grünen im baden-württembergischen Landtag".  
  2. ^ "Germany: Greens celebrate Merkel election defeat".  
  3. ^ "Winfried Kretschmann neuer Bundesratspräsident".  
  4. ^ [1] Die Zeit
  5. ^ Biography at
  6. ^ Winfried Kretschmann personal website
  7. ^ "'"First Green State Governor 'I Want a Quiet Revolution. SPIEGEL ONLINE. May 19, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2012. 
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