In August, Winfried Kretschmann talks about his shower behavior and the benefits of washcloths. The conversation developed a life of its own that the Prime Minister of Baden-W├╝rttemberg could not understand. In a new interview, he tries to straighten out the statements.

The Prime Minister of Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, comes up with more shower tips after the washcloth debate he triggered. As a biologist, he had already taught his students “that the skin cleans itself and that a microbiome forms a protective layer that you don’t have to constantly put under stress by washing,” said the Green politician of the Berlin daily newspaper “taz”. In August he had already explained that he also uses a washcloth instead of constantly showering to save energy.

With this statement, Kretschmann triggered a nationwide debate, which the 74-year-old cannot understand. “It wasn’t a recommendation from me, but the answer to a question about my personal shower behavior,” Kretschmann criticizes the outraged reactions that his statement, which was understood as paternalism, had triggered among some. “Precision would have destroyed the story,” he adds, referring to the subsequent reporting.

According to Kretschmann, the washcloth confession led to very different reactions. “The ‘Apotheken-Umschau’, the most-read magazine in Germany, responded positively and explained the protective acid layer of the skin again,” the politician said in an interview with the “taz”. Since then, he has been given washcloths “as gifts – with my portrait on them or in Ukraine colors”. The debate would also result in creative sayings and templates for handmade speeches. “You can see things are changing into something creative and fun,” said the Prime Minister.