Doctor, regular talk show guest, Minister of Health: Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, Karl Lauterbach has been an integral part of German politics and media. Do you already know the peculiarities of him?
1. When it comes to nutrition, everyone has their own quirks. The Minister of Health is no exception. He has not eaten meat since 1987, and since 1989 he has even explicitly avoided salt. He only eats the natural traces of salt in vegetables and fruits.
Many Social Democrats have had their own “experience with salt” with Lauterbach, for example when he expressly ordered his dishes in restaurants without salt. And the Bundestag caterers also know and always have a salt-free dish in their repertoire.
2. Karl Lauterbach has to put up with repeated comments about his discolored teeth on social media. He himself has already talked about it in the YouTube format ‘Disslike’: “I eat a lot of chocolate. And that’s why my teeth are very healthy, but sometimes slightly discolored by chocolate. The combination of a lot of dark chocolate and coffee.” .”
3. His hallmark, the bow tie, accompanied Karl Lauterbach for years. He only separated from her in 2019, also because of her daughters, who had reservations about the accessory and also pointed out that the flies had fallen out of time. More than 100 pieces are now gathering dust in numerous boxes in her apartment, as she told the German Press Agency.
But how did this trademark come about in the first place? The flies are a holdover from his time as a doctor in the United States. As he himself has explained on numerous occasions, the garment is used there by doctors as an identification mark in hospital rooms. Ties could not be worn for hygiene reasons.
Karl Lauterbach and the bow tie: The accessory adorned him until 2019, a remnant of his time as a doctor in the USA. (Source: Jürgen Heinrich / imago images)
4. The Rhineland can do without salt and meat, but Lauterbach has a special love for wine. And he gives it to him every day, as Lauterbach explained to “Spiegel”. He also admitted that he didn’t get enough sleep and that his diet was very unbalanced.
5. A professor and two doctorates adorn the politician today. However, his school career was not without obstacles. Although elementary school was easy for him and he was able to shine with good grades, he only received a recommendation for high school. He himself saw this as discrimination based on his family circumstances. His father worked as a simple dairy worker. He describes it that way in his book “Before It’s Too Late”.
However, that did not stop young Karl. Little challenged at the Hauptschule, he first moved to the Realschule and then to the Gymnasium, where he finished his school career in 1983 with the Abitur. He maintained an attitude throughout his school days. And that concerned the choice of seat, as he also clarified in a questionnaire for the Süddeutsche Zeitung: “Last bench from the beginning”.
6. Good school completion grades made it possible for Lauterbach to become a doctor. But how did this career choice come about? The desire for medicine is preceded by a moment of shock from his youth. At the age of 13, a bone cyst was discovered in Lauterbach’s knee. Poorly trained doctors falsely confronted him with the fear that surgery and possibly even amputation of the leg would be necessary.
In addition, a serious treatment error occurred during the subsequent hospital stay. The experiences of this time made one thing clear to young Karl, as he writes in his book: “These experiences have shaped my career. At that moment I made the decision to become a doctor.”
7. Sport has a high priority for the politician. Although he now occasionally shares a photo with his daughter on social media after jogging, he played table tennis, handball, and especially soccer when he was in school. His position: “left outside” in the storm.
He not only kicked against the leather in the club at BC Oberzier, but also during breaks from classes. “Like a striker in everyday shoes, with a tennis ball that served as a football, both in class and on the stone floor of the schoolyard,” said the Rhenish.
8. Lauterbach has been a member of the SPD since 2001. What not everyone knows: Before that he was committed to the CDU. As he himself pointed out, his mother was very Christian. He also received support from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation during his time as a fellow at Harvard Medical School. This in turn is close to the CDU.
During his stay in the United States, however, his view of the party changed. He explained his decision to the “Rheinische Post”: “When I was in the US, I dealt with questions of justice. At some point, the CDU could no longer implement them for me. Today I am 100 percent Social Democrat.”