A House Divided

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MORE OF THE SAME: Many voters fear that neither candidate will be able to tackle unemployment

Angela Merkel's earliest political memory is of the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961, when she was just 7. Merkel and her family had been vacationing in Bavaria and on Aug. 11 were returning to their home in Templin, a small town set amid sparkling lakes and lush forests about 80 km north of Berlin. Merkel's father, a Lutheran minister, sensed something was wrong; he'd seen bushels of barbed wire stacked in the woods on the drive back. The erection of the Wall started the next night. "Everybody was crying" at that Sunday's church service, Merkel recalled in a...

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