THE man who meets President Kennedy this week is not only the world's oldest head of government; at 85, Konrad Adenauer is the greatest German of his time, and one of the greatest Europeans.

At home, in the wake of elections he narrowly won, Adenauer is probably less popular than ever. In the West, some wish he had given way to a younger, more tractable man. Yet by an extraordinary combination of high moral fervor and ruthless political skill, Adenauer, at the start of his fourth term as Chancellor, remains the unshakable spokesman for...

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