West Germany: Neck und Neck

Throughout the Saar, so often a battlefield in German history, another kind of campaign has reverberated in recent weeks. Though its ferocity seemed out of all proportion to the stakes—50 seats in the state legislature—the latest battle of the Saar represented the final, crucial showdown between West Germany's major political parties before nationwide elections in September.

The race took on added significance from the fact that the state administration, like the federal government in Bonn, is an uneasy coalition between the Christian Democratic Union and the minority Free Democrats. As a result, the two chief rivals, Ludwig Erhard's C.D.U., running scared...

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