West Germany: In Spite of Himself

Ludwig Erhard, who turned 69 last week, has neither skill nor stomach for back-room politics, relies instead on his formidable success as a university-trained economist to hold the favor of West German voters. Now, however, he is caught in a dreadful dilemma: he may have to take up Parteipolitik in self-defense.

His problem has to do with the chairmanship of the party he rode (or carried) to power, the Christian Democratic Union. Canny old Konrad Adenauer clung to the job even after he stepped down as Chancellor nearly three years ago at the age of 87, and has used the post...