West Germany: Duty Done

As a child, Konrad Adenauer was instructed by his father: "Do not let yourself be diverted until you have finished, not even if a cannon goes off at your elbow." Amid thunderous salutes on the eve of his retirement, West Germany's 87-year-old Chancellor remained faithful to that maxim. This week Ludwig Erhard, his longtime Economics Minister, against whose succession he had fought bitterly, takes over as Chancellor. In Bonn's Palais Schaumburg, Adenauer gaveled to order the 700th and last Cabinet meeting since he took office in 1949.

Stiff and stony-faced, der Alte wasted no time on Wehmut, the sweet melancholy...

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