Europe: The Dam Builders

As the official French government plane taxied to a stop under the glowering skies at Bonn's shabby Wahn Airport, a red carpet was rolled out to the landing stairs. From the plane stepped the towering figure of Charles de Gaulle, who, as the first French chief of state to visit Germany officially since 1870, had come on a historic mission: to cement a lasting bond of friendship and unity between two ancient foes. "The mountain," said one spectator, "has come to Mohammed."

De Gaulle warmly greeted West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who was...

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