West Germany: The Ambassador from Krupp

As general manager of the $1.25 billion-a-year Friedrich Krupp empire, suave, handsome Berthold Beitz (pronounced bites) is the most controversial executive in postwar Germany. Polish Prime Minister Josef Cyrankiewicz calls him "an outstanding special ambassador from West Germany," and Poland's Communist Party Chief Wladyslaw Gomulka agrees. Nikita Khrushchev recently received him for a 21-hour chat. Bonn's professional diplomats snidely dub him "the foreign minister from Essen."

Trade usually precedes political relations, and in West Germany's case, Beitz, 49, beats the path for relations eastward. West Germany has steadfastly refused to trade...

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