West Germany: At Last, Clearly in Charge

Many times, when he was Vice Chancellor, Ludwig Erhard had been called into Konrad Adenauer's spacious, baroque office in Bonn's Palais Schaumburg and bawled out by der Alle for real or fancied transgressions. The setting was still much the same: the sunny room overlooking the Rhine, the Persian rugs, the stately furniture. But now the roles were reversed. Sitting in the Chancellor's chair was Ludwig Erhard, and he had peremptorily summoned the venerable Adenauer at 9:15 a.m. to dress him down in the presence of Foreign Minister Gerhard Schroder.

"After some of...

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