West Germany: The Reckoning

The Bundestag went about its task with as much zest as a man stepping up to the dentist's chair. Voting on 85-year-old Konrad Adenauer's re-election to a fourth term as West Germany's Chancellor, no fewer than 26 of 241 Christian Democrats present showed their distaste for their party leader by dropping blank white cards into the plastic ballot box. When all the ballots were counted, der Alte had squeaked through with only eight more votes than the required majority of 250. Many delegates ostentatiously sat on their hands, and Economics Minister Ludwig Erhard, who had been cruelly punished by Adenauer...

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