West Germany: We Are the Alternative

As Schmidt falters, the Christian Democrats bid for power

While Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev engaged in his latest effort to strengthen pacifist opposition to the deployment of new U.S. nuclear missiles in Western Europe, the Christian Democratic Union (C.D.U.), West Germany's main opposition party for the past twelve years, faced both an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity was that Chancellor Helmut Schmidt's Social Democratic Party was so badly riven by the missile issue that it might not be able to retain power until the national elections scheduled for 1984. The challenge was that the Christian Democrats would have to...