Adenauer's strong will and political acumen helped to give Der Alte [the old man], as he was known, great authority in West German public life. The political architect of the astounding West German recovery, he saw the solution of German problems in terms of European integration, and he helped secure West Germany's membership in the various organizations of what has become the European Union. In 1961 his party lost its absolute majority in the Bundestag, and he formed a coalition cabinet with the Free Democrats. In 1962 a cabinet crisis arose over the government's raid of the offices of the magazine Der Spiegel, which had attacked the Adenauer regime for military unpreparedness. After agreeing to the Free Democrats' demands that he exclude his defense minister, Franz Josef Strauss, who was implicated in the affair, from a new cabinet, Adenauer succeeded in re-forming the coalition. At the same time Adenauer announced (Dec., 1962) his retirement as part of the agreement with the Free Democrats. He resigned in Oct., 1963. His writings include World Indivisible (tr. 1955).
See his memoirs of the years 1945–53 (tr. by B. R. von Oppen, 1966); biographies by T. C. F. Prittie (1972) and C. Williams (2001); E. Alexander, Adenauer and the New Germany (tr. 1957); P. Weymar, Adenauer (tr. 1957); A. J. Heidenheimer, Adenauer and the CDU (1960); N. Frei, Adenauer's Germany and the Nazi Past (2003).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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