Courtesy Reuters

On October 6, 1945, Konrad Adenauer, then Mayor of Cologne by grace of the British Occupation authorities, was notified by Brigadier John Barraclough, Commanding General of North Rhine Province, as follows: "I am not satisfied with the progress of your city. . . Effective today you are dismissed as Mayor of Cologne. From here on you will no longer pursue, either directly or indirectly, any political activity whatever." A remarkable document, if only because four years later Adenauer was inaugurated Chancellor of the newly created Federal Republic of Germany, a post he was to assume, incredibly, at the age of 73, and to hold longer than any Chancellor since Bismarck. Even though only 16 years have gone by since then, it almost transcends the power of the imagination to reconstruct reality as Adenauer found it when he was chosen by a majority of one vote-his own-by the new German parliament on September 15, 1949. True, Germany had made

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