In This Review

Adenauer: Der Aufstieg, 1876-1952
Adenauer: Der Aufstieg, 1876-1952
By Hans-Peter Schwarz
Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1986, 1024 pp

A well-known political scientist with expert knowledge of postwar history has written a splendid account of Adenauer's first 76 years, with new material and admirable judiciousness. Arguably Germany's greatest statesman after Bismarck, Adenauer was a major political presence in the Weimar Republic, a political outcast under the Nazis, and the key figure in the uncertainties of the immediate postwar period. Stubborn, cunning, authoritarian, he was deceptive and divisive in domestic politics, brilliant in dealing with the occupying powers. His major goal was a firm integration with the West; his (often secretive) initiatives in establishing West German rearmament a means to that end. This first volume of his biography-in all its breadth-is a major, readable achievement, and should inform the continuing debate over Adenauer's role in Germany's postwar rehabilitation and division.