January 29, 1958

KONRAD ADENAUER: Bonn, 25 – The usually calm political climate in West Germany has been disrupted by a vicious personal attack on the country’s elderly Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, led by two former government ministers Gustav Heinemann of the Socialist Party and Thomas Deller of the Free Democrats. Both had served in a previous administration led by Adenauer. According to press reports, the debate in the Bundestag was characterized by hatred and fury reminiscent of the mood when Hitler took power in 1933. The attacks on Adenauer were triggered by increasing displeasure and frustration among the public over his government’s failure to reunite the country with East Germany. Heinemann accused Adenauer of exploiting religious feeling by claiming that the Socialists were atheists and working hand in glove with the Communists. He also accused Adenauer of not taking up the Russian offer in March 1952 to hold a Russian-German conference to discuss the issue of unification.