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German History in Documents and Images
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Adenauer's Resignation (October 16, 1963)
Konrad Adenauer hesitated for a long time before stepping down from his office as Chancellor, but he was eventually forced to do so as a result of the Spiegel Affair. His final years in office were shaped by the attempt – ultimately unsuccessful – to prevent Ludwig Erhard from succeeding him. After a marked decline in popularity, Adenauer resigned on October 16, 1963. This photo shows the eighty-seven year old Adenauer leaving the Chancellery for the last time after fourteen years as the head of the government. Photo by Hilmar Pabel.