Konrad Adenauer was unable to complete his memoirs. The fourth volume (covering the years 1959–1963) contains only fragments, as the subtitle expressly denotes. In this fifth volume in the
series, one of Adenauer’s closest collaborators describes that period from the inner circle of power.
Horst Osterheld headed the foreign policy section of the Chancellor’s Office from 1960–1969. Relying on his own comprehensive diaries, he describes developments in world politics during
the years 1960–1963, including such dramatic events as the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, disagreements over policy toward East Germany and the Franco-German
accord of 1963, as well as domestic events and Adenauer’s gradual disempowerment. As in previous publications, the author shows himself equally adept as a subject expert and storyteller.
Consequently, this volume contains countless unknown facts and interesting insights, especially on how opinions were shaped within the Chancellor’s Office. In vivid characterizations, Osterheld
portrays the leading politicians of the day – above all Adenauer himself, in these last and most difficult of his years as chancellor.
Osterheld posseses highly differentiated powers of observation and is not circumnspect about making critical judgments. His account is not only a compelling read but also an
essential source for the history of the Federal Republic in the early 1960s.