Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman who served as the first post-war Chancellor of Germany (West Germany) from 1949 to 1963. He led his country from the ruins of World War II to a productive and prosperous nation that forged close relations with France, the United Kingdom and the United States. During his years in power West Germany achieved democracy, stability, international respect and economic prosperity ("Wirtschaftswunder", German for "economic miracle"). He was the first leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a Christian Democratic party that under his leadership became, and has since usually been the most influential party in the country.
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