As a skillful minister of economics (1949 –1963), Ludwig Erhard had enjoyed extreme popularity. As chancellor, however, he was less fortunate and often showed weaknesses in leadership, since he lacked a power base within the CDU. Still, under Erhard, the CDU/CSU achieved a better result in the 1965 Bundestag elections than it had in 1961. Within the party, however, Erhard was criticized by chairman Konrad Adenauer and pressed by parliamentary group leader Rainer Barzel, who perceived him as a rival. When crisis conditions arose in the face of a looming recession, Erhard remained true to his liberal economic policies and rejected state intervention. Finally, in the fall of 1966, the debate over a 4 billion DM funding gap in the 1967 budget led to the breakup of the conservative-liberal coalition and the downfall of Erhard. Photo by Gerhard Heisler.