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Karl Arnold

Karl Arnold
Source: NW Hauptstaatsarchiv, RWB 2063 (Stachelscheidt)

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First Landtag election

bulletKarl Arnold heads a "rainbow" cabinet with ministers from all the parties.

Only the FDP are kept out - the liberal Free Democrats' slogan "Only the free market will end poverty!" doesn't fit with the interventionist mood of times.

Karl Arnold (CDU) supports a form of Christian-inspired Socialism, as reflected in the Christian Democrats' bulletAhlen Programme with its distinctively anti-capitalist flavour. However, Arnold finds himself out of line: it transpires that either people like Arnold have taken such mission statements too literally, or other CDU politicians don't mean what they said.

In any case, party leader bulletKonrad Adenauer fiercely opposes Arnold's cosy relationship with the SPD. The newspapers take up the inner-party debate - and it gets personal: Arnold is alleged to be a regular customer at certain houses of ill-repute.

To this day we can still find references in the political textbooks to this infamous smear campaign. The CDU enters the election with the cautious slogan "Things are getting better". They can hardly mean the situation inside their own party.

Dirk Bitzer

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