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Ludwig Erhard (1897 – 1977)  
Born in Fürth, Germany, he joined the German forces during World War I in 1916 as an artilleryman but was seriously injured in 1918.
After this experience he began to study economics, first in Nuremberg and later in Frankfurt am Main. After his graduation he became assistant at the Institut für Wirtschaftsbeobachtung der deutschen Fertigware, a marketing research institute, and later he became deputy director of the institute.
Due to his injuries, Erhard did not have to join the German military forces during World War II. Instead, he worked on concepts for a postwar peace; however, such studies were forbidden by the Nazis, who had declared Total war. As a result, Erhard lost his job in 1942 but continued to work on the subject privately. In 1944 he wrote War Finances and Debt Consolidation. In this study he assumed that Germany had already lost the war. He sent his thoughts to Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, a central figure in the German resistance against the Nazi government, who recommended Erhard to his comrades.
After the war Erhard became economic consultant for the American military administration of Bavaria who made him Minister of Economics in the Bavarian cabinet of Wilhelm Hoegner. After the American and British administration had created the Bizone, Erhard became chairman of the Sonderstelle Geld und Kredit in 1947, an expert commission preparing the currency reform.
In 1948 he was elected Director of Economics by the Bizonal Economic Council. In 1948 the Deutsche Mark was introduced. Erhard abolished the price-fixing and production controls that had been enacted by the military administration. This exceeded his authority, but he succeeded with this courageous step.
In 1949 he stood for election in a constituency in Baden-Württemberg for the first West German parliament after the war and gained a direct mandate. Later in the year he joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). In September, Erhard was appointed Minister of Economics in the first cabinet of Konrad Adenauer. His party made his concept of social market economy part of the party platform.
After the resignation of Adenauer in 1963, Erhard was elected Chancellor with 279 against 180 votes on October 16. In 1965 he was re-elected.
On October 26, 1966, Minister Walter Scheel (FDP) resigned, protesting against the budget released the day before. The other ministers who were members of the FDP followed his example — the coalition was broken. On December 1, Erhard resigned. His successor was Kurt Georg Kiesinger (CDU), who led a grand coalition.
Erhard continued his political work by becoming a member of the West German parliament up to his death in Bonn on May 5, 1977. He is buried in Gmund, near the Tegernsee. The Ludwig Erhard-Berufsschule (professional college) in Paderborn and Münster are named in his honour.

(source: Wikipedia)

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