That guy with the cigar on this West German stamp from 1987 is my great-uncle, Ludwig Erhard, or “Onkel Lulu” in our family.
Why is he on this blog?
Because is life is one of those I trace in my book, to show that that what happened to Hannibal and Scipio happens to all of us, one way or another.
In Germany and continental Europe, Ludwig Erhard is a household name. In America, he is not, but should be. He is famous for being a founding father of post-war (West) Germany, its first economics minister, the father of its currency (the Deutsche Mark), and then its second chancellor (ie, prime minister). He is credited with causing the stunning economic growth of the 1950s, sometimes called (but not by him) an “economic miracle”. And he is probably the most steadfast proponent of freedom, tolerance and open and fair markets in German history.
As my father’s uncle and godfather, he practically raised my father after my grandfather died. I only met Lulu when I was very small (he died in 1977). He liked to hide Easter eggs for me in his steep hillside garden by the Tegernsee, an Alpine lake south of Munich. His influence lives on, in Germany, in our family, and now in my book.