Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Merkel faces scrutiny over Communist past

Peter Ehrlich
Financial Times
May 14, 2013

Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, is facing fresh scrutiny over her political activities in the former East Germany, with a book alleging she took part in the Communist regime’s propaganda activities.

Ms Merkel is the first chancellor to come from the German Democratic Republic. As a physicist in the 1980s she was a member of the communist youth organisation “Freie Deutsche Jugend” at the Academy of Sciences in Eastern Berlin and was in charge of “agitation and propaganda”, the journalists Ralf Georg Reuth and Günther Lachmann claim in their book, The First Life of Angela M.

“She was responsible for brainwashing in the favour of Marxism”, Günther Krause, a former minister and ally from the chancellor’s Christian Democrats, says in the book.

Ms Merkel, who remains by far the most popular politician in Germany, has reacted calmly to the claims.
“I never concealed anything”, she said at a Berlin cinema on Sunday night where she was introducing her favourite film The Legend of Paul and Paula, a GDR production from 1973 that was also a hit in West Germany.

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