|Angela Merkel propagated Marxism-Leninism at the East German Academy of Sciences.|
A new biography covering German Chancellor Angela Merkel's life in DDR reveals that she was much closer to the communist party apparatus and ideology than previously thought:
Excerpts from the book, "The First Life of Angela M.," were published in the newsmagazine Focus on Monday. The mass-circulation Bild newspaper has also given the book prominent coverage in recent days.
The book explores Merkel's life growing up in German Democratic Republic (GDR), where her father Horst Kasner was a Protestant pastor and a committed socialist. He moved to East Germany from West Germany in 1954.
Merkel has said in the past that her FDJ role at the academy was more that of a cultural secretary and that her duties included buying theater tickets and organizing book readings.
'Closeness to the System'
But former German Transport Minister Günther Krause -- an eastern German politician who worked with her in the final months of the GDR and as a fellow minister in the government ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl in the early 1990s -- contradicts her in the book and says she propagated Marxism-Leninism.
"With Agitation and Propaganda you're responsible for brainwashing in the sense of Marxism," he said. "That was her task and that wasn't cultural work. Agitation and Propaganda, that was the group that was meant to fill people's brains with everything you were supposed to believe in the GDR, with all the ideological tricks. And what annoys me about this woman is simply the fact that she doesn't admit to a closeness to the system in the GDR. From a scientific standpoint she wasn't indispensable at the Academy of Sciences. But she was useful as a pastor's daughter in terms of Marxism-Leninism. And she's denying that. But it's the truth."
On Sunday evening, Merkel said she hadn't covered up anything about her past. "I can only rely on my memory," she said at a public screening of her favorite movie, a popular love film made in East Germany, on Sunday night. "If something turns out to be different, I can live with that."
The fact that Angela Merkel was so close to the communist system in DDR makes it easier to understand, why she is so fond of a centrally governed European Union, which former Czech President Vaclav Klaus has likened to the Soviet Union.
No wonder then that a growing number of former supporters of Merkel's CDU are now intent on voting for the new anti-euro party, the Alternative for Germany:
Many see the AfD as a political home representing what German conservatives used to stand for, before Merkel moved the CDU to the center in recent years. And before the euro crisis forced Berlin to embark on the expensive path of saving the common European currency. While most Germans remain favorable toward the euro, a significant number are not -- and many of them are political conservatives.