Merkel, the Red footsoldier: German chancellor under fire over Communist links as image of her in uniform is released

By on May 22, 2013
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She denies she was close to the Communist rulers in East Germany, where she grew up.

So this 1972 photo of her in military-style uniform has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel ‘not amused’.

Then called Angela Kasner and aged 17, she is shown happily involved in a civil defence exercise under the gaze of an East German officer.

Drills included first aid and preparing for nuclear attack.

All children had to take part if they wanted to go to university, but Mrs Merkel is also alleged to have been a propaganda secretary for the youth movement, the FDJ.

The photo was found by an old schoolfriend, Sonja Felssberg, 58, and handed to a German newspaper.

Her smile is easily recognisable and her forage cap is set at a jaunty angle as she strides along at the High School Hermann Matern in Templin, where she was brought up behind the iron curtain.

Not even illness or a death in the family allowed for the youngsters to skip the martial lessons – they were simply postponed but had to be completed.

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