East German Stasi tried to recruit Merkel as a spy

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Chancellor Merkel revealed a little bit more about her youth in then-communist East Germany on a television talk show on Tuesday, amid implications from the leader of the Left Party that she was somehow complicit in the abuses of the regime.

Based on her involvement in the Free German Youth, the official socialist youth group of the communist German Democratic Republic, or GDR, Left Party leader Oskar Lafontaine said last week that Merkel had "belonged to the party's reserve of fighters."

"This black and white discussion doesn't move us forward," she countered, saying that joining the group was a matter of course for most young people.

Merkel ultimately chose to pursue a career in physics, because, as she put it, "there, the truth isn't so easily bent." But, in the late 1970s, when she showed up for a job interview for position as a physicist at the University of Ilmenau, she was escorted to a room where she was surprised to find an officer from the Stasi secret police, she said.

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