TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Woman describes fear as food taster for Hitler

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Saturday, April 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

BERLIN — They were feasts of sublime asparagus — laced with fear. And for more than half a century, Margot Woelk kept her secret hidden from the world, even from her husband. Then a few months after her 95th birthday, she revealed the truth about her wartime role: Adolf Hitler's food taster.

Woelk, then in her mid-20s, spent 2 12 years as one of 15 young women who sampled Hitler's food to make sure it was not poisoned before it was served to the Nazi leader in his “Wolf's Lair,” the heavily guarded command center in what is now Poland, where he spent much of his time in the final years of World War II.

“He was a vegetarian. He never ate any meat during the entire time I was there,” Woelk said. “And Hitler was so paranoid that the British would poison him — that's why he had 15 girls taste the food before he ate it himself.”

With many Germans contending with food shortages and a bland diet as the war dragged on, sampling Hitler's food had its advantages.

“The food was delicious, only the best vegetables, asparagus, bell peppers, everything you can imagine. And always with a side of rice or pasta,” she recalled. “But this constant fear — we knew of all those poisoning rumors and could never enjoy the food. Every day we feared it was going to be our last meal.”

The petite widow's story is a tale of the horror, pain and dislocation endured by people of all sides who survived World War II.

Only now in the sunset of her life has she been willing to relate her experiences, which she had buried because of shame and the fear of prosecution for having worked with the Nazis, although she insists she was never a party member. She told her story as she flipped through a photo album with pictures of her as a young woman, in the same Berlin apartment where she was born in 1917.

Woelk first revealed her secret to a local Berlin reporter a few months ago. Since then interest in her life story has been overwhelming.

Teachers wrote and asked her for photos and autographs to bring history alive for their students. Several researchers from a museum visited to ask for details about her life as Hitler's taster.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Nuke deal won’t stop Iran secret work
  2. Iran nuclear discussions go past deadline
  3. Luft­hansa: Co-pilot disclosed bout of ‘severe depression’
  4. Video captures Germanwings flight’s doom
  5. Buhari claims historic win in Nigeria vote
  6. Turkey prosecutor fatally shot in Istanbul courthouse hostage standoff
  7. U.S. to resume military aid to Egypt, but with strings
  8. Yemen civilians bristle under bombing campaign
  9. Iraqi troops seize key points in Tikrit
  10. Antarctica yields life in extremest of conditions, so what about on another planet?
  11. Saudi-led attacks seen as escalating violence in Yemen