Hitler's food taster feared death with every morsel

Mon Jul 1, 2013 3:01pm EDT
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By Michelle Martin

BERLIN (Reuters) - Margot Woelk spent the last few years of World War Two eating lavish meals and fearing that every mouthful could mean death.

The former food taster for Adolf Hitler was served a plate of food and forced to eat it between 11 and 12 every morning for most of the last 2-1/2 years of the Nazi German leader's life.

If she did not fall ill, the food was packed into boxes and taken to Hitler at the Wolf's Lair, a military headquarters located deep in woodland, in what is today northeastern Poland.

"Hitler was a vegetarian so it was all vegetarian fare - it was very good food like white asparagus, wonderful fruits, peppers and cauliflower," the 96-year-old Berliner told Reuters.

Along with 14 other girls in their 20s, Woelk lived in fear that every meal she ate would be her last.

"We were always terrified that the food might be poisoned as England wanted to poison Hitler and he knew that from his spies so he employed young girls to taste his food," she said.

"We cried a lot and hugged each other. We asked each other: 'Will we still be alive tomorrow or not?'"

Woelk, who still has nightmares about her role as a food taster and did not speak about her experiences for decades after the war, said she and her family were against the Nazis and that she landed the job "through a series of coincidences".   Continued...