Hitler's Food Taster Tells Her Story

Margot Wölk lived in fear she'd be poisoned

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 3, 2013 9:03 AM CDT | Updated Apr 7, 2013 7:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – Margot Wölk spent two and a half years tasting Adolf Hitler's food, living in fear that one of the delicious dishes might be poisoned. Now 95, Wölk—who, with time, learned to take pleasure in eating again—just started talking about her experiences. "There was never meat because Hitler was a vegetarian," Wölk tells der Spiegel. "The food was good—very good. But we couldn't enjoy it." As Germany went hungry, Wölk tasted things like white asparagus in sauce made with real butter, noodle dishes, and exotic fruits. She was ordered into the food-tasting service by the SS after she fled Berlin for the East Prussian village of Gross-Partsch, located less than two miles from Hitler's "Wolf's Lair," at age 24.

She and 14 other young women made sure the Allied forces hadn't poisoned the food; then it was served to Hitler. A lieutenant ultimately saved her life when the Soviet army was closing in, sending her on a train to Berlin. She later learned the other food tasters were shot by the Soviet soldiers; she herself was eventually caught by the Soviet army, and raped repeatedly. In 1946, she was finally reunited with her husband, who had been at war and imprisoned. She finally decided to talk about her life because, she says, "I just wanted to say what happened there. That Hitler was a really repugnant man. And a pig." Hers is not the only fascinating World War II story to emerge this week: The AP reports that a Virginia farm, used during the war as a refuge for Jews escaping Germany, has been added to the state's Landmarks Register.

In this July 31, 1938, file photo German Chancellor Adolf Hitler salutes a huge crowd at a sports meeting in Breslau, Germany.
In this July 31, 1938, file photo German Chancellor Adolf Hitler salutes a huge crowd at a sports meeting in Breslau, Germany.   (AP Photo/File)
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