Was forced to test for poison: Hitler’s food taster
One of the women, who had to taste Hitler’s food to ensure it was not poisoned, has revealed for the first time how they were forced into risking their lives everyday to save his.
London: One of the women, who had to taste Hitler’s food to ensure it was not poisoned, has revealed for the first time how they were forced into risking their lives everyday to save his.
For more than two years Margot Woelk feasted on fresh fruit and vegetables including asparagus, peppers and peas, while her fellow Germans were being rationed.
Woelk, now 95, was one of a dozen women the Fuhrer used to protect himself at his Eastern front HQ known as the Wolf’s Lair, the Daily Mail reported.
She was taken there in 1942 when she was evacuated from Berlin to the East Prussian village of Gross Partsch - Parcz in modern-day Poland - after her flat was bombed.
Her husband had gone off to the fighting and her mother-in-law offered her a house in the countryside.
But the SS picked her up soon after she arrived and took her to meet the unwilling tasters.
“Of course I was afraid. If it [the food] had been poisoned I would not be here today. We were forced to eat it, we had no choice. Between 11 and 12 o’clock, we had to taste the food, and only after all 15 of us had tried it was it was driven to the headquarters by the SS,” Woelk told the Times.
She said that it was all vegetarian. The most delicious fresh things, from asparagus to peppers and peas, served with rice, and salads. It was all arranged on one plate, just as it was served to him, she said.
She did not recall tasting any meat or fish and did not have to try out drinks.
There was always an hour’s delay before Hitler tucked into his meal so that any effects of the food on the women could be seen.
Woelk had to report every day, but was only used when Hitler’s personal train was in the station.
She lived with her mother-in-law outside the HQ until the unsuccessful assassination attempt on Hitler’s life by Claus von Stauffenberg with a briefcase bomb in July 1944.
From that moment she was confined to a school building and could only see her mother-in-law at weekends watched by the SS.
When Hitler abandoned the lair after 800 days in November 1944, a senior officer helped her escape back to Berlin by smuggling her on board Joseph Goebbels’ train.
She believes that the other tasters were shot by the advancing Russians.
In 1946 she was reunited with her husband who she had presumed dead. The couple lived together until he died in 1990.