Feature

Hitler’s food taster

Margot Wölk spent two and a half years tasting Adolf Hitler’s food.

Margot Wölk spent two and a half years tasting Adolf Hitler’s food, said Fabienne Hurst in Spiegel.de. In 1942, the 24-year-old secretary was evacuated from bombed-out Berlin to the East Prussian village of Gross-Partsch—located just a few miles from the Wolf’s Lair, Hitler’s secret Eastern Front headquarters. “I’d hardly arrived when the SS showed up at the door and demanded, ‘Come with us!’” says Wölk. Together with some 14 other young women, Wölk was transported to a barracks near the fortress and ordered to work as the Führer’s food taster. “I was afraid. If [the food] had been poisoned I would not be here today. We were forced to eat it, we had no choice.” As Germany went hungry, the women sampled platters of vegetables, noodles, and exotic fruits. “It was delicious.” But knowing that each mouthful could be their last meant “we couldn’t enjoy it.” In 1944, Russian troops closed in on the Wolf’s Lair, and a German officer smuggled Wölk onto a train to Berlin. “He saved my life. The other girls were all shot by the Russians.” But Soviet troops captured Wölk when they took Berlin, and sexually assaulted her so violently that she could never have children. Remarkably, she is not bitter. “I didn’t lose my humor. That was always my trick to survival.”

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