Hitler’s food taster feared death with every bite

GERMANY, BONN, Symbol of the national socialism - swastika-flags in the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik GERMANY ( house of the history of the Federal Republic of Germany ).

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”.

Forced to leave her apartment in Berlin when allied bombing made it uninhabitable, Woelk gave up her secretarial job and moved in with her parents-in-law in the village of Gross-Partsch, then in eastern Germany and now part of Poland.

“The mayor there was a big Nazi and he had connections with the SS (a Nazi paramilitary organization) so I was forced into it right away. I had to work to earn money,” she said.

She said she never saw Hitler, though she did see his dog.

Woelk said she heard the explosion on July 20, 1944 caused by a bomb that army generals had planted at the Wolf’s Lair with the aim of taking Hitler’s life.

At the time Woelk was watching a film with soldiers in a tent not far from the military headquarters.

“We heard this huge bang then we fell off the wooden benches we were sitting on. Someone shouted ‘Hitler is dead’ but we later found out that only his hand was injured.”

After the failed assassination attempt, Woelk said she had to move into supervised accommodation and was held like a prisoner, denied access to a telephone and able to visit her parents-in-law only with SS officers as chaperones.

When Hitler killed himself in April 1945, Woelk fled to Berlin and went into hiding. Soviet forces were closing in on the German capital and Woelk was later pulled out of an air raid shelter and raped by Russian soldiers for a fortnight.

The other 14 food tasters who had stayed behind were all killed, she said.

After the war Woelk started a job in pension insurance and was surprised when her husband, in Russian captivity and presumed dead, turned up unexpectedly. She had not heard from him in two years and did not recognize him.

“I’ve had a life full of drama and now, at the age of 96, I’m back living in the same house I lived in before the war.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.