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Meet Hitler's only food taster who survived!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 30th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Hitler's only surviving food taster is now speaking out about her experience as a young woman during World War II. Margot Woelk has kept her past hidden from even her closest family until now.

BERLIN, GERMANY (Catholic Online) - Margot Woelk is sharing her story now that she is 95 years old. Woelk says her past as Hitler's food taster is haunting her and she would like to make peace with herself before she dies.

Speaking from her Berlin apartment, the same one in which she was born, Woelk says she was one of Adolf Hitler's food tasters during the war. 

Speaking to an AP reporter, she explained ""He was a vegetarian. He never ate any meat during the entire time I was there. And Hitler was so paranoid that the British would poison him -- that's why he had 15 girls taste the food before he ate it himself."

Woelk told of delicious foods, at a time when many Germans were starving, however those foods came with a risk. A substantial risk, as it turns out.

Any meal could be their last, should someone try to assassinate Hitler via poisoning. The Nazi leader was so paranoid about being poisoned, he hired 15 girls to work as food tasters. Woelk was one of them.

"The food was delicious, only the best vegetables, asparagus, bell peppers, everything you can imagine. And always with a side of rice or pasta, but this constant fear -- we knew of all those poisoning rumors and could never enjoy the food. Every day we feared it was going to be our last meal."

Woelk told how she worked in "The Wolf's Lair," Hitler's heavily fortified polish bunker which he used during much of the war. She was drafted into civilian service and was posted as a food taster and culinary bookkeeper in Hitler's kitchen. She says she never met or even saw Hitler because he was so secretive and reclusive, but she saw his dog and interacted with his SS guards.

On July 20, 1944, a bomb exploded in the Wolf's Lair, intended to kill Hitler. It only injured him. Suddenly, she was ordered to leave her family home and move with the other 14 food tasters to an abandoned school close to the bunker. Meanwhile, there was a massive roundup of alleged conspirators, of which about 5,000 were subsequently killed.

The paranoia and danger were too great for Woelk and she fled the facility. She spent the rest of the war in hiding, mostly in Berlin.

Eventually, the Soviets occupied Berlin and she was detained and raped repeatedly for over two weeks by Soviet soldiers. The rapes prevented her from ever having children.

She later learned that the other 14 girls who worked as tasters were captured by the Soviets and shot.

Woelk has spent the last 8 years in her family apartment. She was born there and she no longer leaves because of frailty and the lack of an elevator. She does not expect she will see many more years, but felt she had to tell her story in order to make peace with herself.

For decades, I tried to shake off those memories, but they always came back to haunt me at night."

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