Have you ever thought about what it would be like to taste food for a VVIP? Well, it only needs to bite you once with its poison to kill you. In a new German documentary, Adolf Hitler’s last food taster, Margot Woelk, talks about her job as a food taster for the notorious tyrant. Woelk tells all the secrets and stories she learned while working for Hitler.
Woelk, who is now 99 years old, had to work for the Nazi boss when he was younger. She started working when she was 25 years old, and her job was to taste Hitler’s meals to see if they were safe for him to eat.Woelk was one of 15 young women hired for the job by the S.S., whose name means “Protection Squadron.”
She didn’t want to say everything, but in the end she said that Hitler was a vegetarian. Also, he only ate rice, pasta, beans, and vegetables.Woelk said that she and the other women food tasters used to “cry like dogs” because they were all so scared to take the jobs. But they were thankful to be alive at every meal. Woelk said that as part of her job, she had to taste the food and then wait for an hour afterward.
Every time an hour went by after the taste and she didn’t have any signs of food poisoning, she would cry with relief. “We had to eat up everything. Then we had to wait for an hour, and every time we thought we might get sick. We used to cry like babies because we were so happy to be alive,” Woelk said. After leaving Berlin, Woelk said he was forced to take the job. After her husband joined the army, she moved in with her in-laws.
“That day, the S.S. came for me. “They told me I would get paid, and I think it was around 300 Reichmarks,” she said. “That turned out to be my job. I felt like a lab rabbit. But if there was one thing you learned about life in Nazi Germany, it was that you didn’t fight with the S.S.Even though her job was very dangerous, Woelk’s job was a dream come true because she got to try all kinds of food.
Usually, all she had to eat was coffee made from roasted nuts, bread made from sawdust, and fatty margarine. When Woelk thought back on her experience, she said, “The freshest veggies, the best fruit. I pushed away the thought that it might be poisoned because everything tasted so good.
Woelk never talked to Hitler, but she sometimes saw him walking around.
Even though all of the young women food tasters were closely watched, one of the S.S. officers still raped one of them. She was saved when another S.S. officer told her to leave the military headquarters because the Nazi Party was getting weaker because the Red Army was coming in. Woelk made it to Berlin by getting on the same train as Germany’s Minister of Propaganda, Josef Goebbels.
When the Red Army moved to Berlin, though, they found where she was hidden and raped her. Woelk said that she was held captive for 14 days and nights, during which time she was raped many times. “I tried to say that I had tuberculosis (TB) and was sick. It did no good. They kept me in their custody for 14 days and nights and raped me. After they were done, I was never able to get pregnant again. “My husband and I wanted kids so badly…,” Woelk said.
She was the only one who made it through the war. The Red Army had killed the other 14 food testers by shooting them. After being locked up for 2 years, Woelk’s husband was finally released in 1946. Woelk stayed with her husband for 45 years after they got back together, until he died.