Margot Woelk now admits she spent two and a half years as Adolf Hitler's personal poison-detector. While other Germans subsisted on bland rations, she sampled the Führer's fresh vegetables and pastas in succulent sauces. Easy gig, if you didn't mind the constant chance of death, or the cascade of horrors that went with the falling Reich.
Woelk was conscripted into civilian service in the war and appointed to be one of Hitler's 15 personal Vorkosterin, as the Germans called it. She kept her war past secret from everyone, even her husband, for fear of ostracism and prosecution—until she began calling German journalists last December. Today, the AP published a long profile of Woelk, the first definitive one by a US-based outlet.
Hitler, she says, "was a vegetarian":
"He never ate any meat during the entire time I was there," Woelk said of the Nazi leader. "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."...
"The food was delicious, only the best vegetables, asparagus, bell peppers, everything you can imagine...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."
Later, after a bombing attempt on Hitler's life failed, the war effort deteriorated, and an SS officer sexually assaulted her in the night, Woelk decided to slip away to her native Berlin. It turned out to be a wise choice: The invading Soviets reportedly executed all 14 of her colleagues—though Woelk's fate at the hands of the Red Army in Berlin wasn't much better:
"The Russians then came to Berlin and got me, too," Woelk said. "They took me to a doctor's apartment and raped me for 14 consecutive days. That's why I could never have children. They destroyed everything."
"I was so desperate," she told Der Spiegel earlier this month. "I did not want to live."
Yet she did live—long enough to tell her tale. The reason, she says, was simple: "I just wanted to say what happened there. That Hitler was a really repugnant man. And a pig."
[Image via AP]