And you thought you hated your job. Margo Wölk, 96, is the last alive of 15 women employed as Adolf Hitler’s food tasters during World War II. After 70 years of silence, Wölk is finally speaking out to tell her story. At age 25, she was hired to be one of Hitler’s food tasters (the Nazi dictator was terrified of being poisoned). In an interview with Germany’s RBB television channel, Wölk tells all: ranging from the plain vegetarian meals that she and the other girls were fed, to how they would cry after each meal, fearing that death was just around the next corner, or bite.
“Some of the girls started to shed tears as they began eating because they were so afraid,” said Wölk. “We had to eat it all up. Then we had to wait an hour, and every time we were frightened that we were going to be ill. We used to cry like dogs because we were so glad to have survived.”
Wölk was forced into servitude as a food taster after her husband was drafted into the German army, and she moved in with her mother, who just happened to live next door to the dictator’s lair. Despite being quite geographically close to Hitler, Wölk never actually met him. She herself escaped the job by fleeing to Berlin, and then Russia in 1945. She was eventually caught by the Russian army, and abused by British officers for two weeks straight. Both Wölk and her husband survived the war with nightmares of what they had both experienced, and later separated.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi