Hitler's last surviving food tester talks

After decades of silence, Margot Woelk has come forward with new details about Adolph Hitler's eating habits.

Margaret Woelk was a young German war bride when the SS picked her up and took her to Adolph Hitler's Eastern Front headquarters in Poland. Her forced assignment: join 12 other women who were all forced to taste-test every meal for poison. If nobody was sickened or died, the meals were driven to Hitler's headquarters and served to the Führer, reports the Telegraph.

According to The Telegraph:

"Of course I was afraid. If it had been poisoned, I would not be here today. We were forced to eat it, we had no choice."

Hitler's vegetarianism is well-known, and while he occasionally enjoyed a sausage or stuffed pigeon, he believed a meat-free diet was a key to Aryan purity. So his taste testers were also vegetarian by default.

Woelk says, "It was all vegetarian, the most delicious fresh things, from asparagus to peppers and peas, served with rice and salads. It was all arranged on one plate, just as it was served to him. There was no meat, and I do not remember any fish." 

In fact, the Hitler Youth promoted soya beans in a manual and called them "Nazi beans," as an alternative to meat. Hitler told Joseph Goebbels, the Third Reich's minister of propaganda, he intended to convert Germany to vegetarianism after he won the war.

But although he referred to meat broth as "corpse tea," he was not fastidious about declining meat, the Telegraph reports. 

Dione Lucas, his cook before the war, claimed that he was a fan of stuffed pigeon, and he was also known to be partial to Bavarian sausages and the occasional slice of ham.

Woelk, now 95, was smuggled out of Hitler's camp by a sympathetic soldier shortly before it fell to the Russians in 1944. It is believed that the other members of her taste team were executed by Russian troops. Though she had been certain her husband hadn't survived the war, in 1946 they were reunited, and the two lived together until his death in 1990.

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