Margo Wölk: What Life was Like as Hitler’s Food Taster

96-year-old Margo Wölk is the last of her kind — the last surviving food taster of the notorious German dictator, Adolf Hitler. And in those times while she was under the employment of the notorious Fuehrer, eating was very much a game of Russian roulette. She would never know if that very meal would be her last.

Food was scarce during the Second World War but Margo Wölk was able to eat some of the better fares during the conflict. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t know if every meal would bring upon her her death. For the 25-year-old woman at that time worked as Hitler’s food taster — just one of the 15 others. And with the threat of losing one’s life looming before them, for Margo Wölk and the other food tasters for the dictator, even if the meals served to them were the most sumptuous, they tasted like sand in their mouths.

Margo Wolk and the other food tasters were not fed out of the generosity of the Nazis, they were employed at the Prussian headquarters of the Fuehrer to make sure that the food served to him were not poisoned.

And according to the 96-year-old widow, all of them would burst into tears after every meal shedding tears of joy for the fact that they hadn’t died to every “meal ordeal”.

Margo Wölk recounted in an interview that the reason why they were employed was because of the incessant rumors that the British were out to poison the German dictator. Due to this, Adolf Hitler became a full-pleged vegetarian. He shunned away from meat and only consumed noodles, peas, cauliflower and peppers served along with rice.

Every meal served to them must be finished down to the last morsel. Margo Wölk recalled how she, along with the girls, would dread the hour following every meal as it was their ‘waiting hour’, the time wherein they were observed if they felt ill or not. When the hour was up, they would then burst to tears, just grateful that they haven’t lost their lives after all.

Margo Wölk became Adolf Hitler’s food taster by accident. Her husband was drafted into the army when their apartment in Berlin was bombed in 1941. Left without a choice, Marge Wölk moved in with her mother in her Partsch home. It so happened that that was just next door to Hitler’s Wolf Lair. And at the forced insistent of the town mayor, Margo Wölk took up the life-threatening occupation.

Everyday, a guard would pick her up and drive her to a school building where she performed her job. But in spite of being Hitler’s personal food taster,  Margo Wölk never met the dictator face to face. She even remembered an assassination attempt made by a number of German soldiers against Hitler on July of 1944. They were sitting in wooden benches during that time when a bomb blew off and then, she heard voices shouting that Hitler had died in the explosion.

It turned out that the Fuehrer was very much alive. About 5,000 individuals were executed by the Nazis because of the incident and Margo Wölk had to be moved to another building and resumed her post.

She thought she had seen the last of the horrors of the war when an SS officer helped Margo Wölk escape Berlin in 1944. But when the Red Army came, things took a turn for the worst.

Margo Wölk was one of the many girls the Russians imprisoned and sexually assaulted for 14 days. The widow described those times as “hell on earth”. She even said that she still have nightmares about it even if it is already seven or more decades after the war.

Not only did that horrific experience scarred Margo Wölk for life, it also left her unable to birth children. After a British officer helped her, she was reunited with her husband shortly after — in 1946. Nevertheless, things between them were not quite the same  as before the war. Having nightmares of their own to fight, Margo Wölk and her husband ended up separating.

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE