I was Hitler's food taster, says woman

London, Feb 10 (IANS) Margot Woelk, now a 95-year-old woman, says she was the "food taster" of Adolf Hitler for more than two years, and had to taste the dictator's food to ensure it was not poisoned.

Woelk ate fresh fruit and vegetables including asparagus, peppers and peas, and was one of a dozen women Hitler used to protect himself at his Eastern front headquarters, also known as the "Wolf's Lair", the Daily Mail reported.

She was taken there in 1942 when evacuated from Berlin to Gross Partsch -- Parcz in modern-day Poland.

Her husband had then gone for fighting.

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

"Between 11 and 12 o'clock, we had to taste the food, and only after all 15 of us had tried it was it was driven to the headquarters by the SS."

"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," she said.

Woelk does not recall tasting any meat, fish or drinks.

There was always an hour's delay before Hitler ate his meal so that effects of any poison in the food could be seen in the women.

Woelk had to report every day, but was only used when Hitler's personal train was in the station.

She lived with her mother-in-law outside the headquarters until an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Hitler's life by Claus von Stauffenberg in July 1944.

She was then confined to a school building.

When Hitler abandoned the lair in November 1944, an officer helped the woman escape to Berlin.

Woelk said she believes the other tasters were shot by the advancing Russians.

In 1946, she was reunited with her husband who she had presumed dead. The couple lived together until he died in 1990, the daily said.

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