Adolf Hitler’s former food taster has confirming that the German dictator was indeed a vegetarian, in a unique interview with the Times,
In her first ever interview, 95-year-old Margot Woelk has told of the fear she experienced during the three years she sampled the Fuhrer’s food, from 1941 to 1944.
Describing the delicious peppers, asparagus and fruit she tasted before it was served to Hitler, she said her enjoyment of the meat-free delicacies was tinged with the terror she could be poisoned.
She told the Times: "They told me, we have to taste the food that Hitler is served. 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.”
"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 added.
Ms Woelk said: "It was quite delicious, the best vegetables and cut fruit. There was no meat and I do not remember any fish. Drinks were delivered somewhere else, the SS took them, we did not have to try drinks."
Margot Woelk worked alongside a dozen other women tasting Hitler’s food in his Polish military headquarters, but was the only one to survive the war.
The Russians approached the camp, known as the ‘Wolf’s Lair’ in 1944 and her colleagues are believed to have been shot dead. She was smuggled out on a train back to Berlin by a soldier who took pity on her.
Hitler has long been regarded by some historians as a vegetarian, a surprising foible for the leader considering his utter contempt for human life.
Indeed, some historians suggested that his vegetarianism was merely myth-making by his propaganda man Joseph Goebbels, who wanted to suggest the leader was a man of will power, devoted to his health, a true noble Aryan.
There were even suggestions that Hitler intended to convert the whole of Germany to vegetarianism after the war.
In a diary entry dated April 26, 1942, Joseph Goebbels wrote that Hitler: “ believes more than ever that meat-eating is harmful to humanity. Of course he knows that during the war we cannot completely upset our food system. After the war, however, he intends to tackle this problem also. Maybe he is right. Certainly the arguments that he adduces in favor of his standpoint are very compelling.” (translation by Louis P Lochner)
His obsession with consuming vegetables for health seemed to have developed before 1939, as his cook before the war, claimed that he would eat stuffed pigeon, Bavarian sausages and sliced ham.
Whether health reasons or love for animals compelled the leader to adopt a vegetarian diet, it is not clear. Hitler was often seen with his beloved dog Blondi and the Nazi animal protection movement has been well-documented, with scores of laws introduced upon their election to power. Foie gras was banned due to animal cruelty alongside the docking of animals tails and pet owners could be sentenced to two years in prison for the mistreatment of their animals.