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The Boston Globe

World

Hitler’s food taster feared each meal would be the last

BERLIN — They were feasts of sublime asparagus — laced with fear. And for more than half a century, Margot Woelk kept her secret hidden from the world, even from her husband. Then, a few months after her 95th birthday, she revealed the truth about her wartime role: Adolf Hitler’s food taster.

Woelk, then in her mid-20s, spent 2½ years as one of 15 young women who sampled Hitler’s food to make sure it wasn’t poisoned before it was served to the Nazi leader in his ‘‘Wolf’s Lair,’’ the heavily guarded command center in what is now Poland, where he spent much of his time in the final years of World War II.

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