Hitler's food taster tells of poisoning fears

http://news.yahoo.com/hitlers-food-taster-tells-poisoning-fears-150032362.html

I never thought about Hitler having a food taster. He was highly paranoid about being poisoned, it turns out. It turns out that he had 15 young women who tasted his food for him.

Margot Woelk was the only one of the 15 girls to survive the fall of Hitler's "Wolf's Lair" when the Russians stormed it. The other girls were shot. Woelk was later captured and raped for 2 weeks, though. This resulted in her being unable to have children.

I knew about the bombing attempt on Hitler's life, of course. I hadn't known that 5,000 people were executed as a result of it.

This is one of the few Yahoo News stories where the "paid to post" Right crowd aren't flooding the comments sections. I only glanced at them but there are surprisingly civil and thoughtful comments down there.

Thoughts? What other nuggets of historical information have you run across concerning WW II?

While it's not a specific story, multiple accounts of Japanese naval movements and tactics suggest that the allied victory in the Pacific was much more based on luck than tactics.

There was a recalled Japanese carrier en route to the Panama canal which would have crippled supply routes already weakened by the Japanese offensive on the other side of the Pacific.

The Pearl Harbor attack was successful, but the main aim of it was to destroy the carriers that were out of the dock at the time (the source of many conspiracy theorists at the time). Had the carriers been attacked and crippled, the US would have likely not had the attack strength to push all the way to Japan.

Then there's the war in Europe. Had Hitler simply fought either the western powers or the Soviet Union singularly, he likely would have won over one, after which he could have saved his strength, rebuild his forces, and push on the other. "General Winter" (the cold Russian winter that has crippled almost every invasion into Russia) alone would have decimated German forces, but it is not clear that it would have assured Russian victory over the Germans. The two theaters divided his forces and gave him two losses.

The Gentleman:
While it's not a specific story, multiple accounts of Japanese naval movements and tactics suggest that the allied victory in the Pacific was much more based on luck than tactics.

There was a recalled Japanese carrier en route to the Panama canal which would have crippled supply routes already weakened by the Japanese offensive on the other side of the Pacific.

The Pearl Harbor attack was successful, but the main aim of it was to destroy the carriers that were out of the dock at the time (the source of many conspiracy theorists at the time). Had the carriers been attacked and crippled, the US would have likely not had the attack strength to push all the way to Japan.

Not immediately, no, but the US had a massive industrial capability, long before Japan. Japan could never hope to defeat the US. The war could have been longer and bloodier, but their defeat was not in question, especially once fission devices were built.

The Gentleman:
Then there's the war in Europe. Had Hitler simply fought either the western powers or the Soviet Union singularly, he likely would have won over one, after which he could have saved his strength, rebuild his forces, and push on the other. "General Winter" (the cold Russian winter that has crippled almost every invasion into Russia) alone would have decimated German forces, but it is not clear that it would have assured Russian victory over the Germans. The two theaters divided his forces and gave him two losses.

Not exactly. The Third Reich could not win against Britain, because of the Channel. There was no way that they could successfully invade England. The blockade was a better idea, but not effective enough.

As for the USSR, same thing, except vast areas of nothingness instead of the Channel.

The Third Reich had an impressive military, but not the logistical capability to let it operate where it was needed. They also had serious problems of underestimating their enemies forces. In the confusion of air combat, many more RAF planes were reported downed than actually were destroyed (at least in part because multiple pilots thought they'd individually got the same one). Likewise, the USSR always were able to come up with more troops than the Germans expected.

Because of this, there were serious problems with their strategy. They kept believing that one more big push, one more battle would destroy the Soviet forces, instead of preparing for a longer war of attrition, for example.

thaluikhain:
Not immediately, no, but the US had a massive industrial capability, long before Japan. Japan could never hope to defeat the US. The war could have been longer and bloodier, but their defeat was not in question, especially once fission devices were built.

If the Japanese's aim was to invade the US, you might have a point, but their aim was to secure the South Pacific trade routes, not invade the US. With the US's airpower heavily weakened due to the loss of the carriers and the key canal linking the Atlantic and the Pacific, limiting key supplies such as fuel, the US may, in light of the war in Europe (already a higher priority than the Pacific), opted to maintain a defensive posture in the Pacific rather than an offensive one. As it would be unlikely for the Japanese to attack further having secured the resources in the South Pacific and the focus on the war in Europe, it's possible that the US would not have the will to push back into the now-entrenched Japanese forces. There was already concern prior to the war that the US was getting too involved in the Indochina region, particularly in the Philippines, and it's possible that the public, weary from the war in Europe, would accept a permanent defensive posture in the Pacific.

Granted, all this is speculation... until I get my time machine up and working...

The Gentleman:
Then there's the war in Europe. Had Hitler simply fought either the western powers or the Soviet Union singularly, he likely would have won over one, after which he could have saved his strength, rebuild his forces, and push on the other. "General Winter" (the cold Russian winter that has crippled almost every invasion into Russia) alone would have decimated German forces, but it is not clear that it would have assured Russian victory over the Germans. The two theaters divided his forces and gave him two losses.

Not exactly. The Third Reich could not win against Britain, because of the Channel. There was no way that they could successfully invade England. The blockade was a better idea, but not effective enough.

Again, victory does not require invasion. Germany would only need to send occasional bombing runs to destroy infrastructure and secure the channel to prevent material support for mainland Europe, using land forces to secure France and the rest of the peninsula. Once everything short of England is secured, offer an ultimatum to cease hostilities or pound the English isles with areal bombardment until a foothold can be established.

As for the USSR, same thing, except vast areas of nothingness instead of the Channel.

Which is a problem until you factor in the German armor that was being used in the west rather than the east. More material would be available and they may have been able to make it to Moscow.

The Third Reich had an impressive military, but not the logistical capability to let it operate where it was needed. They also had serious problems of underestimating their enemies forces. In the confusion of air combat, many more RAF planes were reported downed than actually were destroyed (at least in part because multiple pilots thought they'd individually got the same one). Likewise, the USSR always were able to come up with more troops than the Germans expected.

The rail system developed prior to the Soviet takeover also helped move Russian forces to the front lines very quickly and saved fighting energy that would have been used to move to the frontlines.

Because of this, there were serious problems with their strategy. They kept believing that one more big push, one more battle would destroy the Soviet forces, instead of preparing for a longer war of attrition, for example.

That was the larger problem with the two front solution. It's unclear if the Germans would have had better luck focusing solely on the Russians first rather than attempting a two-front war (one of the reasons they kept trying to do pushes in Russia was so that they could then focus on the western front).

But again: time machine...

The fact that she was raped for 14 days should tell you how close the USSR were to the nazis in humanity. I can't belive how clueless the American people were when they called Stalin uncle Joe

Gergar12:
The fact that she was raped for 14 days should tell you how close the USSR were to the nazis in humanity. I can't believe how clueless the American people were when they called Stalin uncle Joe

That was how the propaganda at the time portrayed them as our Soviet allies. The US gov needed people focuses on the war effort not questioning the pedigree of one of our allies. Hell they punished Patton on one occasion for not mentioning the Soviets in speech he delivered to some British women's organization. As soon as the war was won however the USA's Tune changed and the Soviets became the next big enemy.

The free flow of information we have today is thanks to the internet. Back then all they had were newsreels before movies, the newspapers, and the radio all which were pretty much focus on publishing propaganda.

OT: This story reminds me of Downfall and all the wonderful things that happened in the Hitler bunker.

Gergar12:
The fact that she was raped for 14 days should tell you how close the USSR were to the nazis in humanity.

a.) How is there a connection between those particular acts and the USSR in its entirety? I'm not defending Stalin or anything, I'm just saying this has nothing to do with him. Rape was (and unfortunately still is) common in war. It also doesn't say anything about how close or not close the USSR was to the Nazis in terms of "humanity" as you put it. The USSR was awful on its own merits; the actions of those soldiers aren't what's relevant for that estimation, though.

b.) To demonstrate this:

"According to an article in Der Spiegel by Klaus Wiegrefe, many personal memoirs of Allied soldiers have been willfully ignored by historians until now because they were at odds with the "Greatest Generation" mythology surrounding World War II, but this has recently started to change with books such as The Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson where he describes Allied war crimes in Italy, and D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, by Antony Beevor.[49]

Secret wartime files made public only in 2006 reveal that American GIs committed 400 sexual offences in Europe, including 126 rapes in England, between 1942 and 1945.[50] A study by Robert J. Lilly estimates that a total of 14,000 civilian women in England, France and Germany were raped by American GIs during World War II.[51][52] It is estimated that there were around 3,500 rapes by American servicemen in France between June 1944 and the end of the war and one historian has claimed that sexual violence against women in liberated France was common.[53]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_war_crimes_during_World_War_II

How close does that make the USA to the Nazis in terms of humanity? My answer: Not at all. Soldiers rape. It often happens during an occupation. That in itself doesn't say anything about the larger system of governance, about the entire country.

The Gentleman:
If the Japanese's aim was to invade the US, you might have a point, but their aim was to secure the South Pacific trade routes, not invade the US. With the US's airpower heavily weakened due to the loss of the carriers and the key canal linking the Atlantic and the Pacific, limiting key supplies such as fuel, the US may, in light of the war in Europe (already a higher priority than the Pacific), opted to maintain a defensive posture in the Pacific rather than an offensive one. As it would be unlikely for the Japanese to attack further having secured the resources in the South Pacific and the focus on the war in Europe, it's possible that the US would not have the will to push back into the now-entrenched Japanese forces. There was already concern prior to the war that the US was getting too involved in the Indochina region, particularly in the Philippines, and it's possible that the public, weary from the war in Europe, would accept a permanent defensive posture in the Pacific.

I disagree, but I can't prove you wrong on this or be sure.

The Gentleman:
Again, victory does not require invasion. Germany would only need to send occasional bombing runs to destroy infrastructure and secure the channel to prevent material support for mainland Europe, using land forces to secure France and the rest of the peninsula. Once everything short of England is secured, offer an ultimatum to cease hostilities or pound the English isles with areal bombardment until a foothold can be established.

Disagree...they'd given ultimatums, and Churchill made more of his angry speeches about it. The aerial bombardment wasn't able to destroy the RAF. If nothing else, not all of Britain was within range. If necessary, the RAF could retreat North until really needed.

And, a foothold couldn't be reached. The Germans were woefully unequipped for it. Looking at Operation Overlord, for example, which was more or less the same thing in reverse...the Allied powers had total air and sea supremacy, massive military buildup, years of planning, covert surveys of beaches at Normandy, great degree of co-operation between services and allies...the Germans had none of that. They didn't even have ships to carry troops across, they planned to send them in river barges. If they didn't all sink (which was a serious issue), the troops were to get ashore, take their lifejackets off, pile them up for the ships to take back to the next wave. Under enemy fire.

The Gentleman:
Which is a problem until you factor in the German armor that was being used in the west rather than the east. More material would be available and they may have been able to make it to Moscow.

The Germans had the materiel, they just couldn't get it where it mattered, the supply lines were too long for them.

Gergar12:
The fact that she was raped for 14 days should tell you how close the USSR were to the nazis in humanity. I can't belive how clueless the American people were when they called Stalin uncle Joe

Not really. It wasn't a surprise. People knew what was going to happen, they just didn't care. Also, remember that before the war, the West had allied with Hitler against Stalin. Then Hitler and Stalin allied against the west, then Stalin and the west allied against Hitler. It didn't matter that the USSR committed war crimes as long as they did so against your enemies.

Also, there were significant (though less) rapes committed by other allied troops. Occupying forces in Japan, for example, including forces raised for that purpose, not ones that had fought the Japanese before.

When a nation gets conquered or occupied, the occupiers/conquerors rape the local women (amongst committing other atrocities). It's only very recently that this has been seen as wrong, and something to be seriously avoided.

Here's a Cracked.com article that's right up this thread's alley.

6 Mind-Blowing Things Recently Discovered From WWII

It makes for interesting reading. I'm always amazed at how we continue to find more and more information about the past. Especially when you'd think that time and industry, population growth, etc would have wiped out anything that hadn't already been accounted for.

The thing that intrigues me most about this article is the part about a New Guinea battlefield remaining basically preserved until being discovered in 2010. Wow! O.O

EDIT: Heh, heh...um, here's the proper link.

Sorry about that! :)

6 Mind-Blowing Things Recently Discovered From WWII

I checked it (this time) and it works.

Copper Zen:
http://news.yahoo.com/hitlers-food-taster-tells-poisoning-fears-150032362.html

I never thought about Hitler having a food taster. He was highly paranoid about being poisoned, it turns out. It turns out that he had 15 young women who tasted his food for him.

Margot Woelk was the only one of the 15 girls to survive the fall of Hitler's "Wolf's Lair" when the Russians stormed it. The other girls were shot. Woelk was later captured and raped for 2 weeks, though. This resulted in her being unable to have children.

I knew about the bombing attempt on Hitler's life, of course. I hadn't known that 5,000 people were executed as a result of it.

This is one of the few Yahoo News stories where the "paid to post" Right crowd aren't flooding the comments sections. I only glanced at them but there are surprisingly civil and thoughtful comments down there.

Thoughts? What other nuggets of historical information have you run across concerning WW II?

Ran across this not too long ago, a gallery from Hitlers Personal Photograph, in full colour. http://life.time.com/world-war-ii/nazi-propaganda-and-the-myth-of-aryan-invincibility/?iid=lf|latest#1

Although if you've started taking an interest in this kind of stuff I doubt this has escaped you :P

Copper Zen:
Here's a Cracked.com article that's right up this thread's alley.

6 Mind-Blowing Things Recently Discovered From WWII

It makes for interesting reading. I'm always amazed at how we continue to find more and more information about the past. Especially when you'd think that time and industry, population growth, etc would have wiped out anything that hadn't already been accounted for.

The thing that intrigues me most about this article is the part about a New Guinea battlefield remaining basically preserved until being discovered in 2010. Wow! O.O

...

I think I just got trolled tricked by a moderator.

May I suggest you change it to:

The Gentleman:
I think I just got trolled tricked by a moderator.

I grok the joke. I won't wrath you since you clearly thought that I was playing a joke. But I don't want to edit your post for you because...that feels impertinent.

I EDITED in the proper link above.

Gergar12:
The fact that she was raped for 14 days should tell you how close the USSR were to the nazis in humanity. I can't belive how clueless the American people were when they called Stalin uncle Joe

That actually had less to do with communism and more to do with the extreme nationalism and "eye for an Eye" mentality. It also had to do with the dehumanizing off the opposing side and the sheer hatred for the German by the Russian people, as they saw them as raping the Motherland (which is kinda true >>). Also, unfortunately, rape is very common during war. Especially when it one that is as destructive as the Eastern Front.

Copper Zen:
I grok the joke. I won't wrath you since you clearly thought that I was playing a joke. But I don't want to edit your post for you because...that feels impertinent.

I EDITED in the proper link above.

Post edited and Cracked article read. That is some racist topiary...

Gergar12:
The fact that she was raped for 14 days should tell you how close the USSR were to the nazis in humanity. I can't belive how clueless the American people were when they called Stalin uncle Joe

You naively assume the other allied powers were above this.

There are reports of thousands of rapes by Americans in Germany, Japan and even some in China (a non-axis power).

Gergar12:
The fact that she was raped for 14 days should tell you how close the USSR were to the nazis in humanity. I can't belive how clueless the American people were when they called Stalin uncle Joe

This was an age before the internet and cell phone cameras. Nobody really knew at the time.

Gergar12:
The fact that she was raped for 14 days should tell you how close the USSR were to the nazis in humanity. I can't belive how clueless the American people were when they called Stalin uncle Joe

To be fair, many/most of the WW2 Soviet officer class genuinely seem to have been strongly against mass rape, and appalled it occurred. But the the tendency for soldiers not to lose control, sack and rape towns they took is a relatively modern ethical development. Vengeful, Soviet, rural peasants of the 1940s could perhaps not be expected to conform to the highest contemporary standards of humanitarian conduct.

Copper Zen:
It turns out that he had 15 young women who tasted his food for him.

I see. Reading about some of Hitler's relationships with women, one can't help but wonder if was a bit of a sexually-dysfunctional pervert. Although maybe it's just a cheap shot, because derision against massively murderous scumbags is so easily satisfying.

 

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