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1943 Reclus dans son uartier general en Prusse orientale terrorise a l'idee ue l'on attente a sa vie Hitler a fait recruter des gouteuses Parmi elles Rosa uand les SS lui ordonnent de porter une cuilleree a sa bouche Rosa s'execute la peur au ventre chaue bouchee est peut etre la derniere Mais elle do Fear comes to me three times a day always without knocking It sits beside me and if I stand up it follows me by now it s practically a constant companion World War II Death could arrive at any moment particularly when your city is being targeted by enemy bombers In a way a sudden violent end becomes the expectation One to be avoided if at all possible of course Rosa Sauer flees the Allied bombing of Berlin in Autumn 1943 Though married her husband had joined the army She goes to stay with her in laws in the town of East Partsch in East Prussia But in a classic case of out of the frying pan into the fire she finds herself in a situation every bit as perilous as the threat she had fled Soon after her arrival members of the SS arrive at her in laws house and inform Rosa that she has been selected to serve her country in a most unusual manner It seems the Fuehrer s base of operations Wolfsschanze aka The Wolf s Lair now Parcz Poland is only a few miles away and among his other psychiatric challenges he is terrified that his food might be poisoned Well maybe not so crazy about fearing assassination She will be one of fifteen young women drafted to become Hitler s food tasters The upside of course is that she will be eating much better than most Germans The downside is wellyou know Rosella Postorino image from Globalist In the beginning the story alternates between her experience as a taster and the time immediately leading up to that We get a look at Rosa s personal history and some of the events in Germany There is a dark tale of 1933 book burnings led by Goebbels that seemed even a bit much for his own followers It is particularly chilling Most of the story is about the interactions among the women forced into this job Guess all the men were too scared They run a gamut with a few Hitlerian true believers among the usual range of humanity represented there telling dark racist tales that the eagerly gullible relish as wantonly as fans of InfoWars do today with about as much basis in reality There are perils this forced sisterhood face together including mistreatment by the guards and being forced to remain in the facility all the time instead of being bussed back and forth between home and work after a failed assassination attempt on you know who We learn some of the tasters secrets and see their relationships evolve with the impact of shared misery Rosa becomes friends with one taster who is shielding a particularly large piece of information When she is generous with a younger taster the others give her a hard time about it as if generosity were somehow a sign of weakness Their relationships with the guards get complicated Are they on the same team Or are they prisoners There is considerable sexual tension as well During the time when the tasters are still able to live outside the compound Rosa is befriended by a local Baroness eager for conversation with an educated if untitled woman from Berlin Attending gatherings at the Baroness s place comes with complications of its own And there is the ever present need to make the most of a bad situation Margot W lk at 95 image from Der SpiegelRosa is a thoughtful Virgil leading us through this particular ring of hell offering consideration of underlying moral uestions Why for some time now had I found myself in places I didn t want to be in and acuiesced and didn t rebel and continued to survive whenever someone was taken from me The ability to adapt is human beings greatest resource but the I adapted the less human I felt She must cope with the probable loss of her husband reported MIA Is he gone Should she hold out hope or accede to the likelihood of his demise When push comes to shoot will you find yourself on the flat or pointed end of the bullet Will you be able to decide for yourself or will you leave it to others to decide for you I could have known about the mass graves about the Jews who lay prone huddled together waiting for the shot to the back of the head could have known about the earth shoveled onto their backs and the wood ash and calcium hypochlorite so they wouldn t stink about the new layer of Jews who would lie down on the corpses and offer the backs of their heads in turn I could have known about the children picked up by the hair and shot about the kilometer long lines of Jews or Russians They re Asian they re not like us ready to fall into the graves or climb onto trucks to be gassed with carbon monoxide I could have learned about it before the end of the war I could have asked I but I was afraid and couldn t speak and didn t want to know Pastorino offers up some darkly comical tidbits about the not so fearless leader including reference to his considerable problem with flatulence I can only imagine what Mel Brooks would have done with that being afraid to go to sleep becoming a vegetarian after visiting a slaughterhouse keeping his aides up all night regaling them with stories the late nights rich with Hitler humiliating his staff at length which sounds uncomfortably familiar They appeared to enjoy being the focus of his dark attention like sycophants today We learn that Eva Braun hated Blondi the singing German Shepherd that Adolph doted on And for all you white nationalists out there you will also learn the proper way to deliver a Nazi saluteMargot W lk is the actual person on whom Rosa Sauer was based W lk was interviewed on the occasion of her 95th birthday in 2012 links in EXTRA STUFF Postorino happened cross the article in 2014 and thought it ideal subject matter for a novel throwing together issues of daily mortal terror sacrifice adaptation destiny love survival and guilt Trying to relate to this person whose life was so different from her own Postorino gave her characteristics of herself a particular appreciation for clothes vanity chattiness her hair color and her name Margot W lk in 1931 image from BZ BerlinAnother novel about Frau W lk by VS Alexander The Taster was published in the USA in 2018 a few weeks after Postorino s book was published in Italy Alexander s book was released later in the UK under the title Her Hidden Life A weird coincidence but it seems likely that both were inspired by the same late life revelations by Frau W lk At the Wolf s Table originally published in 2018 in Italy was a big hit there winning the Premio Campiello Literary Prize The translation by Leah Janeczko is smooth It reads as if written by an English speaker My only gripe about the novel is that I found the romantic element less than persuasive The strength of this novel is in giving us a character we can feel for trying to survive in a time and place in which one s continued existence could not be presumed from day to day She is an intelligent feeling person who considers than just the usual externalities but offers an awareness of larger deeper considerations It also gives us a look at a little seen aspect of Nazi Germany a rare item indeed And finally it presents perspective while written by an Italian from a regular person German neither Nazi nor resistor Postorino has served up a filling and delicious meal of a novel Bon AppetitReview posted February 1 2019Publication date USA January 29 2019 Italy January 11 2018EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s GR Twitter Instagram and FB pagesItems of Interest Polpettas Magazine In Conversation with Rosella Postorino by Margherita Visentini a very worthwhile interview with the author despite a less than perfect translation from Italian Reading Group Guide Revolvy a bio of Margot W lk with some detail on her pre taster life Spiegel Online Hitler s Food Taster One Bite Away from Death by Fabienne Hurst NY Times What if the Powerful and Paranoid Started Using Official Tasters Again by Ligaya Mishan Wiki on The Wolf s Lair Triumph of the Will Although I had seen clips of this I had never seen the entire film Have now The tasters among others are made to sit through it while at the compound Remarkable film making What a waste of talent in promoting such a dark cause

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Le Assaggiatrici

It affronter une autre guerre entre les murs de ce refectoire consideree comme « l'etrangere » Rosa ui vient de Berlin est en butte a l'hostilite de ses compagnes dont Elfriede personnalite aussi charismatiue u'autoritaire Pourtant la realite est la meme pour toutes consentir a leur role c'est a la Thank you to Flatiron Books for mailing me the advance copy of At The Wolf s Table by the international best selling author Rosella Postorino This book was selling like hot cakes in Italy when it was first released and soon Postorino was one of five nominees for the literature Campiello Prize THIS BOOK WILL BE RELEASED IN STORES IN THE US in January 2019 Rosella is also an editor She speaks Italian French German and English This is her first novel translated into English This is a story that in part I was familiar with from having read The Taster by VS Alexander last year Both books historical fiction are haunting chilling hard to image yet was imaginable from both author s vivid storytelling I learned fascinating information from THIS BOOK than The Taster yet both books are absorbing and well researched I ll soon explain the But first I to comment on Rosella Postorino s writingwhich is so intimate I can almost image that she s a painter Her descriptions are simplistic I mean that in the most complementary way so clearly visual I can see and feel everything she writes easily Rosella doesn t waste any time diving into the heart of the story Perhaps being an editor gives her an advantage skillI ve no ideabut her writing was almost invisible Is that possible Writers help me out I m not sure what I m talking about here a readernot a writer I just know her STORY FLOWED EFFORTLESSLYFrom the first page to the lastI was in the zone the readers ZONE The pure joy of reading an interesting story Kudos to author Postorino The MORE that I learned from reading this bookThe inspiration for this story came from the real person named Margot W lk Margot died at age 96 She was one of Hitler s tasterslast SURVIVING taster In 2014 she told a Berlin TV channel about her experiences THE FIRST TIME EVER sharing those devastating years Later that same year at age 96 she died Rosella Postorino s story begins in Germany 1943 Rosa Saucer was 26 years old Her parents were gone and her husband Gregor was fighting on the front lines of WWII Rosa was living in the country with her in laws She was a German but had never been a Nazis Rosa was one of ten women employed to taste Fuhrer s food to ensure it had not been poisoned against her will EAT UP eat it all Wait an hour live or die There were constant rumors that the British were out to poison Hitler The women had plenty of food veggies with either rice or noodles as Hitler was a vegetarian but each bite from the women was mixed with fear They were victims and privileged They ate to stay alive They were supporting keeping alive the man everyone wanted dead Fear guilt shame catatonic unbearable grief horror rape loss hunger secrets remorse survival forgiveness loveare some of many reasons why Rosa couldn t tell even her husband Gregor when the war ended that she worked for Hitler she couldn t confessed to her husband that she had trusted and loved a Nazi Lieutenant The past doesn t go away but there s no need to dredge it up you can try to let it rest hold your peace The one thing I ve learned from life is survival Written with tenderness and compassionThe characters were so realFascinating and repugnant Margot Woelk s tells her story Photos of her before she died at age 96 can be found by googling her name

Rosella Postorino á 3 read

Fois vouloir survivre et accepter l'idee de mourir Couronne en Italie par le prestigieux prix Campiello ce roman saisissant est inspire de l'histoire vraie de Margot Wolk Rosella Postorino signe un texte envoutant ui en explorant l'ambiguite des relations interroge ce ue signifie etre et rester humain A fascinating novel following a young woman named Rosa Sauer who is selected to be one of Hitler s food tasters She and nine other women must eat his meals before he does then wait to see if the food is poisoned Throughout the book we get to know the women some who are absolutely devoted to Hitler and others like our main character Rosa who resolutely insist they are not Nazis even as they risk their own lives for his multiple times a day Not that they have much say in the matter of courseThis was a different perspective to familiar events and one I really valued reading I loved the ending the way things were and weren t tied up The final page will stay with me for uite a while I thinkThe novel was inspired by the true story of Margot Wolk The author read an article about her and was inspired to write this novel I m glad she did and thankful it was translated into English from the Italian by Leah Janeczko which allowed me to be able to read it


10 thoughts on “Le Assaggiatrici

  1. says:

    During WWII there were many people who wanted to put an end to Hitler’s reign of terror and as the tide began to turn against him

  2. says:

    Rosella Postorino writes an impressively researched blend of historical fact and fiction in this translated novel already an Italian bestseller It is inspired by the late in life interview and revelations of Margot Wolk of her unusual wartim

  3. says:

    Fear comes to me three times a day always without knocking It sits beside me and if I stand up it follows me by now it’s

  4. says:

    Thank you to Flatiron Books for mailing me the advance copy of “At The Wolf’s Table” by the international best selling author Rosella Postorino This book was selling like hot cakes in Italy when it was first released and soon Postorino was one of five nominees for the literature Campiello Prize THIS BOOK WILL BE RELE

  5. says:

    First I want to thank the Publisher of the book Flatiron for providing me with a copyThe book is a must must read because of one of the most powerful story I have personally ever read I didn't know what the Wolf meant before reading the book I just read the book because of the best selling author Rosella PastorinoShe is the icon of writting excellent and powerful books that stay and make you think for than a whileThe wolf is a

  6. says:

    The Women at Hitler’s Table is UK title This excellent book is based on the true story of Margot Wolk who died in 2014 aged 96 the last of Hitlers poison testers The central character is Rosa Sauer the place is Wolfsschanze the Wolf’s Lair in East Prussia where 10 disparate women become test animals or digestive tracts as Hitlers paranoia extends to concern that his food may be poisoned Rosa from Berlin is married to Gregor who is at

  7. says:

    A fascinating novel following a young woman named Rosa Sauer who is selected to be one of Hitler's food tasters

  8. says:

    Germany WWll There were plenty of people who wanted Hitler dead One of the ways they tried to protect their leader was to have women assigned to be food tasters Hitler was convinced that the British were trying to poison him so he hired 10 women to eat every meal one hour before he did This book is much than just food tasting This is a well researched historical fiction based on war time experiences The book is based loosely on the real li

  9. says:

    For all reviews and recommendations and links to article and video please follow me on Book Nation by Jen to Google “coming togeth

  10. says:

    35 stars rounded down Didn't follow through with what was promised Let’s talk about the pace of this book first It was a slow start It took me 140 pages all of Part 1 and the beginning of Part 2 to emotionally connect with Rosa Given that the book is only 275 pages that’s a significant amount of time spent on building Rosa’s moral struggle without being exposed to it I’m not sure how to describe the content of