Heidi Trautmann

956: The First Hundred Years – Elsie Slonim – A Monument in Cyprus

By Heidi Trautmann


I entered a desperate question into her birthday guestbook ‘Please Elsie let us know the secret recipe which kept you so young and energetic’.

A circle of close friends had organized a birthday party for her at the Goethe Institute in Nicosia, had baked cakes and set up a buffet to celebrate the 100th birthday of Elsie Slonim who is known for her books with the incredible story of her life, including her life with her husband in Cyprus. Today she still lives as the only non-military person in the buffer zone in Nicosia. We had visited her for a delightful evening four years ago. Her book ‘Lemons from Paradise’ had just been published and I had met her for an interview for Cyprus Observer and my website. Please click on the links below to find both, my interview and our visit at her house.





Many friends from the South and the North had come to embrace her and make compliments but there some tears in the vack of her eyes when I spoke to her: "Heidi, it is not easy...." The Ambassador of Austria had come with his wife, some Embassy staff, the Ambassador from Switzerland, should there have been others, I have not recognised them.

She has hardly changed since our last meeting and I knew from a close friend who had done the editing of the English version of her new book that she had been rewriting her life story and which was published recently in English and in German

Ahead of Time – The First Hundred Years

Vom Brot im Meer – Die ersten Hundert Jahre


Publishing House: Verlagshaus Hernals, Vienna

It can be ordered via Amazon.


A small amount of copies will be available for sale …

On November 29 you can listen to her reading from her books at the Goethe Institute at 19:00 hrs; an interview is being organized by The Embassy of Austria in cooperation with the Goethe Institut.

Also, on November 28, she will be in Girne at the ARUCAD University 16:00 – 18:00 hrs to sign copies of her new book, also her older book ‘Mousie Longtail’. 

Elsie Slonim and her long time friends Ismet and Rüstem Tatar
Elsie Slonim and her long time friends Ismet and Rüstem Tatar

Rauf Ersenal and son
Rauf Ersenal and son

The director of the Goethe Institut Karin Varga at Elsie
The director of the Goethe Institut Karin Varga at Elsie's side...

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