Heidi Trautmann

959: Elsie Slonim : Ahead of Time – The First Century of My Life – The Book - Reading at ARUCAD

Reading and Signing Event at ARUCAD in Girne


By Heidi Trautmann


ARUCAD, the new Arkin University of Creative Arts and Design, has opened the doors of its new library for a very special event, by having Elsie Slonim, the legendary centenarian who has lived in Cyprus over 70 years, an eye witness to history, read from her new book ‘Ahead of Time – The first Century of my Life’. Only some days before we have celebrated her 100 years completed, the first 100 years, as she modestly said, and…. she could make it when you look at her, embrace her with good wishes and see the light shining in her eyes. (See my text below).

She was assisted by her editor and friend Dr.Jürgen Strasser who had come from Vienna for the occasion and by Mustafa Ersenal who is planning to make a documentary film of her life.

Elsie, as she insisted that her name was, started the reading with dry wit and the well-known charm of a Viennese…. she sees herself as a relic of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


Her life with all shades of two world wars, her journeys to flee them, packed with adventure and incredible events, all that is what the new book is about, concentrating on the most important events during those 100 years. I have met her several times and have extensively written about our fascinating talks. Please read about it in the following two links of five years ago.


In the introduction of her newly published book she says something remarkable about becoming old…. ‘When one reaches old age, one quite often observes that one’s former understanding of and sympathy with the outside world have undergone a radical change. Those things we once considered all important become, with the passing of time, simply irrelevant. Even very intelligent younger people place a great deal of importance on things which seem to us almost trivial when measured against the history of humanity. This new perspective is, I think, an attribute of becoming old.’


Her Birthday:

The First Hundred Years on November 21, 2017 – Elsie Slonim – A Monument in Cyprus

By Heidi Trautmann

I entered a desperate question into her birthday guestbook ‘Please Elsie let us have 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 the time 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.





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

Books 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’. 

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