Elizabeth Pathy Salett
Elizabeth Salett was born in Budapest, Hungary but spent most of her childhood in Egypt. She attended an all-girls English Catholic school during WWII. At the start of the war, Elizabeth was only four years old and was eight years old when the war ended in 1945. During this time period, she and her immediate family resided in Alexandria, Egypt where her father was the general consul for Hungary.
In this interview, Elizabeth Salett shares her experience during WWII and the tactics her parents used to protect her and brother from its narrative. She recalls the various procedures she and her family had to follow during the time of bombings. Though not close enough to potential harm, Elizabeth (Liz) and her brother still managed to collect shrapnel on their way to school, often arriving late due to their ventures. Liz also shares with us the story of László Almásy, a man who was portrayed as the protagonist in the cinema film, “The English Patient.” Her husband Stan Salett chimes in to explains how he and his wife came to view the film. She describes her immediate emotion as being “livid” after watching. Her next step was to write a letter which was eventually published by the Washington Post. Her letter ultimately impacted the narrative of the film altogether. She shares her father’s experience with Almásy who tried to assassinate him causing her and her family to escape to Cairo.