Erzsébet Thuleweit (née Soszták)

Interview by

Erzsébet Thuleweit (née Soszták)
1956er

ALL MATERIAL: COPYRIGHT CALIFORNIA EUROPEAN CULTURAL INITIATIVE / MEMORY PROJECT

Erzsébet Soszták was born on March 29, 1937 in Óbuda, in Budapest. Her father, who had 11 siblings, was taken as a prison of war by the Soviets after WWII and never returned home. His mother, who had 10 siblings, raised their three children alone after the war. In 1956, when Erzsébet was 19, she took part in the demonstration at the statue of Joseph Stalin on October 23rd with her high school classmates. She witnessed the 1956 Revolution first-hand, and her two cousins, who were in the military at the time, took part as soldiers (on the side of the revolution). On November 21st Erzsébet left Óbuda with her two older brothers and walked most of the way to Andau, Austria, where they fled across the border. She was given a chance to study and work in Germany, and from that point on, she worked in the restaurant industry. This is where she met her German husband, with whom she moved to the United States in 1961. Together they opened the Csikós Restaurant in Washington, D.C., which served as a cultural hub for the Hungarian-American community in the Capitol. In 1989, they closed the restaurant for good (after 22 years) and accepted a position running the kitchen at the German Embassy. They had three children, all of whom speak German and Hungarian. In the summers they took part in the Hungarian summer camp in Rockville, Maryland, run by Istvan Benedek. After retiring, they moved to Florida.

**This interview was conducted by KCSP Intern, Kata Bence in Venice, Florida, on January 7, 2019.**

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