In My Own Words with Laszlo Selly

Original Program Date: October 21, 2021


“We heard stories about what the Nazis were doing to the Jews in Poland and Austria, but because Hungary was aligned with Germany we said, ‘It can’t happen here.’  When the Nazis marched into Hungary in 1944 we said ‘It is okay as long as we do what they say. What more can they do?’”

Laszlo Selly

About our Speaker:

Laszlo Selly and his twin brother were born in Budapest, Hungary, on December 31, 1937, into a middle-class, secular Jewish family. At six years of age, he remembers his mother sewing a yellow star onto his outer garments.

Desperate to keep their twins safe, Laszlo’s parents made the difficult decision to send them into hiding. This plan led them into great danger and they returned to their parents.  Somehow, Laszlo’s father obtained a Raoul Wallenberg certificate of protection that allowed the family to move to a safe house.

After liberation by the Soviets, the family began rebuilding their life in Budapest.  The twins started school and underwent ten yeaars of intense communist indoctrination. As Laszlo was completing his training as a professional photographer, the 1956 Hungarian Revolution began. During the chaos of the revolution, Laszlo and his brother escaped from Hungary and made their way to the United States.

In New York, Laszlo became a very successful food photographer working with advertising agencies, hotel chains, and package designers.  After he retired, Laszlo and his wife, Gail, moved to Florida to be near their family.

A special thanks to our partners at Next Generations!



Special thanks to our sponsors:

Orlando at Play com logo with an image of the skyline of Orlando in red

United Arts of Central Florida logo

Arts & Cultural Affairs logo with the Orang eCounty Government Florida logo beneath