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Betty Wason (1912–2001)

Author of The art of German cooking

Includes the names: Bety Wason, Elizabeth Wason

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Elizabeth "Betty" Wason grew up in Delphi, Indiana, where she studied the violin and painting. She graduated from Purdue University in 1933, when with the Great Depression in full swing. Employment was difficult to obtain, and she took a job working in a department store in Indianapolis. She got her first broadcasting experience doing a program for a radio cooking school, and determined to become a journalist.
Transradio Press Service, a new wire service, hired her as a foreign correspondent, and sent her to Europe. In 1938, she was in Prague, Czechoslovakia, when the Nazis marched in. She traveled to Rome for Neville Chamberlain's meetings with Benito Mussolini.
For CBS Radio, she covered the German invasion of Sweden, Norway and the Balkans.
In the winter of 1940, she accompanied Greek troops as they repelled the invasion of Italy, coming to know intimately the hardships of a soldier's life. After the Nazis occupied Athens, Wason was stranded there and forbidden to leave; finally, after nearly two months, she was escorted under Gestapo guard to Berlin and detained as a suspected spy. She was released only after the intervention of the head of CBS.
Back home in the USA, Wason published her account of the fascist invasion of Greece, Miracle in Hellas: The Greeks Fight On (1942). Although CBS would not hire her for a position in radio in the USA, she had a long career in broadcasting and writing. She worked as women's editor at Voice of America, and spent six years moderating Author Rap Sessions on NBC Radio. She was a freelance writer, an assistant food editor at McCall's Magazine, and became a noted author and editor of some two dozen cookbooks.
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