Monthly Archives: September 1934

Sept. 5, 1934 “I am really lucky. Last week I left my billfold on a counter at Woolworth . . . .”

Sept. 5, 1934 “I am really lucky. Last week I left my billfold on a counter at Woolworth . . . .”

Sept 5th, 1934

To Papa’s birthday I am sending my best wishes. [I am trying to translate my German poetry but can’t.]* Anyhow I hope he is celebrating the day happy and well with the rest of the mishpoche.

Last week nothing special occurred. Henny took off from work for a week. She really needed the rest very much. One evening she picked me up at work and we went to a movie “A Modern Hero.” Then we went to spend the rest of the evening at Grossbergs.

a modern hero

Teasdale and Barthelmess in "A Modern Hero"

The next night we went to the Fair. First to a concert at the Ford Symphony Gardens. Then I invited her to a free Auto Round Trip thru streets all over the world. The road we traveled was paved differently in small sections. Samples from all over all around on one big plaza. Even a sample of the “Bergstrasse.” We drove slowly around that Plaza to be able to see it all. We then went to a village called the Bowery. A copy of the one in N.Y. Do you remember that Papa? They had a nice program — real old town type.

Black Forest Village

Black Forest Village

Then we went to the Black Forest, the most popular and best place this year with excellent dancers on ice. It is such a pleasure to see that ice while it is so hot outside. After 4 days of rain it is thank G’d not so hot anymore. Unfortunately the weather was very bad over Labor day which caused a big loss for the fair.

Aerial View of Villages

Labor day is a big holiday here and the last day of school vacations. Aunt Henny and I were driven by friends to Michigan City on Saturday afternoon. About 3 hrs drive. We went to the beach there and finally after much effort found a room to stay. It must be beautiful there in nice weather. Woods and hills and delightfully quiet all near the lake.

Bathing Beach near Michigan City, Indiana

One can buy or rent a house any size there and either spend the weekends or all summer there. They are real little shacks called “cabins” consisting of 1 room, kitchen and porch all made of wood on the ground floor, and lots of land around it. The space only costs $29 a month. Then of course there are bigger and fancier houses too as high as $200 and more. Since there is very poor transportation one has to have a car to enjoy a place like that.

The friend who drove us there went back to Chicago the same evening. We just took it very easy all day Sunday. But the way home! We took a bus into Michigan City hoping to catch a train home but all the trains were so crowded we could not get in. After trying for over 1 hr to stop a car we finally got a ride with a nice young couple and his sister from Cleveland. As reward for taking us we had them stay with us over night.

On Monday, Labor day, I loafed around the house all day until Opa surprised me and took me to a movie “Operator 13.” A very nice good spy film.

If any movie comes to Ffm [Frankfurt] with Shirley Temple be sure to see it. She is the smartest, nicest little girl. She made very popular the songs “Three little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf.” And also “Three Little Piggies went to Market.”

Labor Day 1934

And that just reminds me that after you pay for your admissions at the movies theater the tickets come out of a little slit in front of the cashier behind a little fence and any change you have coming comes down like on a slide into a little container so it’s easy for you to take it. Wish I could explain it a little better.

Yesterday I had a nice letter from Solingen. He is o.k., writes very nice and will write Ernst soon too. Have you seen or heard anything from Stavenhagens lately? I wrote to them 3 times already but have not heard anything from them.

How is Mrs. Bergen? What about your apartment? Why do you not write anything about Alex’s silver leather? I would be very interested. Did you start the [Jewish] New Year o.k. I filled out a form and got a free ticket for the synagogue.

What else is new? I have not heard from you sweet people for 10 days again. How did the apple jam turn out? Weils are sending best regards as always. I have a date with them for next Saturday again.

I am really lucky. Last week I left my billfold on a counter at Woolworth and when I came back one hour later it was still there.

Now Aunt Henny joins me in our very best wishes for Papa on his birthday.

My love and kisses– fast well.

* [I believe the comment that I enclosed in brackets was made when Trudel translated her letters into English. Editor]

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Sept. 10 1934 I did a very big laundry. “I did not want to take any dirt with me into the New Year.”

Sept. 10 1934 I did a very big laundry. “I did not want to take any dirt with me into the New Year.”

Sept. 10, 1934

Dear Papa:

Since the ladies do not find time to write to me I am sending my letters to you now.*

Today you have the 2nd day of Rosh HaShana (Jewish New Year). Here we celebrated only one day so I am going to take it easy and write to you.

Your letter, dear Papa, arrived today at the same time with one from Trums and Alice.

Do not worry about my request for information about Grandfather Stern. During one of the arguments between Aunt and Uncle I heard something which I could not understand well and would have liked to know what Julius was referring to. Actually I have already forgotten about it. Bismarck Bier Stube

I hope that you received stockings, playing cards etc. o.k.

Saturday Hans K. took me to a beautiful film. “Dames,” and afterwards to the Bierstube in the Bismark Hotel. I sent you a folder for more explanation. Friday night I went to another movie, “Fog Over Frisco,” terribly exciting junk.

Something unusual happened to me last week. I took a dress to the cleaners and when I wanted to pick it up I was informed that there was a strike. The dress is ready, hanging somewhere but will not be delivered to the shop until the strike is over. Have you ever heard of something like that? It is nothing unusual here. If anybody does not pay enough wages or there are other complaints the workers just go on strike and walk up and down in front of that business with big posters saying why they are on strike.
Dames PosterFog over Frisco Poster

Sorry if I did not mention anything about Liss’s letter. I received it and it made me very happy.

You must be awfully busy now. The jet black dress and anything else you want to get rid of, you can send me. It is nice that Papa will be a lot closer to Trums in the new apartment.

Yesterday, Sunday, I did a very big laundry. I did not want to take any dirt with me into the New Year.

I do like the Synagogue [but] I went swimming once instead of going to Services. It was really like a service in that horrible heat to which I don’t think I will ever get used.

Rosenwald Museum by Bertha E. Jaques

Rosenwald Museum - Now the Museum of Science and Industry

Opa picked me up and we went for a walk in gorgeous weather and ended up in the Rosenwald Museum just 2 min from here. It is the only building left from the 1893 Worlds Fair and built like the “Deutsche Haus” in Munich.

We went by elevator downstairs in a replica of a real coal mine. I had never seen anything like it and found it very interesting. There we had dinner together. Did you too have noodle soup and roast beef [brisket]?

And then we each went to our different Synagogues for services on the eve of the new year. As I mentioned before I got a free ticket and they even paid the postage to mail it to me. It seemed strange to sit in a very crowded temple and not see one familiar face. The gentlemen sitting next to me is here only 4 weeks from Hechingen.

I had no trouble following the service with my prayer book. And as much as I could understand the Rabbi gave a very good sermon but I would have preferred to hear Dr. Salzberger. After services I talked for ½ hr with Rose on the telephone.

September 11, 1934 – continued from September 10, 1934.

Yontiff [the new year holiday] is over for you too now, while I had to work [on the second day].

Jewish New Year. Htde Park Herald

Hyde Park Herald announces Jewish New Year

After talking to Rose, on my way home I passed the Lindheimers from the boat and their lights were still on so I visited with them for an hour. They were happy to have company and I was even happier to visit with them for a while. They invited me for anbeissen [to break the fast] after Yom Kippur.

On the way to the Synagogue yesterday morning I read your letter.

This time [at the synagogue] a lady changed seats with the gentleman next to me and it turned out she is here since January from Berlin and a cousin of Miss Wurzman.

A few minutes after the service started Erwin Grumbacher, a cousin of Halbreichs, came in. I doubt you know him but Ilse Neiderman had written to me that he was coming here. He came only three days ago.


Synagogue in Hyde Park

I do not care too much about him but he has nice young friends and mishpoche. He spoke already with Miss Samuel from Bad Hamburg who asked him to look for me. Although they live near Rose Seckbach, I have not had a chance to look them up.

The service was pretty much as we are used to. Except that instead of blowing the shofar they played the sounds on the organ — terrible. In my mind I was watching Scheurman and all of us holding our breath to make sure the tones came out o.k.

After Services I wanted to visit Mrs. Hess but talked to her only on the house phone. Then I wanted to visit Mrs. Joseph, but she is never home.


A German-Hebrew Machzor (High Holiday Prayer Book)

The reason I stopped this letter so suddenly is the fact that it had gotten late and I had promised to do a little shopping.

But since I had to iron the dress I wanted to wear, it got too late for the shopping anyhow.

For supper I went to Harry Ehrlich’s Restaurant. I like the meals there very much. From there I went across the street to his mother to try on some hats.

This is the time I like, when I can work on hats in the evenings for friends but none for my self. So for I have only worked for Aunt Henny and Rose, who was very sick for a few days.

Every year at this time she gets hay fever like 1/3 of the population. But she also has asthma and suffers very much.

She wanted to go away for a few weeks but bought a machine to put in front of the window to filter the air that comes in. Of course she will have to stay most of the time in that room.

At work I am cutting a little faster all the time. They worked on all the holidays. . .

Of course a year ago I would not have written a letter [or] taken a streetcar ride on Rosh HaShana. One adopts bad habits fast.



And now a question? Have you not noticed that I do not mention Julius at all anymore in my letters? And if I do only a nasty comment? I just took your card addressed to Mr. and Mrs. J. Seckbach out of the mailbox and I figure it is about time to tell you that Mr. Julius Seckbach removed himself and everything that is his from our apt on 8/22. Thank G’d. He moved to the opposite side of this city. Amen.

If I remember right I wrote you in the beginning that the two had been separated for a year and only got together so he could sign the papers for me. For which I am very grateful.

There is no sense in my describing what went on here in the last 12 weeks. I should have made a sound film… You would get stomach cramps watching and listening to it.

I guess Aunt Henny was not thinking clearly when she married this person who cannot get along with any person. It is well known that people who think everybody is wrong are really nuts themselves. Thank G’d I did not get affected by his nuttiness. I believe really he should be in Doctor’s care. I know he liked me and was always cordial to me but I too could not stand his unending speeches and complaints.

Anyhow, when I came home 3 weeks ago my bed and several pieces of furniture were gone. And the apt looked like a gypsy camp. A few days later we re-arranged the whole place again. Aunt Henny and her bed into the kitchen. She likes that better because it is more quiet. My bed, covered with a big blanket in the living room to look like a couch.

It looks like a real so-called Parlor now and I do not have to be ashamed if somebody wants to visit us. A young man who works at the fair wants to move into the other room, but it is already 10:15 p.m. and he is not here yet. I guess he will come with Aunt Henny.

Now that the old nut is out of the house we two women get along excellently.

We are thinking of going to Florida for the winter. She just can’t stand the cold here. She would sell jewelry and I can make hats there since it is the big season then.

We have not made any definite plans but I will go only if I can be taken by car. I do not think I could earn enough money there to pay the railroad fare. Then I would rather stay here and do some work at home besides my job. It is really wonderful to be so independent.

I pay Aunt Henny something weekly and prepare breakfast for us both, the only meal we eat at home. I live decently, eat only in good restaurants and have about $1 left every week, which I try to save for the time business gets bad.

Trudel I think I have very much grown up and gotten prettier since I am here [and] I am feeling well.

I am constantly trying to learn more English, read good books and am trying with some help to read the daily newspaper. Also I am attending regularly our “Chai-50” club and will probably take a drama course under Edith Grossberg starting next week. I do that only for her sake but am sure it will improve my English.

The weather changes all the time. I can hear it rain now, after we had beautiful sunshine. Anyway I am happy that the terrible heat is hopefully over for this year. Now I think I wrote enough today. If I am not asleep before Aunt H. comes home we will talk for a few more hours. Last night I fell asleep during our conversation.

Love and kisses for you dear Papa.

*[Trudel is referring to her sisters who don’t write as often as she would like.]

[Trudel does not mention the names of the synagogues she attended. Photos of former synagogues can be found at this Flicker site.]

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Sept. 22, 1934 “I have to join the union…30 cents a week”

Sept. 22, 1934 “I have to join the union…30 cents a week”


My Dear Goldkind:

First of all I am glad my sisters agreed that they should write a little more.

Please excuse that I am writing with pencil today. Since I am very busy I took this pad to work with me and am starting this letter in my lunchtime.

By the time you receive this I hope you landed safe and sound in your new apt on Beethoven Str. Of course I wish you all the very best for your new home. Only happiness and good health.

Did you all fast well? I did very well.

Of course there was that one short sentence in the prayers where I am sure you thought of me like I thought of you. Right?

I also met some more people from Germany in the Synagogue. From 1-3 was lunchtime on Yom Kippur and I went home with one of them, but ate no lunch. For “umbeisen” [breaking the fast] I was at Lindheimer’s. Some of the richest families here are their relatives.

Last night I was with Tante and Opa at a big money raiser for the Democratic party. Mr. Lindheimer’s cousin is on the top of the ballot. The entree was free but you were urged to spend money on lottery tickets, games etc. I never saw so many people so much in a hurry to get rid of their money.

On Saturday we bought a new radio since Mr. Seckbach had taken ours with him. In the evening we went to the new movie “Now and Forever” with the darling Shirley Temple. Afterwards we stopped for a drink. Sunday afternoon we went to the Fair for a change. There is not much going on anymore. Aunt Henny is not working since one week.Shirley Temple

Of course I am happy that I do not have to spend my evenings alone, eating in restaurants, anymore. You would be very much surprised to see how wonderful a cook Aunt Henny is. And she likes it too.

What did you do with the small easy chair from the salon? Here you could get big money for it. I like to remind you that Hedwig has a birthday on Nov 9 and we wanted to give her a nutcracker.

Affairs_of_CelliniLast night I had again a date with a new guy. A cousin of Hans Roos, Alex Heyman who lives in Cleveland. Hans wrote both of us about the other and we got together via telephone. First we went to a movie “Affairs of Cellini.” Very good. Then we went for a soda. I had to speak English all evening and he is one of the few people who correct me which I like very much.

I have to join the Union now. It costs initially $5 and then 30¢ a week.

Bruno Hauptman

Lindbergh Killer Arrested

This afternoon I have a date with Alice Weil. We are first going to an art exhibit and then I will go home with her. You probably heard that they found the killer of the Lindbergh child.

By the way I heard that Hans Werthahn comes here. He is the nice young man with black hair who used to live in Leerbach Str.

Please send me the recipe of that delicious chocolate cake. You know what I mean, Doddo. Please excuse my handwriting and probably my spelling errors. I am very much in a hurry right now to meet Alice in time.

Regards to and from all,


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