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Monthly Archives: October 1934

October 5, 1934 “I fell in love with him and his voice although I understood only about ½ of what he said.”

October 5, 1934 “I fell in love with him and his voice although I understood only about ½ of what he said.”

Oct 5th

My Dears,

Please forgive me for not writing for 2 weeks. A lot happened and I had no time to write.

Right now I am sitting in the office of my newest friend and while he is talking to someone else, I am starting this letter on his business stationery.

temple sholom

The Largest Temple in Chicago

Last Saturday I had a very “high” day. In the morning I attended services in the biggest Synagogue here and listened to the wonderful sermon of a really great Rabbi. Then I met Mr. Grossberg — not to be confused with Grossman — as well as Edith’s father and Aunt Henny’s lawyer to talk business.

Skyride

Skyride over the fair

Mr. Grossberg took me to lunch and then to the fair in beautiful weather, where he let me take a flight in a small balloon like a Zeppelin all over the fair. It was wonderful so high in the air. That 10 min long ride cost $3 per person. Later I met Aunt Henny and went on a sky ride. Also high up like a ride on a bridge in the sky criss-cross above the fairgrounds. It was getting dark by that time and all looked fantastic.

I fell in love with him and his voice

Leonard J. Grossman

I met him!

It was a really beautiful evening. Aunt Henny surprised me after work to pick me up with an umbrella as excuse because it was raining. Actually she wanted me to go with her to meet this new lawyer [Leonard J. Grossman*] because Mr. Grossberg, who has always been her lawyer did not seem to get anywhere with her asking for separation and alimony from Julius. This new lawyer recommended by Mr Hamburger, whom she knew, asked to meet me as a witness.

Well, to tell you the truth I fell in love with him and his voice although I understood only about ½ of what he said. The 4 of us went out for dinner then.

Subway Cafe

Postcard from the Subway Cafe

Did you get my two postal cards? One from the Subway Cafe with Aunt Henny, Alfred Hamburger and my new friend Leonard J. Grossman. The 2nd postcard card was from the Morrison Hotel Terrace Gardens where Mr. Grossman took me on our first date a week later for dinner and dancing. It was an evening long to be remembered and I did not get home until 4:30 a.m.

Terrace Garden, Morrison Hotel

Terrace Garden, Morrison Hotel

Tuesday night I was finally at Samuel’s and we figured out that the grandfather of the Samuel girls and our grandfather Simon Adler must have been cousins. Have not heard from you in 2 weeks but this time you are excused because of the moving.

Leonard J. Grossman

Leonard J. Grossman

Love to all of you,
Trudel

[Editor’s note: My father’s name was Leonard Jacob Grossman. I am named after him, but my name is Leonard Albert Grossman. Future mentions of “Leonard” in Trudel’s letters refer to my father.]

 

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October 12, 1934 “He claimed I did not iron his underwear properly and burnt his breakfast bacon on purpose.”

October 12, 1934 “He claimed I did not iron his underwear properly and burnt his breakfast bacon on purpose.”

Oct 12, 1934 9:00 p.m.

My dear, dear ones.

I am in such a good happy mood that I want to share it with you and try to write as sensible a letter as possible.

I have been very concerned why Papa did not thank me personally for his birthday letter. He has written otherwise. Is something wrong? I sure hope every thing is o.k.

Yesterday I received Ernale’s letter with newspaper clipping and a postcard from Alex. In the evening I was at Weils. It is always very nice and relaxing there.

How do you like the picture of my newest and hopefully last friend on his stationery. Two weeks ago after we met in his office, we went for dinner as I told you on the postal card. Then I had a date with him one week later. And now we see each other almost every day.*

A week ago Monday I appeared as a witness in the divorce case between Aunt Henny and Uncle Julius. It was really fun for me. It seemed to me like a movie. I did not testify against either one since after all they both were instrumental in bringing me here. He claimed I did not iron his underwear properly, and burnt his breakfast bacon on purpose. After all I told them I did not know how to iron and had never seen bacon especially those thin slices they eat here for breakfast.

Next Monday is another hearing in Court.**

Chinatown

Chinatown

After court Aunt and I went to Chinatown. First a big dept. store and then chop suey dinner. It was very interesting. The day before Mr. Grossberg, aunt’s lawyer took me to an Italian restaurant.

On Sunday I was for the first time in a really Reform temple. Gigantic big, wonderful Rabbi, excellent choir and quite crowded. Tuesday I had a real German dinner at Rose’s and afterwards went to Samuels, they are a very nice family. The next night a real American dinner at Grossbergs. As you see I can get everything here.

temple sholom

Temple Sholom

On Saturday I did something for the first and probably the last time. I went to a Beauty Parlor school where I got for only 35¢ my hair set. But it took almost 2 hrs. It looked very nice once I was done but after 2 days it was all gone. And I was 3/4 hrs late for my date with Leonard.

I think I [will] have my hair cut as I used to have it tomorrow. The last time I had it cut was May 5th!

In the meantime I have been to the movies a few times. With Mr. Grossberg, I saw “Notorious Sophie Lang” a very exciting diamond smugglers story and with Opa “Of Human Bondage,” excellent and “The Love of Ariane” with Elisabeth Bergner. Very nice.

Of Human BondageMany people claim that I resemble Elisabeth Bergner, anyway the story could almost be my story. And then there were second movies [double features]. Some with Charlie Chaplin, extremely funny. But “Death on the Diamond” which I saw with Leonard was awfully upsetting.

The reason I tell you all this is to let you know what you should or should not see when it comes to you.Ariane

At work things are slowing down already. We don’t start until 1:00 p.m. every day and naturally earn much less money. But I manage o.k.

Glad to hear you found a new milliner. Tomorrow I have a date with Louise Hamburger to fit some hats. I had dinner with Alfred [Hamburger] one night last week. He is as nice and goodhearted as ever, but he is very stubborn and in business very hard to get along with.

You must have found a lot of junk when you cleaned out the old apt. I got $10 for that figurine and will buy a dress and pair of shoes with it. It is very easy to spend money here.

Ernale’s last letter came via San Francisco but still took only 13 days.

Elizabeth Bergner

Elizabeth Bergner

I would love to have a snapshot of Beethoven Str 5B so I can get an idea which building it is and I would also like to know how you have your furniture arranged so I can get an idea.

The weather is here now beautiful –like May or June in Ffm [Frankfurt]. In the evening it gets nice and cool.

Did you know that we have here 2 different times. One is called Standard Time – the same always for railroads and buses, etc., and then they change the clock 1 hr in the summer for Daylight Savings Time. Very confusing.

Since I meet Leonard often, I talk a lot of English. Sometimes he tries to talk German to me and it really sounds very funny.

By the way my boss Gus Bing will get married next week. Our forelady Marie told me and she is very happy. Die Fledermaus Poster

Today I received postal cards from Gaby and and heard from Richard Bloch. In the meantime I did hear from [Kurt?] Stevenhagen.

Shame on you Ernale for getting drunk. And flirting with 10 men at the same time!!

Regards as usual from Aunt Henny who calls me her sister now. I doubt that I will go with her to Florida. It is expensive and I do not feel like it. She plans to leave Nov. 1.

CarmenIt is already 11:30 and I should retire. Tonight I was all alone at home. Henny left me a note that she is visiting with some friends for a few days. It was delightful to be alone for a change.

Civic Opera Building

Civic Opera House

Tomorrow I hope to see Carmen in the opera house and in 2 weeks hope to hear the Fledermaus in German, also in the opera house.

Somebody on the radio just said “Good Night” and so do I.

Love,
Trudel


*[A “comment” at this point in Trudel’s handwritten translation of this letter reads, “When Aunt Henny heard that he was divorced over one year, she urged me to date him. She even would have liked to join us because she thought he had a lot of money. When she found out that he lost everything in his attempt to be re-elected as alderman of his ward, she tried very hard to talk me out of meeting him again.” It is not clear whether this comment was in her original letter or whether she added it when doing her translation. ]

** [ A comment here says, “My new friend did not take the case but certainly took the supposedly witness.” My father had been asked to represent one of the parties, but he refused. Again, It is not clear that this sentence was part of the original letter, but the line, in one variant or another was part of family lore. ]

 
 

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October 19, 1934 “Otherwise not much happened last week.”

October 19, 1934 “Otherwise not much happened last week.”

October 19, 1934

I just received a card from Max Wolff. He is coming here for 2 days and I will be very happy to receive some personal news from you. He will probably have a lot to tell you about me when he comes back.

Instead of attending Carmen on Saturday we went to another excellent theater. And before that we went with Joe Hamburger to a movie — “Romance in the Rain,” very nice. And the next day again a movie “One More River,” also very good.

One More River

One More River - Click on image for YouTube

Monday night I had dinner in Leonard’s office with him and Alfred Hamburger.

Since last week I am crocheting a black sweater on the train on my way to and from work. Maybe I’ll finish it by 1936. Otherwise not much happened last week. Romance in the Rain

One evening I was at Rose’s, yesterday at Louise Hamburger, whose mother will be 80 yrs old this week.

Leonard and I planned to have dinner together tonight but he is busy. Instead we will go out real great tomorrow evening. I will wear my black evening dress. All I know is that we have already tickets for Carmen but I do not know what else he is planning.

I finally had my hair cut again today and I look and feel much better. I talked to Rose Tauber, daughter of Fanny Ratzenstein, Aunt Jenny’s sister. Those two are not on speaking terms.

Trudel working with hat on block

Aunt Fanny is out of town until next week. I will call her again then and make a date.

Yesterday we had rain for the 1st time in 19 days.

Today it is beautiful again. Had a letter from Kurt Dillenberg, he would like me to find a job for him here. That’s all I need.

How are your jobs, girls? Did you get the new apartment all in order yet? How come you did not use Dellihausen for your moving?

Now I am going to work on some hats — A red one for myself that I want to wear tomorrow night and fix a few for other people. I am getting to be a dressmaker too now. I altered a few dresses for Aunt Henny. I just finished a delicious dinner. Henny is a great cook, spaghetti, tomato sauce and cheese.

That’s all for today.


10/22/34
Bismark Hotel Lobby

Postcard showing Bismark Hotel Lobby

Picture postal card of Bismark Hotel where I went with Max Wolff.



Shortlink to this page: http://wp.me/p1yA95-4r

 
 

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October 26, 1934 “Did you ever try to write a letter while riding a streetcar?”

October 26, 1934 “Did you ever try to write a letter while riding a streetcar?”

October 26, 1934

Dear Goldkinder,

Did you ever try to write a letter while riding a streetcar? Well, that’s what I am doing now. Since Monday I am traveling every day 2½ hrs on the streetcar and I do not like to waste so much time.

Again I have been very lucky. Last Thursday we were told no work tomorrow and call on Monday if there is something. I had already noticed that things were getting very slow.

Chicago Streetcar 1934

Chicago Streetcar

On Friday when I got a haircut I told the operator that I feared I was out of work. I left my phone number there and sure enough one of the girls called and gave me the address of a good friend where I should apply for a new job. Of course I went there the next day and started working on Monday morning at 9:00 a.m.

It is the biggest hat factory here, the work is similar as in the other place but much cheaper work and material and of course pay. The owners and employees are mostly Polish and several of them Jewish.

Hats and Hair Styles 1933 -1934

Hats and Hairstyles

And the other place declared bankruptcy on Saturday and Gus got married.

My salary from last week I will probably only get through the court settlement. Wasn’t I lucky! To have already another job?

Sorry my writing is so bad but the streetcar here is the shakiest most unsympathetic transportation here.

Maybe you can find on the Chicago map 700 North and 900 West on Milwaukee Ave. That’s where I am working now.

Aunt Henny and I are planning to move Nov. 1. First of all we want to give up the apartment and I would like to move closer to work, and where I can walk downtown, so I do not need so much money for transportation. And besides I will be closer to Leonard.

This stationery is 3 yrs old when his Republican party was still in power in Chicago. He was until then very much involved in politics here. Since 3 yrs the Democrats are in power and he and his friends are out. That’s why he lost so much money and his supposedly very nice wife and darling little girl.

Last Sunday he visited me with his adorable 5 yr old girl. On Saturday night we went all dressed up to the Opera Carmen. A gigantic Opera House. All seats taken and everybody dressed up. Excellent performance.

Leonard and Flora Mae

Leonard and Flora Mae

On Sunday evening I spent 3 hrs with him at his office and helped him pack because he moved to another place on Monday.

It was nice to see Max here although we got together only one evening. He was the only person I did not bid farewell to in Germany and the first one to visit me here.

Now we are having lunchtime. If I had taken more stationery with me I could write some more on my long trip to Rose’s tonite.

Now I am sitting in a restaurant near the factory to eat supper. Just saw something unusual — a man driving his car on only 3 wheels–he had just lost one–for several blocks to a garage.

It is already 7:30 p.m. and I am very hungry. Usually we eat here between 6-6:30–Last night I was at Samuels again. They have nice German Jewish friends and they welcome every newcomer.

Actually I am not very much interested in a lot of people anymore unless I can make hats for them.

Nightview of Fair

World's Fair at Night

It is very complicated for me to remember to write to everybody’s birthday on time. I talked again to Rose Tauber, Aunt Fanny’s daughter. Will call them again tomorrow.

Now I will take the streetcar downtown 15 min and the I.C. south to Rose’s ½ hr. It would take an additional 1½ to 2 hrs in the streetcar. It is really great how much you can ride on the streetcar for 7¢ or on a bus for 10¢. Farther than from Ffm to Mainz.

Max also liked Chicago much better than N.Y.

I really enjoy watching all the different types of people on the public transportation. You can hear all different languages and see all different types of clothing. I have to get especially used to seeing so many black people. Some of them very clean and good looking and whites in rags and miserable.

Only 6 more days until the Fair closes. I think I will go once more on Sunday if the weather is still so very nice. Our train is just passing the fairground and I enjoy over and over the beautiful sight of lights and colors.

Trudel and Leonard

Photoshop 1934*

Do you still have the book on fancy knitting? This is very popular here now and I could do some of that too.

That is it for today.

Love,
Trudel

*Note: This picture, in which Trudel has pasted cut-outs of her head and of that of my father, appears on the page of her photo album devoted to her Greyhound Bus trip from New York to Chicago several months before she met him.

 

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