Monthly Archives: November 1934

November 2, 1934 “Now, for the first time in my life I am all alone by myself.”

November 2, 1934 “Now, for the first time in my life I am all alone by myself.”

Nov. 2, 1934

671 N. Dearborn St.

My dear Goldkind:

Sorry I am writing again in pencil. My fountain pen has outlived its use and I have no ink here right now since I am writing at work, while I have nothing to do.

Thank you Pappa for the nice long letter which I will answer in detail soon since I do not have it here with me now.

As you hopefully saw from my postal card, I did move yesterday. At first we thought to take an unfurnished room but then we decided it was better if she [Aunt Henny] stayed where we were and I take a furnished room on the “near north side.” If we had moved on the 15th we would have had to pay a whole month rent anyhow. That meant that Monday and Tuesday evenings after work I had to look for a place.

Now, for the first time in my life I am all alone by myself.

The first time I did something like that by myself alone and I liked it. I must have gone to about 50 places. This is not exactly what I was looking for but the best I could get for the $3.50 a week I was willing to pay. So that meant Monday and Tuesday looking, Wednesday night into packing and Thursday evening moving.

Now, for the first time in my life I am all alone by myself. Now don’t think that Aunt Henny and I parted unfriendly after exactly 5 months together. In the contrary, we are very good friends.

She sold most of the few pieces of furniture and took an unfurnished room. Now we can both do what we please, when we please. See if you can find my new address on your Chicago map.

It is not the best neighborhood but it is nice and especially clean. Also it is close to work so I can walk it in 25 min. instead of riding the streetcar for 1 1/4 hrs. (I wanted to save the 7¢ car fare each way.)

and then I met HIM

Sunday night I was with Leonard and a friend and his wife in a radio station. Not one of the big broadcasting companies, but very interesting anyhow. This is very different from German radio. It is all privately owned, everything has to be paid by the people who are sending something. Of course there is a lot of advertising.

Trudel in Warm Gray Coat

"I am glad I have my warm gray coat"

On Wednesday was a big holiday called Halloween. It is mostly for children at the time the pumpkins are ripe. And you can see pumpkins carved in all sizes and shapes in stores and windows. People dress up like on Purim or Shrove Tuesday. Children go from door to door, in costumes, asking for candies by saying Tricks or Treats. Some do make very bad tricks like putting soap or wax on car and house windows.

It is pretty cool here now and I am glad I have my nice warm gray coat.

Did you talk to Max? I wonder what he has to say. I did not receive the fashion news Pappa sent.



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November 5, 1934 “Now I can write all my letters with ink again. I bought myself a new fountain pen for 25¢.”

November 5, 1934 “Now I can write all my letters with ink again. I bought myself a new fountain pen for 25¢.”

Sunday 11/4.

Today I am ½ year away from you dear ones. After a very nice dinner I am now sitting in Leonard’s office. In ½ hr we will go to see the “Fledermaus.”

I want you to know that the paperweight sent to Doddo and the ashtray I sent Erna were given to me by one of the Vienna friends from the boat. Opa had nothing to do with that he only did the packing.

Glad to hear that you Pappa always were a Republican. Leonard is too. He has always been very active in politics and some of his friends still call him Alderman. So many people know him and where we go people greet him. Now I think I have answered your letter Pappa.

One Night of Love referred to in letters

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Last Friday I was again in [at] a movie with Opa. An excellent picture “One Night of Love”. Last night Leonard and I saw a very nice movie.

I forgot the name–Now I can write all my letters with ink again. I bought myself a new fountain pen for 25¢.

Now I can write all of my letters in ink again.

"Now I can write all of my letters with ink again."

Continued 11/5.

I could not finish this letter last night since we had to rush to get to the Fledermaus on time. It was a very good performance in German. Of course not as good as a New Years eve performance in Ffm.

poster from The opera described in trudel's letters

Die Fledermaus

The house was filled every seat taken. We were really lucky to get 2 tickets together. And what a big beautiful theatre. Wish you could see it too. Much bigger and more elaborate than the one where I was 2 weeks ago. It really felt good to be in a crowd of nice elegant people instead of the “Gesang Verein” affairs and hear only German speaking.

Civic Oper House

"What a big, beautiful theatre."

Today we are not starting to work until 1:00. So I am going to go downtown now to do a little shopping and maybe look for another job for a change. I wonder when I will receive the $8 they owe me and a few things I still have hanging there from Budwig. They had already an auction 1 week ago. Too bad I did not take a wooden head block home over the weekend. They would never been able to auction that off. Gus gave me one when I was there the first time and I am glad I have it.

Yesterday Sunday afternoon I was supposed to come to Weils but why should I spend a nice Sunday afternoon with them when Leonard really only has time for me on Sundays?

That is it for now. I am very happy and send you love and kisses.

[Below in Leonard J. Grossman’s handwriting, also in German in original letter.]

Greeting and best wishes, Leonard.

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November 9, 1934 “I really love changes–in some things . . .”

November 9, 1934   “I really love changes–in some things . . .”

671 N. Dearborn Room 22.

My dearest Goldkinder:

I really love changes–in some things–that is 1 of the reasons I use different writing paper almost every time. Thanks Doddo for the sweet postal card. I mailed it together with cookie recipe to Weils. Of course I am still waiting for that long letter Doddo promised me about 4 weeks ago.

Sherman Hotel

Sherman Hotel

Monday I talked to Louise Hamburger.

Tuesday I received 2 letters, one from the Sherman Hotel here and the other from Cincinnati. The first one from Sherman Hotel was from Gaby Metz’s friend Hardy Oberlander. I will call him next week. The other was from Herbert Pohl who sent me the address of another boy from Ffm, a great nephew of Emma Emden. He lives only 2 blocks from here and visited me 2 days ago. He is a nice 20 yr old boy. Today, 11/10 I called Oberlander and made a date for next Wednesday. Tuesday I was at Aunt Henny’s and Thursday she came to me.

I also looked up a very nice lady whose address somebody in Ffm had given me. She not only called her own milliner but took me to the hat dept at Saks 5th Avenue to introduce me. Right now is no business but they may contact me after the New Year for the spring season. Last Saturday I visited Rose and altered a hat. Afterwards I went downtown first saw Miss Samuels’ sister in one of the big department stores. Later I met Leonard and a very nice young couple. He is a portrait painter.

After dinner we went to the “Chicago Theater” biggest and most beautiful movie picture house here, where I had been several times with Hans, saw a very nice movie with 10 yr old Jackie Cooper and him afterwards in person. As usual a very good floor show. After the show we went home with that young couple and sat with hot tea and cookies until 2:00 a.m. I am so glad I have my nice warm gray coat because it is pretty cold here now.

Chicagp Theater

Chicago Theater

Jackie Cooper

Jackie Cooper

Yesterday, Sunday afternoon, Leonard took me along to meet his darling pretty 5 yr old little girl [from his first marriage]. We took her along to a very nice Hotel, mostly Jewish, for a big delicious dinner. Of course we met a lot of nice people Leonard knew since it is in the district where he was Alderman.

After dinner we took Flora Mae home and then we went to Leonard’s hotel and sat in the lobby with several people and discussed politics. National and international. Of course I only listened but it was very interesting.

Trudel with Flora Mae

Trudel with Flora Mae

Tomorrow night I will go to Aunt Henny. I am remodeling 2 hats for her landlady.

We expect a lot of new orders next week at work.. Wednesday I expect to see a movie “The Merry Widow”. I am humming the melodies already to myself. Last week 1 evening I wrote 3 English letters. That is remarkable to me. I am really surprised how fairly well I can keep up a conversation in English now. Of course there are always some words missing.

Click for YouTube

Click for YouTube

Loads of love and kisses.

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November 17, 1934 “It’s good to have friends everywhere.”

November 17, 1934 “It’s good to have friends everywhere.”


My very very dear ones,

So glad Pappa’s [long] letter arrived here yesterday. Otherwise I might have addressed you differently [because it had been so long since they had written] and I am sure I will receive Doddo’s long promised long letter some day. I am only wondering if it will come in 1935 or 1936.

Dear Pappa seems to have the same trouble as I do. I sit down and don’t know what to write and all of a sudden 3 pages are full. I guess some of the questions I have answered already and I will try to answer the rest now. I wonder if one of my letters got lost since my numbers do not jive with yours anymore.

Dear Bubule, please give my regards to Dr. Samuel when you see him. I wrote a card to Dr. English and wonder if he received it.

Today I am using Leonard’s typewriter for this letter but it does not go any faster than if I write by hand.

1934 DeSotoAirflo

!934 DeSoto

The friendship between Hamburgers and Aunt Henny is not too strong and Julius is with them like with most nice people – broges [angry, upset]. Henny had mostly business affairs with them. Between Leonard and them is also only more acquaintances than friendship.

Actually it was not necessary for Julius to vouch for me [for papers to come to the United States]. Anybody else could have signed the papers. But I still am thankful to him that he did it.

I do not look forward to going to court again next Tuesday [in the divorce between Trudel’s Aunt Henny and Uncle Julius].

It makes such a difference if one is dressed well here.



If I get mother’s jet dress I will probably make an evening jacket out of it. That is very stylish here now, with a little cap from the same material. You probably think, What worries does she have? But it makes such a difference if one is dressed well here. Not only that it makes one feel better.

Today I made myself a real pretty little hat from the left overs of my blue housecoat. It happens to match exactly the color of a cheap dress I bought last week. I also made a green hat to match another cheap dress I bought. So I have now 6 hats and I will make myself a black velvet cap.

Yesterday I got a new customer. The black girl who cleans my room. She saw me working on a hat and asked me to make it for her in brown.


I cannot make up my mind what to do about my room. Some people say I have to get out of this neighborhood as soon as possible while others agree that I live in my room which I like and don’t bother about the neighborhood. And it is so convenient to go where ever I want.

It is now Saturday at 9:00 p.m. Leonard has some work to do so we came here to the office in the pouring rain.

It’s good to have friends everywhere.

Reinhardt on the set of midsummer's nights dream

Max Reinhardt and cast on the set of a production of Midsummer Nights Dream

Last night we were again together with the portrait painter and his wife. They have a car very similar to Lu’s only it is a DeSoto. As usual first dinner then a so-so movie and a cup of coffee afterwards. He had trouble finding a place to park so a policeman just put the sign “no parking” away. It’s good to have friends everywhere. Next Saturday the four of us want to see a “MidSummer Night’s Dream” under the direction of Max Reinhardt.

I finally talked to Aunt Fanny and made a date with her for next Tuesday. At work we were very busy this past week. Another company worked in our place and I do not know why. I helped them there.

I pretended not to understand any English and heard them talk about me.

I pretended not to understand any English and heard them talk about me. One said that I was very slow–so what else is new. And then another said I did such very good work. That is much more important to me.

One of the ladies from the other company asked me for my address and phone number. They are not sure if they are coming back to work with us next week and she would like me to come to work for them. I was really surprised that she picked me from 8 other girls who work much faster than I but it proved to me that I know something, even if they cannot use me [next week].

Broges! Family!

Otherwise there is not much to tell, except that a brother of Julius Seckbach was run over by a car and died on the way to the hospital. It happened on the day when Rose and her husband were going to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. Of course that was canceled. After all he was her husband’s brother.

Did I tell you that Henny insulted her sister in law very much and nobody could convince her to apologize until several weeks later. The day before I moved out she finally called her and asked Rose to forgive her. Actually I had on Opa’s insistence planned to rent a room from Rose, but because those 2 were feuding I did not do it. Just as well. But I am glad they made up.

Flora Mae

Flora Mae

I have no idea what is going to happen to Henny’s plans to go to Florida. The legal aspects with Julius are not finished yet and her money from working at the Fair is slowly running out. She is now again selling Xmas postal cards. A very big business here.

I was with her last Tuesday and will go again tomorrow evening. It takes me at least 1 hr to get home from her. Thursday night I was at Samuels. It takes 1½ hr. each way. That is like going from Ffm Center [Downtown Frankfurt] to Hamburg.

This afternoon Leonard and I picked up his adorable Flora Mae again. She and I get along great and I have been playing games with her. As usual we 3 had dinner at the Madison Park Hotel.

It is only 4½ more years before I can become an American citizen.

Madison Park Hotel

Madison Park Hotel in later years

If this letter is kind of messed up it is because I am using the typewriter and I have to look at the letters all the time. I have been typing for over 1 hr now. It is awfully slow when one is as bad a typist as I am.

I try to correspond with some of the people of the boat and every day I hear of more refugees who are coming here. It is only 4½ more years before I can become an American citizen. How the time flies.

Love and kisses,

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November 25, 1934 “His lawyer was very nasty but we had a very nice, understanding Judge.”

November 25, 1934 “His lawyer was very nasty but we had a very nice, understanding Judge.”

Nov 24, 1934

My dears!

Yesterday I received Doddo’s nice letter. Thank you for the photos from your new apartment. It looks very nice.

I am looking forward to some home-baked cookies from you. Here I get nothing home baked and the stuff they sell I do not like very much, which is just as well so I do not gain too much weight.

I have not met anybody who could advise about Lou’s [welding] business. Did he receive the folders I sent from the fair?

And now to a very interesting week

And now to a very interesting week. After I finished my letter in Leonard’s office on Sunday night we did a little more straightening out and then walked home. He lives only about ½ mile from me and always walks me home first.

Monday, as usual I went to work. As usual for lunch I had 2 cups of milk and 2 sweet rolls and in the evening Aunt Henny visited me in my castle. Since I have an unusually big bed she spent the night with me and we slept very well together.

We all four went together to court.

Julius without dark glasses or cane.

Tuesday morning we ate breakfast together and were at 9:30 a.m. in Mr. Grossberg’s, her lawyer’s, office where we met Alfred Hamburger. We all four went together to court. Julius was there already wearing dark glasses and a cane. One week ago his eyes were still perfect. His lawyer was very nasty but we had a very nice, understanding Judge. I could not very well control myself sometimes and laughed with everybody, which as a witness I should not have done maybe.

The only thing the 2 lawyers agreed on was the fact they both wanted me to be heard as a witness. When the judge saw me he said, loud, “A nice looking bone of contention!

After several questions the judge asked me where I learned my English and declared that I spoke better than some of the lawyers. The Judge and I mixed a lot of German into our questions and answers. He is Jewish and from Germany too, close to 70 years old.

I let him know that I did not want to testify against Julius, since after all he had signed the papers for me to come here. Anyway we [Henny] won. Julius is supposed to pay Henny a small amount every week and pay her lawyer.

After court, Henny was herself again.

After leaving the court building Henny was herself again, just like when I first came here. She was so happy it was all over. Mr. Grossberg then took all of us to a very fancy lunch.

Since I had a terrible toothache and the day was ½ done anyhow, Henny took me to a dentist who took an x-ray for 50¢ and pulled the tooth which was very infected.

It was pouring rain and since I was not very careful I have been running around with a swollen cheek for several days from a cold. I have swallowed more aspirin, etc., in the last few days than I have in my whole life. How I was wishing Dr. Samuel was here. Tonight I bought another pain killer which was supposed to be 25¢. I only had 17¢ on me and the druggist let me have it anyhow on my promise to pay him the 8¢ tomorrow.

From a Delicious Dinner to a Drugstore Counter

Lunch Counter

A Walgreens Lunch Counter (1930s)

Anyhow back to Tuesday. Alfred Hamburger took us to a delicious dinner. The next evening I had a date with Gabby’s boyfriend “Hardy” Oberlander. He has been in the USA 8 months already. The first 4 months he spent with his father in N.Y. He has very rich relatives in Chicago. So far he is doing nothing and does not know how long he will stay here.

We went to see a lousy movie and then went for a bite to a drug store. No matter how I describe this I do not think you can picture it. We sit on a high stool at a long bar table and eat or drink–no liquor. That is the way I ate my dinner last night, before I went to visit Aunt Fanny, finally.

Continued Sunday 11/25

Aunt Fanny is a Very Nice Lady

Aunt Fanny is a very nice lady. She sends her very best regards to you. She has 2 daughters and 1 son and 1 adopted child from a sister. Besides she has 10 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

She of course told me why she and Aunt Jenny are not speaking. But actually I could not care less. Each tells me her side of the story and I am no judge to figure out who is right and who is wrong. Actually I believe Fanny more than Weils. She is more down to earth like we are. I spent a lot of time with her. She had so much to tell me. What she had to go through during the 5 years her husband was sick etc.

Dining Room, LasSalle Hotel

Palm Room, LaSalle Hotel

Unfortunately none of the children were there. One had to stay home because her husband is sick. The other and the son live too far away. We went to visit the 3rd one in her beautiful millinery store just 2 blocks away. Her nephew Alfred Schmidt, son of Kathe, was supposed to come that evening but he had to work late as a waiter in the beautiful La Salle Hotel. She thinks he is a very nice young man. Exactly the opposite was Weils told me. It is too bad when sisters are so unfriendly to each other. It was a real nice evening and now that I know her I hope to see her more often.

They are not rich people but very nice

Slowly I am learning to know my family. They are not rich people but very nice. She asked about everybody. Some I knew and some I have no idea. She only corresponds with Aunt Dortche and not very much.

It is too bad she lives so far from me. It always takes so much time to go from one place to the other. Chicago is sooo big. It’s lucky that it only cost 7¢ from one end to the other.

The Boss and the Night Watchman

That evening my big 75 yr old boss even paid for my carfare. I had to finish some work and was the last one to leave. While I was getting ready to leave I talked to the night watchman and found out he too came from Germany. He told me that the boss, who was leaving at the same time talks German too. He and I got on the same streetcar and had a nice conversation. That makes the trip seem much shorter.

From The Merry Widow to a MidSummer Night’s Dream

Merry Widow

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Yesterday after stopping at the dentist for a pain killer I went in the middle of the day all alone in a movie “The Merry Widow” with Maurice Chevalier. Excellent of course. Herman Bing, brother of my ex-boss, Gus, had a nice movie part in it too–very funny.

In the evening we met again the portrait painter and [his friend] and we went to see A MidSummer Night’s Dream under the direction of Max Reinhard — excellent — at the Auditorium Theatre.

Auditorium Theater from Chuckan's Collection

Auditorium Theatre

We met another young couple and the 6 of us went to Leonard’s office for a drink. We all were in a real good mood and went together laughing and singing to a little restaurant on State Street for some “Hot Dogs.” Do you know what that is? It’s a Frankfurter sausage inside a soft bun. It is a favorite food here for young and old. With or without ketchup and onions and pickles!

Today I slept almost all day

Today I slept almost all day. As you can imagine I really needed it. Now since 6:00 p.m. we are both working in Leonard’s office. I really wanted to use the typewriter but I think it would take too long. I still write faster by hand. Does by any chance my book on shorthand still exist? Last week I was going to make myself some notes in shorthand but I seem to have forgotten how, completely.

Yesterday I received a card from Ladislaus Justus. I wrote him a postal card 2 months ago. He asked me to write to him real detailed about the past few years. He would like so much to hear from us again. Is it not comical what correspondence I am having? I also heard that Hans Wertheimer who is in Chicago since a very short time. He is staying in one of the most expensive Hotels here. This really has been a hectic week but I think I reported enough to you. Now I do not know anything else to tell you.

Please ask Liss what will happen to the goose for my birthday this year.

Greetings and kisses,
your Trudelchen

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