Monthly Archives: February 1935

February 8, 1935 – I always find things to talk and write about.

February 8, 1935 –  I always find things to talk and write about.

Feb 8, 1935

Beloved Adölfchen — I mean my dear Papa, and dear Lazy Sisters,

Today I am going to write on the typewriter for a change. Do you know I have not had a word from you two girls. I do not know if you are interested but I always find things to talk and write about.

Let’s see what happened this week. Saturday I was all afternoon at Weils. For lunch we had lentil soup and sausage, the first time since I am here–now 8 months. After we ate, Aunt Jenny showed me old pictures and we had to hold our tummies we were laughing so hard. For supper we had boiled chicken and rice and several vegetables. For dessert they served delicious homemade cake. If I would eat with them more often I would really gain a lot of weight.


The Weils

After dinner Alice made some delicious candy and I ate quite a bit of that too and took some home with me.

Leonard is right now extremely busy. Next month we have an election for mayor of the city and Leonard is working for the 1st woman ever running for that office.

Sunday nothing special going. Sleep very late, read the paper, very late dinner or supper as they call it here. Working crossword puzzle, crocheting, playing slot machines (and losing money) in the lobby of the Hotel Devonshire where Leonard lives. Early to bed.

Grace Gray Story from the Reading Times

Click for full story

Monday–only work from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Before work walking around downtown and finally bought a map of Chicago, which I will mail to you next week. Had dinner with the people in the house, worked on some hats and went early to sleep.

Tuesday–no work. So I stayed home all day in miserable weather working on hats for Gwen, Aunt Henny and myself. I also found time to straighten some drawers, washing, ironing, sewing, darning all things that were really very necessary.

Worlds Fair Map


Wednesday we worked but short hours again. In the evening I was again at Gwen Bishop’s and stayed overnight. Thursday evening after work I visited Aunt Henny and brought her her new summer hats. Unfortunately they were not exactly right and they had to make the trip to the North Side again.

Can you imagine this: Julius Seckbach visited her last Saturday and begged her to get together with him again. He wanted to take a place with a kitchen and was going to take care of her! Do you agree that he is meshuga?


The Weils

Yesterday, Friday night I was again at Weils. At my special wish they had bouillon soup with matzo klos, (matzah balls) even Liss would have enjoyed it. It was so delicious that after the 2nd serving we really did not have to eat anything else. But they served soup meat and creamed spinach as I like it. Not just cooked leaves as they serve it here. It sounds almost as if I would not eat decently otherwise, but the Weils keep a good German-Jewish kitchen–it just tastes so very good to me. Like at home.

I almost forgot to mention the dessert. Breadcake with wine sauce. But I got strawberry Jello instead.

After dinner Aunt Jenny took me to the synagogue in their neighborhood and she introduced me to the very nice Rabbi. The service was very similar to what I am used to. I understood most of the sermon and the songs were mostly like the West End Synagogue in Frankfurt. I expect to go there more often in the future.

West End Synagogue

West End Synagogue Ffm

Yesterday I talked to Mrs. Greenfelder (sister in law of Mr. Stern) on the phone. She is going to Florida next week.

This morning I went to Saks 5th Ave., where she took me once [to look for work], but as I expected they were not busy at all yet. The department head took my address and phone number and will call me if they need help.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue

This afternoon I went to see our designer. She lives in what is called the Ghetto. She is very nice and is asking a big favor of you. She was for 10 yrs in a Jewish boarding school in Hanover and would like to know if it still is in existence and who is running it.

She also was for 2 yrs in Ffm. with a family [named] Lewin. He was a jeweler, on Uhlend Str. She is French. Her little 13 yr old girl’s name is Elschen. Do you know anybody like that? She also would like to find a Heinrich Heringer with 1 glass eye, and an Abraham Ullman, both about 30 yrs old.

All of a sudden I am so tired I cannot see straight anymore.

NordDeutcher Lloyd

NordDeutcher Lloyd

Hopefully I will hear or see something from the 2 “ladies” before too long. Did you know that you can get a round trip ticket on NordDeutcher Lloyd for only $75. Isn’t that cheap?

Next time I will write by hand again. It looks like much more and still much faster. Next week I will be away from home 9 months.

Uncountable Kisses from your loving sister.


Grace Gray ran in the Chicago’s Republican mayoral primary in 1935.

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February 13, 1935 “This was the first time I was asked to talk before an audience.”

February 13, 1935 “This was the first time I was asked to talk before an audience.”

Feb 13, 35

My dear ones:

Since I did not write to you last week I want to start this now. I did send you a map of Chicago on New Year’s eve, with a menu and a photo of Gwen and and one of Leonard with Yogi Roy etc.

LJG and Yogi Roy

LJG with client Yogi Roy

Now, I guess I have to write you exactly where I go so you can find it on the map. After the last letter I wrote you I did one in English for Ilse and then fell fast asleep in the chair I was sitting. As a result we left the office very late and I slept almost all day Sunday.

I eat almost all my dinners with a lady [at her apartment]in my building. She is very nice and I fell quite at home there. I spend most evenings with her, reading the paper or sewing with the music on the radio or she plays the piano and sings too.

Last Wednesday I was again at Gwen’s. Since I sent her picture, now you know what this Goldmench looks like. Last week I was really very lazy. We did not have much work and I slept late every day.

Aunt Jenny is begging Pappa to get in touch with Aunt Dortche in regards to her will. She thinks she could give her some good advice.

Enclosed are a few photos I took recently. Last Saturday I had my picture taken and I will send you one soon. Tomorrow is “Valentine’s Day”. That is for people who are in love. That means one sends cards with hearts to anybody one likes a lot.

I had a big copy made of the photo of me, and cut some red crepe paper like a frame for it and will put it in Leonard’s room tomorrow. Since we will not see each other tomorrow. Now I received today already a 1 lb box of very delicious chocolates, in a red heart shaped box with a beautiful card.

Vintage Heart

Valentines Chocolates

Saturday night I was again in a movie. “The Iron Duke” with George Arliss, very good. When Blucher appeared on the battlefield near Waterloo he said, “It’s done!” Before the movie, 6 of us had dinner together. Alfred Hamburger and son Joe, Singers, Leonard and I.

Arliss-Iron Duke

Iron Duke

Sunday we really had a big day. I wrote you already that Leonard is working Qfor the first woman running for mayor of Chicago. He makes 3 or 4 speeches every day in different places for her. Sunday at 3 p.m. her husband picked us up with the car and drove us to the radio station in Hammond, Indiana, south of Chicago — about as far as from Buckenheim to Seckbach, just off the map I sent you.

Trudel New Year


Mrs. Grace Gray, the mayoral candidate and Leonard discussed politics with questions and answers. It was very interesting for me. We then drove back, spent almost 15 min with Flora Mae. Mrs. Gray is about 48 yrs old, Grandmother, goes daily horseback riding, both her parents are still alive and she is still married to the same man for 28 yrs. She is a wonderful, nice, smart woman.

We then drove back, spent almost 15 min with Flora Mae. The 4 of us had dinner together at the Madison Park Hotel on 51st St. and Dorchester Av. Of course at a front table so everybody could see us. You can imagine how I felt.

After supper we went to the North Side 3300 N. Broadway to a political meeting in a church where Mrs. Gray was one of the speakers. Of course Leonard did introduce her in his wonderful way.

LJG and Flora Mae

LJG and Flora Mae (click)

I met some very nice people there. We then drove to Gray’s house. 4500 N. Ashland Av. They have a beautiful house where Great grandmother, Grandmother, Mother and Child and grandchildren are living. They served chop suey and drinks and then we just sat and talked. They drove us home about midnight.

Fortunately I did not work on Monday. Mrs. Saunders where I frequently eat and I went downtown. As we stepped in a drugstore for a cup of hot chocolate somebody said “Hello” to me. It was Grace Gray. I really did not see her when we came in.

Just after we got home, Aunt Henny showed up unexpectedly. She is looking for a room in my neighborhood.

I have been asked to join the Chicago Business and Professional Women’s Club. Mrs. Gray is the President right now.

Since I went looking for a room with Aunt Henny I came so late to the meeting that Leonard, who was the guest speaker that evening, was almost finished with his speech. There were only 20 women, and which Grace Gray greeted each one separately. I was very much surprised when she asked me to tell the ladies how much I like it here. I talked for just a few minutes and said that this was the first time that I was asked to talk in front of an audience.

The ladies all commented on my good English. No wonder with a teacher like Leonard. We all left in several cars. Leonard and I with 2 ladies in Gray’s car. Mrs. Cerf and Aunt Henny with several other ladies.

We all went to visit Yogi Roy whose photo with Leonard in the newspaper I mailed you a few days ago. He is a Hindu and because of his healing methods was sued by the City. Leonard is his lawyer. The case is the talk of the town. Sure hope he wins that case. (I am writing this letter riding the “L” train on my way to Gwen Bishop.)

We spent only a short time with the Yogi, but he demonstrated how he can put a big needle in his arm without bleeding since he held his breath. Of course Leonard is studying all about that stuff and knows already more about it than the Yogi.

Yogi Roy in Court

Seeing's Believing - Click to read

After we left there we all drove to another political meeting. We were very heartily welcomed and Leonard had to speak again. Even Mr. Gray had to talk. It was a really very interesting evening for me. I hope to attend some more evenings like that before the election on Feb. 26.

We got home very late and of course I was very tired the next evening but still made a new hat for a new customer. Mrs. Saunders my friend here in the building was nice enough to deliver the hat this morning. I hope it was o.k. and she collected the money for it.

By the way I just remember to tell you that my little black suitcase has come in very handy recently. Leonard uses it for carrying books and papers to court very often. I also almost forgot to thank Ernale for her nice letter. Unfortunately I do not have it with me, so I can’t answer it now. I did not receive a postal card from Feldberg. Who were the 2 people you met in Obereifenberg? Loatte Thyson lives in Obereifenberg. She would have loved to live with you.

That is all I can think of now and my paper is at the end and I am just getting to my stop to get off and home for supper.

Millions of kisses yours,


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February 22, 1935 “The girls call each other by the same silly names as we used to do.”

February 22, 1935 “The girls call each other by the same silly names as we used to do.”

Feb 22, 1935
671 N. Dearborn St.

My very dear Goldchildren:

How do you like me? Here everybody thinks the photo is very nice. Especially Leonard, who got an enlargement for a Valentine, likes it very much.

It is exactly 3 yrs that we 3 had our pictures taken at Gabor Hirsch* and 1 yr ago today I was with the motorbike at the cemetery.

Trudel Erna Lotte

Trudel, Erna, Lotte - 1932

I guess I bought my Hyacinth bulbs too late this year. They are not blooming yet as they should today on Mother’s birthday. Did one of you go to the cemetery today?* How does the grave look? Is my geranium still alive?

I really intended to go to the synagogue tonight but I am invited at Samuels again like last Friday night. I feel very much at home with them. Father Samuel makes Kiddish. It is a household very much like ours used to be. The girls call each other by the same silly names as we used to do.

Erna Tows Trudel

Trudel and Erna 1934

Last week a brother of Mr. Samuel who is here 45 yrs was there. He lived for some time in Darmstadt. So they all talked Frankfurter and Darmstaedter German.

Dear Papa do you or did you know Leopold Hirsch and Adolf Furth? They are related to Samuels.

Last Saturday I heard Leonard for the first time talking in court, in the Yogi case. After 4 hrs the case was postponed.

On Sunday Flora Mae had her 6th birthday. I made a real cute present for her — A clothes hanger as a doll, from material from my evening dress and some red velvet. It really is very pretty. In honor of the day we took her along to the radio station in Hammond. And then she had dinner with us at the Madison Park Hotel. Besides her birthday we celebrated my being 3/4 yr in the U.S.A.

LJG Argues for Yogi Roy

Click to read story

Now that we are working full time again I can write in my lunchtime again or do something else.

I had to make my brown coat and skirt much tighter and took out enough material to make a cap for myself.

Something strange happened to me last night, while I was at Mrs. Saunders, the lady here in my house. The Landlord called to ask her if she would take a message for me. He knows we are good friends and see each other daily. He said a woman called and said she was my German friend and would like to meet me at 7:00 p.m. tonight or call her. I am supposed to have her phone number#. Well, I immediately called Claire Samuels but it was not her. Now I cannot imagine who it was. Maybe it was a hoax. Well, she can call again. Last Wed. I was as usual at Gwen’s.

I think I wrote you before that I was making hats for her and a new customer. Saturday the new customer returned hers.

Why did Erna not take her skis with her to Oberreifenberg? That would have been more fun. I did not see Aunt Henny all this week. She called me Tuesday night but I was not at home. Now I have to spend several nickels until I can reach her. Otherwise I do not know anything more today. I am very tired since I am too lazy to go to bed every night and stay up much too late. I hope to hear from you soon again.

A million kisses,
Yours Trudel.

*Gabor Hirsh was a famous German photographer. Trudel may have been talking about his studio or shop

*Trudel’s mother died in 1933, nearly a year before Trudel left Germany.

[Spoiler alert: References to “Leonard,” refer to the man who would become my father. He was Leonard Jacob Grossman. I was named Leonard Albert Grossman. Editor ]


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