Monthly Archives: April 1935

April 1, 1935 “That is not an April Fools joke”

April 1, 1935   “That is not an April Fools joke”

April 1, 1935

My Dear Ones:

Today I am again using my lunchtime to write to you, otherwise I will be too busy. That is not an April Fools joke.

First of all I want to answer your nice letter, since Papa always claims I do not do that.

You ask if I can save any money. Yes, I do. Last week I put $10 in my savings account. It was high time; I had very, very little left there. During the quiet time, between seasons, I used up almost all my savings. Now I am earning $12 to $14 every week besides my private customers. My room is $3.50 a week. For a meal I spend about $4 – If I am not invited often. Transportation about $1 – and then of course postage stamps, soap, laundry, shoe repairs, hosiery, etc.* I do some errands for Leonard.

Besides, breakfast and dinners Saturdays and Sundays and once in a while during the week are paid by him.

So please, each of you can write what just comes to your mind. Do not worry that one of the others might have written it already. So far I have never gotten any news twice. Just the opposite, I have to guess sometimes what you are trying to tell me.

Is Papa going to Dr. Billigheimer? If so, please give him my best regards, next time you see him. I gave all your messages to diverse people. I have not talked to Weils lately but will call them next week.

What gives you the impression that Julius S has a lot of money? I am not so sure. The 2 of them [Trudel’s Uncle Julius and Aunt Henny] got together somehow last week and made up again. Henrietta [Henny] will tell me more when I go to see her tonight. The Saunders [a family with whom Trudel often eats supper] are not Jewish, but very nice people.

Erna 1935


Now to Ernales’ letter, you great poet. Yes, it was really high time I received a nice photo of you. Yesterday I wrote Alex a long birthday letter. I hope it was not too stupid since I was very tired when I wrote.

Back of Photo

Back of Erna's Photo**

Shrove Tuesday is not popular here, but Ash Wednesday is important. How is Hedwig? By the time you receive this letter I hope she and her kids will have forgotten that they were ill.

I wrote a long letter to Hamburgers and also one to Mrs. Brown. No answers yet. Last week, I wrote a detailed letter to Justus. Never heard again from Victor. Do not know what to write to Pohl, since you say he got married.

I can understand well why Papa does not want to kiss me with my lipstick lips. I can understand very well. But do not worry, I do use very little lipstick.
To take off the makeup I use a “cold cream” or “cleansing cream.” Cover the face lightly, leave it on for a few minutes. Then wipe it off with cotton or Kleenex. That’s all. Now I believe I have answered all your questions.

Now comes my weekly report on the streetcar on the way home from Aunt Henny:

Chicago Street Car


Last week Henny and Julius were for the last time in court and settled for $150. That is the amount which would be due her if they got a divorce in one year after living separately that long. He claimed that he borrowed that money from his brother or nephew.

Aunt Henny is working in politics and real estate. She seems to earn enough to get along. For her birthday I made her a beautiful brown straw hat. She liked it very much and bought a bottle of wine of which I had one cup full. She has no glasses in her room.

I wrote you before that I had a letter from a new company last Saturday. I started to work there Monday at 8:30 am and like it very much. The place is only 10 minutes from my room. From the window on the 18th floor I can see the Devonshire Hotel and with binoculars I could probably see right into Leonard’s room.
Enclosed photos taken from Leonard’s room just miss the building where I am now working. It would be the next one to the right.

From the 18th Floor

From the 18th Floor

My working hours here are great. 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, 1 hour lunchtime, and 4:30 closing. And then I am right downtown to spend my money. Last Monday I was in bed at 7:00 pm already, 1 hr manicure, 1 hour crocheting and 9 pm lights out to go to sleep.

Tuesday night I surprised Leonard in his office and we went to eat together. Since he had an appointment, I went home and was in bed by 10:30 pm. Wednesday I was as usual at Gwen’s.

View from the Room

View from the Devonshire?

Thursday I went right from work to Leonard’s office to help him pack. He is moving his office again for a change. We worked until 1:30 am. Friday evening at Samuels, where I feel very much at home. And Saturday office moving. At 5:00 pm the furniture movers left. I was already wearing a house dress and put a smock over it. Leonard wore an old suit and shirtsleeves. After a very good supper we left the new office at 5:30 Sunday morning, after everything was in order and looked good.

at Night

Night View

12 hours later we were there again. AT 7:00 pm we decided to put all of his about 1000 books in order. That was a real job. And I have to admit we did a very good job. When we left at 2:00 am it all looked really good and ready for a lot of clients. What results will come I hope to be able to tell you soon. That should do it for today.

Loads of love, greetings, and kisses.


*A short list of some elements of the cost of living for 1935 can be found at
**I found this photo in what I believe was Erna’s photo album. The back of the photo, which was trimmed for the album, is addressed to Trudel and is dated April 25, 1935, twenty days after Trudel wrote this letter. So it may be a copy of the same photo or another.

Photos on this page are from family albums with the exception of the streetcar which is from Chuckman’s Collection.


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April 7, 1935 “Talking about the weather -Today it is snowing pretty much while yesterday it was beautiful sunshine.”

April  7, 1935   “Talking about the weather -Today it is snowing pretty much while yesterday it was beautiful sunshine.”

April 7, 1935
671 N. Dearborn St.

My Dearest Dear Ones:

Madison Park Hotel

Madison Park Hotel

Since I forgot my fountain pen and do not see any ink here, I will write this with the silver pencil from Doddo [Trudel’s oldest sister].  It is Sunday afternoon and I am sitting here in the Madison Park Hotel waiting for Leonard.  And you want to know what is new here. 

Last night we saw a very good movie:  “Enter Madame.”  By the way, they are always showing pictures of Germany during the news in the movies and in the papers.  Last week they showed the “Bockenheimer Warte.”  2 weeks ago there was a picture electronically transmitted, and I immediately said it was printed backwards, because the swastika on Hitler’s shirt sleeve was reversed.  Of course I was right.  A few days later the same picture in another paper was correct.

Enter Madam

Enter Madam

Last Friday at Samuels I read the FFM edition of the “Hamburger Family News” and discovered several new news items.  For instance that Liebermann and old Hauck have died.  I felt really stupid that I did not know about it.  You know things like that are still interesting to me, so I do not look too stupid in some company.  In that paper I also read something about an orchestra conductor named Wolff.  Is he the young man from “Amizitia” living on Eschersheimer Landstrasse?  
Bockenheimer Tower

Backenheimer Tower

I am very happy in my new job.  Several of the girls worked also for Budwig (my first job here).  I altered a hat for mother Samuel and she liked it very much.  The 2 piece dress I crocheted for Gwen is finally finished and delivered on Wednesday.  It looks so nice that I am considering making one for myself.

What would you expect if the menu said: “German Pot Roast”?  I was until now always afraid to order it.  Now I know what it is actually, and I like it.*

Yesterday I saw something really funny.  I was in a grocery store to buy “Lux” soap flakes.  There was a young girl, about 15 or 16 years old, in a spring sport coat (it was almost summer weather), no hat, on roller skates, cigarette in her beak, and a fox terrier on a leash.  She was shopping too.  I really had to laugh.

Lux Ad

Lux Soap Ad (1935)

Talking about the weather,   Since I had nothing better to do, I tried on my whole summer wardrobe and gave Mrs. Saunders a fashion show while she washed a few things for me.  Then I took 6 pieces of my wardrobe to the cleaners.

Some clothes are really jinxed.  I am sure the first time I will wear my green dress after I get it back from cleaning, I will spill something on it.  This happens every time.  4 times in a row. 

Thursday was such beautiful weather I did not feel like staying home.  I walked downtown and after dinner Leonard and I went to a movie again, a very thrilling romance, “Bordertown”.  Afterwards, I walked leisurely home again. 

Click image for YouTube

On Tuesday I was already in bed at 7:30 pm but crocheted until about 10:00 pm.  It does not hurt to go to bed early once in a while. 

Friday night I dreamed that Ernale [Trudel’s other sister] had a beautiful ring made from Mother’s diamond and pearl brooch.  The pretty little gold ring from Aunt Frieda I thought I had lost 2 weeks ago — I found it luckily a week later.   I am not wearing it all the time now.  Apparently my fingers have gotten thinner and I do not want to lose it for good. 

By the time you receive this letter it will be Passover already.  Anyway I will eat in a kosher restaurant downtown and try to get some invitations at Samuels.  The other Jewish people I know here do not know much about Judaism.  Hopefully they will not have to learn it some days, what and who they are.

How are Hedwig and children? And all other friends?  Please give everybody my very best regards.

I am sending you herewith the photo I forgot to enclose last time.

Love, Greetings, and Kisses for you,
Your loving daughter & sister


PS We just met Hans Werthan at the restaurant.  He sat with us for a few minutes and took again my address and phone number which he had lost.  He sends you best regards.

Here is one recipe for German Pot Roast


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April 12, 1935 ” I am just thinking how much we laughed…”

April 12, 1935 ” I am just thinking how much we laughed…”


My very dear Bubele:*

Everything good and best wishes etc, etc, to you. I hope that both my letters to you with some underwear arrived OK. One I sent to your job and the other home. Hopefully they fit you and you like them and that you will wear them in good health and happiness. I am just thinking how much we laughed when one year ago today we tried to arrange the gift for Alex in our dining room.

Trudel profile with hats


I am again writing in my lunch time. It is very nasty outside. Rain and strong wind. It is hard to walk. My black rain coat is sure welcome now. Tuesday night when I was again at Aunt Henny, I took the fur off my gray coat. I like it almost better that way.

Monday I finally had a haircut again. I like it that way – real short.

While waiting for Leonard in his office on Wednesday I wrote a few letters again, called a few people, including Fanny Ratzenstein, whom I could not reach. I also for the first time took some business calls for Leonard. I am a little cautious about that. I always think people will not understand me on the phone. But I had no difficulties.

Trudel's Warm Gray Coat

Trudel's Warm Gray Coat (with fur)

Last night I was in bed at 8:30 p.m. but did some sewing until 10:00 p.m. I wrote you that I had to make my brown skirt tighter. That is not finished yet. I should make all my clothes tighter on the bottom, which indicates that I am getting a more adjusted figure.

Tonight I will go to Samuels again. They had their 2nd grandchild on Sunday and will have the bris next Sunday.

Aunt Jenny met Julius S two weeks ago but only talked with him very shortly. When I go to them for dinner tomorrow she will tell me what they talked about.

My ink has run out again so I have to continue with pencil. Actually there is not much I have to tell you today. No wonder – this is letter #13 for this year.

Yes, I think this is all my dumb brains can get together today.

For all of you, heartiest greetings and kisses. A special birthday kiss for you, dear Bubele.

Your loving


“Bubele” was Trudel’s sister Erna, whose birthday was in late April. Alex eventually became Erna’s husband. The next day LJG wrote a handwritten Birthday greeting to Erna.
LJG Birthday Greetings

Letter to Erna

Click on the thumbnail to see the letter at a legible size. A typescript of the letter is set forth below.

April 13, 1935

Dear Erna:

Happy birthday to you. Many jolly returns of the day! The day you were born was and is an important event in dear Trudel’s life – even tho’ it first occurred three years before she was even a bright idea in her Father’s mind. How much you mean to her — How much happiness your thoughtful love has always meant to my sweetheart you can never know, and makes you very precious to me. Instead of writing you congratulations, I wish I could embrace my precious sister with a birthday kiss. But I can only wish you all the happiness you may wish for yourself, and look forward to the day when I can tell you what a wonderful girl I think you must be because are not you and Trudel made of the same material? With a heart full of love to you, Lotta and Father – who must be congratulated on your birthday, for without him, would such a joy as Erna ever bring my darling’s adoration?




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April 18, 1935 – “We did not laugh as much as last night in a long time.”

April 18, 1935  –  “We did not laugh as much as last night in a long time.”


My Sweet Goldchildren,

After a delicious yonteff* dinner we just landed in Leonard’s office with big filled stomachs. We feel too heavy to go home right away. And how do the matzos taste to you this year?

Trudel’s First Passover in America

Last evening, first seder, we ate at the same kosher restaurant as tonight. The difference was the fact that we participated in a seder last night and today only dinner. We did not laugh as much as last night in a long time. They had one large table and several small ones. Of course we sat at a small one. Since the service took so long and we were very hungry, we emptied our goblets with very good red wine every time. You can imagine the result! The seder was very good, but not many melodies like at home, only a very few.

County Chairman

The County Chairman

The dinner was excellent both evenings. Of course the matzo ball soup was not so [good] that Lu could claim he could not eat anything else after 2 bowls full. They did not serve sour/sweet carp either. But very delicious almond torte and macaroons.

Tonight, Thursday night, it went very fast and was finished including dinner at 9:30 pm. We both were in such a good mood with our tummies full that we did not feel like going home. So we went to a movie. Very funny, just right for the mood we were in: “The County Chairman.”

On Tuesday night we were in a movie too. Very serious and good: “David Copperfield.”

David Copperfield

David Copperfield

And before I forget, I want to tell you the funniest thing that happened to me this week. Sunday as usual Flora Mae had dinner with us and Leonard took her home. We did not feel like going on that long bus trip home so we went to see an excellent film, “Clive of India” right there in Hyde Park. They have a new game there and I won a free pass. Unfortunately it is only good on weekdays. I gave it to Aunt Henny when I was there on Monday night and I expect we will use it frequently.


Clive of India

Saturday I ate at Weil’s and Leonard joined us later. It was nice as usual. I had brought along my photo album and they enjoyed looking at old friends and relatives. Friday night I was again at Samuels. Clem’s fiancé is now one or two days in New York. Did he ever visit you? Neither he or you wrote anything about that.

I do not know what is wrong with me tonight, that I tell everything backwards.

Sears Spring Ad 1935

Spring Fashions

And now something very new. Especially for myself: a navy blue spring coat for $16, navy blue shoes $3.69, purse and 6 pair of hose, also a light blue blouse for my blue suit. One never knows how the weather may be Easter Sunday. If it is like last Sunday I need only my blue suit. But if it is like last Monday I need also the coat over the suit, besides galoshes, raincoat, umbrella and maybe warm underwear. In any case I will be prepared.


Sports Coats on Sale

When I turn around in my chair now, I see what you can see on the enclosed snapshot. That photo was taken after a week in the new office. Now there are so many books and papers on the desk that you cannot see the desktop. In a few minutes he will have it cleared and we shall go home. I do not feel like going alone.

This week we were not very busy at work so I even worked short hours. That of course is the result of that crazy weather. Hopefully it will be nice on Sunday. Then we will get busy again.

LJG at (temporarily cleared) Desk

I suppose that finishes my report for today. I hope the matzos agreed well with you. I bought a box for myself. For breakfast during Passover, I have been eating 2 matzos, 2 hard boiled eggs and 1 cup of coffee. The ham or bacon, what usually comes with the breakfast, I cut out this week.

I am writing you tonight since I want to make a hat for myself in my lunchtime tomorrow.

I am your loving


  • “Yonteff” is a Yiddish variant of Yom Tov — Hebrew for holiday. Literally “Good Day.”
  • “Leonard,” sometimes referred to as “Len” or LJG would become my father.
  • Flora Mae was LGJ’s 6 year old daughter by a previous marriage. My half-sister.


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April 26, 1935 – “Celebrate every happy occasion as it comes!”

April 26, 1935 – “Celebrate every happy occasion as it comes!”


My dear ones,

This morning I went back home to get writing paper and then I forgot Papa’s letter which I wanted to answer. Trudel! Where are your brains? And there was so much I wanted to answer. Well, next time.

Today is such a beautiful summer day, that one can forget everything else.



I did receive Erna’s postal card from Bergstrasse. It would be gorgeous there in weather like we have here today. I also had a nice letter from Hedwig, telling me about the engagement of Walter Loeb and Elsbeth Haas. How did they get together? Haas are rich friends of Trums.

Papa always claims that I do not answer everything but my sisters do not answer anything. But I am OK anyhow!

Mr. Eggner, Clem Samuel’s fiancé, arrived well and happy here on Monday finally. He only fell out of his bed twice on his trip here. I do not know if he had the lower or upper. I have not talked to him yet but expect to do so tonight. I am nosy to see what is in the package.

Do you remember one year ago today when I spilled the whipped cream in the staircase? I am not sure which day I should celebrate, 5/17 when I arrived in NY or 5/29 when I arrived in Chicago. Aunt Henny thinks I should celebrate both days. As our dear mother used to say: “Celebrate every happy occasion as it comes!”

Since [for the first time in] a long time I heard the Hungarian Rhapsody again on the radio. Of course I danced to it in front of Mrs. Saunders.

Friday I was at Samuels. Two young German fellows, who I had met earlier, were there also.

It took a real big effort, but I finally went again to a dentist. He cleaned my teeth thoroughly and I have an appointment for tomorrow for 2 fillings. Then I took a walk around downtown in my pretty new Easter clothes (paid for mostly by Leonard) in beautiful weather. I bought Leonard a very beautiful black leather briefcase as an Easter present. You see dear Daddy, it all gets paid back. You should know me well enough that I do not expect anything for nothing, and neither do anything for nothing. Did I ever stamp one of your order books without getting 5¢ for each?

Chicago Street Car


Now I am continuing in the streetcar on my way to Samuels. We closed ½ hour earlier today. So I am taking the streetcar instead of the bus, so I can write better.

So, Saturday afternoon I stayed home, sewing, washing, manicure, etc. At 6:00 pm I met Gwen and Ed in Leonard’s office. Of course they got married last July. We went for supper and dancing to the Terrace Gardens in the Morrison Hotel, my favorite place, since Leonard took me there on our first date. It is a real nice place. They have an excellent “floor show”: dancing girls, singers, etc. This time they had something extra good. They always have some comic on the program. This man was exceptionally good. Without saying a word, he mimicked a man taking a cold bath on Saturday night. He was excellent. I cannot remember seeing anything that good.

Terrace Garden, Morrison Hotel

Terrace Garden, Morrison Hotel

Sunday afternoon we were together with Flora Mae as usual, in wonderful Easter weather. Then we went to the other end of Chicago to Grace Gray for supper. She and her husband are such delightful people. In August they are planning to move to Florida and would like to take both of us along.

Sweet Music Poster

Sweet Music

Monday night Aunt Henny came downtown and Leonard took us to the kosher restaurant for supper. Of course we enjoyed the food. Afterwards the three of us went to the movies: “Sweet Music,” very enjoyable. At the “week’s revue” they showed a seder at a home of old orthodox people.

Tuesday night I made “Easter cleaning.” But I did it a very easy way. Through my window I could see that the room across from mine was empty. So I took all my belongings and moved into that freshly cleaned, sunnier, nicer room. It is 50¢ cheaper a week than the old room. That will pay for a new pair of stockings each week! Mrs Saunders helped me and in three hours we were all finished.

Wednesday morning Leonard woke me at 7:00 am with a phone call. He had stayed all night at the office and asked me to join him for breakfast downtown instead of the Devonshire Hotel restaurant as usual. Of course I went. I really admire how he can get away with so little sleep. Of course he frequently falls asleep at his desk in the office.

Wednesday evening I had supper with Mrs. Saunders and then finally finished my brown skirt.

Schillerplatz and Hauptwache

Schillerplatz and Hauptwache

A man on the radio has been telling stories about things that happened during and after the war. I heard him for the first time yesterday and he told about something that happened in FFM [Frankfurt] at the “Schiller” Plaza near the “Hauptwache.”

Yes, I ate again at Mrs. Saunders last night and that brings me to the end of this “report.” My stomach is growling and my brains seem to have dried out from the unusual warm weather. Maybe I [will] lose some weight by the rest of this ride.

My heartiest greetings and kisses

Your loving Trudel

Handwritten by LGJ in English across the top of Trudel’s letter:
I am looking forward to the butter cookies – Leonard


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