Monthly Archives: October 1935

October, 1935 – Letters, Letters, Letters – “I see her face light up as she reads…”

October, 1935 –  Letters, Letters, Letters – “I see her face light up as she reads…”

Trudel’s notes are brief but we have a long love letter from Leonard to Trudel’s family, full of love and sweetness.

Her translations for October, 1935 contain only short entries, in the “diary” style she adopted after translating the first thirteen months of letters which took 250 handwritten pages. I wish she had kept the original letters after translating them so that I could get them translated now, but in her practical way, once she had extracted the information she wanted, she threw the originals away. It’s funny, she used to save everything, but as she got into her mid-80s she started “simplifying.” I think that may be one reason she started the translation project.

Fortunately her files also include a typewritten letter from my eventual father, to her family. Enjoy.

Temple Sholom

Temple Sholom

Rosh HaShana at Temple Sholom.
New photo for our anniversary.

Nothing special. Only that on Sukkos the synagogue was only ½ as big as on the high holidays. The whole wall with the ark and the altar was moved to the front.

Trudel and LJJ

Not their anniversary portrait

Typewritten letter from Leonard to Trudel’s family after receiving radiogram from them congratulating Trudel and Leonard on their engagement.

October 7th, 1935

My Dear Father, Lotta, and Erna:

Again I must thank you for the loving vibrations coming our way, especially since dear Father’s birthday. The radiogram was so “Schneidig” but Lotta dear, your letter to me, and dear Erna’s letter to my darling Trudel gave us a slow motion picture, which speeded up as we read of your first emotions. But while you write a beautiful German, with a splendid penmanship Lotta dear, Trudelchen has told me you speak a lovely English, so why not let me in on it in your next? Now you can call me anything you wish, sister, but I am “in law” all day long and I want to be closer to you that just “Schwager.” Can’t I be a brother to you girls? And Lottie, if I am your brother I’ll spell your name right next time.

I can read your lines, but I am not as good a scholar as Trudel, who translates your letters to me just as if she was reading English, without one moment’s hesitation. Her English is remarkably fluent, and when she reads your German letters to me in English I get a double joy out of them, for I hear the tender music of her voice, see her face brighten up as she reads, and feel your loving thoughts for both of us as we thus read your welcome letters over and over again. If the idea of the record was nice, as you say, it was Trudel’s idea so far as I was concerned. She’s just full of bright ideas.

Of course I could not still the love notes in my voice if I wanted to, and I don’t want to, because dear ones, I am in love. I agree with you Lotte, that you could write oftener without breaking any American laws, and your letters would be so welcome. Trudel has told me, not alone of the many happy Sundays, but of the many happy days with you and Erna, and her dear Father. How devoted all of you were in aiding her happy departure from home she has told me, each in your own way doing all you could, for which I thank you, for it was to me you sent her, even if you didn’t know it at the time.

The greatest happiness you can give Trudel, and it may surprise her if it’s true, is to hear that things go better with you all. Only a place everlasting in your hearts, and your happiness, is all she needs, for she worries and wonders, when she reads the papers and reads between the lines. But no word will she ever speak to satisfy American curiosity. Verstehst? But we were pleasantly surprised with the key ring “Schlüssel Schone” as dear Father calls it, because it’s so much more elegant, even than the one she brought with her, and gave to me, which is pretty well worn out by now. Thank you for mine, Lotta, and you Erna for hers, and you dear Daddy for getting the girls to get them for us.

My mouth is watering already for the home made cookies “butter plaetschen.” Yum yum. Love can span the highest mountains and the farthest seas. So the distance will not always keep us apart because Trudel dear is attached to you, and I love you for what you mean to her. Now that we’ve crossed the ocean, let’s see what’s next in your letter, Lotta? I gave dear Trudelchen the kiss you asked me to give her. Now that I gave her a kiss for you that’s one you owe me.

And dear Erna your lovely English gave me a thrill. But it’s nothing unusual for one of the Adler girls to thrill me. And while you did not write a long note to me in Lottie’s letter, yours to precious Trudel was doubly appreciated by her. I felt the love with your greetings just as you wrote it, and your description in Trudel’s letter had us drinking in every word.

What a lucky man I am, with the love of three wonderful girls all mine for life, for the one I have near me will be my wife, and you two, who are near my heart tho many miles away, can understand how close I must feel to you and Father dear who sacrificed much, as I am sure you all did, to make dear Trudel’s coming her possible.

And now that I have written you a small sized book, Trudel says not to worry, that you have a large English-German dictionary. Maybe someone will be using it again, if I write too often.

Trudel fasted well, and we have just had the first meal after her 24 hour fast. She had anchovies, cold cuts, boiled beef tongue, spinach, beans, peas, three cups of coffee, I forgot the chicken soup, sherry wine, baked potato, orange sherbet, salad. You see I got it mixed up some in the order I just served it to you, but after a fast I guess the supper got mixed up as she ate and ate and ate.

“Ein Fresser wed nicht geborn, er Wirt Gemacht” sagt Trudel sagt Papa, sie sagt. You see I am pounding the typewrite and talking or reading out loud as I write, so every once in a while she pops up with a bright remark and if I don’t watch out I’ll be writing what she says instead of what I started out to write.

The only reason I am addressing so many of these remarks to you my sisters, and not more to Daddy dear, is that I have not yet received a letter from him, but a letter is not necessary, dear Father, till you get used to the idea of your fourth child. Many a man has been shocked late in life, to discover someone handed him a child he never knew was his. And when the strange voice calls “daddy” it sometimes is too much to answer right away. I only hope your happiness approaches ours. I pray God to make me worthy of the blessed sunshine you all have sent into my life.
With a heart full of love to you Father dear, and fond sisters Lottie and Erna, in which precious Trudel joins,

Affectionately yours,



Posted by on October 31, 1935 in diary, family, immigrant experience, Letters


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