Tag Archives: Christmas

December 2, 1934 “Here Santa Claus does not arrive until Xmas but I will try to celebrate on the usual date.”

December 2, 1934 “Here Santa Claus does not arrive until Xmas but I will try to celebrate on the usual date.”

Dec. 2, 1934

My dear Goldkinder,

It is again 1 week since I wrote to you last. Those seven days really go much too fast. Actually I have been writing to you too often lately and am neglecting all my other correspondence. But what am I to do if I always have so much to tell you. Yesterday I received Doddo’s nice letter with the “good luck” penny. It made me very happy. At the same time I received a birthday letter from Ilse.

The tin can from N.Y. has not arrived here yet and I am very much looking forward to it.

Here Santa Claus does not arrive until Xmas

Here Santa Claus does not arrive until Xmas but I will try to celebrate on the the usual date. [St. Nicholas Day is observed on December 6th in much of Europe. Presents were often opened the night before, which happened to be Trudel’s Birthday. Trudel’s Son]

Actually it makes sense that Santa Claus arrives here 2 weeks later. After all it took me 14 days to come here. Anyhow on my birthday it will be exactly 7 months since I left my beautiful Ffm. [Frankfurt am Main, Germany]

Trying to understand why some mail arrives opened

Isn’t it strange that only Doddo’s letter arrived opened? I used to think it was because of the business return address but the one I received yesterday had Beethoven Strasse as the return address. And it wasn’t because of that penny because Ilse’s letter had two hankies and a little box enclosed and was not opened. Anyway many many thanks for all your good wishes and the penny.

Postcard from the Rathskeller

Last Sunday after seeing “A Summer Nights Dream” in English we went to a new restaurant for a change. Just a block away from Leonard’s office. It is a real nice rathskeller, good food and nice dance music.

Monday we did not start work until 1:00 p.m., so I ate lunch with the very nice sister of Miss Samuel who works in a big department store downtown. She works on the 20th floor and when I am not busy I visit her sometimes.

By the way please excuse the ink spots in this letter. I dropped and broke my new 25¢ fountain pen.

Last week I made unintentionally a joke

Last week I made unintentionally a joke. Instead of saying about you girls sitting at your business all day I said on their business which means on top of the work.

Monday I was at Aunt Henny’s for a change. Tuesday eve I was home for a change. Actually, I was at the landlord’s. He gave me permission to sew on his sewing machine and we just visited a little afterwards with him and his wife and another couple who also live in the building. We listened to soft radio music until I thought it was time for me to retire.

Wednesday after work I went to see a German doctor who is here one year from Berlin. I got his address from a man in the wholesale millinery business.

After visiting for a little while we took the bus to the South Side together. On the way I stopped at Lindheimers who seemed very happy to see me. Since they had had supper already they heated up some German style red cabbage for me. I had not really intended to eat there but they did not let me leave until I finished the cabbage and the sausage. That is the big difference. Americans offer one only a cigarette or candy.

Aunt Henny took me to a new very rich customer

Then I met Aunt Henny who took me to a new very rich customer. I was there about 2 hrs and took only 6 hats with me to alter.

The only trouble is the fact that I have to pretend I am from France since only fashions from Paris are o.k. for her. While we were there her very snobbish daughter in a gorgeous evening dress was picked up by 2 young men in dress suits and top hats. Can you imagine?

Next Tuesday I will go there again and I hope she will be satisfied. I ripped all the hats apart and pinned them together as I thought they should look. She seemed to be satisfied with my ideas. She took a very beautiful gold bracelet, took it apart to put as trimming on 1 of the hats. It can always be repaired again. I wish I had 100 customers like that, then I would not have to work in a shop for somebody else.

Thursday we had a Holiday “Thanksgiving”

Xmas Decorations

Christmas on State Street

Thursday we had a Holiday “Thanksgiving.” Since I slept until 4:00 p.m. we skipped breakfast and had at 5 o’clock turkey dinner which is eaten here at this time of year like we had goose at home. On Tuesday we had a raffle at work so 1 of us could buy Turkey dinner. We will do the same once more before Xmas. You have no idea how much fuss they make here about Xmas although they only celebrate 1 day.

Friday we had a day off from work and I was bored all day which gave me time to work on those 6 hats. Yesterday morning, Chanukkah, I had intended to go to synagogue but was too busy.

I visited the uncle of the Berlin doctor. He is in the millinery business and he promised to let me hear from him when the season starts in January. He asked me a few questions in German and I did not realize till much later that I answered him in English.

For lunch I met Edith Grossberg plus father, brother and another lady. On the way I stopped to have some photos taken — 9 for 25¢. All very nice. Hope you like the enclosed.

Everything is beautifully decorated

Before going to Leonard’s office I did some window shopping. Everything is beautifully decorated, especially in the large toy departments. In the dept stores are so many people one can hardly get thru.

Mandel Brothers Tarzan Xmas display

Mandel Bros Dept Store Window

In the evening we had again dinner with the Singers, the portrait painter and his wife and then saw an excellent movie. Sorry I forgot the name. On the way home we stopped in a drug store for hot chocolate and afterward we sat for 2 more hours in their apartment.

Today, as usual on Sundays, I slept late. From 4 to 6 we were with Leonard’s adorable little girl in the Madison Park Hotel for dinner. I sang German songs to her.

And now as usual we are in his office. I really enjoy helping him at work. I can usually guess which book he needs next and I find it in his library of about 1000 books and after open it on the page he needs.

I hope we are going home early tonight. Before going to work tomorrow morning I want to work on those 6 hats.

I wonder if Aunt Henny will go to Florida this year.

I wonder if Aunt Henny will go to Florida this year. She keeps talking about it. But she wants to in the first place not give up her very lucrative Xmas card business now and 2nd she has not received any money from Julius yet and that has to be taken care of. He has paid the Aunt’s lawyer, Mr. Grossberg the 1st installment and Mr. Grossberg took me out for a wonderful lunch because of that.

I do not know what is wrong with Weils. After I explained that I am always busy on Sat and Sunday nights she replied that they are out every evening during the week and only home Sat and Sun. That is just the opposite of what other people do here. Well, we’ll get together 1 of these days.

I hope–I hope you are getting used to your new apt and feel as content there as I do in my Paradise here. Now I cannot think of anything else to tell you except that I ate oysters for the 1st time last week and did not like them.

My love and greetings to one and all.

Your loving,

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December 18, 1934 “I get so much fun out of making so many very inexpensive little packages.”

December 18, 1934 “I get so much fun out of making so many very inexpensive little packages.”

671 N. Dearborn St.

1, 2, 3 how time flies. I think I did not even thank you for all the good wishes in that “not signed” letter. So I thank you now.

Of course I take it for granted that you wonderful people wish me only the best just as you must know that I appreciate it and thank you.

I had so much on my mind… and I forgot it all.

I had so much on my mind that I wanted to write to you and now I forgot it all. Maybe if I try to think what I wrote last week some of my thoughts will come back. The way I am writing today you may think I am drunk but I assure you that is not the case.

This was rather exciting for me

Saturday we were in Leonard’s office and I listened to the speech he had prepared for the radio the next day. He also read several other wonderful speeches for me. Dr. Grossberg told me he was one of the finest and best speakers he knew.

Radio Studio

Radio Studio circa 1934

On the way home we stopped for a glass of wine and bought a bottle. I had told Leonard that I was tired of all those sodas, whiskey and cocktails and that I would like a good glass of white wine. So he bought some right away.

Sunday afternoon we were at his partner’s office and while the 2 men went over Leonard’s speech again, Flora-Mae, Leonard’s little girl, and I were playing together on the floor.

After we took the little girl home we were driven to the radio station about 3/4 hrs drive and after a very good dinner, I heard my friend over the radio. This was rather exciting for me while he did not think anything of it.

It makes me really feel good how my English is improving

We then drove back to his partner’s house and while the men talked business I visited with the wife. It makes me really feel good how my English is improving and I am able to make conversation.

The couple drove us to Leonard’s hotel and we stopped in the restaurant and first had some hot chocolate. Then he got out that bottle of wine he bought the day before and what was left of the cookies, which I stored in his room so they would not disappear in my place. And so we emptied that whole bottle and ate some cookies with it. As a result I really had a hangover yesterday but am fine again today.

Besides the letter to you, I wrote 4 more letters last Sunday and then went early to bed. My cold was much better on Monday.

Actually I had a date with Hans Werthan that evening but we could not get together. There was a very big snow storm in the afternoon like they had not had in many years and there was no way to get anywhere. Every transportation and everything was at a standstill. What normally takes 10 min on the streetcar took 1 hour.

On Tuesday it was much better and after work I did a little Xmas shopping. Leonard and I ate dinner together and I took the streetcar home right away so I could, like the previous evening, do a little sewing, reading, writing and washing, etc. I did not do much of anything but went late to bed.

I wrapped about 25 little packages which I will put into a pair of socks and hang on Leonard’s bed

On Wednesday we had no work so I slept half the day and monkeyed around my room. The only thing I really accomplished was to put all my photos from Germany in an album. Starting with Bad Pyrmont. I will need a new album.

to stuff with little packages

Also I wrapped about 25 little packages which I will put into a pair of socks and hang them on Leonard’s bed on 12/24. You must know that Santa Claus comes here on Xmas eve and fills the socks of the good children with presents while they are sleeping. I get so much fun out of making so many very inexpensive little packages.

a pearl purse

It would be nice if you would write to Aunt Henny sometime again. I will meet her tonight downtown. She sells Xmas cards in a place, belonging to Alfred Hamburger. I only heard of that last night on the phone and I will see it tonight. Wonder if she will ever get to go to Florida.

Thursday night I was in Dr. Grossberg’s office and he took me to a very nice dinner. I was home by 8 o’clock and did some repair on a pearl pocketbook for my 6 hat customers which took quite some time.

Lawson YMCA

YMCA 30 W. Chicago Ave.

Friday night I had a real Jewish dinner, not kosher, for the first time in several weeks. And of course I ordered fish. Then I went to visit [Mr.] Horkheimer who had been trying in vain to reach me. He lives in a beautiful building. It is called YMCA, Young Men’s Christian Association and is one of the best homes in Chicago. It has rooms for 725 men, inside pool, gym, table tennis, inside golf, target practice room, lending library, dance hall and several nice smaller rooms for playing cards, music or just visiting. He took me thru the whole beautiful building as far as I as a female was allowed to see.

A young man from Cleveland went along with us and it turned out that he knows Hans Roos very well. We danced 4 or 5 dances, had a chocolate soda and then I walked my 2 blocks home. Well my paper is almost full and my head almost empty. Now I have just 20 min to get going to be on time at work.


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December 24, 1934 “We celebrated a little Xmas in advance, these two days.”

December 24, 1934 “We celebrated a little Xmas in advance, these two days.”

Typewritten in German on Leonard J. Grossman’s office stationery.LJG Letterhead

December 24, 1934
Dear Goldkinder.

Just received Papa’s nice letter in which he tells me that my 1st letter typed was so clear to read. Were the previous ones not clear? Anyway I felt obligated to type this one too. Birthday card from dear Papa not received.

The cookies and baked “22” are already all eaten with a lot of praise and thanks and with hopes of some more in the not too long future. I received some more birthday letters and cards and they are all waiting to be answered.

So far I have not learned to drive. Len lives only 4 blocks from me. So we do not need any transportation between us.

Lebkuchen for Xmas or Christmas


You were surprised that Aunt Henny so quickly gave up her apartment and sold her (little) furniture. Nothing surprises me anymore. One gets used to a lot of strange behaviors here. She sold her Christmas cards just like you do with chocolate and lebkuchen.

By the way how was the Xmas business? Did it go o.k. without me too?

I am still at the same job although we had very little work the past couple of weeks, but at the end of this week all of a sudden we received so many orders that we worked on Saturday and started an hour earlier today.

We also celebrated a little Xmas in advance, these 2 days. We had a so called “grab bag,” which means everybody bought something for 10¢. It all was put into 1 big box with a string put on each and we all took hold of 1 string and pulled out all at the same time whatever he or she caught. It was really a lot of fun. I got two hankies. Then we had coffee and whipped cream cake and for lunch we got 2 little glasses of very good wine.


A Highball

When we went home I had 2 “High balls.” That is whiskey and ginger ale. Then I walked home to my room in a pretty hard snowfall. I filled some socks with all kinds of little things and hung them with a pretty red ribbon over Leonard’s bed.

Did you know that here the children hang up their stocking at Christmas eve for Santa Klaus to fill up. He does not even come on Dec 6th.

Shirley Temple Doll

Click Doll for UTube of "Bright Eyes"

Sat. night we went shopping for Flora Mae and Leonard got her a beautiful Shirley Temple doll that I would have loved to play with and also a couple of games. Have you heard about Shirley Temple? She is a darling 5 yr old movie actress. If one of her films is shown in Ffm you should really go to see it. We saw her again in the “Chicago Theater” in a show called Bright Eyes.

Also, they showed pictures of some people from the Saar, who had gone home for a short period of time to vote. It was the 1st time ever I heard German singing in a movie theater. They also had a very nice, good Christmas program.

Tuesday night Aunt Henny slept with me, and Wednesday after working from 1-5 we went downtown. First window shopping and a little shopping. Then I called Leonard if he would like to join us for dinner which he accepted.

I went with him to the office after eating and he cleaned off his desk, planning to walk home. Instead he started telling me very interesting things from his school years. Before we realized it was 1:00 a.m. It reminded me of Alex talking about the war.

Thursday night I spent with the 2 Samuel girls. I was home at 10:30 p.m. but foolishly I read a little and in hopes of learning more English tried to work a crossword puzzle. But Friday night when I again had fish in a “Jewish style” restaurant, I went to sleep at 9:30 p.m.

Starting with 1935, I do not think I will write quite as often anymore. I am afraid your safe will get too full otherwise. I hope you will start the New Year O.K. and expect to do the same. My best wishes to all for a healthy and good 1935.

That is all I can think of right now so I shall end this letter. There is only 1 day Christmas holiday here although 2 days would be nicer. Only I lose pay every day I don’t work and that is not so good. I received 1 Xmas card but Leonard got and sent about 200. He got 1 from the current Mayor of Chicago and also from a former Mayor besides Judges, Lawyers, Aldermen etc. etc. I am having trouble keeping up with my correspondence. In the future I guess I will write letters only to you regularly–only a postal card here and there to all the others.

Snowy evening around Xmas in Chicago

A Snowy Evening in Chicago

Happy New Year,

Your Trudelchen

At the bottom of the letter, in English:

Xmas Eve 12/24/34
The friendship of Trudelchen and me means much more than words can tell. May I thank the gods of destiny. She looks radiant and well and as we approach the next year I hope it will be for each of you filled with just as much joy as dear Trudel has brought to me. ‘Tis LJG sends this to thee now guess who may the sender be.

Editor’s note: I am used to having the same first name as my father, but I never heard my father referred to as “Len” before reading this letter.

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