Tag Archives: dancing

May 26-28, 1934 Weekday nights going out and Saturday night early to bed!

May 26-28, 1934 Weekday nights going out and Saturday night early to bed!

Written over several days

May 26, 1934 at noon
Picking up where I left off this morning. . .

6 yrs. ago today I had my confirmation.

In order that my laziness would not get too bad I dressed up nicely and went downtown with Gertl. We looked again at some of the skyscrapers.

1930s Escalator

One has stairs that go up and down automatically on a ribbon. You can get on the bottom step and it goes electrical up. If you are in a hurry you walk up or down the steps while they automatically go up or down slowly. Walking goes almost twice as fast. Then we went to the railroad station where they have doors that open automatically when you are 2 steps before it and close when you are 2 steps through it.

Anyhow I noticed that the women here worry much too much about clothes. In Germany we would say they have no other worries.

On the way home we stopped again for a soda. Supper I had with a friend who lives with a very nice lady since he is here. He then went with me to one of the worst neighborhoods here to do an errand for Aunt Henny and then we visited some relatives of his who could talk German but made me talk English. Very nice folks.

I hope my letters are detailed enough. Now comes a special part for Pappa. Yesterday morning Ludwig met me at the subway station near his business and took me to Wall Street. Unfortunately it was raining. That neighborhood is very interesting. One big bank next to the other. We could not get inside the stock exchange since we would have had to have a member to take us inside and it would have taken too long to find somebody Ludwig knows. Instead we visited 2 stockbrokers.

Broker's office

The stocks and their prices are sent directly from the exchange sent there by wire and immediately displayed on a film strip on a wall. One can see and watch what is going on at the exchange continuously. In one of those places they had on a big wall a special part for the most common stocks in alphabetical order and changed them all the time. It was fascinating. Hope you can understand my description. After stopping at a beautiful aquarium we ate lunch at an automatic restaurant again.

Then I went with him to his business to pack my trunk ready. He had already all my belongings from their apartment downtown. As he emptied an old trunk to put my things in some old photos fell out and the one on top was of Pappa, Mother, and Lotte in Niederhausen in 1909. Funny.

When I came home I was really exhausted and slept for 2 hrs then Rudy picked me up. We went on the roof garden of a beautiful big hotel. The first thing I noticed was the fact that in such a fancy, elegant place people come in any kind of dress. Beautiful evening dresses and black tie, also tailored suits, casual clothes even slacks. Since it was raining we could not sit outside. It was too cold. But just as in old times we did a lot of dancing. He has gotten even heavier than he used to be but we still can dance very well together. I laughed very much at the other couples the way they danced. The females holding on tight to their partners as if they were afraid they might run away. Besides the dancing was really more hopping and jumping.

The day before yesterday we got home at 2:00 a.m. Yesterday I was really lazy. No appointments or dates. At noon I went with Marion to lunch at an automat and then to see “Catherine the Great” with Elizabeth Bergner at the movie. I know this movie is forbidden in Germany. I liked it very much.

Catherine The Great

Click for YouTube

In the evening I talked to several people from the boat on the phone and some family members came by and we looked at old snapshots. Last night we 3 girls slept for the first time in 2 beds. It worked fine.

Isn’t that the right way — weekday nights going out and Saturday night early to bed!

This morning we took it easy and I packed my trunk and the girls went with me to say goodbye to some people. We met a few walking down Broadway. Just like Goethe Strasse in Frankfort. At 3:00 p.m. I have a date with Kurt D. I hope you received 3 postal cards in the meantime.

Monday early a.m.

I will leave here in 5 min. so goodbye for now.

Love & Kisses Trudel.

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June 17, 1934 “The two men got almost into a fight to see which one of them could act as my father. . .”

June 17, 1934 “The two men got almost into a fight to see which one of them could act as my father. . .”

My dear dear ones

I received your letter and it made me very happy.

Today I am asking a big favor. Would 1 of you be nice enough to see if you can get the enclosed negatives printed about 3 x 4″? Here they just do not seem to be able to handle those tiny negatives. And if you can find them I would very much like to have some more of those little films to fit the camera Lou bought me on the way to Hamburg.

Tuesday night we went to Uncle’s brother Max and Rose Seckbach She seems to be slightly arrogant but makes beautiful needle work. She asked me to help her crochet gloves. She has so many orders she cannot fill them alone.

Wednesday night I visited again my new friend, Edith Grossberg. Aunt Henny and Julius were with Mrs. Grossberg at a lecture.

During that time we 2 and her brother took a stroll along the beach.


Jackson Park Beach (Chuckman's Collection)

A week from today her brother will make a surprise party for Edith. In order that it will be a real surprise I am going to write the invitations. I am coming as a special honored guest.

Thursday Henny and I went downtown again. She bought me for 20¢ a pair of red long hanging earrings. Can you picture me with long dangling earrings? I wore them the next day for lunch at Rose Sechbach’s. Then I sewed a few things on her electric sewing machine. What a pleasure when you do not have to thread all the time.

Afterwards we fixed some sandwiches and went to the Worlds Fair. He, she and her father who is 67 yrs old but looks much younger. He is very funny and I could tell you long stories about him.

Unfortunately it got all of a sudden very cold and windy and we could not see very much at the fair and all were happy when we got home again.

Anyway I saw a few interesting things. Cows being milked electronically, in 10 or 15 minutes they are milked and it is almost no work and it is much more sanitary than by hand. We also walked through a new aluminum streamliner railroad train. It has all possible comforts, has 1st and 2nd class and one could really enjoy traveling a few days and nights that way. We then went through the Hall of Religions where all different religions were displayed.

Stainless Steel train

The Burlington Zephyr. (The train Trudel called aluminum was probably this stainless steel beauty..)

In the Jewish [exhibit] they showed slides of very many famous people and institutions. We also visited the Hall of Science. There is so much to see of everything that one could spend several days to see everything. That even we concentrated on different sicknesses and having babies.

Hall of Science

Hall of Science from Across the Lagoon - Postcard

On the way we stopped at the Hungarian exhibit where I met one of the people from the boat. Although we hardly talked together on the boat, he was very nice. He too comes from Budapest like the nice Mr. Hollander and they were together often. We only stopped for coffee and fritter or small pancake.

Then went home with the I.C. train, short for Illinois Central R.R., the best and fastest transportation between the south side and downtown. I will use that too when I will be working. Then it will take me only 15 min. Too bad that R.R. only goes 1 stretch to Chicago. To get north or west one has to take a miserable streetcar bus or elevated. You cannot picture how much time is wasted on transportation here.

The I.C. train passed the whole World Fair and the many colored lights look beautiful in the dark. For instance the Ford Bldg has a big dome on top of which shine 3 different color lights rotating. From another building 10 blue flood lights illuminate the sky. Each building has its own distinctive lights shining into the sky. Anyhow the whole city looks marvelous at night with all the lights. Every skyscraper has its distinctive illuminations from its top and all lighted up at night. And in between is the beautiful white Wrigley chewing gum building and tower.

Night View of the Fair.

By the way today is Father’s day here. Do we have that in Germany too? I do not seem to remember it.

Knowing that we have yahrzeit on Tuesday, I went alone to Synagogue. We talked about the fact that the 11 months of mourning [for Trudel’s mother] were over on May 15th. The temple I visited is just the way I like it. Very simple beautiful colored windows and the service very much like ours. Of course at first it seemed very strange. Men, without hats, and women sit together. The rabbi just in a black suit nothing on his head. But even so he delivered a beautiful sermon. And I understood almost everything. In this congregation are very many German Jews. It seems they have only Reform, mostly German or Orthodox East European Congregations . Nothing in between.

Right now we have a big thunderstorm and of course I am thinking of you, Doddo. Last night we went to a dance at the Chicago Gesang Verein. Rose’s father [Mr. Koesterlitz?], my new Opa, and a darling niece of his from Leipzig came with us. Herta Kant, the niece is here 7 yrs and expects her mother to come here in the fall. I think we will get together more often. Almost all Aryans again, of course, except the president Max Hirsch. I was dancing constantly. Even Opa with his 67 yrs only sat out 2 dances.

He will do anything I ask him. If I would like to go anywhere I should just call him. He will take me. He had asked a younger man to come along last nigh so I could meet him but he did not show up. Some other time maybe. I never met any one like this fellow. He can entertain a group of people for hours but at the same time tries to flirt with every female. Henny, Herta and I were not enough for him. Really a funny person. Otherwise he is very good hearted. The 2 men got almost into a fight to see which one of them could act as my father until the real Papa comes here. We did not get home until 2:00 a.m.

It is now 7:00 p.m. and I have not been out of the house all day. I slept until 11:00 a.m. and then 4:00 p.m. we rearranged the whole apt until the people who were living here with us finally moved this morning so we have much more room for ourselves. Uncle repaired my nightstand lamp and a flat iron so I can use it. Today I talked to Aunt Jenny Weil who sends regards.

I also had a letter from Willy Bloser. He got the wrong phone # from Mr. Heinzheimer and by the time he finally got the right # I had left N.Y. 3 hrs earlier. Too bad. I also had a letter from Doris. I would be very much interested to know how long it takes for my letters to get to you. I sure hope you save them for me. If it does not cost too much postage I wish you could send me my school report cards etc. Also the black jet dress Auntie could probably use. Anything you do not use or want anymore you can send here. Either we use it, throw it away or sell it. I am very happy to report that I have lost 3 lbs already. It is just complicated to recalculate everything. That’s all now.

Love and kisses.
Regards from Henny and Julius.

[The “aluminum” train Trudel refers to was probably the stainless steel Burlington Zephyr which was a major attraction at the fair. See photos and the information about deluxe facilities on the Pullman cars at]



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June 25, 1934 “Forgive any mistakes I make in my writing. English I do not know yet and German I am forgetting.”

June 25, 1934 “Forgive any mistakes I make in my writing. English I do not know yet and German I am forgetting.”

June 25, 1934. Monday 11:00 a.m.

Dearest Papa, Doddo and Erna,*

Received your nice letter today. Sorry I did not write for more than 1 week but I was really busy and I ask you to forgive any mistakes I make in my writing. English I do not know yet and German I am forgetting. Now I am trying to remember what I have not answered yet.

Three Sisters

Trudel, Erna and Lotte in 1932

The [Greyhound] buses are very similar as at home. The seats are upholstered, leather covered and adjustable. Each armrest is always covered with a fresh white cloth. There are 2 seats on each side of the bus and between a narrow gangway with an emergency seat to fold down. Enough for about 40 passengers. No drinking water but stops every 2 hrs. Either real short just for passengers getting off and on or at mealtimes about 25 min.

The chauffeurs are all very reliable, decent and polite. Martin Seekbach whom I still have not met is such a chauffeur. When he does come we are not home and when we wait for him he does not show up.

Right now I am listening on the radio the Mozart minuette to which Erma and I used to like to dance. Remember? Anyhow the music on the radio is beautiful. Good thing music is international.

Trudel's father, Adolf Adler

Now back to the letters. The red jacket I wore 3 times on the boat. I will not wear it here until winter again. I am remembering [numbering?] my letters to make sure you receive them all.

Marion Hamburger is 19 and Bernice 18 yrs old. The difference in age does not seem to matter here. Often the mother looks younger than the daughter.

I will try to find some interesting catalogues for Lou at the Fair. So far I have not seen anything. Why does Papa never send me a kiss too? Have I answered your questions?

Now I can continue my story. Monday Henny and I went to Leo Joseph, brother of Beatrice Wolfgang. They look very much alike, not as heavy but just as friendly. Since Beatrice had given me only his business address but not the name of the firm we had trouble finding him. But we made it. He is located on the west side where they had such a big fire recently. You probably read about it. He asked me to call his 29 yr old second wife but I have not been able to reach her so far. They live not far from here. He had us driven home in his car and we went through that whole burnt out vicinity.

Fire at Stockyards

Fire at the Chicago Stockyards on the West Side, on May 27, 1934.

In the evening I was home alone for the first time. Uncle and Aunt went singing. I took a little walk along the beach and when I wanted to go home at 8:30 I met the Lindeimer family who were on the ship with me. They live real close to us. I went home with them and met their 25 yr old daughter and a young man from FFM [Frankfurt]. I forget his name. Did not stay long.

Tuesday I sat with Edith Grossberg in the sun at the beach for an hour and roasted. When the weather is nice I cannot go swimming and when I can it either is raining or too cold. That is Chicago weather, I will not talk about it.

In the afternoon I went to Rose Seckbach. There were several German girls including a 19 yr old from FfM but we did not know each other. I stayed for dinner (supper) and afterwards with Rose’s brother, Hans, to the Fair.

First we went to a beautiful concert outside at the Ford Symphony Gardens. They play everyday from 3 to 5 and from 8-10 p.m. for no extra admission. Then we went through some of the exhibits. Sat in the newest model Chrysler. Then we went to the amusement park. He does not care for those rides so we only watched some of them. We ended up in the Canadian Club Cafe’, direct in the lake.

Night time concert at the Ford Symphony Gardens

Picture this — The Fair itself is on the beach. The amusement park on an island connected with the land with 3 bridges. This restaurant is on one of the bridges and you sit right by the water and all around are those beautifully illuminated buildings. My cavalier is an excellent dancer. There is a very good dance orchestra and also shows: dancing, acrobats, singing etc. Some of it really wonderful. One woman dancer is completely naked but painted with black laquer all over. Really interesting.

We did not get home until 1:30 a.m. and I spent the night at Rose and Mack’s home. Hans and his father live there too. Rose told me the next morning that it has been years since her brother stayed out after midnight in the middle of the week. When he comes home from work he will probably complain how tired he is and will go to bed at 8:00 p.m. But believe it or not that did not happen. We went out together again that night. We went to a very dressy Jewish hall in one of the best hotels here on the south side.

Aerial view of World's Fair

Aerial View of the Fair

I met a few nice people and probably lost a few pounds it was so hot. I never sweated that much even with hot pad, aspirin and 3 blankets although I was dressed as light as possible. As we came home at midnight it started pouring. He is very nice but can you see me with a man with a mustache. He is close to 30 and has together with 2 brothers a very good business and the thing I like best is the fact he takes me to real nice places.

On Thursday his father, my Opa took me downtown where I had a date with Herbert Pohl. Although we did not know each other we did find each other and the 3 of us went to lunch together. I like Pohl very much and we had a very nice time together.

Unfortunately he travels a lot and spends very little time in Chicagio Opa gave him his phone number so he can get in touch when he is in town again. We have no phone as yet.

Afterwards I met Edith Grossberg and her parents and we went to the movies after [based on?] a German book together. I went home with them for dinner and early home. Mr. Grossberg is a big lawyer and very nice like his wife and daughter.

On Friday it was so cold that I wore a warm suit. In the afternoon we were downtown and in the evening Uncle and I went to a German movie on the north side. Henny had to sing somewhere around there and after eating together we separated. Saturday morning I picked up Mr. and Mrs. Lindheimer and we went together to the synagogue and afterwards ran into Opa, who had made some visits in the neighborhood and was on his way home. Instead he went with us to visit several other refugees. Some were busy and others took time to visit. Opa took me for lunch. Henny had to go downtown to arrange about work at the Fair.

Al Jolson

Wonder Bar

After changing clothes because it was so hot we went again to a movie, Wonder Bar, with Al Jolson, It was the first American movie I really liked. While Uncle got cleaned, shaved etc., for the weekend and Opa kept me company, I received a telegram from his son Hans — the best way to communicate when you have no phone.

[to be continued]

*“Doddo” is the nickname for Trudel’s sister Lotte. Erna was her other sister.


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June 26, 1934 “This is the life but I am very much looking forward to start working next week.”

June 26, 1934 “This is the life but I am very much looking forward to start working next week.”

Cont’d Tuesday 6/26 12:30 a.m.

Congratulations on passing your driver’s test Doddo.

This morning after listening to some garbage on the radio I turned the dial and heard List’s Hungarian Rhapsody #2. I certainly enjoyed that and made the beds twice as fast as usual.

On Saturday night we were all together at the Fair. First at the Ford Symphony Gardens. Then Hans K. and I got lost in the big crowd. Henny worked until 9:00 p.m. She sells costume jewelry.

We two lost ones went again to the Canadian Club Cafe and while we were dancing a horrible storm broke out. Everybody ran for shelter.

Canadian Club Cafe

Canadian Club Cafe

I ran to the table where I had left my purse and gloves and my hat blew off my head and disappeared. It was a nice white cap which I got in N.Y. and fixed just right for me. Now it is gone.

I really never experienced weather like that. Everything that was not tied down blew over and away. And of course a real big thunderstorm with constant lightening and pouring rain. All day the weather had been beautiful but within 1 min it changed so drastically.

Everybody of course tried to get into the building and in spite of those very many people we were lucky enough to get a little table right next to the dance floor and we were also very honored to have Jewish Gov. Horner, the head of the State of Ill. at the table right next to us. He and his company of 6 men and 1 lady sounded very happy. One of his companions went on the stage with the dancing girls and just danced with them. It was a scream.

Henry Horner

Governor Henry Horner

After it stopped raining finally we took a walk in the beautiful fresh washed air and got home about 1:00 a.m. Saturday Aunty worked, like every day now at the fair and Uncle and I took care of the house.

Now I have to make a comment. Really they had expected me to be their housekeeper. But as you know I am not good at that. I do not know how to cook, I do not like to clean, wash and cannot iron. That made it very difficult.

Now back to the letter [that I started yesterday.] Sunday afternoon I went to Grossbergs to help prepare things for the party in the evening.

We found a new club similar to the one I belonged to at home. Mr. Grossberg and another man made very interesting speeches. I had asked in advance that they should not call on me to talk. I just answered the questions I was asked as short as possible. I met a few very nice people there.

Yesterday afternoon I was at Hamburgers. They live in a 2 room apt. That means kitchen and 1 room. Nebbich. Their daughter is married since 2 yrs to a non Jewish Communist. They live in the same building. The son, a nice, tall, good looking fellow lives with a non Jewish young man just a few doors away. He too is a big Communist.

Alfred has not changed very much but looks very come down and not very well. We both were happy to see each other. He is just as nice and friendly as ever and wanted to know all about you and sends his very best regards.

Apparently he earns good money but does not know how to handle it. Of course he has to have a car. It won’t do otherwise. Mrs. Hamburger and the children belong to a theater club. They write their own plays and then perform them. It is a mixed group of whites and blacks and they meet three times a week and she does not get home until after midnight. I cannot figure out what he [Alfred Hamburger?] does during that time.

I went with them to their meeting that night, but it was very strenuous for me to understand.

When I came to their place they first served me ice cream and then we went to a restaurant for dinner. Everybody was very nice to me. Alfred’s business is selling walking canes at the Fair. They are very popular since there is so much walking. There is also man with scales. For 5¢ you are weight after the man takes a guess of your weight. If he guesses wrong you get one of those walking sticks.

I like being home alone here. This morning, Opa kept me company while I did some ironing (Liss, Where are you?) and fixed a Panama hat for myself. He took me for lunch in my slacks. Later I will pick up Edith Grossberg. We are planning to throw ourselves into Lake Michigan for a nice swim.


Illinois Central downtown. Were they electrified in 1933?

Last night I had a big surprise. Aunt Henny had an accident in the I.C. train but fortunately not bad. As she was trying to get onto the train there was so much space between the entrance and the platform very hard to see and she slipped into that opening with her right leg. Fortunately people near her helped her right away, but she feels and looks awful. Luckily the train was standing real still at the time.

Uncle Julius treated her heal well last night and this morning and she went anyhow this morning to work at the Fair. We hope she will have no more accidents.

Julius is planning to buy me a bicycle. But I think it is too dangerous to ride to work downtown with all that traffic. And on weekends and evenings I hope to have something else and better to do than go bicycle riding with that old man. I rather look for somebody with a car.

It does not have to be a multi-millionaire as Ernale suggested. I’ll be satisfied with a little less. Did you get a chance to have my photos done?

Now I will get into my bathing suit, slacks and a pair of shoes, take a comb and house keys in my hand and pick up Edith. This is the life but I am very much looking forward to start working next week.

Jackson Park Beach

Jackson Park Beach

Love and kisses.


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July 3, 1934 “Tomorrow is a big holiday here – 4th of July”

July 3, 1934 “Tomorrow is a big holiday here – 4th of July”

July 3rd, 1934

My dear ones!

First of all, in Uncle’s name thanks for the ammonia cough drops.

Did one of you inquire at Leon Meyer about those little pins? The one I gave Auntie she wears all the time and could sell it many times during the day.

As I told you previously she is in charge of a costume jewelry store at the Fair.

I hope to be able to start working next week. On Friday I have to call my future boss again to make sure. So many newcomers have not found jobs yet.

On Saturday and yesterday I assisted Auntie a little. Actually I kept myself very busy. She introduced me to a German man who took me 10 min. later for coffee and in the evening Hans K. picked me up.

Chicago Theater - 1932

First we went to the Excellent film and show in a beautiful building, Chicago’s biggest and best movie house. The show was 3 hours. Then we went to a great restaurant to eat and dance. Such funny places you cannot imagine and you really get your money’s worth. I did not get home until 2 a.m.

Last week I went swimming 2 times. The water is pretty dirty but in this heat it is a wonderful way to cool off at least temporary.


Lotte (Doddo)7 Adler, one of Trudel's Sisters

How was Doddo’s birthday without me?

My English is still very bad. I would like to read a newspaper but if nobody helps me I won’t understand anything anyhow. So I only read the German paper.

Sunday I was at Weil’s who just had heard a speech by [Joseph] Goebbels on the radio. Too bad I did not get there in time to hear it too.*

In the evening we took a walk along the lake. At night the view from there is really wonderful. Yesterday at the Fair I was looking for a witness of Henny’s accident from Düsseldorf. We spent about 1½ hrs talking together. Later in the evening we met at my favorite place, the Canadian Club Cafe, including Henny and Opa Kösterlitz. Opa tries to see me once every day. He, like all the others are much too good to me. His son Hans is out of town for 1 week.

Tomorrow is a big holiday here – 4th of July. Uncle, Opa and I will probably go to the fair where they expect a very, very big crowd.

I registered for my 1st papers and hope to get them this week. It cost $5 but in contrast I bought for only 10¢ a bottle of Cutex nail polish remover and a very big box of face powder for only 72¢. Today it is nice and cool, thank G’d.

Fair at night

Lakefront at night.

Love and kisses.


*The radio speech to which Trudel refers is one in which Joseph Goebbels defended the actions of he NAZIs during “The Night of the Long Knives,” a purge that was a major event in Hitler’s rise to power. This demonstrates Trudel’s continuing attention to what was happening in Germany.

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