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August 17, 1934 “You complain that I do not write often enough.”

August 17, 1934 “You complain that I do not write often enough.”

8/17/34

My Dear Lazywriters:

You complain that I do not write often enough and I have not heard from you in 2 weeks.

This is letter #13* and should be a lucky one. Last Sunday I was again with Hans in the Dunes. As always it was beautiful. Except the flies were pestering us a lot so we could not take our usual afternoon nap.

Beach at Indiana Dunes

Beach at Indiana Dunes

In the evening we went again to the concert at The Fair. Since they had a terrific guest conductor that evening all the seats were taken already 1 hr before start! It was a fabulous Wagner concert. The concerts are always in the open similar to Ffm’s [Frankfurt’s] Palmengarten. Only that there are seats for about 1000 people and no admission charge. This evening at least another 500 or 1000 people were standing around or sitting on the grass.

Night time concert at the Ford Symphony Gardens

Do you know why the U.S.A. is called a “free” country? Everybody is free to do as he pleases, decent or indecent. Nobody cares what the other one is doing. People sit anywhere. It is a joke how old young, big and small, heavy and skinny, men and women and children sitting there between the bushes. And when it rains like it did on Wednesday, men and women wear the same thin rubber capes. Only foreigners notice that.

The police do not care if cars pass each other on the right or on the left side and so on. No man gets up on public transportation if there is no seat left for a woman. But they know exactly on which side of a woman a man should walk.

Just a year ago I learned in Wiesbaden how to eat properly with fork and knife. Now I have to learn all over the opposite. Here one cuts the meat, puts knife on the side, takes the fork in the right hand, eats like a little child using rolls or bread as a pusher.

European Dining

European Dining - Fork in Left Hand Knife in Right. Leave them that way.

American Dining

American Style - Change Hands

They eat bread and butter with everything. Even people from nice Jewish homes eat kosher sausage sandwich and drink milk with it. I have not tried that yet altho at the Fair the kosher sausage stand and the milk stand are right next to each other. Instead I have eaten several times “hot dogs,” Frankfurter würstchen on a bun the same size. That is another favorite national meal.

Since my last letter I was again 2 times at the Fair. I like it so much there.

Yesterday I had a letter from Herbert Pohl. He has been transferred to N.Y. He will get in touch with me if he comes back to Chicago.

The main event — I am almost at the end. Yesterday I received my 1st papers.** That pleasure cost me besides $5–2 hrs work time. I was to be there at 10:30 a.m. Left work at 10:00 after working 1 hr.

I did finally return to my job at a few minutes after 12:00 but was not allowed to work because everybody has to stop between 12:00 and 1:00. Orders from the N.R.A. “National Recovery Administration.” If an inspector would come and see me work, the bosses would be fined. So I just made some little wool dolls.

National Recovery Act

National Recovery Act Poster

Dear Papa, would you please ask Isi Gutman where I can get a subscription to Bayer’s Needlework Magazine. I can not find an address and Rose Seckbach would very much like to subscribe to it. She does a lot of beautiful needlework. This summer she was crocheting gloves and earned nice money with it. Almost all women here help their husbands earn money. No matter how little.

Rose’s husband foolishly sold his good going cigar business 2 yrs ago and has not found any other work.

Last week I met a newly married couple from Berlin. The only people they know from Ffm were Betty and Rudy Feitler.

Monday I had again a date with my friend who has a car and owns a restaurant. He did not pick me up until 10:00 p.m. so I had a nap before we went out. We went to a nice Road House for a delicious steak dinner and dancing. But the place is so far out you can get there only by car. He likes to eat in other places instead of his own restaurant.

Private Scandal Poster

Private Scandal Poster

Yesterday I went for a change to a movie. “Private Scandal.” Funny and exciting. Usually I like the extra films better — usually something with Mickey Mouse or like yesterday a tour of the vacation spots of the stars. He claims he understands everything I say in my bad English. It is getting better all the time.

What about your vacations Doddo and Ernale? I sure thought a lot of you Doddo when we had a bad thunderstorm a few nights ago. I hope to write a few more letters tonight. So it will get late again.

Greetings to everybody.

Loads of love and kisses.

p.s. please excuse my mixed up writing and bad spelling but my mind seems to be always 3 sentences ahead of what I am writing.


* Actually, this is at least the 21st letter in the collection, perhaps this is the thirteenth to her sisters.
**For citizenship or permanent residence.

A contemporary source for Continental and American table manners is available in this article http://ugacareercenter.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/how-to-score-big-with-proper-etiquette/

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August 26th, 1934 “I earn what I need and use what I earn and let God worry about the rest.”

August 26th, 1934 “I earn what I need and use what I earn and let God worry about the rest.”

Aug 26th, 1934

Please excuse me for writing with pencil today. My fountain pen is empty and I have no ink here.

So, My dears,

Yesterday I received Papa’s nice letter of 8/10. You ladies must be awfully busy. Did Lu receive something for his birthday from me?

Dear Papa, You want to know how much life in Chicago costs? Well for me it is cheap. I earn what I need and use what I earn and let God worry about the rest. As long as I have always nice new things to tell you about.

This last week I had a lot of nice things going again. On Saturday I was at a big doing of the Chicago Tribune at Soldier’s Field. By the way that is the place where Piccard took off with his balloon last year.*

This year was a Music Fest,–about 120 000 people–Al Jolson in person sang Sonny Boy, and some songs from the Jazz Singer and a few Folk songs. He was really great.

Soldier Field - 1934

An Opera star from N.Y. also sang several songs then there was a chorus of about 1000 black voices and another one of about 2000 white people. A very big group of children in different colored clothes danced and formed like a big butterfly with a wonderful orchestra. Then 11 conductors spread out over the middle and directed the whole crowd in 3 American songs. What an experience! At the end a display of terrific fireworks.

–Hope you received my postal card from a very fun boat trip with my young people’s group, to a nearby town along the lake. I spent most of my time with the Grossbergs. I had to talk English again all day. When I do not understand something I must look like a nut.

The Roosevelt

Trip to St. Joseph, across the Lake

Have you found an apartment yet. We were playing movers again yesterday. We re-arranged everything and the apartment looks much nicer now.

I had an unusual experience. I did have a date with my Vienna Friend at the Fair but was very tired and tried to think all morning of a way to cancel it. At lunch time Gus gave me a note with a phone number I should call between 5 and 6. He said it was somebody with a heavy accent and of course I thought it was that Charlie and I could cancel our date gracefully.

Well, when I called I could barely make out who it was. But we made a date for the next evening. It turned out he got the name from an Aunt, Mrs. Vogel, but no address or phone number. Well, he was together with some people on Sunday and one of them mentioned my name, and she only knew where I am working. So he found me.

Poster from Sadie McKee with Joan Crawford

Poster from Sadie McKee

He is here 10 yrs already, lives with other fellows, drives a beautiful new car with radio etc. Apparently he earns very much money. He expects to call you in about 3 months when he will be in Ffm. [Frankfurt] His brother is Dr. Isaaks a skin specialist in Ffm. His father died about 6 weeks ago.

We spent a very nice evening at the Fair. Wednesday I was with Charlie, with whom I called off the date on Monday, in a movie again. “Sadie McKee”.

Thursday I met the Weils at the Fair. As many naked women as you can see one night at the Fair you probably cannot see in all Germany in a week on the stage. Most of them are excellent dancers and acrobats. But some of them do only strip teasing.

Katherine Dunham Dancers

Katherine Dunham Dancers

Dancers at the World Fair

Dancers at the World Fair

One of the dancers sat with us for a while. Also a little girl who had performed 3x that day was with us. Eugenie played for them at their rehearsals. She never plays for performing only at rehearsals.

We were 9 women together. On the way home it rained so hard I was wet to the skin when I came home, otherwise it was very nice.
For the first time I saw Siamese twins that evening. They are guests at the Chicago Theater this week and were in the same restaurant with us. Last night I was again at a movie “Hollywood Party” [with Laurel and Hardy] and today with Aunt Henny to see “Change of Heart.”

Hollywood Party Poster

Hollywood Party

Change of Heart

Change of Heart

Aunt Henny is taking off from the Fair a little and we had a real relaxing Sunday. Sleeping, eating, manicure, pedicure, shampoo, etc. Then dinner in my friend Harry Erlich’s restaurant and now I am so tired that we will soon fall into our beds.

Please ask Gustav Simon if he remembers whether Julius M. Seckbach either fell on his head or was bathed in water that was too hot when he was young or may be better do not ask him.

Frieda Seckbach Bing, my boss’s mother Julius’s sister is supposed to be very nice. Did you give my letters to Ernst Gloschmidt to read? He wants to come here too. I have so little time to write once I get thru with the megillahs to you.

How would Doddo like to make some butter cookies for me family style. It would be very much appreciated. When I talk German I use a lot of Frankfurterisch. I don’t think I will ever forget that.

Next week I will have to see where and how to get a ticket for yontiff at the Synagogue. They are celebrating only one day Rosh Hashanah at that Synagogue I go to.

What I can I wish for you for the coming New Year? Hopefully you will feel as happy and content as I do. Also I do have little money I manage and do not worry about it and am satisfied and that is what I wish you too. Please do not envy me. Many people would not be happy in my situation but I make the best of it. Think of me on the holidays. I surely will think of you as I do always anyhow. Thank G’d I have Papa’s lucky, happy nature.

L’Shono Taovo Tikosevu and good night!

Love and kisses,

Trudel


Comment – probably written when Trudel was translating the letters: I am sure my parents had different opinions at times but I do not remember ever hearing a [harsh] word between them. If they had a disagreement they discussed it behind closed doors. Julius and Henny are always quarreling and accusing each other of all kinds of things and right in front of me which is very upsetting to me. I am never involved in their arguments they were both always very nice and cordial to me, but I could not stand it and I never butted in. As I said in the beginning I did not want Papa to worry–so I never wrote about it.

*Actually it was Lt. Cmdr. Thomas (Tex) G. W. Settle who took off with his balloon . Piccard stayed on the ground.

Wikipedia article about attempted “stratosphere” balloon flight at Soldier Field in 1933. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeannette_Piccard#Balloon_and_Thomas_Settle_flights

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Sept. 22, 1934 “I have to join the union…30 cents a week”

Sept. 22, 1934 “I have to join the union…30 cents a week”

9/22/34

My Dear Goldkind:

First of all I am glad my sisters agreed that they should write a little more.

Please excuse that I am writing with pencil today. Since I am very busy I took this pad to work with me and am starting this letter in my lunchtime.

By the time you receive this I hope you landed safe and sound in your new apt on Beethoven Str. Of course I wish you all the very best for your new home. Only happiness and good health.

Did you all fast well? I did very well.

Of course there was that one short sentence in the prayers where I am sure you thought of me like I thought of you. Right?

I also met some more people from Germany in the Synagogue. From 1-3 was lunchtime on Yom Kippur and I went home with one of them, but ate no lunch. For “umbeisen” [breaking the fast] I was at Lindheimer’s. Some of the richest families here are their relatives.

Last night I was with Tante and Opa at a big money raiser for the Democratic party. Mr. Lindheimer’s cousin is on the top of the ballot. The entree was free but you were urged to spend money on lottery tickets, games etc. I never saw so many people so much in a hurry to get rid of their money.

On Saturday we bought a new radio since Mr. Seckbach had taken ours with him. In the evening we went to the new movie “Now and Forever” with the darling Shirley Temple. Afterwards we stopped for a drink. Sunday afternoon we went to the Fair for a change. There is not much going on anymore. Aunt Henny is not working since one week.Shirley Temple

Of course I am happy that I do not have to spend my evenings alone, eating in restaurants, anymore. You would be very much surprised to see how wonderful a cook Aunt Henny is. And she likes it too.

What did you do with the small easy chair from the salon? Here you could get big money for it. I like to remind you that Hedwig has a birthday on Nov 9 and we wanted to give her a nutcracker.

Affairs_of_CelliniLast night I had again a date with a new guy. A cousin of Hans Roos, Alex Heyman who lives in Cleveland. Hans wrote both of us about the other and we got together via telephone. First we went to a movie “Affairs of Cellini.” Very good. Then we went for a soda. I had to speak English all evening and he is one of the few people who correct me which I like very much.

I have to join the Union now. It costs initially $5 and then 30¢ a week.

Bruno Hauptman

Lindbergh Killer Arrested

This afternoon I have a date with Alice Weil. We are first going to an art exhibit and then I will go home with her. You probably heard that they found the killer of the Lindbergh child.

By the way I heard that Hans Werthahn comes here. He is the nice young man with black hair who used to live in Leerbach Str.

Please send me the recipe of that delicious chocolate cake. You know what I mean, Doddo. Please excuse my handwriting and probably my spelling errors. I am very much in a hurry right now to meet Alice in time.

Regards to and from all,

Trudel

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October 12, 1934 “He claimed I did not iron his underwear properly and burnt his breakfast bacon on purpose.”

October 12, 1934 “He claimed I did not iron his underwear properly and burnt his breakfast bacon on purpose.”

Oct 12, 1934 9:00 p.m.

My dear, dear ones.

I am in such a good happy mood that I want to share it with you and try to write as sensible a letter as possible.

I have been very concerned why Papa did not thank me personally for his birthday letter. He has written otherwise. Is something wrong? I sure hope every thing is o.k.

Yesterday I received Ernale’s letter with newspaper clipping and a postcard from Alex. In the evening I was at Weils. It is always very nice and relaxing there.

How do you like the picture of my newest and hopefully last friend on his stationery. Two weeks ago after we met in his office, we went for dinner as I told you on the postal card. Then I had a date with him one week later. And now we see each other almost every day.*

A week ago Monday I appeared as a witness in the divorce case between Aunt Henny and Uncle Julius. It was really fun for me. It seemed to me like a movie. I did not testify against either one since after all they both were instrumental in bringing me here. He claimed I did not iron his underwear properly, and burnt his breakfast bacon on purpose. After all I told them I did not know how to iron and had never seen bacon especially those thin slices they eat here for breakfast.

Next Monday is another hearing in Court.**

Chinatown

Chinatown

After court Aunt and I went to Chinatown. First a big dept. store and then chop suey dinner. It was very interesting. The day before Mr. Grossberg, aunt’s lawyer took me to an Italian restaurant.

On Sunday I was for the first time in a really Reform temple. Gigantic big, wonderful Rabbi, excellent choir and quite crowded. Tuesday I had a real German dinner at Rose’s and afterwards went to Samuels, they are a very nice family. The next night a real American dinner at Grossbergs. As you see I can get everything here.

temple sholom

Temple Sholom

On Saturday I did something for the first and probably the last time. I went to a Beauty Parlor school where I got for only 35¢ my hair set. But it took almost 2 hrs. It looked very nice once I was done but after 2 days it was all gone. And I was 3/4 hrs late for my date with Leonard.

I think I [will] have my hair cut as I used to have it tomorrow. The last time I had it cut was May 5th!

In the meantime I have been to the movies a few times. With Mr. Grossberg, I saw “Notorious Sophie Lang” a very exciting diamond smugglers story and with Opa “Of Human Bondage,” excellent and “The Love of Ariane” with Elisabeth Bergner. Very nice.

Of Human BondageMany people claim that I resemble Elisabeth Bergner, anyway the story could almost be my story. And then there were second movies [double features]. Some with Charlie Chaplin, extremely funny. But “Death on the Diamond” which I saw with Leonard was awfully upsetting.

The reason I tell you all this is to let you know what you should or should not see when it comes to you.Ariane

At work things are slowing down already. We don’t start until 1:00 p.m. every day and naturally earn much less money. But I manage o.k.

Glad to hear you found a new milliner. Tomorrow I have a date with Louise Hamburger to fit some hats. I had dinner with Alfred [Hamburger] one night last week. He is as nice and goodhearted as ever, but he is very stubborn and in business very hard to get along with.

You must have found a lot of junk when you cleaned out the old apt. I got $10 for that figurine and will buy a dress and pair of shoes with it. It is very easy to spend money here.

Ernale’s last letter came via San Francisco but still took only 13 days.

Elizabeth Bergner

Elizabeth Bergner

I would love to have a snapshot of Beethoven Str 5B so I can get an idea which building it is and I would also like to know how you have your furniture arranged so I can get an idea.

The weather is here now beautiful –like May or June in Ffm [Frankfurt]. In the evening it gets nice and cool.

Did you know that we have here 2 different times. One is called Standard Time – the same always for railroads and buses, etc., and then they change the clock 1 hr in the summer for Daylight Savings Time. Very confusing.

Since I meet Leonard often, I talk a lot of English. Sometimes he tries to talk German to me and it really sounds very funny.

By the way my boss Gus Bing will get married next week. Our forelady Marie told me and she is very happy. Die Fledermaus Poster

Today I received postal cards from Gaby and and heard from Richard Bloch. In the meantime I did hear from [Kurt?] Stevenhagen.

Shame on you Ernale for getting drunk. And flirting with 10 men at the same time!!

Regards as usual from Aunt Henny who calls me her sister now. I doubt that I will go with her to Florida. It is expensive and I do not feel like it. She plans to leave Nov. 1.

CarmenIt is already 11:30 and I should retire. Tonight I was all alone at home. Henny left me a note that she is visiting with some friends for a few days. It was delightful to be alone for a change.

Civic Opera Building

Civic Opera House

Tomorrow I hope to see Carmen in the opera house and in 2 weeks hope to hear the Fledermaus in German, also in the opera house.

Somebody on the radio just said “Good Night” and so do I.

Love,
Trudel


*[A “comment” at this point in Trudel’s handwritten translation of this letter reads, “When Aunt Henny heard that he was divorced over one year, she urged me to date him. She even would have liked to join us because she thought he had a lot of money. When she found out that he lost everything in his attempt to be re-elected as alderman of his ward, she tried very hard to talk me out of meeting him again.” It is not clear whether this comment was in her original letter or whether she added it when doing her translation. ]

** [ A comment here says, “My new friend did not take the case but certainly took the supposedly witness.” My father had been asked to represent one of the parties, but he refused. Again, It is not clear that this sentence was part of the original letter, but the line, in one variant or another was part of family lore. ]

 
 

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October 19, 1934 “Otherwise not much happened last week.”

October 19, 1934 “Otherwise not much happened last week.”

October 19, 1934

I just received a card from Max Wolff. He is coming here for 2 days and I will be very happy to receive some personal news from you. He will probably have a lot to tell you about me when he comes back.

Instead of attending Carmen on Saturday we went to another excellent theater. And before that we went with Joe Hamburger to a movie — “Romance in the Rain,” very nice. And the next day again a movie “One More River,” also very good.

One More River

One More River - Click on image for YouTube

Monday night I had dinner in Leonard’s office with him and Alfred Hamburger.

Since last week I am crocheting a black sweater on the train on my way to and from work. Maybe I’ll finish it by 1936. Otherwise not much happened last week. Romance in the Rain

One evening I was at Rose’s, yesterday at Louise Hamburger, whose mother will be 80 yrs old this week.

Leonard and I planned to have dinner together tonight but he is busy. Instead we will go out real great tomorrow evening. I will wear my black evening dress. All I know is that we have already tickets for Carmen but I do not know what else he is planning.

I finally had my hair cut again today and I look and feel much better. I talked to Rose Tauber, daughter of Fanny Ratzenstein, Aunt Jenny’s sister. Those two are not on speaking terms.

Trudel working with hat on block

Aunt Fanny is out of town until next week. I will call her again then and make a date.

Yesterday we had rain for the 1st time in 19 days.

Today it is beautiful again. Had a letter from Kurt Dillenberg, he would like me to find a job for him here. That’s all I need.

How are your jobs, girls? Did you get the new apartment all in order yet? How come you did not use Dellihausen for your moving?

Now I am going to work on some hats — A red one for myself that I want to wear tomorrow night and fix a few for other people. I am getting to be a dressmaker too now. I altered a few dresses for Aunt Henny. I just finished a delicious dinner. Henny is a great cook, spaghetti, tomato sauce and cheese.

That’s all for today.


10/22/34
Bismark Hotel Lobby

Postcard showing Bismark Hotel Lobby

Picture postal card of Bismark Hotel where I went with Max Wolff.



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