Tag Archives: friends

November 17, 1934 “It’s good to have friends everywhere.”

November 17, 1934 “It’s good to have friends everywhere.”


My very very dear ones,

So glad Pappa’s [long] letter arrived here yesterday. Otherwise I might have addressed you differently [because it had been so long since they had written] and I am sure I will receive Doddo’s long promised long letter some day. I am only wondering if it will come in 1935 or 1936.

Dear Pappa seems to have the same trouble as I do. I sit down and don’t know what to write and all of a sudden 3 pages are full. I guess some of the questions I have answered already and I will try to answer the rest now. I wonder if one of my letters got lost since my numbers do not jive with yours anymore.

Dear Bubule, please give my regards to Dr. Samuel when you see him. I wrote a card to Dr. English and wonder if he received it.

Today I am using Leonard’s typewriter for this letter but it does not go any faster than if I write by hand.

1934 DeSotoAirflo

!934 DeSoto

The friendship between Hamburgers and Aunt Henny is not too strong and Julius is with them like with most nice people – broges [angry, upset]. Henny had mostly business affairs with them. Between Leonard and them is also only more acquaintances than friendship.

Actually it was not necessary for Julius to vouch for me [for papers to come to the United States]. Anybody else could have signed the papers. But I still am thankful to him that he did it.

I do not look forward to going to court again next Tuesday [in the divorce between Trudel’s Aunt Henny and Uncle Julius].

It makes such a difference if one is dressed well here.



If I get mother’s jet dress I will probably make an evening jacket out of it. That is very stylish here now, with a little cap from the same material. You probably think, What worries does she have? But it makes such a difference if one is dressed well here. Not only that it makes one feel better.

Today I made myself a real pretty little hat from the left overs of my blue housecoat. It happens to match exactly the color of a cheap dress I bought last week. I also made a green hat to match another cheap dress I bought. So I have now 6 hats and I will make myself a black velvet cap.

Yesterday I got a new customer. The black girl who cleans my room. She saw me working on a hat and asked me to make it for her in brown.


I cannot make up my mind what to do about my room. Some people say I have to get out of this neighborhood as soon as possible while others agree that I live in my room which I like and don’t bother about the neighborhood. And it is so convenient to go where ever I want.

It is now Saturday at 9:00 p.m. Leonard has some work to do so we came here to the office in the pouring rain.

It’s good to have friends everywhere.

Reinhardt on the set of midsummer's nights dream

Max Reinhardt and cast on the set of a production of Midsummer Nights Dream

Last night we were again together with the portrait painter and his wife. They have a car very similar to Lu’s only it is a DeSoto. As usual first dinner then a so-so movie and a cup of coffee afterwards. He had trouble finding a place to park so a policeman just put the sign “no parking” away. It’s good to have friends everywhere. Next Saturday the four of us want to see a “MidSummer Night’s Dream” under the direction of Max Reinhardt.

I finally talked to Aunt Fanny and made a date with her for next Tuesday. At work we were very busy this past week. Another company worked in our place and I do not know why. I helped them there.

I pretended not to understand any English and heard them talk about me.

I pretended not to understand any English and heard them talk about me. One said that I was very slow–so what else is new. And then another said I did such very good work. That is much more important to me.

One of the ladies from the other company asked me for my address and phone number. They are not sure if they are coming back to work with us next week and she would like me to come to work for them. I was really surprised that she picked me from 8 other girls who work much faster than I but it proved to me that I know something, even if they cannot use me [next week].

Broges! Family!

Otherwise there is not much to tell, except that a brother of Julius Seckbach was run over by a car and died on the way to the hospital. It happened on the day when Rose and her husband were going to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. Of course that was canceled. After all he was her husband’s brother.

Did I tell you that Henny insulted her sister in law very much and nobody could convince her to apologize until several weeks later. The day before I moved out she finally called her and asked Rose to forgive her. Actually I had on Opa’s insistence planned to rent a room from Rose, but because those 2 were feuding I did not do it. Just as well. But I am glad they made up.

Flora Mae

Flora Mae

I have no idea what is going to happen to Henny’s plans to go to Florida. The legal aspects with Julius are not finished yet and her money from working at the Fair is slowly running out. She is now again selling Xmas postal cards. A very big business here.

I was with her last Tuesday and will go again tomorrow evening. It takes me at least 1 hr to get home from her. Thursday night I was at Samuels. It takes 1½ hr. each way. That is like going from Ffm Center [Downtown Frankfurt] to Hamburg.

This afternoon Leonard and I picked up his adorable Flora Mae again. She and I get along great and I have been playing games with her. As usual we 3 had dinner at the Madison Park Hotel.

It is only 4½ more years before I can become an American citizen.

Madison Park Hotel

Madison Park Hotel in later years

If this letter is kind of messed up it is because I am using the typewriter and I have to look at the letters all the time. I have been typing for over 1 hr now. It is awfully slow when one is as bad a typist as I am.

I try to correspond with some of the people of the boat and every day I hear of more refugees who are coming here. It is only 4½ more years before I can become an American citizen. How the time flies.

Love and kisses,

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January 11, 1935 “I almost slept in a bed Lincoln slept in, but it was too hard”

January 11, 1935  “I almost slept in a bed Lincoln slept in, but it was too hard”

This letter was written on January 10, 1935 and completed on January 11.

Jan 10, 1935

Dear Goldkinder,

Although I have not heard from you, I will write you now. Am I not a good girl?

If I am not mistaken I have not written a very sensible letter to you yet this year. Thanks for postal cards from Xmas–Saalburg and New Year’s Eve Cafe at the Hauptwache. I received them with thanks.


Cafe Hauptwache

Just imagine today I finally received the balance of my salary owed me by Budwig (Gus Bing). Somehow the check was delayed in the mail and I finally got it.

Rose and Max Seckbach moved to California last Monday. She could not stand the weather and temperature here any longer because of her very bad asthma and hay fever. I went to see them off and saw the whole family again. Opa, her father, lives now with a lady where I almost rented a room. Hans has taken a room in one of the best hotels on the South Side.

That evening I realized again how clever I was not to have a lot of people there (at the boat dock) when I left Germany. There were so many tears shed.

Postcard from Saalburg

An Old Postcard from Saalburg

I now have a nice new friend: Gwen Bishop. I wrote you about her before. We are spending quite some time together. I helped her make a dress and made a hat and little purse to go with it. She also is having the black and light blue sweater from me when I finish it. I will also crochet a skirt to go with it. I even slept one night at their house this week.

When I came there after work it was very icy and slippery and it got worse during the evening. So they did not let me go home. I almost slept in a bed Abraham Lincoln had slept in a few times but it was too hard for me. Instead I slept in a bed so large I was afraid to get lost in it.

And I wore a very beautiful crepe de chine nightgown with a lot of lace trimming.

This morning we went downtown together and then I went home with her again. They asked me to stay another night but I did not feel like it. Since she had only 5 flat irons I had her give me 1 of them.


Gwen Bishop's Home

I also visited with Aunt Henny this week. I had been trying repeatedly to call her without success but she complained to several people that I was neglecting her. Finally I wrote her a postal card. She was in bed for a couple of days with a very bad cold, but she is much better now.

Everybody here has a cold and cough. Leonard and I did changing off too. We did not even try to see Flora Mae yet this year. We are both o.k. now.

One evening last week I was at Aunt Fanny Ratzenstein. It was very nice. We looked at old photos which was very enjoyable. I gave her the photo of Tante Dortche in front of her house, which she appreciated.

At work we are quite busy now. I am not sure what I should do. At this job I do not earn very much but know I have a secure job. If I change I may have work for 3 months maybe and then I sit at home.

For 3 weeks we had a forelady here who we found out on the last day came here from Bremmen and was for 2 yrs kinderfraulein for a family in Ffm. She did not like this job here and told me on Friday that she would not be here on Monday. She gave me her phone number and asked me to get in touch with her.

Also Gus Bing’s wife, who I met at the train station Monday, gave me her address and phone number. She suggested that I come some evening with my boyfriend for dinner. Leonard is right now very busy so I may go there alone 1 evening next week. After all Gus is in the millinery business and I know he liked my work.

Hauptmann Lindbergh Trial Headline

Aunt Henny is still considering leaving Chicago. Now she is talking about California instead of Fla.

Since 2 weeks I buy a newspaper every night and read for about 1½ hrs. I am closely following the Hauptmann-Lindbergh case. You have probably heard of it too.

I received New Year’s cards from Dr. Samuel and Dr. Billingheimer. I think that is very nice. Ilse Niederman wrote me a 4 page letter in very good English. That shows what we can do if we really want to.

I am wondering when I will hear from you again. Remember you were going to send me my papers and report cards from the Trade School.

On last Thursday I was here 8 months already, and 1 year ago yesterday I received the notice to come to Stuttgart for my affidavit. It is a good sign when the time seems to pass so fast.

Love Trudel


In answer to your picture postal card — Except for my annual cold I am fine. I have not talked to Aunt Henny since Xmas. I have tried to call her several times in vain. We are very busy at work now.

How do you like Leonard’s German? It would be real nice if each of you would write to him once too. Or is that asking too much?

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