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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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