Tag Archives: Illinois Central

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 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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