Tag Archives: men

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

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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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July 10, 1934. “You probably notice that almost everything here is described as biggest and best.”

July 10, 1934. “You probably notice that almost everything here is described as biggest and best.”

July 10th

My very dear Goldchildren!

So tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock I shall start [work]. It’s high time my life would get on a schedule again. Just please hold your thumbs that I know enough and they keep me.

Thank Doddo for that very long detailed letter. You must be awfully busy to find time to write such a long letter. I really appreciate it. That letter was the first one that was officially opened. Thanks also for the photos.

When I showed Julius that nice portrait of myself he did not want to give it back to me, but would have liked to hang it in his office. Can you beat that.

I wonder if I ever get around to putting my photos in an album. Thanks too for the address from Miss Samuels. I will try to call her next week. Please add my best wishes to all weddings, engagements, birthdays etc.

I still have not found any catalogues for Lu.

Also I have been at the Worlds Fair 8 times. I always help Henny a little and for that I get a pass for nothing and can go there anytime.

Too bad Lou did not exhibit here, I am sure he could have made a Lot of money. That man from Dusseldorf is very busy with his line of cookware. Last Friday I had a date with him but have already enough of him.

Sky Ride

Sky Ride

On Thursday I finally met my Cousin Martin Seckbach. I knew he would be in town and I went to the house, owned by the Bus Co., where he lives. When the 2nd Greyhound bus came with 2 chauffers I talked to 1 and it was the right fellow. He sent somebody to keep me company until he came ½ hr later and we went together to the Fair. He is quite nice, has a pass for admission too and even does not have to pay for most of the rides in the amusement park. First we went on the skyride. Great.

After visiting Henny we had a very good Chinese supper and met there a friend of his so we then went around 3 of us together. Then on a big Loop de Loop or what you call it. Then on a giant Ferris Wheel. We also had to go on a real enormous slide and could not leave without a boat ride all around the exhibit. And then a ride I had never heard of–Fying Turns. You get into 1 of those little boxes and that thing races around like mad. Up and down and twirling around itself. It’s hard to describe but I enjoyed it so much that we did it twice.

Flying Turns

Flying Turns

We made another date for last night but he never showed up although I waited from 7-10 p.m. for him. Now he can wait a long time before I make another date with him although I had enjoyed that evening with him very much.

He even had invited me to go with him by bus to Lima, Ohio and then back with his own car for 3 to 4 days to visit his brother who lives with his girlfriend and family there. Nobody knows if they are married or not. Also Aunt Henny gave me permission to go with him, I declined with thanks.


Interior of Marshall Fields

If you have any China figures you do not think you want to keep anymore send them to me. We have already customers for that junk. I gave myself a special treat today. I walked for 1½ hrs around Marshall Fields the biggest dept. store in the world. I never saw so many beautiful things together in every dept. It is almost like a museum.

Have you found a new apt. yet? Where, How and What?

Have not heard from any of my boat companions anymore.

My wristwatch is broken and not worth fixing. Uncle gave me one of his. Aunt Henny gave me a wristband to go with it.

Marshall Fields

Marshall Fields

I am very happy with my down comforter. They are awfully expensive here. Well, as mentioned before we are living in a so called 3 room apt. on the 2nd floor above a tavern and a grocery store and the rent is $25 a week, including electric, gas and heat. The curly hairdos are out of style already. I haven’t had my hair cut since I left home.

If the movie 20 Million Sweethearts should come you will hear the melody which at this time is driving me nuts. You hear it all the time and everywhere.

I surely would appreciate come butter cookies. The Sal-Ammonia pills helped Henny get over a very bad sore throat and she too thanks you very much.

Swift Bridge

Concert at the Swift Bridge

Last Wednesday and Saturday spent most of my time at the Fair. Mostly I sit on the Swift Bridge and listen to beautiful concerts. The bridge belongs to the biggest parking company. And the free concerts are by the biggest and best orchestra. You probably notice that almost everything here is described as biggest and best.

Sunday I was again with Uncle and Opa at a German affair [comment I really hated those affairs since I was trying to get away from everything German. They could not understand that.] It was called A Day in Heidelberg, a picnic at a very large amusement park 1½ hr ride on the streetcar each way. Next week I am going to refuse.

Today I bought a 3 piece knit suit at Hans’s factory for $2 and he took me out for lunch.

Sure wish you could see me at the fair. The red dress I bought in N.Y., a red tam very much on one side of the head, long red earrings, and pretty much makeup. Henny tells all the customers that I just came from Paris, do not know much English and then she talks German to me. We have been laughing tears. My job there is to look attractive and watch that nothing is stolen. I even sold already for $1.25.

Lots of love and kisses from your very lucky Trudel.

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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,


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.

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November 9, 1934 “I really love changes–in some things . . .”

November 9, 1934   “I really love changes–in some things . . .”

671 N. Dearborn Room 22.

My dearest Goldkinder:

I really love changes–in some things–that is 1 of the reasons I use different writing paper almost every time. Thanks Doddo for the sweet postal card. I mailed it together with cookie recipe to Weils. Of course I am still waiting for that long letter Doddo promised me about 4 weeks ago.

Sherman Hotel

Sherman Hotel

Monday I talked to Louise Hamburger.

Tuesday I received 2 letters, one from the Sherman Hotel here and the other from Cincinnati. The first one from Sherman Hotel was from Gaby Metz’s friend Hardy Oberlander. I will call him next week. The other was from Herbert Pohl who sent me the address of another boy from Ffm, a great nephew of Emma Emden. He lives only 2 blocks from here and visited me 2 days ago. He is a nice 20 yr old boy. Today, 11/10 I called Oberlander and made a date for next Wednesday. Tuesday I was at Aunt Henny’s and Thursday she came to me.

I also looked up a very nice lady whose address somebody in Ffm had given me. She not only called her own milliner but took me to the hat dept at Saks 5th Avenue to introduce me. Right now is no business but they may contact me after the New Year for the spring season. Last Saturday I visited Rose and altered a hat. Afterwards I went downtown first saw Miss Samuels’ sister in one of the big department stores. Later I met Leonard and a very nice young couple. He is a portrait painter.

After dinner we went to the “Chicago Theater” biggest and most beautiful movie picture house here, where I had been several times with Hans, saw a very nice movie with 10 yr old Jackie Cooper and him afterwards in person. As usual a very good floor show. After the show we went home with that young couple and sat with hot tea and cookies until 2:00 a.m. I am so glad I have my nice warm gray coat because it is pretty cold here now.

Chicagp Theater

Chicago Theater

Jackie Cooper

Jackie Cooper

Yesterday, Sunday afternoon, Leonard took me along to meet his darling pretty 5 yr old little girl [from his first marriage]. We took her along to a very nice Hotel, mostly Jewish, for a big delicious dinner. Of course we met a lot of nice people Leonard knew since it is in the district where he was Alderman.

After dinner we took Flora Mae home and then we went to Leonard’s hotel and sat in the lobby with several people and discussed politics. National and international. Of course I only listened but it was very interesting.

Trudel with Flora Mae

Trudel with Flora Mae

Tomorrow night I will go to Aunt Henny. I am remodeling 2 hats for her landlady.

We expect a lot of new orders next week at work.. Wednesday I expect to see a movie “The Merry Widow”. I am humming the melodies already to myself. Last week 1 evening I wrote 3 English letters. That is remarkable to me. I am really surprised how fairly well I can keep up a conversation in English now. Of course there are always some words missing.

Click for YouTube

Click for YouTube

Loads of love and kisses.

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May 11, 1935 – “All afternoon today I was sitting in sunshine on my bed.”

May 11, 1935 – “All afternoon today I was sitting in sunshine on my bed.”

May 11, 1935

My beloved Love Ones!

Often I wish time would not go so fast so I would not have to write you so often.

The cookies, which I received Friday night, were gone by Monday. They were delicious, of course not enough. One half of them we ate already by Friday night at Samuels. I almost thought there would not be any left for me to take home.

What ever happened to mother’s jet dress? I wrote you a couple of times that we could use it very well here.

Slot Machine

I ate so many cookies on Saturday morning that I could not eat any breakfast. At 3:00 pm I finally had some hot chocolate and a little toast. After that I lay on my bed in beautiful sunshine. Later I picked up Leonard for supper.

On the way home we found a different slot machine that we had not seen before. I decided to try my luck for a change and won 55 cents. Of course about 1/3 of it went back into the machine.

Sunday after sleeping late I went to the “south side” for the bris of the newest Samuel baby. The father, Fritz, is the youngest of the 4 Samuel children. Leonard came later with Flora Mae. We ate as usual in the Madison Park Hotel and afterwards saw a movie, “Life begins at 40.”

Life Begins at 40

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On Monday we worked only until 3:00 pm. It was miserable rainy weather so I had nothing better to do than to go to a movie again: “The Night is Young” after a novel by Vicky Baum and playing in Vienna. The main actor was Ramon Navarro and a small part played by Hermann Bing, brother of Gus.

Then I picked up Leonard and we met Louise and Alfred Hamburger. She is giving lectures to new German refugees on American literature. It was really very interesting.

Afterwards we went to the room of a lady in the same hotel and had very interesting conversation. In 10 years Leonard has not heard as much German as that evening.

The Night is Young

Click image to see trailer

Tuesday night I was at Aunt Henny’s. She moved into a nice, quiet hotel for the same amount of money. Wednesday I stayed home, ate dinner with Mrs. Saunders and went to sleep at 9:00 pm.

Do you remember the red sweater I started to make for Ellen? I ripped it all and made it very pretty, all new.

Thursday I ate at Fritz and Bertl Samuel. I am altering a hat for the new mother. Fritz worked in FFM at the “Flôrsheimer Stiftung” [Florsheim Foundation] Addie Eggner worked several years at Sigmund Strauss Jr. and the 3 of us talked about a lot of Frankfurters.

Both young men know Alex from the “Stift” although Fritzis much younger. He and Addie used to go often to Wehrheim to sell goods. Addie sends his best regards to Doddo [Trudel’s sister] and thanks her for the letter. He thinks you really should find time to write to me and described you as a “light blond goyishe girl.” What about that “light blond?”

By the way do you still have so much trouble with your stomach? I found a very cheap easy cure. From all that not so good restaurant food my stomach was in pretty bad shape. Now I drink a cup of very warm water with just a little sugar first thing every morning. At first I did not like it, but now I got used to It and my stomach is fine. After that I eat 3 or 4 cooked prunes with milk or cream.

Frozen Cream on Top

By cream I mean what is on top of the milk in the bottle. One can get milk here only in bottles, homogenized and does not need to be cooked. Just try my prescription for a little while and you will have no need for other medicine. Good Luck! Maybe you will feel so much better that you will write me more often.

Now back to my itinerary. Friday night again I went to the senior Samuels. Tomorrow, Mother’s Day, they will be married 40 years. I gave them a very pretty salad serving set and salt and pepper shakers. When they scolded me for spending my hard earned money I declared that I wanted to give to a mother who deserved something for Mother’s Day. After all she is the “mother” of a bunch of young people. As always, the meal was very, very good. Too bad we live so far away from each other. Maybe it is just as well. If I would eat there too often I would gain a lot of weight.

Mr. Eggener has not found a job yet also. All of us are trying to help him. It is always very hard to find work until one speaks better English.

Today I went downtown early to pay Leonard’s phone bill, then I spent $4 for a collar, cuffs, belt and some flowers to make the blue dress and coat look new.



Since [For] 3 days we were having gorgeous summer weather, but now it is starting to rain.

I am writing this in the office after dinner. Leonard is sound asleep in his chair again. The poor guy did not get home until 4:00 am every night this week and had to be in court at 10:00 am every morning. I do not know how he could do that if he did not sleep here 1 or 2 hours in between sometimes.

I really have to try to get more sleep too. I got a good start on Wednesday. All afternoon today I was sitting in sunshine on my bed and sewed, washed and ironed a little.

Shirley Temple Paper Dolls

Shirley Temple Paper Dolls

We are invited for Mrs. Gray’s birthday on the 22nd. At the same time they are opening their “roof garden” for the summer season. That is when I want to look very nice. I have no idea what I should wear. Hopefully I will have that pullover sweater ready by then. It would look nice with my white linen suit.

Shirly Temple Paper Clothes

When will I receive a photo of Ernst? Did you receive the underwear? Do not forget Erna Grünebaum’s birthday on the 25th. I will send her a Shirley Temple “paper doll” with paper clothes. I hope it arrives safely.

When do I get answers to my letters? I asked weeks ago what was wrong with Steffie O? I am giving up hope that my sisters will answer. At least my dear Papa writes to me now and then. What else is new?

I do not know any more to write.

Love and kisses
Trudel and Leonard

I am trying to learn more about the “Flôrsheimer Stiftung” or “Stift.” Flôrsheim is a city in the mountains near Frankfort. There also appears to have been a Flôrsheim street in Frankfurt. In my research, I discovered Dr. Max Scholl was a chemist who built a business specialzing in the chemical treatment of leather in Flôrsheim. Since Trudel’s sister and her boyfriend were in the leather business, there may have been a connection. Dr. Scholl’s tragic story is told in a series of letters in a 1997 NYTimes article Dear Cousin Julius, We Trust on Our God and on You…’

There does not appear to be any connection to Dr. Scholl’s shoes or to the Florsheim shoe company which was founded in Chicago in 1892.


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