Tag Archives: movies

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

Click for YouTube

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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June 3, 1934 – Life in Chicago (Storm Clouds Brewing?)

June 3, 1934  – Life in Chicago (Storm Clouds Brewing?)

June 3rd, 1934

Dear ones,

It is already 4 days since I wrote you last. Time goes so very fast a sign that I am having a good time.

It is really very nice here.

I get along very well with both of them [Aunt Henny and Uncle Julius Seckbach] and can play mediator once in a while. Not often necessary.

Every evening the 3 of us take a walk along the lake in the park. For 2 days it was awfully hot and I was glad to stay in the apartment. Not much happened in the meantime.

Walking in the park

Trudel walking past the World's Fair.

Yesterday we went window shopping. One dress or hat shop next to the other. People put much more importance on clothing than in Germany.

The table cloths I brought along were very much liked and welcome, the candies and cookies are almost gone. Please send me the recipe for the cookies soon.

So far I have not contacted anyone here. They are broges* [upset] with Alfred Hamburger since Xmas because of some business affair. Last nite we went to a movie. Now, Sunday afternoon we are going to go for a walk. I do not know where.

The newest sport here is riding bicycles. That is something for me. Tomorrow Aunt Henny and I are planning to go swimming early. I take a shower every day. That is great.

Gas, electric, hot water and heat are included in the rent which is pretty high. This apt. 2 rooms, kitchen and bath cost weekly $25.00. On the other hand clothing and food is very reasonable. Especially fresh fruit which is eaten at any time of the day is very cheap. In Germany I did not used to eat as much fruit in a month as I do here in 1 day. I like especially pineapple.



Lake Front on a Summer Day, 1934

*Trudel wrote “proches,” a French word for “near” in her hand written corrections to a typescript of these letters. However, “broges,” which is is Yiddish for mad or “upset” fits the context. Proches makes no sense in this context.


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July 3, 1934 “Tomorrow is a big holiday here – 4th of July”

July 3, 1934 “Tomorrow is a big holiday here – 4th of July”

July 3rd, 1934

My dear ones!

First of all, in Uncle’s name thanks for the ammonia cough drops.

Did one of you inquire at Leon Meyer about those little pins? The one I gave Auntie she wears all the time and could sell it many times during the day.

As I told you previously she is in charge of a costume jewelry store at the Fair.

I hope to be able to start working next week. On Friday I have to call my future boss again to make sure. So many newcomers have not found jobs yet.

On Saturday and yesterday I assisted Auntie a little. Actually I kept myself very busy. She introduced me to a German man who took me 10 min. later for coffee and in the evening Hans K. picked me up.

Chicago Theater - 1932

First we went to the Excellent film and show in a beautiful building, Chicago’s biggest and best movie house. The show was 3 hours. Then we went to a great restaurant to eat and dance. Such funny places you cannot imagine and you really get your money’s worth. I did not get home until 2 a.m.

Last week I went swimming 2 times. The water is pretty dirty but in this heat it is a wonderful way to cool off at least temporary.


Lotte (Doddo)7 Adler, one of Trudel's Sisters

How was Doddo’s birthday without me?

My English is still very bad. I would like to read a newspaper but if nobody helps me I won’t understand anything anyhow. So I only read the German paper.

Sunday I was at Weil’s who just had heard a speech by [Joseph] Goebbels on the radio. Too bad I did not get there in time to hear it too.*

In the evening we took a walk along the lake. At night the view from there is really wonderful. Yesterday at the Fair I was looking for a witness of Henny’s accident from Düsseldorf. We spent about 1½ hrs talking together. Later in the evening we met at my favorite place, the Canadian Club Cafe, including Henny and Opa Kösterlitz. Opa tries to see me once every day. He, like all the others are much too good to me. His son Hans is out of town for 1 week.

Tomorrow is a big holiday here – 4th of July. Uncle, Opa and I will probably go to the fair where they expect a very, very big crowd.

I registered for my 1st papers and hope to get them this week. It cost $5 but in contrast I bought for only 10¢ a bottle of Cutex nail polish remover and a very big box of face powder for only 72¢. Today it is nice and cool, thank G’d.

Fair at night

Lakefront at night.

Love and kisses.


*The radio speech to which Trudel refers is one in which Joseph Goebbels defended the actions of he NAZIs during “The Night of the Long Knives,” a purge that was a major event in Hitler’s rise to power. This demonstrates Trudel’s continuing attention to what was happening in Germany.

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July 26, 1934 “One night I went up on the roof with a folding chair, a pillow and a blanket.”

July 26, 1934 “One night I went up on the roof with a folding chair, a pillow and a blanket.”

July 26, 1934

My very dear ones.

Well, the main thing is that everything has finally arrived and I hope Doddo and Liss liked them.

Today I mailed you a book from the Fair and today I am enclosing 4 snapshots. On one of them I am wearing the yellow knit suit I bought at Hans K.

The others will give you a little idea what a nice workplace I have, altho I am sitting at home again since a few days since there was no work at all. Gus Bing, Uncle’s nephew, promised to call me as soon as they get some orders. He sends regards to Alex.

I received already my first paycheck of $12.85. All work is paid by check. Since I work so slowly the check was not very big. I think I told you that this is a factory of very elegant hats but piecework. I hope I learn to work faster so I can earn more money. Gus thinks I will but should continue to work as well as I do.

Actually this is a beautiful light clean large workroom. On arrival and leaving we punch a time clock. No work on Sat. or Sun.

RCA Radio

RCA Radio - Introduced in 1934

In the afternoon they turn on the radio. At first I could not imagine from where the hollow voice was coming. Frequently we hear concerts.

We are interrupted by people who come in to sell sewing needles or to sharpen scissors. Every afternoon comes a man to sell ice cream, which was very welcome in that miserable heat we had until today.

Actually one can all over on street corners drink water from a fountain just like hoses. Actually they have faucets where the water goes up instead of running down. You cannot picture it. You bend down over it and the water goes right into your mouth. We even have one of these fountains with ice cold water in our workroom. It sure comes handy in that heat. I will try and take a photo once when somebody is drinking.

I cannot tell you how much ice cream and cold drinks I put into me this last week. Now I can understand how people can get a heat stroke.

On Sunday I had to go again to a German picnic. We had to wait for 1 hr for a bus and we almost fainted. It was 95 degrees in the shade. In this heat I cannot eat much and not sleep hardly at all.

1 night I went up on the roof with a folding chair, a pillow and a blanket. It was great up there and I slept well for 1½ hrs. Then I wanted to turn around and the chair collapsed under me. So I had to go back downstairs.

Most nights I would get up every so often and sit by the open window where there was at a least a little breeze once in a while. Last night I moved my bed so my head is right by the window.

Longest Bar

Subway Cafe - "The longest Bar in the World"

One evening last week we went bumming. After work I went to the Fair where at 9:00 p.m. Opa and a niece picked me up. Then we met a friend of the niece who drove us with his car to the greatest bar in the world. That bar counter is so long you cannot see the end of it. And behind it a lot of mirrors to make it look even bigger. Just like in the movie Wonder Bar with Al Jolson. Hope you can see that when it comes to you. Of course we did not sit at the bar but at a little table. It was again a nice evening and I did not get home until 2 a.m.

On Monday night Opa and I had dinner at that friend’s [restaurant] One of the nicest restaurants here on the south side. Then we went to see the movie The House of Rothschild. Excellent. On the way home we passed that friend’s restaurant again and his father called us in and the mother asked me to come to visit once in a while. Opa went home and I visited with them for about 3 more hours. I would not have been able to sleep anyhow it was so very hot. It was so comfortable to sit in their air conditioned restaurant.

Air contitioned theater

Keeping Cool

All theatres and restaurants are air conditioned otherwise nobody would go there. After a little drive along the lake the son then drove me home. Lately some restaurants are putting tables and chairs on the sidewalks. I have been in 2 of those so called bier gardens. This is something very new here this year and if there is not a sign in front that it is people just do not know. All they drink here is: beer, soda, lemonade, whiskey, highballs etc.

Harry Ehrlich promised to get me a glass of wine at our next date in a week. He also wants to teach me to drive a car. In spite of the many cars on the street you hear much less horn blowing than at home.

A couple of days ago our young people’s group met and again I was driven home by 2 men and 3 girls. It is getting much easier for me to have a conversation now. Of course when 2 people talk together I cannot follow because they always talk too fast and when 3 ask me something at the same time I have no idea what they want.

Last Saturday I intended to spent some time alone at the Fair, but of course I ran into people I knew. First Opa with his whole big family 3 sons, 1 daughter, 1 son in law and 2 daughters in law only I was missing. So of course I joined them. I knew them all already except for the 2 daughters in law. Hans delivered me at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

I was home alone and Joe Hamburger, Uncle Alfred’s son came by to ask if I wanted to go swimming with him which I did of course. I had just cut out the back of my old bathing suit and wore it right away.

Sears Ad 1934

Sears Dresses on Sale 1934

Yesterday Aunt Henny took a day off. She is really working much too hard.
We went downtown in the afternoon and I bought myself another dress for 59¢. Nothing in front, nothing in back but still too much for this heat.

We then went to the concert at the Fair. My travel companions from Vienna I see every time I go there. The wife and friend work now in an exhibit called “Black Forest”. But since it costs admission I only sneaked in once with my pass. It is one of the busiest exhibits they show fancy ice skating. Very beautiful to watch especially when it is so hot outside.

Black Forest Village at Worlds Fair

Black Forest Village with Ice Skating Show.

I do not know if I can get a pass again for the month of August, so this pleasure will come to an end soon probably. 50¢ is too much to spend for

By the way in 1 of the exhibits is a statue of a big white dog, advertising of the “Voice of his Master”, he says something which I do not understand and moves his mechanical mouth. I recognized it from far away. Doddo, do you remember where we saw one like it? Was it at the big music show?

Yesterday we saw something terrific. 6 mechanical figures of American Presidents. They get up to make speeches into microphones and then sit down again. Fascinating how they work. That is about all I can tell you today.

Animated Presidents

Talking Presidents

What is the matter with our cousin Alice Wolff that she is in the hospital? Ilsa Liederman wrote a funny description of Lore Levy’s engagement.

It seems that some of my cards from the boat never arrived. So now I will go to the drugstore here in the building to eat my lunch being a cantaloupe a la mode, ½ of a melon like fruit with ice cream on top.

So until next time.
Love and Kisses,



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August 5, 1934 “All those little white dots are people . . .”

August 5, 1934 “All those little white dots are people . . .”

Aug 5, 1934

My dear Goldkind:

Yesterday I received your letter dated 7/20 and today one from Ernale dated 7/24 with photos.

So far I have not received the little pins [I asked for in an earlier letter]. I guess they will come some day.

Since Thursday I am working again. We are very busy now and I do not have to worry about being laid off again soon.

Enclosed I am sending a little map of Chicago. Guess this is no better than my drawing. Right? Also I am enclosing a snapshot of myself which one of my travel companions sent me. You can do whatever you want with that little film. One photo should be of a woman drinking water from one of those many fountains on the street like I tried to explain to you in a previous letter.

Hot Summer Days in Grant Park

. . . people just laying on the grass in that heat.

For more explanations to the photos I sent you earlier. On the photo facing south all those little white dots are people either in shirtsleeves or light colored dresses. All just laying on the grass in that heat. On the photo facing north the big square dark thing on the Chevy sign is a big clock which I can see from my seat at work. Photo #3 shows Madison Street running East and West between skyscrapers and dividing the city into north and south.

All streets start with house #1 from there in every direction. The building where I work in is No 14 N. Michigan Ave, and is only 8 floors high. Last week I went to see somebody on the 19th floor [of another building].

Grant Park with Clock

View from Trudel's Work Place, with Chevy Sign

I am having a lot of correspondence now. Today I received an opened letter from Alice and was glad to hear that she is getting better. By the time you get this letter she will hopefully be all o.k. again.

Also today I received a very nice letter from Dr. Salzberger from their vacation and I have to answer: Ellen, Kurt Dielnberg, Eugene Hollander (from the boat) Hans Roos, Ernst Straus, Hamburgers, extra Marion at camp, Ernst Goldschmidt and Herman Weiller. You see I won’t get bored.

Michigan and Madison

Michigan Ave. and Madison Street.

Also this week I started hats for Rose Seckbach, Henny and myself and hope to finish them next week. Just right now I notice Doddo’s kiss on the last letter. A little weak but I could recognize it.

I am very glad you are saving my letters for me. It should be interesting to read them again in 20 yrs or more.

I have not heard from Herbert Pohl in a long time. He wrote me from a trip and I answered him. May be it is that his brother wrote him that he does not know me. I lost Mrs. Brown’s address and cannot find it anywhere. Maybe you can write it to me again.

You know, Bubele, I would love to take all of you to the Canadian Club Cafe once but just the admission to the fair alone is 50¢ each. For the month of August I do not have a pass anymore either. And then we would have to eat or drink something there and unfortunately my billfold is not holding that much yet. Hopefully some time in the future.

Of course I used my pass a lot last month. I could make a good guide by now. My English is getting much better. I can now make people understand what I have to say. I can make a few English phone calls already. I do not feel like taking lessons. My newest boyfriend, Harry Ehrlich, talks and understands very little German fortunately.

Kösterlitz comes from behind Berlin. One nephew is a lawyer. Do you remember a court case about a pupil, “Schöller-Krautz?” He was one of the lawyers in that case.

Now I am very happy to tell you that I have lost 5 lbs and feel very well. Did Ernale lose her rainbow marks again? Aunt Henny is o.k. so far but is working much too hard. I am afraid she will collapse one day if she keeps it up.

How you doing in finding an apartment. That cannot be a pleasure to be apartment hunting if it is as hot as you write.

With the warts I would suggest you go to Bob or wait until it rains 3 days and Papa can try his luck. The wart under my arm I cut off with a piece of thread. During the heat it had gotten very sore. Now it is gone.

Ernale, you were going to give me Justus’s address. I asked my Hungarian travel friend about him. He had heard about his father, a very well known doctor.

I sure hope I too will learn to drive before too long. Hope you do not need to take a driver’s test.

Dillinger Shot

Crowd Gathers at Biograph after Dillinger Shot

Dillinger’s killing was the talk of the town for at least 3 days. Henny’s boss happened to be in the vicinity where it all happened. He went there and dipped a piece of paper in Dillinger’s blood and carries it with him all the time as a good luck charm. That’s America for you!

In the meantime we all followed newspaper reports about Pres. Hindenburg health progress very diligently. He has reached a nice old age.

Right now I am listening to Strauss Waltzes on the radio. That is good music for writing.

The same day I last wrote to you I wrote an additional 8 picture postal cards, 2 reg. postal cards and 2 letters and in spent the evening at Rose’s. The next evening Hans took me again to the Chicago Theatre. Besides a very nice movie we saw the Boxer Max Baer in person on the stage, besides a nice dance group and orchestra. As always an excellent program.

Women in Uniform

Women in Uniform (Original German version)

After eating we went for a walk and he showed me the biggest hotel anywhere. We always go to the theatre before 6:00 p.m. because it is much cheaper than later about half the price. Saturday I went to the Fair in the afternoon and later went with one of my travel companions from Vienna who works at the Fair to see the movie Girls in Uniform. Not especially great. Maybe I did not understand the English well enough.**
Stevens Hotel

World's Largest Hotel

Sunday I left already at 9:00 a.m. with Hans for the Dunes. Also I took a lot of oil with me this time. I got pretty much sunburned again. It was another gorgeous day only we left early to go home, change clothes and he picked me up again to go for dinner and then to the gigantic outdoor stadium called “Soldiers Field” to attend “Jewish Peoples Day”.*

Several very interesting Jewish speakers and singers and dancers. Excellent orchestra. An 11 year old Jewish boy played fantastic violin. I think his name was Isha.* [Possibly Grisha Goluboff? This video made in July, 1934 begins with a lot of noise but may be worth watching. Trudel’s Son.]

Jewish Day Preparations

Preparations for Jewish Day
Hyde Park Herald, July 6, 1934

And the main thing a play called “The Epic of a Nation.” The program included:

  1. Ancient Palestine with a cast of 500 people. The 12 tribes, each in different colors and their different banners, coming in from different sides to meet in the middle of this gigantic stage together. They sang old Jewish songs and joined the orchestra as a chorus.
  2. The Diaspora–they start wandering.
  3. [At] first very happy and everything fine. The Jews give gifts and knowledge, ethics, justice etc. then suddenly everything changes. They are persecuted and have to leave. Their books are burnt. A big pile is being burnt in the middle of the stage while the choir sings Kol Nidre and Kaddish.
  4. Interlude: The orchestra plays a rhapsody depicting the wandering Jews in many different lands.
  5. Again hope and happiness. Singing and dancing with candelabras with burning candles.
  6. The workers of today. Just singing by the choir.
  7. The new Palestine.
  8. Dancing and singing to the tune of America. All come together from all the different lands with many flags from all over.

It was really very beautiful and impressive, only a little too long, the whole pageant was organized by some Jew.

Well, Monday I met Alfred Hamburger and his wife at the Fair. She was reading something and had sent me an invitation. Then I went to the Black Forest exhibit when my Vienna friend has his stand now to cut shadow pictures. Since his wife was sick a friend, Charlie, helped him and I kept them company until 11:30 p.m. Tuesday I did the same only until 11:00 p.m. This Charlie is a real friendly light hearted guy. He wants to take me along when the fun is over but I wouldn’t think of it.

[Comment: Now [when I am translating these letters] I can tell you the reason I went out every night. I just could not stand to be house with Uncle Julius alone. I did not care to cook for him or spend my evenings with this miserable selfish guy and play cards or just listen to his German talking all the time.]

On Wednesday I was again at a movie. This time with Julius’s brother Max, his father-in-law, Isi Kösterlitz and his granddaughter. We saw “Good Dame.” 50-50. You can go to the movies any time of the day or night. It is there comfortable, cool, the time passes quickly and it is rather inexpensive. Yes, the time sure goes fast. 1/4 of a year actually 13 weeks ago I left FFM [Frankfurt am Main]. It seems to me as if it was yesterday–On Thursday I was at Rose’s trying hats.

Good Dame Poster

Good Dame

And yesterday, believe it or not I went to see a movie. “Viva Villa” very good but very exciting. Today it is again awfully hot. As usual I went to the synagogue this morning. I met the Lindheimers from the boat who introduced a Mr. Harlemann from FFM to me. Then I did a little shopping and tried to visit another travel companion who was not home but I spent quite a while with his very nice Aunt with whom he lives very close to us.

Viva Villa

Poster for Viva Villa

For lunch today I had a big order of chocolate ice cream and later a piece of bread and butter and a glass of milk. That is something new. I drink a glass of milk almost every day. Now I have been writing for over 2 hrs on this letter. A good thing you can read faster than I can write. Tonight I may stay home may be. Tomorrow I am going to Weil’s for dinner. It is now 5:45 and your Trudelkind’s stomach is growling very much. It’s been 5½ hrs since lunch. If it is not too hot I will try to bake some butter cookies next Saturday.

So just sending you uncountable greeting and kisses.



*[I can find very little about Jewish People’s Day at the Fair in 1934 but see this article about the celebration of 3000 years of Jewish history in July, 1933. Trudel thought the 11 year old Jewish boy playing violin was named “Isha.” When she translated her letters she wrote that it was Yitzhak Perleman, but he wasn’t born for another ten years. It was most likely Grisha Golub who did play a Stradivarius loaned by Henry Ford at the Fair. I have found conflicting information regarding Goluboff, a prodigy of the period who was probably older than he claimed at the time. The video clip linked above is courtesy of Film Images-Paris Search “Goluboff” in their website for a larger version.]

**[Ironically with one exception, all I can find are references to the original German version of the film, including this Wikipida article and this YouTube with English subtitles. Trudel’s Son.]

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