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October 12, 1934 “He claimed I did not iron his underwear properly and burnt his breakfast bacon on purpose.”

October 12, 1934 “He claimed I did not iron his underwear properly and burnt his breakfast bacon on purpose.”

Oct 12, 1934 9:00 p.m.

My dear, dear ones.

I am in such a good happy mood that I want to share it with you and try to write as sensible a letter as possible.

I have been very concerned why Papa did not thank me personally for his birthday letter. He has written otherwise. Is something wrong? I sure hope every thing is o.k.

Yesterday I received Ernale’s letter with newspaper clipping and a postcard from Alex. In the evening I was at Weils. It is always very nice and relaxing there.

How do you like the picture of my newest and hopefully last friend on his stationery. Two weeks ago after we met in his office, we went for dinner as I told you on the postal card. Then I had a date with him one week later. And now we see each other almost every day.*

A week ago Monday I appeared as a witness in the divorce case between Aunt Henny and Uncle Julius. It was really fun for me. It seemed to me like a movie. I did not testify against either one since after all they both were instrumental in bringing me here. He claimed I did not iron his underwear properly, and burnt his breakfast bacon on purpose. After all I told them I did not know how to iron and had never seen bacon especially those thin slices they eat here for breakfast.

Next Monday is another hearing in Court.**

Chinatown

Chinatown

After court Aunt and I went to Chinatown. First a big dept. store and then chop suey dinner. It was very interesting. The day before Mr. Grossberg, aunt’s lawyer took me to an Italian restaurant.

On Sunday I was for the first time in a really Reform temple. Gigantic big, wonderful Rabbi, excellent choir and quite crowded. Tuesday I had a real German dinner at Rose’s and afterwards went to Samuels, they are a very nice family. The next night a real American dinner at Grossbergs. As you see I can get everything here.

temple sholom

Temple Sholom

On Saturday I did something for the first and probably the last time. I went to a Beauty Parlor school where I got for only 35¢ my hair set. But it took almost 2 hrs. It looked very nice once I was done but after 2 days it was all gone. And I was 3/4 hrs late for my date with Leonard.

I think I [will] have my hair cut as I used to have it tomorrow. The last time I had it cut was May 5th!

In the meantime I have been to the movies a few times. With Mr. Grossberg, I saw “Notorious Sophie Lang” a very exciting diamond smugglers story and with Opa “Of Human Bondage,” excellent and “The Love of Ariane” with Elisabeth Bergner. Very nice.

Of Human BondageMany people claim that I resemble Elisabeth Bergner, anyway the story could almost be my story. And then there were second movies [double features]. Some with Charlie Chaplin, extremely funny. But “Death on the Diamond” which I saw with Leonard was awfully upsetting.

The reason I tell you all this is to let you know what you should or should not see when it comes to you.Ariane

At work things are slowing down already. We don’t start until 1:00 p.m. every day and naturally earn much less money. But I manage o.k.

Glad to hear you found a new milliner. Tomorrow I have a date with Louise Hamburger to fit some hats. I had dinner with Alfred [Hamburger] one night last week. He is as nice and goodhearted as ever, but he is very stubborn and in business very hard to get along with.

You must have found a lot of junk when you cleaned out the old apt. I got $10 for that figurine and will buy a dress and pair of shoes with it. It is very easy to spend money here.

Ernale’s last letter came via San Francisco but still took only 13 days.

Elizabeth Bergner

Elizabeth Bergner

I would love to have a snapshot of Beethoven Str 5B so I can get an idea which building it is and I would also like to know how you have your furniture arranged so I can get an idea.

The weather is here now beautiful –like May or June in Ffm [Frankfurt]. In the evening it gets nice and cool.

Did you know that we have here 2 different times. One is called Standard Time – the same always for railroads and buses, etc., and then they change the clock 1 hr in the summer for Daylight Savings Time. Very confusing.

Since I meet Leonard often, I talk a lot of English. Sometimes he tries to talk German to me and it really sounds very funny.

By the way my boss Gus Bing will get married next week. Our forelady Marie told me and she is very happy. Die Fledermaus Poster

Today I received postal cards from Gaby and and heard from Richard Bloch. In the meantime I did hear from [Kurt?] Stevenhagen.

Shame on you Ernale for getting drunk. And flirting with 10 men at the same time!!

Regards as usual from Aunt Henny who calls me her sister now. I doubt that I will go with her to Florida. It is expensive and I do not feel like it. She plans to leave Nov. 1.

CarmenIt is already 11:30 and I should retire. Tonight I was all alone at home. Henny left me a note that she is visiting with some friends for a few days. It was delightful to be alone for a change.

Civic Opera Building

Civic Opera House

Tomorrow I hope to see Carmen in the opera house and in 2 weeks hope to hear the Fledermaus in German, also in the opera house.

Somebody on the radio just said “Good Night” and so do I.

Love,
Trudel


*[A “comment” at this point in Trudel’s handwritten translation of this letter reads, “When Aunt Henny heard that he was divorced over one year, she urged me to date him. She even would have liked to join us because she thought he had a lot of money. When she found out that he lost everything in his attempt to be re-elected as alderman of his ward, she tried very hard to talk me out of meeting him again.” It is not clear whether this comment was in her original letter or whether she added it when doing her translation. ]

** [ A comment here says, “My new friend did not take the case but certainly took the supposedly witness.” My father had been asked to represent one of the parties, but he refused. Again, It is not clear that this sentence was part of the original letter, but the line, in one variant or another was part of family lore. ]

 
 

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October 19, 1934 “Otherwise not much happened last week.”

October 19, 1934 “Otherwise not much happened last week.”

October 19, 1934

I just received a card from Max Wolff. He is coming here for 2 days and I will be very happy to receive some personal news from you. He will probably have a lot to tell you about me when he comes back.

Instead of attending Carmen on Saturday we went to another excellent theater. And before that we went with Joe Hamburger to a movie — “Romance in the Rain,” very nice. And the next day again a movie “One More River,” also very good.

One More River

One More River - Click on image for YouTube

Monday night I had dinner in Leonard’s office with him and Alfred Hamburger.

Since last week I am crocheting a black sweater on the train on my way to and from work. Maybe I’ll finish it by 1936. Otherwise not much happened last week. Romance in the Rain

One evening I was at Rose’s, yesterday at Louise Hamburger, whose mother will be 80 yrs old this week.

Leonard and I planned to have dinner together tonight but he is busy. Instead we will go out real great tomorrow evening. I will wear my black evening dress. All I know is that we have already tickets for Carmen but I do not know what else he is planning.

I finally had my hair cut again today and I look and feel much better. I talked to Rose Tauber, daughter of Fanny Ratzenstein, Aunt Jenny’s sister. Those two are not on speaking terms.

Trudel working with hat on block

Aunt Fanny is out of town until next week. I will call her again then and make a date.

Yesterday we had rain for the 1st time in 19 days.

Today it is beautiful again. Had a letter from Kurt Dillenberg, he would like me to find a job for him here. That’s all I need.

How are your jobs, girls? Did you get the new apartment all in order yet? How come you did not use Dellihausen for your moving?

Now I am going to work on some hats — A red one for myself that I want to wear tomorrow night and fix a few for other people. I am getting to be a dressmaker too now. I altered a few dresses for Aunt Henny. I just finished a delicious dinner. Henny is a great cook, spaghetti, tomato sauce and cheese.

That’s all for today.


10/22/34
Bismark Hotel Lobby

Postcard showing Bismark Hotel Lobby

Picture postal card of Bismark Hotel where I went with Max Wolff.



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November 5, 1934 “Now I can write all my letters with ink again. I bought myself a new fountain pen for 25¢.”

November 5, 1934 “Now I can write all my letters with ink again. I bought myself a new fountain pen for 25¢.”

Sunday 11/4.

Today I am ½ year away from you dear ones. After a very nice dinner I am now sitting in Leonard’s office. In ½ hr we will go to see the “Fledermaus.”

I want you to know that the paperweight sent to Doddo and the ashtray I sent Erna were given to me by one of the Vienna friends from the boat. Opa had nothing to do with that he only did the packing.

Glad to hear that you Pappa always were a Republican. Leonard is too. He has always been very active in politics and some of his friends still call him Alderman. So many people know him and where we go people greet him. Now I think I have answered your letter Pappa.

One Night of Love referred to in letters

Click for YouTubes.

Last Friday I was again in [at] a movie with Opa. An excellent picture “One Night of Love”. Last night Leonard and I saw a very nice movie.

I forgot the name–Now I can write all my letters with ink again. I bought myself a new fountain pen for 25¢.

Now I can write all of my letters in ink again.

"Now I can write all of my letters with ink again."


Continued 11/5.

I could not finish this letter last night since we had to rush to get to the Fledermaus on time. It was a very good performance in German. Of course not as good as a New Years eve performance in Ffm.

poster from The opera described in trudel's letters

Die Fledermaus


The house was filled every seat taken. We were really lucky to get 2 tickets together. And what a big beautiful theatre. Wish you could see it too. Much bigger and more elaborate than the one where I was 2 weeks ago. It really felt good to be in a crowd of nice elegant people instead of the “Gesang Verein” affairs and hear only German speaking.

Civic Oper House

"What a big, beautiful theatre."

Today we are not starting to work until 1:00. So I am going to go downtown now to do a little shopping and maybe look for another job for a change. I wonder when I will receive the $8 they owe me and a few things I still have hanging there from Budwig. They had already an auction 1 week ago. Too bad I did not take a wooden head block home over the weekend. They would never been able to auction that off. Gus gave me one when I was there the first time and I am glad I have it.

Yesterday Sunday afternoon I was supposed to come to Weils but why should I spend a nice Sunday afternoon with them when Leonard really only has time for me on Sundays?

That is it for now. I am very happy and send you love and kisses.

[Below in Leonard J. Grossman’s handwriting, also in German in original letter.]

Greeting and best wishes, Leonard.



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

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

11/9/34
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.
Trudel


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

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

11/17/34

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.

Trudel

Trudel

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.

Choices

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,
Noodlesoup


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