Tag Archives: New York

May 17, 1934 Social Butterfly – on ship and on land.

May 17, 1934 Social Butterfly – on ship and on land.

New York. May 17, 1934.

Well, here goes my very dear ones. I do not know where to begin this today. Please save my letters and if possible get them to me some day since I am to busy to keep a diary.

I am sitting here in my new room, which is actually the room of the two Hamburg girls. They do not come home from school until 5:30 p.m. and I am looking forward to meeting them.

It is only 1:00 p.m. here–7:00 for you. I do not think I have to tell you how very wonderful the trip was on the Manhattan and you are probably not interest to hear that passengers were trying to marry me to three different men. One of three was on the ship too and we both thought it was very funny. The others were willing to spend $2.00 to have a wedding on the ship!

My table partner, who was definitely the nicest man on board is married and has a five-year-old darling boy, wanted me to meet a cousin etc. He was friendly with everybody especially a very pretty midget woman who was with a group of midgets as entertainers.

A partner for the smallest man

Actually the trip so far went much too fast and as Doddo and Lu can verify, the food was plenty and excellent. Breakfast about 8:30 a.m. Fruit or juice, cooked cereal and either two soft boiled eggs or lox and coffee, rolls or sweet rolls. At 10:30 they served us consomme and crackers (I called it matzos) and at 1:00 p.m. we went for lunch–at least five courses. Then again at 5:00 p.m. tea and cookies and 7:30 dinner.

I was the only girl who was in slacks almost all the time. I have to admit that I was very popular and friendly with every lady almost. Of course I am the first on the passenger list and the two kosher Zimmerman girls the last. We have gotten very friendly. The older of those two and I were the only females in tourist class who did not get seasick at all.

Friends on Deck

At first we had beautiful weather but at the end of the week it got pretty rough and we did have to get used to it. After a couple of days it got very nice again. One afternoon we had games on deck. It was hilarious. First, for ladies they string up crackers to reach without hands. Second, for men a sack race. Third, transferring a bean with a straw from one plate to another. There I was number two. Fourth, for men only. Fifth, girls had their eyes covered and had to make a mark on a special place with chalk. I was best there–my prize was a little Manhattan sailor. I gave that to the nice midget lady because she was sick. Then two guys bought one for me.

Unfortunately I went swimming only 2x. But that was great. At 5:00 p.m. every day they showed movies. I only went for three shows of that garbage. I suppose I have to get used to it. At 9:00 p.m. there always was “horse racing” and afterwards dancing. I wore my evening dress three times. During the day, even for lunch in slacks and then dress up for dinner. In the time between on deck, sleeping or playing or walking or standing on my hands to prove how well I felt.

Our little group entertained the whole tourist class. We also went to inspect the kitchen. The chef is from Frankfurt. Anyhow there are many German employees on that boat.

We also took a lot of photos. When I have all the pictures together I will send them to you.

Now to what I really wanted to write today. After a pretty bad storm yesterday morning the sea got calm again but it was much colder. At 9:00 p.m. we saw the first lights of the U.S.A. Then we came slowly closer. The lights along the coast looked like a string of pearls. Slowly we could see more and more. At 12:30 the ship stopped a few miles from the harbor.

We visited for a while with the kitchen chef from [?] We stood on deck for quite some time and it was funny to hear the Americans argue when they could see. We went very late to sleep. I woke up at 6:30 and was supposed to be at breakfast at 6:30. I never heard my alarm. After breakfast we got ready and up on deck since we started at 7:00 to get closer to shore. Unfortunately it was getting very foggy and we could not see very much. It was just like we see on our photos, postal cards and movies.

Smallest Man

The Smallest Man on the Boat and our Chief Steward

I had a letter from Aunt Henny that she turned me over to HIAS [the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society?]

At 9:00 we dropped anchor. I had a hard time finding the folks who were going to pick me up but fortunately one of the passengers on board knew my mischpoche and also the Heinzenheimers. Since he was a U.S.A. citizen he got off the boat very quickly and he sent his wife to get me and my family together. I had no trouble going through passport checks and customs. Just made a little intermission to write to Aunt Henny and to take a breath.

Can you imagine all the hot water and as much as you want. I changed clothes and went along to do some shopping. Now it is about 5:00 p.m. I am not sure of the exact time since I broke my wristwatch.

Now back to the entry into U.S.A. As we were leaving the customs check Willy Bloeser, father’s employee, greeted me. He had been at the port since early in the morning. When he saw my trunk he sat on it and waited for me. Has had not changed but said he had a hard time recognizing me.* We will try to get together one day while I am here.

Rudy Heinsheimer drove us all here in his nice car. Bertl received me here right away with something to eat. After all it was now noon and I did not eat since 7:00 a.m. and had a big appetite. This apartment is on the 11th floor and from every window you can look over the Hudson. I have already visitors here so I have to hurry up. It is beautiful sunshine now. The company is gone now and I want to hurry to finish this letter. The Hamburgs and Bertl and the two girls are just wonderful to me and I feel already at home here. Their maid is a black beauty. I will try and take a picture of her. Please tell everyone how happy I am.

Heartiest greeting and kisses,


*[Trudel wrote this comment on her translation: “Years later, Willy Bloeser, who learned the business from Dad, worked in the U.S. for Merrill, Lynch and gave all credit to my Dad.”]



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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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May 31 1934 Goodbye NewYork, Hello Chicago

May 31 1934  Goodbye NewYork, Hello Chicago

May 31st 9:30 a.m.

First letter from 1460 E. 57th Street Chicago.

I am still in bed listening to Strauss Waltzes over the radio. How lazy can one be?

Now to continue my report [about the last day in New York] Sunday afternoon Kurt D. picked me up and we tried unsuccessfully to visit some friends. The picture I was supposed to deliver from our landlord I left with the janitor since the lady was very impolite.

Then we visited the German District. One beer stube next to the other. Typical German. The weather was so beautiful that we sat near the river in the park as long as the sun was out. Then we got seats the top of a double-decker bus in the front seats and rode along the river as far as the new George Washington bridge. This bridge is only a few years old and you have probably seen pictures of it already.

George Washington Bridge (1934)

We crossed over to the New Jersey side. It is all different there. Small single homes with large yards. Lots of rich people have their weekend homes there. When we returned home pretty late there were still a few people there to say goodbye to me. Everybody was so wonderful.

At 8:30 Monday morning, Rudy H. picked me up with his car and a big basket of fruit to take me to the bus depot.

At 10:00 a.m. we left. The trip was very nice. I am sure I could not have seen so much from a train. Since I picked my seat right behind the driver I could see straight ahead, right and left.

Trudel behind the driver.

Just imagine first we went underneath the Hudson across to New Jersey, then Ohio, beautiful view. Reminded me of the shore of the Achensee but the company was not that nice–it was o.k. So next to me sat an American and I had to talk English as well as I could, not too much since we both slept a great part of the ride.

Photoshop 1934 -"Trudel on the bus."

At 12:30 a.m. in Pittsburgh I had to change buses. I asked a German lady for a translation when we were having dinner and she then sent the only other German speaking person on board to me. It made it much, much easier for me. Since it was very hot in the bus I slept a lot again. I’ll have to get used to a lot of things.

In Ohio I expected to meet Uncle Julius Seckbach’s older son thru whom I got the free travel pass. He works for Greyhound but he did not show up.

on the bus

"32 Hours in the bus to Chicago"

At 5:00 p.m. I arrived in my new hometown. Both Aunt Henny and uncle Julius picked me up and we went straight to their apt. They both were very nice. Aunt H. has not changed at all since she has in FFM [Frankfort] 10 yrs. ago. Only maybe a little heavier. Uncle Julius I would have recognized immediately from his photo.

Here in the apt. were 2 welcome signs with green decorations and a very big bunch of lilacs. Really very nice. First of all I took a much needed bath after traveling 32 hrs.

I only saw 1 train on the trip. There are no gates on the crossings and the driver has to stop and check if a train is coming. Also I noticed that there are no crosses in the cemeteries, just plain slabs of stone. Has one of you been back at our cemetery? How does Mother’s grave look? Did you plant anything? How about getting a stone? I want to know everything.

After walking along the lake a while we sat and talked for a long time. I am very much looking forward to swimming in that beautiful Lake Michigan. We live only a few blocks away.

Yesterday after sleeping late we packed our food in shopping bags and went to the World’s Fair. We tried to meet people there but missed each other. We just walked around to get a quick look at things. Lots of it looks very interesting. For instance the very large Chrysler Exhibit would be interesting for Lu.

Thank G’d it was not terribly hot and we stayed until 11:00 p.m. I only saw 1 acquaintance from the boat and we will try to get together some time. You have to go really several times to get to see most of it., but if it is as hot as today nobody can make me go there. Also the fair is all along the lake I rather go in the water than about the shore.

After sleeping late I am sitting here in a very thin dress from Aunt Henny, listening to the radio and sweating. She also gave me a large brimmed straw hat, which I want to alter for myself to use instead of a sun umbrella.

That’s it for today. Hope to hear from you soon again.

Love & Kisses,




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