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May 9, 1934 On board SS Manhattan.

May 9, 1934  On board SS Manhattan.

On board SS Manhattan. Wednesday, May 9, 1934.

My Dear Goldkinder,

To start with I want to apologize for my handwriting. It is now 4:00 p.m. and I am sitting on deck in a lightweight sweater in bright sunshine in a beach chair. The boat is shaking slightly from one side to the other on a rather quiet and beautiful ocean.

I found already nice company. We found each other even before the ship left Hamburg yesterday. Doddo can tell you much about it.

It is really wonderful here. After departure we visited for a little while, had a glass of beer and sandwiches until we retired about 11:30 p.m. I slept wonderful until 5:00 a.m. when the sun shone one me so invitingly that I first looked out the porthole for a little while, went back to sleep until 7:30 a.m.

We all met before breakfast until we were seated. The nice guy who tried to flirt with me last night and I are sitting at a table together. He is from Budapest and already fifteen years in New York. He reminds me of some other friends. Two girls sit alone because they eat kosher. The others are spread around. After a very large breakfast we went for a walk, then we rented chairs and are resting from doing nothing.

We are always in groups of four or six or more. This morning I also played ping pong to improve my appetite! In between they served consomme and crackers. After dinner we played catch, etc. before resting in our chairs again, three hours except for taking a few snapshots. It is good that my table mate is American. He can read the menu And tell me what it is. Just now we got tea and cookies.

I am getting lazier by the minute. Your know what corns on a certain place are? Well I think I am getting them.

On Deck

On the Deck of the SS Manhattan May 9, 1934

There are several people on board who have given me regards from friends but I am not very interested in most of them.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, a few of us want to walk a bit around LeHavre. Now I want to take a nap before dinner. Hope you can read this o.k.

Love, Trudel

The next letter is May 17. I will try to post more photos from the ship before then.

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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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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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