Tag Archives: politics

February 8, 1935 – I always find things to talk and write about.

February 8, 1935 –  I always find things to talk and write about.

Feb 8, 1935

Beloved Adölfchen — I mean my dear Papa, and dear Lazy Sisters,

Today I am going to write on the typewriter for a change. Do you know I have not had a word from you two girls. I do not know if you are interested but I always find things to talk and write about.

Let’s see what happened this week. Saturday I was all afternoon at Weils. For lunch we had lentil soup and sausage, the first time since I am here–now 8 months. After we ate, Aunt Jenny showed me old pictures and we had to hold our tummies we were laughing so hard. For supper we had boiled chicken and rice and several vegetables. For dessert they served delicious homemade cake. If I would eat with them more often I would really gain a lot of weight.


The Weils

After dinner Alice made some delicious candy and I ate quite a bit of that too and took some home with me.

Leonard is right now extremely busy. Next month we have an election for mayor of the city and Leonard is working for the 1st woman ever running for that office.

Sunday nothing special going. Sleep very late, read the paper, very late dinner or supper as they call it here. Working crossword puzzle, crocheting, playing slot machines (and losing money) in the lobby of the Hotel Devonshire where Leonard lives. Early to bed.

Grace Gray Story from the Reading Times

Click for full story

Monday–only work from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Before work walking around downtown and finally bought a map of Chicago, which I will mail to you next week. Had dinner with the people in the house, worked on some hats and went early to sleep.

Tuesday–no work. So I stayed home all day in miserable weather working on hats for Gwen, Aunt Henny and myself. I also found time to straighten some drawers, washing, ironing, sewing, darning all things that were really very necessary.

Worlds Fair Map


Wednesday we worked but short hours again. In the evening I was again at Gwen Bishop’s and stayed overnight. Thursday evening after work I visited Aunt Henny and brought her her new summer hats. Unfortunately they were not exactly right and they had to make the trip to the North Side again.

Can you imagine this: Julius Seckbach visited her last Saturday and begged her to get together with him again. He wanted to take a place with a kitchen and was going to take care of her! Do you agree that he is meshuga?


The Weils

Yesterday, Friday night I was again at Weils. At my special wish they had bouillon soup with matzo klos, (matzah balls) even Liss would have enjoyed it. It was so delicious that after the 2nd serving we really did not have to eat anything else. But they served soup meat and creamed spinach as I like it. Not just cooked leaves as they serve it here. It sounds almost as if I would not eat decently otherwise, but the Weils keep a good German-Jewish kitchen–it just tastes so very good to me. Like at home.

I almost forgot to mention the dessert. Breadcake with wine sauce. But I got strawberry Jello instead.

After dinner Aunt Jenny took me to the synagogue in their neighborhood and she introduced me to the very nice Rabbi. The service was very similar to what I am used to. I understood most of the sermon and the songs were mostly like the West End Synagogue in Frankfurt. I expect to go there more often in the future.

West End Synagogue

West End Synagogue Ffm

Yesterday I talked to Mrs. Greenfelder (sister in law of Mr. Stern) on the phone. She is going to Florida next week.

This morning I went to Saks 5th Ave., where she took me once [to look for work], but as I expected they were not busy at all yet. The department head took my address and phone number and will call me if they need help.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue

This afternoon I went to see our designer. She lives in what is called the Ghetto. She is very nice and is asking a big favor of you. She was for 10 yrs in a Jewish boarding school in Hanover and would like to know if it still is in existence and who is running it.

She also was for 2 yrs in Ffm. with a family [named] Lewin. He was a jeweler, on Uhlend Str. She is French. Her little 13 yr old girl’s name is Elschen. Do you know anybody like that? She also would like to find a Heinrich Heringer with 1 glass eye, and an Abraham Ullman, both about 30 yrs old.

All of a sudden I am so tired I cannot see straight anymore.

NordDeutcher Lloyd

NordDeutcher Lloyd

Hopefully I will hear or see something from the 2 “ladies” before too long. Did you know that you can get a round trip ticket on NordDeutcher Lloyd for only $75. Isn’t that cheap?

Next time I will write by hand again. It looks like much more and still much faster. Next week I will be away from home 9 months.

Uncountable Kisses from your loving sister.


Grace Gray ran in the Chicago’s Republican mayoral primary in 1935.

Image sources:



Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

February 13, 1935 “This was the first time I was asked to talk before an audience.”

February 13, 1935 “This was the first time I was asked to talk before an audience.”

Feb 13, 35

My dear ones:

Since I did not write to you last week I want to start this now. I did send you a map of Chicago on New Year’s eve, with a menu and a photo of Gwen and and one of Leonard with Yogi Roy etc.

LJG and Yogi Roy

LJG with client Yogi Roy

Now, I guess I have to write you exactly where I go so you can find it on the map. After the last letter I wrote you I did one in English for Ilse and then fell fast asleep in the chair I was sitting. As a result we left the office very late and I slept almost all day Sunday.

I eat almost all my dinners with a lady [at her apartment]in my building. She is very nice and I fell quite at home there. I spend most evenings with her, reading the paper or sewing with the music on the radio or she plays the piano and sings too.

Last Wednesday I was again at Gwen’s. Since I sent her picture, now you know what this Goldmench looks like. Last week I was really very lazy. We did not have much work and I slept late every day.

Aunt Jenny is begging Pappa to get in touch with Aunt Dortche in regards to her will. She thinks she could give her some good advice.

Enclosed are a few photos I took recently. Last Saturday I had my picture taken and I will send you one soon. Tomorrow is “Valentine’s Day”. That is for people who are in love. That means one sends cards with hearts to anybody one likes a lot.

I had a big copy made of the photo of me, and cut some red crepe paper like a frame for it and will put it in Leonard’s room tomorrow. Since we will not see each other tomorrow. Now I received today already a 1 lb box of very delicious chocolates, in a red heart shaped box with a beautiful card.

Vintage Heart

Valentines Chocolates

Saturday night I was again in a movie. “The Iron Duke” with George Arliss, very good. When Blucher appeared on the battlefield near Waterloo he said, “It’s done!” Before the movie, 6 of us had dinner together. Alfred Hamburger and son Joe, Singers, Leonard and I.

Arliss-Iron Duke

Iron Duke

Sunday we really had a big day. I wrote you already that Leonard is working Qfor the first woman running for mayor of Chicago. He makes 3 or 4 speeches every day in different places for her. Sunday at 3 p.m. her husband picked us up with the car and drove us to the radio station in Hammond, Indiana, south of Chicago — about as far as from Buckenheim to Seckbach, just off the map I sent you.

Trudel New Year


Mrs. Grace Gray, the mayoral candidate and Leonard discussed politics with questions and answers. It was very interesting for me. We then drove back, spent almost 15 min with Flora Mae. Mrs. Gray is about 48 yrs old, Grandmother, goes daily horseback riding, both her parents are still alive and she is still married to the same man for 28 yrs. She is a wonderful, nice, smart woman.

We then drove back, spent almost 15 min with Flora Mae. The 4 of us had dinner together at the Madison Park Hotel on 51st St. and Dorchester Av. Of course at a front table so everybody could see us. You can imagine how I felt.

After supper we went to the North Side 3300 N. Broadway to a political meeting in a church where Mrs. Gray was one of the speakers. Of course Leonard did introduce her in his wonderful way.

LJG and Flora Mae

LJG and Flora Mae (click)

I met some very nice people there. We then drove to Gray’s house. 4500 N. Ashland Av. They have a beautiful house where Great grandmother, Grandmother, Mother and Child and grandchildren are living. They served chop suey and drinks and then we just sat and talked. They drove us home about midnight.

Fortunately I did not work on Monday. Mrs. Saunders where I frequently eat and I went downtown. As we stepped in a drugstore for a cup of hot chocolate somebody said “Hello” to me. It was Grace Gray. I really did not see her when we came in.

Just after we got home, Aunt Henny showed up unexpectedly. She is looking for a room in my neighborhood.

I have been asked to join the Chicago Business and Professional Women’s Club. Mrs. Gray is the President right now.

Since I went looking for a room with Aunt Henny I came so late to the meeting that Leonard, who was the guest speaker that evening, was almost finished with his speech. There were only 20 women, and which Grace Gray greeted each one separately. I was very much surprised when she asked me to tell the ladies how much I like it here. I talked for just a few minutes and said that this was the first time that I was asked to talk in front of an audience.

The ladies all commented on my good English. No wonder with a teacher like Leonard. We all left in several cars. Leonard and I with 2 ladies in Gray’s car. Mrs. Cerf and Aunt Henny with several other ladies.

We all went to visit Yogi Roy whose photo with Leonard in the newspaper I mailed you a few days ago. He is a Hindu and because of his healing methods was sued by the City. Leonard is his lawyer. The case is the talk of the town. Sure hope he wins that case. (I am writing this letter riding the “L” train on my way to Gwen Bishop.)

We spent only a short time with the Yogi, but he demonstrated how he can put a big needle in his arm without bleeding since he held his breath. Of course Leonard is studying all about that stuff and knows already more about it than the Yogi.

Yogi Roy in Court

Seeing's Believing - Click to read

After we left there we all drove to another political meeting. We were very heartily welcomed and Leonard had to speak again. Even Mr. Gray had to talk. It was a really very interesting evening for me. I hope to attend some more evenings like that before the election on Feb. 26.

We got home very late and of course I was very tired the next evening but still made a new hat for a new customer. Mrs. Saunders my friend here in the building was nice enough to deliver the hat this morning. I hope it was o.k. and she collected the money for it.

By the way I just remember to tell you that my little black suitcase has come in very handy recently. Leonard uses it for carrying books and papers to court very often. I also almost forgot to thank Ernale for her nice letter. Unfortunately I do not have it with me, so I can’t answer it now. I did not receive a postal card from Feldberg. Who were the 2 people you met in Obereifenberg? Loatte Thyson lives in Obereifenberg. She would have loved to live with you.

That is all I can think of now and my paper is at the end and I am just getting to my stop to get off and home for supper.

Millions of kisses yours,


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

May 25, 1935 – I think my letters are even more detailed than a diary.

May 25, 1935 – I think my letters are even more detailed than a diary.

May 25, 1935

Sherman House Stationery

My Sweet Sweets:

I am real fancy tonight. I am sitting at a nice desk in the Hotel Sherman while Leonard went to the barber shop to make him look his best. We are going to Gray’s later and we want to look real nice. Actually he always does.

I never thought I would keep a diary here but I think my letters are even more detailed than a diary.

Well, last Saturday we spent most of the night in the office. We even ate breakfast downtown before going home. Sunday I slept all day and we did not meet until 8:00 p.m. for supper.

Monday dinner at Mrs. Saunders. I finished the pullover from the ripped sweater and started a hat for myself.


H. Horwitz Co,

On Tuesday we met downtown for breakfast. I took a beautiful silver vase Leonard bought for Mrs. Gray to have it engraved at Horwitz’s, the company Aunt Henny worked for at the fair. Dinner at Mrs. Saunders. Finished my hat, made 2 flowers and 1 bud similar to what I made at my test in the trade school. Wednesday I had to wait for 1 hour until the engraving was finished.

Wednesday: Dinner at Mrs. Saunders again. Change clothes: brown shoes, beige hose, beige new skirt, new crocheted sweater with hat to match, brown pocketbook, long beige kid gloves and navy blue coat. At 9:00 pm we went to Gray’s. I think I really looked very nice and never knew brown and beige would look that good on me.

We had some real nice warm days, but naturally that Wednesday when the birthday party was planned to be on the roof garden it was colder and raining. The party was anyhow very nice. I followed Papa’s good advice and had only 1 beer, 1 cocktail and a cup of black coffee.

I saw Len only when he brought me a plate with bread and cold cuts. He was sitting as far from me as possible with a few ladies and I far away with a few nice men, all kinds of professions including a newspaper reporter. It was very interesting and nice. We took 2 ladies home on our way. Leonard was trying to apologize for not being with me all evening but I assured him that for us 2 to be together we do not have to go to such a party. We went there to meet other people.


Double Decker

Please excuse my bad writing and making everything as short as possible. I am anxious to have this finished by the time Leonard comes back.

Enclosed I am sending you a petal of a rose I swiped and pinned on my bosom. It smells so wonderful, I want you to have a little part of it.

More explanation about Gray’s penthouse will follow with my next letter. It is too hard to do now. One of the nice things at Gray’s party is the fact we did not go home so very late. We left there already shortly after midnight. As a result I was not any more tired on Thursday than I am usually.

(Leonard has no car. He mostly takes taxis. He drove some years ago but had an accident and will not drive any more. I do not know what really happened, since I noticed he does not want to talk about it.)



Thursday: Ate again with Mrs. Saunders. We did want to go to a movie but the 4 films showing in our neighborhood we did not want to see – either one of us had seen it already or it did not sound good. So we saved our money and went to bed at 10:30 pm after doing some very neglected

Yesterday, Shabbos, I was again at Samuels and did not get home until 1:00 am. I often have that trouble going home from there.

Going I had a beautiful ride on the upper deck of a double decker bus, along the parks and the lake. The “Palmengarten” is very beautiful but no comparison with these parks for miles and miles. The Chicagoans do not really appreciate that beauty.

Sherman House

Sherman Hotel

Today I slept late, visited with Mrs. Saunders for 2 hours, then sitting in the sun on my bed I altered a dress and a hat, took off cape collar from my coat (it is too warm now), went downtown and picked up Leonard. Now after a good dinner I am sitting here in the lobby of the Sherman House, as I mentioned before. In the meantime only a toothache joined me.

I am glad Leonard left his fountain pen with me, otherwise I would have had to stop writing a long time ago. But that is it now. I am getting writer’s cramp, because I am trying to write real fast.

So now more next week.

A million greetings and kisses

Your Nudelsupp
[Noodle soup – A nickname for Trudel.]

At the end of this page of her translations, Trudel wrote:
Comment: Now that I have translated the letters of my first year in Chicago I will pick out only the highlights. You all know that I eat and sleep every day. It is really not important when or where. From here on it goes “diary style,” only different or interesting occurrences.

In the 1960s, many years later, Trudel would herself work at H. Horwitz Co. at 36 S. State Street in Chicago’s Loop.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

February 28, 1936 – Elections, Movies, and a Possible Move

February 28, 1936 – Elections, Movies, and a Possible Move

Trudel continued to translate her letters in an elliptical diary fashion, leaving us to wonder about the delicious (and mundane) details she omitted. But these were not uneventful times. Although there was time for movies, there were also worries about her family about what was happening in Europe as she mentions, cryptically, in the reference to “Mr. Warburg” and as her fiance Leonard mentioned in his letter to Trudel’s family earlier in the year.

LJG Campaigns

Leonard J. Grossman on the Stump.

Leonard’s petition to become a judge in order to be on the ballot he has to have a certain amount of signatures from people who want him. He is running on the Republican Party. Everybody has to declare if they are going to vote Republican or Democratic. That will also be for the general election in November.

LJG Candidate

Candidate Grossman

Received a very unkind letter from Mr. Warburg. I had asked for advice how to bring Doddo here.

Trudel, Erna and Lotte - 1932

Trudel, Erna and Lotte – 1932

Trudel at Rose's

Trudel at Rose La Marque’s

Rose La Marque

Rose La Marque

I may move to [share an apartment with] Mrs. LaMarque in the Seneca Hotel where I work evenings and weekends. She is that wonderful dressmaker and the lady who got me the job in her hotel. We are having dinner together every night now.

Saw Charlie Chaplin in a very funny movie that took 5 years to make, Modern Times.

Modern Times

Modern Times

The reference to an “unkind” letter from “Mr. Warburg” is unexplained. Trudel must have written to a member of the famous Warburg family, also of Frankfurt, in hope of getting some assistance for her sister Lotte (Doddo). This letter from Leonard to Trudel’s family hints at the problem. Lotte eventually made it to the United States in 1941.

See this review of the book The Warburgs for more information.

Charlie Chaplain hadn’t produced a movie in five years at the time Modern Times was released.

1 Comment

Posted by on February 28, 1936 in diary, family, immigrant experience, Letters


Tags: , , , , , , ,

May 17, 1936 – Today I am 2 years in America. How the time flies.

May 17, 1936 – Today I am 2 years in America. How the time flies.

Today I am 2 years in America. How the time flies!

Len Small, for whom Leonard was electioneering, died yesterday after an operation.

He [Leonard] won a case in the Illinois Supreme Court against several big Chicago lawyers.

Len Small Funeral

Click on image.

We are now in his new office just 2 doors from the old one but much bigger and nicer.

LJG at desk

[One of] LJG’s Offices

Ziegfeld poster

The Great Ziegfield

This week we saw the “Great Ziegfield” with William Powell and Myrna Loy. Great.

Your Trudelchen

The funeral notices and biography Len Small, who had been elected governor twice, but ran for office at least half a dozen times, tell a lot of his story. It makes me wonder why LJG supported him.

Perhaps this article sheds some light on the subject:


LJG in Chicago Jewish History


Tags: , , ,