Tag Archives: Shirley Temple

Sept. 5, 1934 “I am really lucky. Last week I left my billfold on a counter at Woolworth . . . .”

Sept. 5, 1934 “I am really lucky. Last week I left my billfold on a counter at Woolworth . . . .”

Sept 5th, 1934

To Papa’s birthday I am sending my best wishes. [I am trying to translate my German poetry but can’t.]* Anyhow I hope he is celebrating the day happy and well with the rest of the mishpoche.

Last week nothing special occurred. Henny took off from work for a week. She really needed the rest very much. One evening she picked me up at work and we went to a movie “A Modern Hero.” Then we went to spend the rest of the evening at Grossbergs.

a modern hero

Teasdale and Barthelmess in "A Modern Hero"

The next night we went to the Fair. First to a concert at the Ford Symphony Gardens. Then I invited her to a free Auto Round Trip thru streets all over the world. The road we traveled was paved differently in small sections. Samples from all over all around on one big plaza. Even a sample of the “Bergstrasse.” We drove slowly around that Plaza to be able to see it all. We then went to a village called the Bowery. A copy of the one in N.Y. Do you remember that Papa? They had a nice program — real old town type.

Black Forest Village

Black Forest Village

Then we went to the Black Forest, the most popular and best place this year with excellent dancers on ice. It is such a pleasure to see that ice while it is so hot outside. After 4 days of rain it is thank G’d not so hot anymore. Unfortunately the weather was very bad over Labor day which caused a big loss for the fair.

Aerial View of Villages

Labor day is a big holiday here and the last day of school vacations. Aunt Henny and I were driven by friends to Michigan City on Saturday afternoon. About 3 hrs drive. We went to the beach there and finally after much effort found a room to stay. It must be beautiful there in nice weather. Woods and hills and delightfully quiet all near the lake.

Bathing Beach near Michigan City, Indiana

One can buy or rent a house any size there and either spend the weekends or all summer there. They are real little shacks called “cabins” consisting of 1 room, kitchen and porch all made of wood on the ground floor, and lots of land around it. The space only costs $29 a month. Then of course there are bigger and fancier houses too as high as $200 and more. Since there is very poor transportation one has to have a car to enjoy a place like that.

The friend who drove us there went back to Chicago the same evening. We just took it very easy all day Sunday. But the way home! We took a bus into Michigan City hoping to catch a train home but all the trains were so crowded we could not get in. After trying for over 1 hr to stop a car we finally got a ride with a nice young couple and his sister from Cleveland. As reward for taking us we had them stay with us over night.

On Monday, Labor day, I loafed around the house all day until Opa surprised me and took me to a movie “Operator 13.” A very nice good spy film.

If any movie comes to Ffm [Frankfurt] with Shirley Temple be sure to see it. She is the smartest, nicest little girl. She made very popular the songs “Three little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf.” And also “Three Little Piggies went to Market.”

Labor Day 1934

And that just reminds me that after you pay for your admissions at the movies theater the tickets come out of a little slit in front of the cashier behind a little fence and any change you have coming comes down like on a slide into a little container so it’s easy for you to take it. Wish I could explain it a little better.

Yesterday I had a nice letter from Solingen. He is o.k., writes very nice and will write Ernst soon too. Have you seen or heard anything from Stavenhagens lately? I wrote to them 3 times already but have not heard anything from them.

How is Mrs. Bergen? What about your apartment? Why do you not write anything about Alex’s silver leather? I would be very interested. Did you start the [Jewish] New Year o.k. I filled out a form and got a free ticket for the synagogue.

What else is new? I have not heard from you sweet people for 10 days again. How did the apple jam turn out? Weils are sending best regards as always. I have a date with them for next Saturday again.

I am really lucky. Last week I left my billfold on a counter at Woolworth and when I came back one hour later it was still there.

Now Aunt Henny joins me in our very best wishes for Papa on his birthday.

My love and kisses– fast well.

* [I believe the comment that I enclosed in brackets was made when Trudel translated her letters into English. Editor]

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December 24, 1934 “We celebrated a little Xmas in advance, these two days.”

December 24, 1934 “We celebrated a little Xmas in advance, these two days.”

Typewritten in German on Leonard J. Grossman’s office stationery.LJG Letterhead

December 24, 1934
Dear Goldkinder.

Just received Papa’s nice letter in which he tells me that my 1st letter typed was so clear to read. Were the previous ones not clear? Anyway I felt obligated to type this one too. Birthday card from dear Papa not received.

The cookies and baked “22” are already all eaten with a lot of praise and thanks and with hopes of some more in the not too long future. I received some more birthday letters and cards and they are all waiting to be answered.

So far I have not learned to drive. Len lives only 4 blocks from me. So we do not need any transportation between us.

Lebkuchen for Xmas or Christmas


You were surprised that Aunt Henny so quickly gave up her apartment and sold her (little) furniture. Nothing surprises me anymore. One gets used to a lot of strange behaviors here. She sold her Christmas cards just like you do with chocolate and lebkuchen.

By the way how was the Xmas business? Did it go o.k. without me too?

I am still at the same job although we had very little work the past couple of weeks, but at the end of this week all of a sudden we received so many orders that we worked on Saturday and started an hour earlier today.

We also celebrated a little Xmas in advance, these 2 days. We had a so called “grab bag,” which means everybody bought something for 10¢. It all was put into 1 big box with a string put on each and we all took hold of 1 string and pulled out all at the same time whatever he or she caught. It was really a lot of fun. I got two hankies. Then we had coffee and whipped cream cake and for lunch we got 2 little glasses of very good wine.


A Highball

When we went home I had 2 “High balls.” That is whiskey and ginger ale. Then I walked home to my room in a pretty hard snowfall. I filled some socks with all kinds of little things and hung them with a pretty red ribbon over Leonard’s bed.

Did you know that here the children hang up their stocking at Christmas eve for Santa Klaus to fill up. He does not even come on Dec 6th.

Shirley Temple Doll

Click Doll for UTube of "Bright Eyes"

Sat. night we went shopping for Flora Mae and Leonard got her a beautiful Shirley Temple doll that I would have loved to play with and also a couple of games. Have you heard about Shirley Temple? She is a darling 5 yr old movie actress. If one of her films is shown in Ffm you should really go to see it. We saw her again in the “Chicago Theater” in a show called Bright Eyes.

Also, they showed pictures of some people from the Saar, who had gone home for a short period of time to vote. It was the 1st time ever I heard German singing in a movie theater. They also had a very nice, good Christmas program.

Tuesday night Aunt Henny slept with me, and Wednesday after working from 1-5 we went downtown. First window shopping and a little shopping. Then I called Leonard if he would like to join us for dinner which he accepted.

I went with him to the office after eating and he cleaned off his desk, planning to walk home. Instead he started telling me very interesting things from his school years. Before we realized it was 1:00 a.m. It reminded me of Alex talking about the war.

Thursday night I spent with the 2 Samuel girls. I was home at 10:30 p.m. but foolishly I read a little and in hopes of learning more English tried to work a crossword puzzle. But Friday night when I again had fish in a “Jewish style” restaurant, I went to sleep at 9:30 p.m.

Starting with 1935, I do not think I will write quite as often anymore. I am afraid your safe will get too full otherwise. I hope you will start the New Year O.K. and expect to do the same. My best wishes to all for a healthy and good 1935.

That is all I can think of right now so I shall end this letter. There is only 1 day Christmas holiday here although 2 days would be nicer. Only I lose pay every day I don’t work and that is not so good. I received 1 Xmas card but Leonard got and sent about 200. He got 1 from the current Mayor of Chicago and also from a former Mayor besides Judges, Lawyers, Aldermen etc. etc. I am having trouble keeping up with my correspondence. In the future I guess I will write letters only to you regularly–only a postal card here and there to all the others.

Snowy evening around Xmas in Chicago

A Snowy Evening in Chicago

Happy New Year,

Your Trudelchen

At the bottom of the letter, in English:

Xmas Eve 12/24/34
The friendship of Trudelchen and me means much more than words can tell. May I thank the gods of destiny. She looks radiant and well and as we approach the next year I hope it will be for each of you filled with just as much joy as dear Trudel has brought to me. ‘Tis LJG sends this to thee now guess who may the sender be.

Editor’s note: I am used to having the same first name as my father, but I never heard my father referred to as “Len” before reading this letter.

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May 11, 1935 – “All afternoon today I was sitting in sunshine on my bed.”

May 11, 1935 – “All afternoon today I was sitting in sunshine on my bed.”

May 11, 1935

My beloved Love Ones!

Often I wish time would not go so fast so I would not have to write you so often.

The cookies, which I received Friday night, were gone by Monday. They were delicious, of course not enough. One half of them we ate already by Friday night at Samuels. I almost thought there would not be any left for me to take home.

What ever happened to mother’s jet dress? I wrote you a couple of times that we could use it very well here.

Slot Machine

I ate so many cookies on Saturday morning that I could not eat any breakfast. At 3:00 pm I finally had some hot chocolate and a little toast. After that I lay on my bed in beautiful sunshine. Later I picked up Leonard for supper.

On the way home we found a different slot machine that we had not seen before. I decided to try my luck for a change and won 55 cents. Of course about 1/3 of it went back into the machine.

Sunday after sleeping late I went to the “south side” for the bris of the newest Samuel baby. The father, Fritz, is the youngest of the 4 Samuel children. Leonard came later with Flora Mae. We ate as usual in the Madison Park Hotel and afterwards saw a movie, “Life begins at 40.”

Life Begins at 40

Click Image for YouTube

On Monday we worked only until 3:00 pm. It was miserable rainy weather so I had nothing better to do than to go to a movie again: “The Night is Young” after a novel by Vicky Baum and playing in Vienna. The main actor was Ramon Navarro and a small part played by Hermann Bing, brother of Gus.

Then I picked up Leonard and we met Louise and Alfred Hamburger. She is giving lectures to new German refugees on American literature. It was really very interesting.

Afterwards we went to the room of a lady in the same hotel and had very interesting conversation. In 10 years Leonard has not heard as much German as that evening.

The Night is Young

Click image to see trailer

Tuesday night I was at Aunt Henny’s. She moved into a nice, quiet hotel for the same amount of money. Wednesday I stayed home, ate dinner with Mrs. Saunders and went to sleep at 9:00 pm.

Do you remember the red sweater I started to make for Ellen? I ripped it all and made it very pretty, all new.

Thursday I ate at Fritz and Bertl Samuel. I am altering a hat for the new mother. Fritz worked in FFM at the “Flôrsheimer Stiftung” [Florsheim Foundation] Addie Eggner worked several years at Sigmund Strauss Jr. and the 3 of us talked about a lot of Frankfurters.

Both young men know Alex from the “Stift” although Fritzis much younger. He and Addie used to go often to Wehrheim to sell goods. Addie sends his best regards to Doddo [Trudel’s sister] and thanks her for the letter. He thinks you really should find time to write to me and described you as a “light blond goyishe girl.” What about that “light blond?”

By the way do you still have so much trouble with your stomach? I found a very cheap easy cure. From all that not so good restaurant food my stomach was in pretty bad shape. Now I drink a cup of very warm water with just a little sugar first thing every morning. At first I did not like it, but now I got used to It and my stomach is fine. After that I eat 3 or 4 cooked prunes with milk or cream.

Frozen Cream on Top

By cream I mean what is on top of the milk in the bottle. One can get milk here only in bottles, homogenized and does not need to be cooked. Just try my prescription for a little while and you will have no need for other medicine. Good Luck! Maybe you will feel so much better that you will write me more often.

Now back to my itinerary. Friday night again I went to the senior Samuels. Tomorrow, Mother’s Day, they will be married 40 years. I gave them a very pretty salad serving set and salt and pepper shakers. When they scolded me for spending my hard earned money I declared that I wanted to give to a mother who deserved something for Mother’s Day. After all she is the “mother” of a bunch of young people. As always, the meal was very, very good. Too bad we live so far away from each other. Maybe it is just as well. If I would eat there too often I would gain a lot of weight.

Mr. Eggener has not found a job yet also. All of us are trying to help him. It is always very hard to find work until one speaks better English.

Today I went downtown early to pay Leonard’s phone bill, then I spent $4 for a collar, cuffs, belt and some flowers to make the blue dress and coat look new.



Since [For] 3 days we were having gorgeous summer weather, but now it is starting to rain.

I am writing this in the office after dinner. Leonard is sound asleep in his chair again. The poor guy did not get home until 4:00 am every night this week and had to be in court at 10:00 am every morning. I do not know how he could do that if he did not sleep here 1 or 2 hours in between sometimes.

I really have to try to get more sleep too. I got a good start on Wednesday. All afternoon today I was sitting in sunshine on my bed and sewed, washed and ironed a little.

Shirley Temple Paper Dolls

Shirley Temple Paper Dolls

We are invited for Mrs. Gray’s birthday on the 22nd. At the same time they are opening their “roof garden” for the summer season. That is when I want to look very nice. I have no idea what I should wear. Hopefully I will have that pullover sweater ready by then. It would look nice with my white linen suit.

Shirly Temple Paper Clothes

When will I receive a photo of Ernst? Did you receive the underwear? Do not forget Erna Grünebaum’s birthday on the 25th. I will send her a Shirley Temple “paper doll” with paper clothes. I hope it arrives safely.

When do I get answers to my letters? I asked weeks ago what was wrong with Steffie O? I am giving up hope that my sisters will answer. At least my dear Papa writes to me now and then. What else is new?

I do not know any more to write.

Love and kisses
Trudel and Leonard

I am trying to learn more about the “Flôrsheimer Stiftung” or “Stift.” Flôrsheim is a city in the mountains near Frankfort. There also appears to have been a Flôrsheim street in Frankfurt. In my research, I discovered Dr. Max Scholl was a chemist who built a business specialzing in the chemical treatment of leather in Flôrsheim. Since Trudel’s sister and her boyfriend were in the leather business, there may have been a connection. Dr. Scholl’s tragic story is told in a series of letters in a 1997 NYTimes article Dear Cousin Julius, We Trust on Our God and on You…’

There does not appear to be any connection to Dr. Scholl’s shoes or to the Florsheim shoe company which was founded in Chicago in 1892.


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