Hermann Pressman Diary
David's wife had cleaned an extra room. After we had eaten on Sunday afternoon, I removed the money still hidden in my belongings. Monday I went to Wexelstuben (small banks and exchange offices) to exchange currencies. Regular banks did not want to take German money. Max Fisher gave me 81,700 francs for the German marks. I went to the Committee for German Immigrants.
There I learned that there may be a chance for me to remain in Belgium. My parents would have to apply for a visa to come. I rented a safe box in the diamond club to place my 81,700 francs. I began to get acquainted with Antwerp, I bought some household items and retired home.
Today I bought a picture postcard for my parents with the text: Good. Happy. I sent another with the text: Best Regards, Hermann to Sonia Klein. I returned again to visit the Committee for German Immigrants because I am still unable to register with the local police in Antwerp, Today I received a letter from my parents, and I sent them in Hebrew a letter by airmail. I hope that will not be as censured. I gave them instructions to leave Germany.
Antwerp, Wednesday 7:05 p.m., May 10, 1933
Last night I took a walk with cousin David. David said he had many obligations, and I needed to lend him twelve hundred francs (I do not remember if he paid any of it back). Today I went with David's wife to buy food. I put my belongings away in the closet they let me use. Today I would like to go out a bit, but I don't know if my English is good enough. My English is coming in handy.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:50 p.m., May 11, 1933.
Today I went back to the Committee for German Immigrants. Now I am allowed to register at the local police station, saying that I live here as a resident. I made a statement of residency with one hundred thousand francs, so that I do not need a temporary permit. I also made a statement that I can prove that I have one hundred thousand francs. Today I wrote a letter to my parents to send money to German companies and give me the money-order stubs to collect Belgian francs for that amount from Max Fisher. I have taken a job at a men's clothing store in the late afternoon.
Antwerp, Sunday 9:15 a.m., May 14, 1933.
Friday I registered my legal residence in Antwerp and
started to decorate the display window at the Mendelson Shoe Store.
The Mendelson's took me to the Century Hotel, since there was no
dancing, we went to a dance club called Saturday, The crowd was small
but mixed. We came home by 2 a.m., Yesterday I completed decorating
my cousin's display windows. I sent my mother a postcard: I think of
you on Mother's Day. Last night I telephoned my mother for thirty
and explained the situation about the money. Yesterday afternoon I
was at the business, but the business was closed; this is also no
good. Last night I received a long letter from my parents. I wrote a
letter to David Mendelson's mother in Poland.
Yesterday afternoon I napped. After 5 p.m. I went to the barber shop and went out to eat dinner. At 5:30 p.m. David's son had run away, and we could not find him until 9 p.m., After 10 p.m. David and I went to a beer garden to dance, I spent twelve francs. This week I spent a few extra francs for carfare, drinks, postage, etc. Today I went with David to the post office to pick up sixteen hundred francs and sixteen centimes. My parents sent that in the name of David Mendelson to me. I sent a postcard to Sonia Klein, asking her to write to me. Now I am angry that I wasn't able to straighten out the financial situation for my parents, because I did not get the money-order stubs that I need to show in order to exchange for them.
Antwerp, Monday 8:30 p.m., May 15, 1933.
This afternoon I was at Max Fisher's exchange office. Then I went to the Committee regarding the application for a more permanent residency card. For fifty francs I bought five pairs of silk socks. For twenty-nine francs I telephoned my parents and sister. My mother thanked me for the Mother's Day card. She then told me she was not interested in getting their German money exchanged and leave Germany.
Antwerp, Tuesday 1:00 p.m., May 16, 1933.
Yesterday afternoon I went to the diamond club and deposited eighteen hundred francs. After dinner I relaxed. Today I received a letter from my parents repeating that they were not interested in getting money out of Germany. They assured me not to worry. I hope they are right and that all works out for the best for them. I had meant well, but meaning well and doing well is not always the same.
Antwerp, Tuesday 8:55 p.m., May 16, 1933.
After lunch I lay down and rested. I returned to the currency exchange office and gave him the information about my parent's plans. Tomorrow I am going to the Yiddish theatre.
Antwerp, Wednesday 1:10 p.m., May 17, 1933.
Yesterday I took the two prophylactics and blew them up like balloons. I gave one to each of David's children. I checked how strong they were. Today I bought a bottle of wine for seven-and-a-half francs. Today I returned to Max Fisher's office. I bought three pair of socks for twenty-one francs. I wrote to Aunt Mendelson in Poland and to the Bank of France in Paris. The b,ank wrote that they were holding the money for my father awaiting his direction. They were unable to open an account or hold the money longer as my father was a foreigner. I contacted the Crédit Lyonnais for Paris in their Antwerp branch. There I learned that without being an owner or tenant myself, I was unable to open a bank account. I also had to request a blank signed letter with his signature so I could get his money turned over from Paris to Belgium. Meanwhile that money sits at Crédit Lyonnais in Paris. Once again I returned to the Committee and learned how my parents would be able to travel here with their furniture. I am sending this information in a letter to my parents now. I expect at this moment that it won't be long now before Germany will once again be at war with the world.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:30 a.m., May 18, 1933.
Yesterday afternoon I rested, and then after dinner I went into town to see the Yiddish theatre. I had made a mistake. I had paid six francs to see a Yiddish movie, "The Eternal Jew." Afterwards I came home and went to sleep.
Antwerp, Friday 9:35 a.m., May 19, 1933.
Yesterday before noon I went with my cousins sons to Rivierenhof, a beautiful park. I bought some small toys for the children. Afternoon I ate lunch and received a letter from parents. I answered their letter that afternoon and told them the situation of the Parisian banks. After dinner I shopped with my cousin for food. I was asleep by midnight.
I am very glad that my Flemish has improved enough so that I can understand people and get around.
Antwerp, Friday 3:30 p.m., May 19, 1933.
At about 10 a.m. I had photos taken of me in the street. Afterwards I was in the Reverian House, the park I had taken my cousins children to. I drank underground spring water from a well in the park. I sent a postcard to the Nachman family in Berlin (The Voltsehleger family in Berlin wanted the ring on his finger. They loaded him on a truck, and because they couldn't take the ring off his finger they broke off his finger. He was detained in the barracks for Jews over several nights. Several nights after he was returned home, he was again picked up for "interrogation." A few nights later his wife was telephoned to pick up the body of her deceased husband. She was told to sign a paper that he had died of natural causes in order to gain possession of her husband's body for burial).
I gathered information on French language instruction. I came home and napped.
Antwerp, Friday 11:15 p.m., May 19, 1933.
I shaved and walked through town. After dinner, I made Kiddush and went with my friend the barber, Sam Fishel for drinks outside.
Antwerp, Saturday 3:15 p.m., May 20, 1933.
This morning I took my cousin's two oldest children to Rivieren Park. We took photos and drank from the underground well. I drew a picture of a woman's head and sent it to my parents. I bought some strawberries. I picked up my recently developed pictures for six francs. These photos are in my album under 93 and 93a. I have eaten lunch and will now take a nap.
Antwerp, Sunday 12:00. May 21, 1933.
Yesterday afternoon after a two hour nap, I went for a walk with the barber. Then after dinner, at 9 p.m., I walked into town to the dance palace called Chantilly in the Century Hotel. The crowd was pleasant, mostly foreigners. Many of the ladies I conversed with were English. It aided me greatly to practice my English. I stayed out until 1 a.m., The evening cost thirteen-and-a-half francs. This was my first really enjoyable evening in Antwerp, even though I went home alone.
Today after breakfast I walked around town. Now I am waiting to have lunch. Yesterday I enjoyed the company of ladies, although everyone seemed to go home alone.
Antwerp, Sunday 11:50 p.m., May 21, 1933.
In the afternoon I went out with David, his wife and children to the garden for drinks. I spent eight francs. After dinner I walked with David and his wife.
Antwerp, Monday 5:00 p.m., May 22, 1933.
Today, after breakfast, I received a letter from my parents. In the letter my parents asked me to send my letter from the police in Berlin about my proper conduct, three photos, and a letter from the doctor certifying my good health. My father also sent the blank signature letter, so that I may get fifty-thousand Parisienne francs sent to Belgium. I went to the local branch of Crédit Lyonnais to receive assistance in preparing the letter from my father. Then attended to chores for David. For five francs I bought the three photos. From the Diamond Club I withdrew three hundred for spending money. That day I also registered as a student with Berlitz to study French, the tuition was very expensive. In the beginning there will be private lessons. Later on the lessons will be group format. The private lessons are four hundred and eighty francs for a week, the group lessons are two hundred and forty-five francs for a month.
After my after lunch nap I went to a cafe and wrote my parents a letter enclosing the items they requested: the photos, doctor's health certificate, and police proper conduct papers. I spoke with the doctor in English. Incidentally, the doctor said my health was fine. The health certificate, written in French, cost twenty-five francs. For eight francs the photo store made the pictures I needed. I mailed everything at the post office, overnight service. At 3 p.m. I had an afternoon snack and nap. I bought myself a new hat for twenty-five francs. I took a nice bath for three francs at the local bathhouse.
Antwerp, Monday 11:30 p.m., May 22, 1933.
I picked up the pictures I had taken at the Riveren park on Saturday, I made extra copies for my cousin and placed the originals in my album #94. I listened to Mr. Kellerman's daily news report on the radio from Berlin,
Antwerp, Tuesday 1:15 p.m., May 23, 1933.
This morning I went to the tailor Edward and bought gray flannel trousers for one hundred and thirty francs, I put down a twenty francs deposit. For ten francs at the pharmacy I bought sun block and powders. After breakfast I went to Rivierenhopf, on the way for six francs I bought strawberries and bananas. I rested in bed for an hour and looked at my photo album.
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:15 p.m., May 23, 1933.
After lunch I stayed in bed for an hour. Between four and five p.m. I went for my first French lesson. I put down a deposit of one hundred francs and paid ten francs registration fee. My teacher is a Frenchmen who speaks only French. I think I will learn quickly from him. On Platz Du Mer, one of the nicest streets near the largest department store, I had cake and milk with English-speaking waiters. I withdrew another three hundred francs from the Diamond Club. I returned to the Committee for German Immigrants. After 9 p.m. I had dinner and am now going to bed.
Antwerp, Wednesday 4:55 p.m., May 24, 1933.
This morning I received a postcard from Sonia Klein. I bought myself a bottle of wine for sixteen francs. A gogel-mogel (wine, teaspoon of sugar, and a raw egg) was a drank I enjoyed occasionally. For lunch I bought strawberries for five francs and then took a nap. I bought a postcard for Sonia, my sister and wrote a poem: be good and brave and don't say anything that is foolish and you will have a long good life without any pain. On the back I wrote: Sonia, on all your ways of life I wish you good luck, best of luck and blessings from your sincere loving brother Hermann. I sent that card to my sister in time for her fifth birthday, Tuesday, May 30th. I have not yet answered Sonia Klein, still being at a loss for words.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:20 p.m., May 24, 1933.
This afternoon I quietly sat in the backyard garden behind my cousin's business. Today Mr. Finkelstein from Hansport, Rapadaher, Co., the gentleman whose moving company could transport my family's belongings to Antwerp for 95,500 francs (approximately twelve thousand dollars at that time). I will send along this information to my parents in my next letter.
Antwerp, Thursday 6:30 p.m., May 25, 1933.
This morning the postcard I sent to the Nachman family was returned to me in the mail. I received a loving letter from my parents. Enclosed were photos of my mother and papers concerning the finances [from] the Paris bank. I went into town and had my watch repaired for three francs. At the Committee for German Immigrants I learned of a more reliable moving company and set an appointment to meet with a representative. I was informed that I would have to go to the Brussels Consulate to establish permanent residence for my parents and myself. I wrote my parents a six-page letter and took a nap. I wrote Ruth Hamlet in Germany. I drew a flower and a kiss and wrote: with a flower and a kiss you stole my heart you dear little sweet woman.
Antwerp, Friday 1:00 p.m., May 26, 1933.
Yesterday after dinner I went food shopping for Shabbes with my cousin. Yesterday was Himmelsfard.
This morning I met with the moving company representative. He promised to mail me an estimate. Later at the Crédit Lyonnais I was unable to accomplish anything because the Paris bank still had not sent notification.
Antwerp, Friday 12:15. May 26, 1933.
This afternoon I rested and then went to French class. I returned to the Crédit Lyonnais to have the write a letter saying they were to transfer sixty-thousand francs. Afterwards I went out for hot chocolate and cake. I always needed nourishment after my French lessons, they were exhausting. I felt as though I had learned nothing, but the next morning I would always awake to find that some of the words stuck with me. I shopped for some furniture. After lunch I made minyan and davened.
Antwerp, Sunday 3:15 p.m., May 28, 1933.
During the day I worked in my cousin's shop making window displays. After dinner I paid ten francs to attend the Yiddish theatre: "Mazel Tov Mama." My seats were very good, and I enjoyed the musical. Afterwards I went to the Chantilly Ballroom at the Century Hotel. I checked my coat for one franc. I met a nice Jewish lady close to my height. She was twenty-four years old and multilingual. She invited me to sit with her and her mother. She was a pleasant dancer. At 1 a.m. we left for home. They invited me for Shabbes next Friday, The young lady then gave me a visiting card. Her name is Felicia Rabinowich. She lives in Antwerp, Riedelaybalet #11. Her father is a diamond merchant. I arrived home by 2 a.m.,
Today I went to the Committee for German Refugees and Immigrants. I learned that it was difficult for Polish citizens to gain entrance to Belgium, because I was not a German refugee. The Ministry in Brussels would have the final word. I decided to go there and make a personal appearance. At the Committee I met a twenty-two-year-old student. I received an estimate from Arthur Pierre today, the moving company. I received a letter from Paris which I had translated at the Crédit Lyonnais. It stated that they did not yet have the money from my father which I wanted to be wired here. I bought my cousin's daughter a ball to play with for four francs.
Antwerp, Monday 1:00 p.m., May 29, 1933.
Yesterday afternoon I napped until 7 p.m., I walked around before and after dinner. At midnight I went to bed.
This morning I went to the Crédit Lyonnais. I was told to return later in the evening to take care of my business without writing to Berlin, I went to the post office and the Diamond Club to withdraw two hundred francs spending money. I paid four francs for items for cousin David. I enjoyed a lemonade, and then I sent the birthday card to my sister. I went to the railroad station to get information about getting to the Ministry in Brussels.
Antwerp, Tuesday 6:50 a.m., May 30, 1933.
Yesterday afternoon I bought a ball for three francs for David's young son. Then I spent an hour resting. For three-and-a-half francs I went to the bathhouse. In the evening I returned to the home of the man from the Crédit Lyonnais. He wrote a letter in French to Paris on my behalf. I wrote to my parents in Berlin because my father's money was not in Paris as I had expected. I began to look for rooms to rent.
After dinner I met Sam Fishel, my friend the barber. He convinced me to go along with him to a show at the Yiddish theatre to see, "The Street Singer." Fishel still wanted to stay out, he took me to a brothel. I danced for a while and gave Fishel my last condom, because he was not interested in meeting someone. Neither of us did. Instead we went home. I was in bed by 1:45 a.m.
I am up early today to go to the Ministry in
I hope to G-d that the Minister will allow us to stay. Today was my
sister's birthday. I hope that she is healthy, fine and with good
peace, luck and blessings together with my parents, they should
enjoy her growing up. Yesterday I also brought my dirty laundry to
be cleaned. I spent a total of twenty francs on last night's
entertainment. Tonight I sleep in the same bed with David. It was
nice of them to let me stay, they needed the help and some money.
After breakfast today I went to the train station. The round trip cost twenty-two francs. I took a taxi to the Minister. He was very nice to me. For five francs I bought food, and for six francs I bought five good cigars. I was directed from the original Minister that I would have to go to the Minster of Justice. I waited a long time for them to tell me that I should return to Antwerp and they would let me know the decision. I caught a one-o'clock train and was back in Antwerp by 2 p.m., I went to the Committee and then to my French lesson. Afterwards I went home to find a letter from Crédit Lyonnais in Paris, they still had not received the money from my father. There was also a letter from my parents. They informed me that I must go to the Antwerp police station about my temporary status. I paid an addition one hundred and forty francs for classes for the rest of the month and five francs for a study book in French. Afterwards I responded to my parents' letter. I went to the tailor and paid him one hundred and ten francs for the gray flannel pants. I went to dinner.
Antwerp, Wednesday 8:45 p.m., May 31, 1933.
Today is Shavuos (I). I am displeased that the gray trousers are too tight. At the store earlier they were not tight, but now they did seem tight. Today after breakfast I went to temple to daven. After lunch I remained in bed for one-and-a-half hours. Then my cousin took me to the polizei to get a letter to take to the Governor in Antwerp, From the Governor I would then get a permit to remain an additional three months, [but] there was no promise I would be able to stay longer. I finished my homework from Berlitz and then ate dinner. I will wait to notify my parents about the three-month extension until I receive word from Brussels about permanent residency.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:45 p.m., June 1, 1933.
Today is Shavuos (II). Today I went to temple with my cousin to daven. Then after lunch I rested. Before noon I did my French homework. For eight francs I bought a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white wine for four-and-a-half francs. David's daughter needed somewhere to sleep again, and I would have to sleep again with David. This prompted me to look into purchasing a new bed. I spent twenty-five francs on food and then returned home for dinner. I hope for good news in the mail tomorrow.
Antwerp, Friday 1:20 p.m., June 2, 1933.
Yesterday after dinner I walked for a while. At midnight I went to bed. Early this morning I brought my new gray trousers back to the tailor; he promised to have new trousers for me by next week. Then I went to do chores in town before going to the Governor. I paid ninety-eight francs for a three-month extended visa that would be ready tomorrow. I went to the Jewish neighborhood to buy meat, fish, cake, fruit and vegetables for Shabbes. It cost fifty francs. I also bought three nice shirts for ninety-five francs with stylish collars. I withdrew seven-hundred francs from the Diamond Club. Afterwards I ate lunch and now I am resting before my three o'clock French class.
Antwerp, Saturday 2:10 p.m., June 3, 1933.
After yesterday's French class I went out for cake and hot chocolate and then strolled through the park. After dinner I went to the Rabinowich house; on the way I bought a bouquet of flowers for ten francs. I was well-received and entertained in their home. I learned that Felicia was twenty-five years old and employed by the Minerva Auto Factory. I am no longer interested in her, nevertheless I promised to write a card and perhaps meet her again at the Chantilly for a dance. I left at 12:30 a.m. I went home by trolley, arriving at 1 a.m. after a short walk.
This morning I received a card and a letter from my parents. The letter enclosed a receipt from the Polish bank. My parents inquired whether the financial transfer went through. After picking up my extension visa from the Governor's office. Immediately after I went to the Crédit Lyonnais. Tomorrow and Monday the Crédit Lyonnais will be closed for Shavuos. The gentleman who had helped me write the letter was not there. A receptionist took a message with the address of the Polish bank for him to write a letter. There was nothing more I could do now.
Antwerp, Sunday 9:45 a.m., June 4, 1933.
Yesterday afternoon I lay in bed for one hour. I purchased another French study guide for thirty-five francs. Then I wrote my family a letter. Yesterday evening I mentioned to a friend that I was looking for a room. He suggested that I not rent a room until I was employed. The room smells because my cousin sleeps with me as his daughter is sick. David said I could not have visitors over because he did not have a presentable house with furniture. After dinner I walked with my cousin to deliver shoes to a customer. I went to the bathhouse and treated my cousin for eight-and-a-half francs. Soon I will go have breakfast and look for a room to rent.
Antwerp, Monday 10:35 a.m., June 5, 1933.
Yesterday I went into town, but I found no rooms for rent which interested me. I waited for two hours at the Committee, but the line was long and I did not get a meeting. I had lunch and sat in my cousin's garden. Afterwards I went out with Sam Fishel to the park and went to eat and an amusement park. We went to the shooting gallery and had our photos taken. We rode in bumper cars and an airplane ride. We had a nice kosher dinner in a nearby restaurant. We visited dance places, looking to meet women. We met three people from Holland driving around. We all went to the nightclub to dance. There we met two girls, but they ended up leaving with the three Dutch people. We went to another dance club before heading home at 2:30 a.m. The evening and afternoon had cost me thirty-five francs. I am writing now to my parents before beginning my homework.
Antwerp, Tuesday 1:00 p.m., June 6, 1933.
Yesterday after lunch I went to a beer garden for a beer. I bought a ticket for a tambola, but I did not win. I went home for dinner and then out for the evening with Sam. Together the day cost four francs.
Today after breakfast I went to the Rivierenhof. I bought fruit for six francs and lemonade for two. David wanted to talk with me, he needed to borrow three-thousand francs. I promised that I would write me parents on his behalf. I went back to the park and darned my socks. I did my French homework and will now eat lunch. Living with my family is no bargain because he keeps asking [me] for money for his failing business. I cannot continue to give him this money.
Antwerp, Tuesday 9:00 p.m., June 6, 1933.
The Governor gave me a three-month extension, which I then brought to the police. I returned to the Crédit Lyonnais to request that someone write the bank in Poland. Then I went to the English Tearoom for three francs. From 4-5 p.m. I was at my French lesson. Afterwards I spent six francs for my usual hot chocolate and cake. I began writing my letter home. I received a postcard from my mother and sister who were staying at a pension in Dresden for the Shavuos holidays. I wrote a postcard to Sonia Klein. Then I went to have dinner. Afterwards Sam Fishman and I listened to the daily radio news.
Antwerp, Wednesday 2:25 p.m., June 7, 1933.
This morning I had more problems because my cousin had to go to court. I was stuck in the bank waiting until 11 a.m. to pay seven hundred francs and an additional penalty for a note that my cousin had defaulted on. This left me with only two-and-a-half francs. I went for a walk to relax, and I withdrew two hundred francs from the Diamond Club to pay off my cousin's note. With one franc and fifteen centimes I drank spring water. At the Committee I picked a number to wait in line to meet with a counselor. I walked through town while I waited. For five-and-a-half francs I bought a small bottle of brandy. I returned home for lunch. I brought my dirty laundry to the cleaners. When I came home I wrote a postcard to Felicia Rabinowich.
Antwerp, Thursday 11:05 a.m., June 8, 1933.
Yesterday afternoon I slept an hour-and-a-half before going to the police for verification of my permit to remain in Belgium. For five francs I went to the bathhouse. I came home to find a letter from my mother from Dresden, where she was with Sonia. She requested that I call her there at lunchtime. I went out with Mr. Bernard, a friend of Sam Fishman.
Today I received a card from Ruth Hamlet of
Biederfeld, Germany. There was a poem in the card. I paid 1.3
penalty because of insufficient postage. I would wait to write back
until my pictures were developed, so that I might send a photo of
myself with my next letter. Now I will go to the garden and darn my
This morning, while darning my socks and studying my French, I forgot to call my mother. At 2:30 I tried to place a call, it took two hours until I reached my mother. She said she was staying at the pension until Saturday, This morning for three francs I bought bananas. The phone call cost seventy-five francs. My cousin returned two hundred francs from the money I had loaned him. I went afterwards to the Committee, but I arrived too late. I treated myself to the kosher restaurant nearby. The chef told me of a nice room for rent for seven hundred francs each month, my meals would be included. I bought food for Shabbes that afternoon. Now I am eating dinner.
Antwerp, Friday 12:05 p.m., June 9, 1933.
After dinner yesterday I walked with David. I paid three francs to treat him to beer. At midnight we returned and retired to bed. I did not feel well. I vomited from the beer. David was still hung over the next morning.
Today after breakfast I went to the post office. For two francs I bought fruit and am now writing from the Rivierenhof park. I have studied my French. I will now return home for lunch. I hope to move into that room in town.
Antwerp, Friday 10:05 p.m., June 9, 1933.
After lunch I went to my French lesson and to the Crédit Lyonnais and then to my ritual hot chocolate and cake at the patisserie. Until 7 p.m. I remained walking through town. Today I spent eleven francs for red wine and eleven francs for liqueur. I dined and will now go to bed.
Antwerp, Saturday 8:20 p.m., June 10, 1933.
This morning I paid 1.2 francs for the extra copies of 93A in my photo album. I sent that photo with a card to Ruth Hamlet. I bought myself cherries for one franc. I ate lunch and studied French. I rested for an hour and walked before returning to my studies. Now it is time for dinner.
Antwerp, Sunday 3:20 p.m., June 11, 1933.
Last night I went to Lachborcelarhopf, a beer garden. I enjoyed the dancing. The evening code seven-and-a-half francs.
This morning I received a letter from my parents in Dresden. My mother wrote that she was angered by the Mendelson's constant request for loans. I have not yet told my cousins about this response. The money I have so far given them is not a lot, I cannot complain. Until yesterday I had been sharing a bed with David. Today I went to Turlitzstrasse, a Jewish family rented me a room on the first floor. I will be responsible for my breakfast, but they will provide lunch and dinner. I believe this is better than staying with my relatives. They were nice to me, but it wasn't a bargain either. Now I keep track of my expenditures for meals.
Antwerp, Monday 10:35 a.m., June 12, 1933.
Yesterday I packed my belongings and David accompanied to my new room. I had dinner at the restaurant and sat in the garden to write to my parents. I slept well and had a good breakfast.
Yesterday it rained all day. Before noon I studied French. I withdrew one hundred francs from the Diamond Club. Yesterday I gave Mr. Kuplich eighty francs and owe forty-five francs for one week's lunch and dinner. Then I talked with my landlord family. Sam Fishman came to visit me. The Goldwasser sisters, Maria, nineteen is the younger, Regina is slightly older. We walked in the park until it began to rain. I paid for snack at the cafe, eight francs.
Antwerp, Wednesday 9:15 a.m., June 14, 1933.
Yesterday morning I gave my new address to the Crédit Lyonnais and the post office. For ten francs I bought two dance records for the Victrola, for five francs I bought a photo stand for the pictures of my mother and sister. I rested after lunch before going to the Committee. I was fortunate that someone could help me prepare a letter for Brussels. Between 4-5 p.m. I went to my French lesson and then to the patisserie. After dinner I went with Fannie Goldwasser and her two friends to the zoo. Fannie knew the ticket taker and we received admission to the zoo for free. I paid two francs for ice cream for everyone. I had some milk and went to bed at midnight.
Antwerp, Thursday 9:05 a.m., June 15, 1933.
Yesterday morning I went swimming for
the afternoon I rested at the Goldwasser garden. I received a letter
from my parents who wanted to move to Palestine. They wanted me to
return to Berlin, so that we may all go to Palestine. I returned to
the Committee and inquired about travel to Palestine. I explained to
my parents that I would not return to Berlin and did not want to
move to Palestine. Newspapers in Belgium warned of the danger in
Nazi Germany, I would not return, but wanted my parents to come out
to Belgium. I sent my parents a return letter by airmail. I
telephoned the police in Deurne, the outskirts of Antwerp where my
cousin lived and notified them of my address change. I called the Crédit Lyonnais about our financial matters.
Yesterday I visited my cousins, Sam Fishman, the tailor, and withdrew money from the Diamond Club. I wrote another letter to my parents before lunch. I paid Kuplich the forty-five francs balance for meals, and I brought Mrs. Goldwasser ten roses to thank her for her hospitality. I napped after lunch and returned to the Crédit Lyonnais. I bought a cake for five francs. After dinner Mr. Goldwasser walked with me, and I came home to dance and listen to music with Maria.
Breakfast today was nice. My parents wrote me a letter requesting that I return home. They said the situation had quieted and requested that I return home, so that in four weeks we could come back to Belgium. I once again said I would not go back to Germany. The radio and newspapers were reporting daily of people returning to Germany after foreign visits. The Nazis treated these returning citizens harshly, as they were suspicious of travelers speaking badly of Deutschland. I was not going to push my luck. I told my parents that I could be more helpful from Belgium, than I would be causing trouble when I returned. I will wait to write this letter until I have financial information from Crédit Lyonnais.
Antwerp, Saturday 10:10 p.m., June 17, 1933.
Yesterday after lunch I sat on a hammock in the garden and did a bit of gardening. Maria accompanied me to the seaport. We drank spring water for three-and-a-half francs. After dinner Mr. Goldwasser and I walked. I made the Kiddush before dinner in the Goldwasser home.
Today I sent a Father's Day card and promised a full letter soon -- I was waiting for more information on financial matters. I bought cherries for one franc to forget my aggravation from the Crédit Lyonnais. I went to my French lesson at 4 p.m. and Condita Rie, the patisserie. Today Goldwasser's thirteen-year-old son showed my his bar mitzvah presents. I gave him a small photo camera as a bar mitzvah present. After dinner a young man was visiting the family, together we all listened to the Victrola. He and I both danced with Maria.
Antwerp, Sunday 12:05 a.m., June 18, 1933.
This morning I received notice from the post office that my parents requested a phone call. Over the phone my mother asked me to return to Berlin; I explained my position about Nazi arrests of visitors returning to Germany. Many of those in "protective custody" never returned alive. I asked them to think it over before commanding that I come home. If they commanded it, I would go. I took a walk and then darned my socks. I wrote my parents a long letter further explaining my position. After dinner I walked along Kaiserlein from the train station through Antwerp, It is the nicest avenue in Antwerp. Now I am going to bed. (I refused to go to Germany, not just for selfish reasons, but I am afraid of the aggravation my parents will have if I get in trouble there. I feel I am much more helpful in Belgium, communicating with the Committee and the Brussels Ministry. Friends and acquaintances all advise me not to return to Germany.)
Antwerp, Tuesday 3:35 p.m., June 20, 1933.
After breakfast yesterday Mr. Goldwasser introduced me to his niece from New York who was visiting for three days. We went together to a diamond palace owned by the Goldwasser family. We watched as workers shaped the diamonds. I registered his niece with the Town Government, saying I was showing her around Antwerp. When I arrived home there was another letter from my parents requesting that I return to Germany. That afternoon David visited me in Antwerp, Together he helped me write a letter to my parents that I sent by airmail. Then for eight-and-a-half francs I purchased stationery. After dinner I walked and talked to the Goldwassers.
This morning I was awakened and called to the telephone. It was mother. She demanded my return to Germany.
Then I received a letter from my parents that I must come home. It also mentioned that they were anxious to settle the financial troubles. I went back to Crédit Lyonnais to get instructions on how to proceed. I went to Berlitz School to use a typewriter to send a letter to Poland. I rented a taxi for thirty francs, telegrammed the letter for fifty-four francs and airmailed the letter to Poland. Then I called my mother for seventy francs to let her know I was attending to the financial matter. I withdrew a further five-hundred from the Diamond Club, part of which was repayment to Mrs. Goldwasser, the remainder was pocket money. I returned home for lunch. I was very anxious when Mrs. Goldwasser told me that my mother called to say that it was necessary to return to Berlin, There is a G-d in heaven! I had already stopped in a travel arrangement because I thought the decision was made. I have never been as happy as when I found out that my mother would not require me to come to Berlin,
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:50 p.m., June 20, 1933.
I went class and the patisserie. I am still elated that I will not have to return to Germany.
Antwerp, Wednesday 11:05 p.m., June 21, 1933.
Today after breakfast I received an airmail letter from my parents saying I did not have to return to Germany. They asked if I needed money, they said they would send some if necessary. A letter from the Antwerp police requested that I get two photos to them in person on Friday, I put an ad in the morning newspaper looking for a job. I returned to Crédit Lyonnais, they had no information. After lunch I napped for over two hours. Then I went to Nightingale Park with Maria Goldwasser. After dinner I wrote a letter to my parents thanking them for letting me stay in Antwerp, I told them I could use some money, if they would send it, which would also help them get some of their savings out of Germany.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:55 p.m., June 22, 1933.
After breakfast I went to Crédit Lyonnais and then went swimming for four-and-a-half hours before returning to Crédit Lyonnais, still there was no answer. I registered at Berlitz to continue my course in group session for the following month. After lunch I rested for two hours and darned my socks. After a coffee drink I had my pictures developed for eight francs. I went to Deurne to visit the Mendelsons. For twenty-one-and-a-half francs I picked up my laundry at the cleaners. I stopped by the tailor, but my pants were not ready. I came home and joined Mr. Goldwasser for a walk in the park.
Antwerp, Friday 2:25 p.m., June 23, 1933.
Last night before going to sleep I darned three pair of socks. This morning after breakfast I went to the police station to register my status as they requested. I returned to Crédit Lyonnais to discover that the money was located in Poland. Poland deducted twenty-five marks for their expenses, the remainder 163,150 francs, I wanted to exchange, but I only exchanged a portion, as the exchange rate was dropping. I gave one hundred francs to the manager who had helped me with my correspondence and deposited the rest with the Diamond Club. I paid one hundred and forty francs for meals provided, and I gave a ten-franc tip to the waitress.
Antwerp, Sunday 8:45 a.m., June 25, 1933.
Friday afternoon I napped for two hours and darned three pair of socks. After coffee I went with Maria Goldwasser to the neighborhood park. We danced. It cost four-and-a-half francs. Maria, Regina, and I went out in the evening to the park.
In the morning I went to the barber for fifteen francs. (Usually I no longer mark down barber and cafe). After breakfast my mother phoned me to say that Brussels had denied their applications. I asked my mother to send the paperwork to me. My father sent me a letter that day saying he is satisfied that I did not return to Berlin, because it is very bad there. They are glad that at least I remain in Antwerp instead of suffering with them in Germany. I visited several lawyers included one that was recommended to me in Brussels, Jacobson. I called him in Brussels for seven francs. He told me that he was unable to work for me privately as he was affiliated with the Committee. After lunch I rested in the garden and went out to visit two other attorneys. One of these attorneys referred me to a good Brussels attorney. Maria and I went to Capital Theatre to see, "Song of Love." The second film, with Harry Bauer, "Criminal," was excellent. It was about a businessman and world traveler. The tickets had cost twenty francs for both of us. During intermission I spent one-and-a-half francs for chocolate and two francs for beer. Maria gave me ten francs for her theatre ticket, as she did not want to be treated. I was in bed by midnight.
This morning I received the letter that the Belgian Consulate had sent to my parents. My mother said that if I have to leave Belgium, still I should not return to Germany. I am anxious to get my parents out of Germany.
Antwerp, Monday 10:00 p.m., June 26, 1933.
Yesterday afternoon I walked through the park. I was still unable to do anything because it was Sunday, Today I awoke early to go to Brussels. I paid for breakfast and rent seventy-six francs. I paid Karpach six francs additionally for meals. Yesterday I picked up Fanny Goldwasser at the train station returning from Paris. I did not get to bed until 2 a.m., The trip to Brussels cost twenty-two francs. I took the trolley in Brussels to visit the attorney Jasper, he is the nephew of the foreign minister. He was recommended to me by an acquaintance in the restaurant who said he was very capable and had good connections. I left my reference letter at his office in the morning and went to the Brussels Committee on Jewish-German Immigrants. I went to see the attorney Mr. Wolf, but I could not locate him. The committee recommended me to attorney Edward Abraham. I set a 1 p.m. appointment with Abraham. I went to the Jewish section and had a miserable lunch before seeing Abraham. He said he was unable to do anything because of my Polish passport. He requested twenty-five francs for this advice, but I did not pay him. I told him I did not think I needed to pay him if he wouldn't take the case. I spent two francs for spring water. I sent my parents a small letter to update them before returning to the lawyer Jasper. I waited a long time until he was able to see me. Jasper listened to my case and said he thought he would be able to help. He requested a certificate from the bank to prove our deposits of over one hundred thousand francs in Antwerp, I will attend to that tomorrow. I spent six francs on cake before returning to Antwerp, In Antwerp I went to the Diamond Club to receive documentation of our savings there. I wrote my parents with details of today's minor successes. Today I bought a Berlin newspaper.
Antwerp, Tuesday 1:20 p.m., June 27, 1933.
Today, after breakfast, Mr Goldwasser accompanied me to the Diamond Club. I withdrew 200,300 francs and another hundred thousand francs. Together we went to the Société Générale de Belgique bank. I introduced myself, as I had an account there. The bank had also recommended an attorney to me. I deposited the money into a bank account there. They gave me a certificate of the equity. The French francs had fallen markedly in value, proving that it was wise not to wait too long to exchange the money. I went to the railroad for a schedule of trains to Brussels. I deposited my certificate of equity at the Diamond Club. I paid Mrs. Goldwasser back from yesterday's loan of two hundred francs. I also brought Mrs. Goldwasser a bouquet of roses in gratitude for her husband's assistance at the bank. I paid Kuplach one hundred francs today for the week's meal. I am putting on my dark suit to go to Brussels.
Antwerp, Wednesday 9:30 a.m., June 28, 1933.
Yesterday's roundtrip to Brussels cost twenty-two francs. I caught the trolley to attorney Jasper's office. My visa case was being discussed at the Ministry. Jasper charged five hundred francs for my case. He required payment today. I had cake for four-and-a-half francs and sent my parents a letter. I strolled through the Botanical Gardens of Brussels. I returned to Antwerp for dinner at 8 p.m., and went to bed by 11. Yesterday a letter came telling me to report to the police.
Antwerp, Thursday 9:45 a.m., June 29, 1933.
Yesterday morning I withdrew five hundred francs from the Diamond Club to pay Mr. Jasper. I sent a postal money order to his office. I am sitting on a lounge in the garden. At noon I gave my waiter a ten-franc tip. After lunch I rested for two hours and darned a pair of socks. I had cafe before returning to the police officer. He cautioned me to extend my visa very shortly. I went to Chantilly for hot chocolate. I danced until 7 p.m. and had the opportunity to speak several different languages. Chantilly cost ten francs.
I wanted to write my parents before going to bed at 11 p.m., but decided to wait for the next day's mail. I am anxious to check the mail today. An officer from the bank delivered to me my checkbook for my bank account. Yesterday the gentleman from Crédit Lyonnais brought me a letter from the bank in Poland. The Crédit Lyonnais would be sending a card to the Polish bank to confirm that they received the money.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:35 p.m., June 29, 1933.
This afternoon I spent four-and-a-half francs to go swimming. I rested for two-and-a-half hours and darned a pair of socks. I had some cafe before going to the Diamond Club to deposit my checkbook. I went to the Deurne tailor to pick up my pants, they still were not ready. I called my parents after dinner for thirty-seven francs. I was nervous because I had not received mail in a few days. My mother said she had written. She was thankful that they received sixteen-thousand marks for selling the building on #26 Kapengastrasse. I told my mother I would write her a letter suggesting how to get the money out of Germany. The building was worth nearly two hundred marks, but I was thankful that they had been able to get any money out of it. I wrote a congratulation letter to someone getting married in Poland in the Goldwasser family.
Antwerp, Saturday 6:30 p.m., July 1, 1933.
Yesterday I received a letter from my parents. Also enclosed was a letter from Mr. Munavitch from Deurne-au-Rhine, saying I could visit with him from the Mendelson house. I wrote him back with my current address. I also went to visit several banks and my friend at the currency exchange office. A new law was being instituted forbidding Belgian banks from exchanging German money, since so many Germany marks were flooding the market from recent refugees. After lunch I enjoyed the garden. After 3 p.m. I tried to reach Mr. Jasper in Brussels, but I could not get any connection. Before going out for the evening I made Kiddush at the Goldwasser home. I bought myself a fine bottle of wine for seventeen francs. Yesterday I had a wonderful meal: gefilte fish, chicken soup, 1/4 goose, etc., then I danced and conversed with the Goldwassers.
Today after breakfast I went to the photo developers and bought three disks for the camera, it cost six francs. I paid eight francs to enter the zoo and visited the animals. The Goldwassers brought me two cards, one from my parents the other from my sister. I immediately wrote back. The Goldwassers introduced me to their friends. Among them was a contributor to the zoo, Mr. Gershin, he told me that he would get me into the park for free. His niece Harriet Linkofsky was introduced to me. I took several pictures and went to develop them at the photo developers. I enjoyed speaking in French and Flemish.
Antwerp, Sunday 10:15 p.m., July 2, 1933.
Friday I bought myself toothpaste for six francs. Yesterday after dinner I took Fannie to cafe at the Cafe Grand Hotel. The music was very pleasant. We stayed until 11 p.m., I forgot to pay the waiter for the coffee and did not realize it until I was home.
Today at 4 p.m. I joined Mrs. Goldwasser to the Nightingale Park. I spent ten-and-a-half francs there and met many acquaintances. I saw Ms. Linkofsky. We danced and set a date to go out.
After dinner I walked with Mr. Goldwasser. Today I paid Mrs. Goldwasser forty francs for breakfast. Ms. Linkofsky is twenty-years-old.
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:20 a.m., July 4, 1933.
After breakfast I withdrew five hundred francs from the Diamond Club. Then I went to the dermatologist because I had a rash on my belly. He recommended a salve, assuring me that it was not a sickness or disease. I paid him thirty francs. Next I caught a 1 p.m. train to Brussels for twenty-two francs. I took the trolley to Edward Jasper, where I waited one-and-a-half hours. Jasper told me that the application for permanent residence for me and my family had been entered, and we should receive a positive response in ten days. I returned to Antwerp and picked up my picture for three francs, these are photos 95-95(?) in my album. I picked up the doctors prescription. I paid Mr. Kaprach one hundred francs for meals. I wrote a letter to my parents.
Antwerp, Wednesday 9:40 a.m., July 5, 1933.
Yesterday I sat in the garden and then went swimming for four-and-a-half francs. From 7-8 p.m. I had my French lesson and paid eighty francs for this month's classes. Afterwards I went to the movie theatre for three francs. There was a weekly news clip showing.
This morning I received two postal money orders that would enable each of my parents to pick up 1,672 francs. My mother phoned to say that a moving man in Berlin would transport them, and the store had been sold. My father at present was in court with Mr. Rauwelt, the salesman he had hired three months ago, who I had warned my father about. I would place the 3,344 francs in the Diamond Club.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:10 a.m., July 6, 1933.
Yesterday morning I walked with Ms. Linkofsky. After dinner I accompanied the Goldwasser sisters to the movies, I paid only for myself, eight francs. The movie was, "Miracle Child." It was funny, but I did not particularly enjoy it because it doesn't have a plot or make much sense. I spent seven francs to treat for chocolate and ice cream sandwiches.
Today I received a letter from Mr. Munavich.
Antwerp, Friday 9:35 a.m., July 7, 1933.
Yesterday I rested in bed for two hours and darned my socks. I paid eight francs for cleaning my trousers. I telephoned the tailor in Deurne who still had not made my pants. From 7-8 I was at my French lesson, then I went to dinner. Afterwards I had a date with an eighteen-year-old Jewish young lady that I met at Berlitz. Today I put on tefillin and prayed.
Antwerp, Sunday noon, July 9, 1933.
Friday I was in the garden and then went swimming. After lunch I tipped the waitress four francs and rested in bed for two hours. In the evening I made Kiddush with Goldwasser, then went to dinner. Yesterday I was walking and rested in the garden. I went to Nightingale Park for beer and dancing for three francs. After dinner I went to the garden. After making Havdalah the Goldwasser daughters played piano. Today after breakfast Maria taught me to play the piano.
Antwerp, Monday 9:30 a.m., July 10, 1933.
On Friday I sent my parents a postcard. Yesterday I was in the garden and then i took Fannie to the Nightingale where we met Ms. Linkofsky. Drinks cost seven francs. The weather was lovely in the early evening. I had dinner and drinks at an outdoor restaurant for twenty-eight francs. I sent my parents a postcard from there. I rejoined the sisters for dancing later in the evening. This morning after breakfast I went swimming.
Antwerp, Monday 10:30 p.m., July 10, 1933.
This morning I spent four-and-a-half francs for swimming, a new swimming cap cost five francs. I ate lunch and called Jasper for three francs. While I napped my mother called me from Poland, where they were visiting. Tomorrow they plan to return to Berlin, She said she would send a money order for 17,500 marks. She said she was very happy to talk with me. She is a wonderful mother, and I hope to be a good son and only give them pleasure, even though sometimes I cause her pain. It was raining heavily and I stayed home. I awaited a letter from my mother. I picked up the developed photos from Saturday evening, and I placed them in my album #97 & #98. By Kuplech I am now paying daily. After dinner I sat with the family in their garden.
Antwerp, Tuesday 11:05 p.m., July 11, 1933.
Today I was worried when I had not received my mother's letter, but then it came registered along with a receipt from the bank in Poland. The receipt came from Carspon. I attended to the transfer immediately. I placed these items in my safe in the Diamond Club. I withdrew a thousand francs for myself. I went to a wholesale textile business and then went to the park. I took my French lesson from 7-8 p.m., Today I spent nine francs for more salve for the rash I had.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:15 p.m., July 12, 1933.
Early this morning my mother called from Berlin to
see if the money from Poland was already transferred to Belgium. I
contacted the local Crédit Lyonnais to transfer the money. Shortly
thereafter I received a registered letter from the Polish bank, in
there was a check for 29,300 Polish = 146,000 Belgian francs. I gave
that check to my bank in Antwerp, Next I attended Adolf Goldwasser's
party (Mr. Goldwasser's thirteen-year-old son). For one franc I
bought a bouquet of roses for the Goldwassers. I sent my parents a letter via
airmail regarding the money transfer. I wrote a letter to the bank
in Poland confirming the receipt of the letter and check. I called
Jasper for seven francs to check on the visa application. I was never
able to speak with him. After coffee I went swimming. After dinner I
danced with Goldwasser's daughter to the music on the Victrola.
This morning my parents called about the money transfer. My father was having difficulty getting a visa for a short-term visit to Belgium. Even without the visa he would try to come across the border at Aix-de-Chapelle. I went to the Diamond Club to get the documents I needed to take to Brussels. I went to see Goldwasser's nephew William. William took me to the Belgian Congress, but we were unable to accomplish anything because our passports were Polish. We could not claim we were German refugees with our Polish passports. I tried again to get in touch with Jasper unsuccessfully. For three francs I went to see the marathon dancers -- some couples had been dancing for thirty-six hours. For six francs I went to a patisserie. At least we were not rejected yet, I had made several applications according to the suggestions of different attorneys. I am taking the train back to Antwerp for twenty-two francs round trip. The Bank Societe Belgium sent me a letter today [saying] ,that the francs from the Polish bank had been honored and credited to my account. After dinner I enjoyed music on the veranda.
Antwerp, Saturday 2:30 p.m., July 15, 1933
After breakfast I went to get more information about the trains coming in from Germany. After lunch I went to the train which I thought my father might take. When I returned there was a message from my mother that my father was too busy packing and had not yet left. They were tentatively planning to leave the following Sunday, My mother asked if I had heard anything from the applications. I received a letter from my parents by airmail. Maria Goldwasser accompanied me to Deurne to return the faulty trousers that had been delivered to me before noon. The tailor promised me new pants, but he did not make them and refused to, as the money was already in his hand. I was aggravated. While in the neighborhood I went to visit David Mendelson and the Reverenhopf Park. We rested on the lawn. Yesterday Mrs. Goldwasser invited me to dinner with the family. I made Kiddush for Shabbes and enjoyed dinner with them. We said grace afterwards for the meal. I went to bed at 11 after walking in the park. This morning I waited for the airmail letter anxiously. I walked with Mr. Goldwasser through the town park. I rested in bed afternoon for an hour. My lunches and dinner this week cost one hundred.
Antwerp, Monday 10:10 a.m., July 17, 1933.
I met some friends in the afternoon and played ball at the Nightingale. After dinner for fifteen francs, I walked and had health spring water to drink. Yesterday morning I was called to the telephone. My mother called to say that my father had left on Saturday and was due to arrive in Brussels by 8:30. I should go to meet him with Sonia at the station. I woke Maria to come with me to the railroad for information. There was no train going to Brussels to get there in time. Instead I paid two hundred francs for a driver. I arrived fifteen minutes after the train, I found my father in the train, just as I was about to give up. My father was on a train heading for Antwerp, We refunded the money for the train ticket and took the car. Later on I learned that the train I took my father off of, which was going to Antwerp, had an accident and arrived in Antwerp one hour later. I called my mother for seventy-five francs to tell my mother that my father had arrived. We paid twenty-two francs for lunch. I called Mr. Munavich who was visiting my cousin David in Deurne. We put Sonia to sleep, and I took my father to Deurne, the Mendelsons were not there. We walked around town before returning to Antwerp and having a good dinner for twenty-eight francs. I showed my father the house I lived in.... I got my father a room in the hotel. Then we found a children's bed for Sonia to sleep in at my home. Then I escorted my father to his room and gave him four hundred francs. Yesterday I spent some time with my father explaining our bank statements. He was satisfied with the accounts I had established. Sonia slept well and felt better. My father arrived from his hotel room. We sat together in Goldwasser's garden.
Antwerp, Monday 1:35 p.m., July 17, 1933.
I took my father to register at the Committee for German Refugees. I put my father on a trolley with Sonia to visit the Mendelsons in Deurne.
Antwerp, Tuesday 4:35 p.m., July 18, 1933.
Yesterday I relinquished our bank accounts to my father and reported my budget to him. Now I do not have to keep track of the financial balances in the journal, except for my personal pleasure. Yesterday after dinner I went to attorney Mrs. Cohen from Hamburg. I met her and her husband at the Berlitz school. I enjoyed spending the evening with them. When I returned, my father and sister were asleep in the hotel. Mr. Crimilofsky, from Berlin was also staying over. He said that my mother asked us to call her. I went with him to the post office to call my mother. I told her all about the past few days. I went home by midnight. Today I took my father to the Diamond Club and introduced him to my friends and acquaintances. We paid fifty-six francs to rent the safe for one year. I also introduced my father around the bank and deposited money there. There are still important papers in the safe. My mother called to say that the furniture had been sent and would be shipped to Belgium today. I went to the Committee about my mother again.
Antwerp, Wednesday 8:10 a.m., July 19, 1933.
I went with my father to the Committee and then went to my French lesson from 7-8 p.m., Afterwards my father and Sonia and I walked with some of my acquaintances.
Antwerp, Thursday 3:10 p.m., July 20, 1933.
After breakfast yesterday we picked up my mother from the station. I spent the afternoon with my mother to the Town Council. Later we looked for rooms together, my parents rented two rooms together. My father made me angry when he said that I spent too much money while he wasn't here. i was very careful and was upset that he said that. After dinner I visited the Cohens.
This morning I went to the railroad station to pick up the valises that belonged to my mother. First I went back to the house to get the keys to open the lock on the valises in case we needed to pay customs. There was no duty to pay, not even for my mother's new fox collar. Then my father and I went to the photographer, and then to the Town Council to register my parents. I lunched with my father. Today my sister had a temperature and stomach virus so she stayed in bed and we stayed with her. I went to write letters to our attorneys in Berlin,
Antwerp, Friday, July 21, 1933.
Today is my birthday. My father and I awoke at 4 a.m. and went with Maria and Regina Goldwasser to Blankenberg to the North Sea. It was a three-and-a-half hour train trip. The girls were on vacation. My birthday went as follows: in the morning we went to the beach. My father swam with me in the waters. After lunch I napped one hour, and we returned to the beach cafe. We had banana royal and I danced. We sent my mother and the Goldwassers and Dr. Cohen postcards. We promenaded in the evening and were in bed by 10:30 p.m.
On Saturday, July 22, I felt nauseous in the morning. Maria took me to my room and gave me cold compresses. I returned to the beach after lunch I wanted to go back to bed, but my father said it was nice on the beach, so I went to the beach as well. I started to feel bad again, so Regina took me back to the room and gave me cold water compresses. I took some aspirin. I was running a high fever, around 40 (normal was 36). When Maria and my father returned my fever was still high. The girls and I wanted to get a doctor, but my father said I didn't need a doctor and that I was ruining everyone's fun. When my father left I asked one of the girls to get me a doctor. After the aspirin my fever went down to 39.5. The doctor gave me a prescription. Maria looked after me, and when I perspired profusely from the prescription she kept toweling my face. I lay quietly as the sickness made me weak.
On Sunday the doctor came back. My father had return-tickets for the railroad that day, so he wanted the doctor to get me ready for the travel. I took many extra tablets to ready myself for the journey. I went to a beach cafe with the girls, and we listened to music before catching the evening train back to Antwerp; Goldwasser and my mother said I looked very sick. Mrs. Goldwasser insisted that I remain in bed for a few days, and she looked after me carefully.
On Thursday I went to my French lessons. That same evening the Cohens came to visit. Dr. Cohen advised my parents against leaving Antwerp at present. In the meantime the furniture arrived from Berlin. The Cohens suggested that we rent an apartment and establish an address, rather than putting the furniture in storage. I received a letter from the Town Council. Because I still felt so weak from illness, I went with my mother to the Commissar. The Commissar said that my request for permit residency was rejected in Brussels. My three-month permit would expire in August. The Commissar suggested that I get another three-month visa. The Burgermeister (Mayor) promised to help us when I wrote him a letter and explained our situation.
On Friday my parents rented a four-room apartment at Avenue Wundunais #10, where we are now living. Customs officers were detailing the items which we had brought into the country.
On Saturday we were settled in. My parents continued to believe that they were better off in Germany where they had a business and spoke the language. Here they had neither. During this time I took a rowboat out, once with Sonia, Maria, and Dalia. I hope my parents will stop complaining and get used to living here. They continue to blame me for bringing them to Brussels. I am now taking private French language lessons from an older man.
Antwerp, Monday 11:05 p.m., August 14, 1933.
I went to the doctor today about a persistent cough. He gave me a prescription. Someone recommended me to a woman who was supposed to be good. The following week I began lessons with her. Today and Thursday I have another lesson with the gentleman. My mother gave me 8,400 francs for the thousand marks I had saved in Germany. That money is deposited in my checking account at a low interest rate. My parent's are holding their money at the National Bank with some other money tied up with greater interest earnings. I had a lot of writing work with the attorney and these bank accounts.
Saturday afternoon I went to the Nightingale Park. My parents have company over.
Antwerp, Wednesday 7:45 p.m., August 16, 1933.
Tuesday Mr. Munivich joined my family to visit David Mendelson. I went to bed around 11:00 p.m., I stayed in bed until noon because of my cough. After lunch my parents went to Brussels. I took care of Sonia, straightened up the house, prepared dinner, and bought some household items. (The dermatologist prescribed a salve for the rash I had. The rash went away, but had now returned. My mother was caring for the rash with alcohol which seemed to be working.)
Antwerp, Thursday 8:45 p.m., August 17, 1933.
My parents came home from Brussels yesterday at dinnertime. Mr. Lampel, who had taken over my room with the Goldwassers, came to visit us. He was nice. My parents like Brussels more than Antwerp; It made me happy that they could be pleased. I stayed in bed until 11 a.m. today. I took my mother to see Max Fisher at the exchange office about my mother's 3,000 marks in Germany. He said he was unable to transfer marks anymore. I did not have my French lesson today, but I did study.
Antwerp, Monday 8:30 p.m., August 21, 1933.
Saturday and Sunday I stayed in bed because I did not feel well. I did take Ms. Linkofsky and her mother out dancing. It cost five francs. Today I had a French lesson with the woman for ten francs, I thought she was a good teacher. My father went to Brussels today, and he said that since we were not earning money, I could not spend money to take French lessons. I argued that I do not treat myself to anything else, and I was willing to pay for lessons from my own money so that I could learn the language and converse with natives. My father is anxious to start a business. He complained that he needed to speak French to start business. This morning I visited cousin Mendelson and helped him with some writing work. I will do some more French homework and go to bed. My parents continue to complain that I took them out of Berlin when I refused to come home to them.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:35 p.m., August 23, 1933.
Yesterday I cared for some writing work. Mr. & Mrs. Goldwasser visited us and I went to bed early. Today my mother and I went to the Czechoslovakian Consulate. We learned that life there was worse than here. My parents again fought with me because I had dragged them to Berlin.
Antwerp, Thursday 9:10 p.m., August 24, 1933.
My parents gave me two hundred francs today to buy a pair of shoes. My mother gave me an additional one hundred francs pocket money. I use that money to pay for my French lessons. I had a lesson this afternoon.
Antwerp, Monday 5:55 p.m., August 27, 1933.
Friday I walked in the park with Sonia. During the evening I wrote a letter for my cousin Mendelson's business. I listened to news around the world, which appeared ominous.
Saturday I mailed the letter for David Mendelson. In the afternoon I went with a friend on a rowboat. I napped in the afternoon and was still upset that my parents were bitter about me dragging them out of Germany. I do not want to have a confrontation, but it aggravates me to hear their complaints. I still feel I did the right thing, but I am the only one who feels that way. I can defend my position since everyone I speak to says that my parents should be thankful that they are in Belgium, and not Germany. My parents still do not see it that way. They complain constantly. I am getting headaches and an upset stomach from this constant tension.
Yesterday afternoon we went to the Nightingale Park. I went to bed at 8:30. David Mendelson visited with a letter from some relatives in Palestine who suggested that we come to live there. I went to get information on moving to Palestine.
Today my father again complained about the expensive French lessons. I seems that he doesn't want to see me spend any money. These lessons may be more expensive, but the teacher is very good and I am learning faster from her.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:55 a.m., August 31, 1933.
Monday evening my father hollered at me once again about the French lessons and our living in Belgium. I went to bed at 8 p.m.
Tuesday I had bad headaches and slept until 5 p.m., After a short walk I went back to bed.
Yesterday morning I was not feeling well at all. We received a letter from the Bank in Czechoslovakia, it required a response. My father had decided to travel through Germany to pick up his remaining 3,000 marks . My mother left the money there because she was afraid to carry more than 1,000 marks on her person. We all advised my father about returning to Germany; he would not listen. My father slandered me again for my decision to come to Belgium. I listened quietly without fighting, but in my mind I still feel I did the right thing. I am still glad to have my parents here in Belgium and not in Germany. I love my parents and would not want to lose them in Germany, particularly the way people get lost in Germany these days. I hope my father will return safely from this trip. I ran errands with my father through all the different consulates. At 7 p.m. my father left for Germany. I went to bed at 10:30.
I davened this morning and prayed for my father's safe journey. Now I am sitting with my sister; while she plays in the park, I will study my French lessons.
Antwerp, Sunday 11:30 a.m., September 3, 1933.
Thursday I walked around with my mother and sister. Glenda visited us with her husband today on her birthday. I went to bed around 11 p.m. Friday evening I went with my mother to Mr. Krimilofsky's house. He was from Montevideo and had just arrived from Berlin where he had met my father. He told us that my father was doing well there. He still had not taken care of the financial matter. Now my father was no longer happy with Berlin, because as a Jew he was now restricted from commerce. Jews are now afraid to walk through the streets. I went to sleep at 11 p.m., Yesterday Sonia and I walked to allow my mother to fix up the house. Last night Glenda again paid us a visit. Then we visited Mr. Krimilofsky. While we were there, his son had returned from Berlin. The reports were bad. Now I am sitting in the park watching my sister.
Antwerp, Monday 1:30 p.m., September 4, 1933.
Yesterday my mother and sister and I joined Mr. & Mrs. Grender. In the evening cousin Mendelson visited. Today Sonia and I walked through the park and spent some time at Goldwasser's waiting for my father to call there. He has not yet called. We are worried.
Antwerp, Tuesday 4:05 p.m., September 5, 1933.
I had my French lesson yesterday and did my homework. We received an airmail postcard from my father in Carlsbad. I was thankful he was OK. Our nerves were calmed when we went to bed.
We wrote two postcards to my father and received a letter from him that he wanted to phone at Goldwasser's but was unable to. This morning we walked in the park.
Antwerp, Friday 2:20 p.m., September 8, 1933.
Last night cousin David visited. My mother and I received a letter from my father in Carlsbad and hoped that he would take some vacation there and relax, as he usually did. But today my father came home to Antwerp. He brought many presents. He gave me two silk ties, an umbrella, a chocolate bar and a shirt. I thanked him and was relieved to have him home. My father told my mother she looked beautiful and well rested. He said Berlin was very bad, and he no longer wished to go back. Now he was considering opening a business in Prague. He again blamed me that he was in Belgium. He decided he wanted to rest in Belgium for the winter before moving to Czechoslovakia. He felt uncomfortable with French. My father rested while I went shopping with my mother for Shabbes.
Antwerp, Sunday 1:30 p.m., September 10, 1933.
I went to bed early on Friday and slept late. On Saturday evening I went to the Capital Theatre and saw a wonderful film, "Ecstasy," with Lana Turner. Yesterday I bought shoes for one hundred francs. Friday my father gave me five francs to go see a movie. I spent a lot of money this week at the barber shop and various toiletries. I no longer write of those expenses. This morning I went to the post office for my parents and did some writing work.
Antwerp, Monday 9:40 p.m., September 11, 1933.
Today I researched exchange rates for the Czech kroenig with Max Fisher. We were able to exchange the currency. I went to my French lesson in the afternoon and then met up with my family in the park. (The first days since my father returned from Czechoslovakia, my father seemed content. Since then he has been bored and lonesome and is now complaining again about being out of Berlin. Still he remembers that he was afraid to walk in the streets of Berlin when he was back. He claims he does not want to return there.) Now my father wants me to get a job. He suggested that I peddle socks and other woven textiles. I proposed getting a stand at a farmer's market and sell these items there, because that way I could stay in town and build up a business. This would still give me the liberty to have free time.
Antwerp, Wednesday 3:15 p.m., September 13, 1933.
Yesterday I went to the banks to get money transferred. We rested all afternoon. Then I went to the police station to respond to a notice my father received. Afterwards I saw the movie, "Beauty Parlor," with Anita Praga and Maria Dressler. It was a light, funny film. The second film was, "The Beautiful Danube," with Joseph Schildkraut, Brigitte Helm and others. It was a beautiful film with nice music about a love affair.
Today before noon I attended to correspondence. Afterwards my father went to Paris. Maybe he would like to start a business there. When my father reads about Palestine, it seems to upset him. My mother took Sonia to see the movies I saw yesterday.
Antwerp, Friday 2:30 p.m., September 15, 1933.
Wednesday after I finished my French homework, I had dinner and walked through the streets before retiring to bed.
Yesterday I ran many errands and then went to the Goldwassers in the afternoon. Maria prepared a French letter for me to respond to the attorney Jasper. He had sent us back our correspondence. Thus far he hadn't been very helpful for our five hundred francs.
This afternoon I helped clean the house and went looking for a job. I found no openings. I went to the bank for my father. I have some correspondence work and French homework to attend to.
Antwerp, Saturday 9:10 p.m., September 16, 1933.
I walked for a while yesterday and went to bed early. This morning I took Sonia to the park. I escorted my mother and sister to the trains to visit the Mendelsons in Deurne. I went with my father and a friend to the Granada Cafe. After dinner I did my French homework. (Yesterday I arranged with a new teacher to have an hourly lesson costing five francs. I have one lesson left with my prior instructor tomorrow.) My father yelled at me again for the expensive tutor. I gave my French teacher one lesson's notice that I was changing instructors as she requested. I wanted to go to the movies today, but my father complained that I was spending too much money. My father spends a great deal of money on cigarettes and goes to the coffee houses very frequently, I do not complain.
Antwerp, Sunday 9:55 p.m., September 17, 1933.
I went to the dentist this morning and cared for my sister in the afternoon while my parents were out. I visited with the Goldwassers and came home to hear the news report. The radio announcer was discussing the plummeting American dollar. It would soon be at fifty-five percent of its actual worth. I am fortunate to have sold my American dollars for Belgian currency. Now I am worried about the financial loss that the palm reader in Berlin had mentioned. I really do not know the gravity of her prediction.
Antwerp, Tuesday 8:30 p.m., September 19, 1933.
Today is Rosh Hashanah. I did a lot of correspondence work and Maria Goldwasser proofed the letter that I was sending to the attorney Jasper. After my French lesson and dinner I went to the movie with my discount card and two friends; therefore I saw the movie for free. The first German movie starred Richard Tauber, I had already seen it in Berlin, The second featured Armand Bernard. It was French, and I was glad to fully understand it.
Today I wrote some letters before taking my sister to the dentist and the park. I paid three hundred and sixty francs for three gold caps that I had ordered. That afternoon I celebrated Rosh Hashanah in the New Temple. It cost me one hundred francs; it was discounted because I was a foreigner and unemployed. I shared the ticket with my father.
Tomorrow I will send out the Rosh Hashanah cards to my parents that I have already prepared.
Antwerp, Wednesday 5:50 p.m., September 20, 1933.
This morning I did some house-shopping for my mother. I took Sonia back to the dentist for a filling; it cost thirty francs. I sent out Rosh Hashanah cards that afternoon to friends and relatives. Mr. Sweitzer, a dry-cleaning acquaintance of ours from Berlin, needed me to help attend to the moving of his belongings from Berlin, I was involved in negotiations for three hours. I am going to the Goldwassers to wish them a healthy New Year.
Antwerp, Saturday 9:10 p.m., September 23, 1933.
Wednesday night I went to temple and then to sleep. Thursday I prayed and heard the shofar blown. In the afternoon we were accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Grendar.
Yesterday, the second day of Rosh Hashanah, I went to temple with Sonia. After lunch, my family went to visit the Mendelsons. I instead went to the movie theatre to see two French films, Henri Garat starred in, "He is Charming," and Maurice Chevalier and Claudette Colbert in, "The Laughing Lieutenant." In the evening my parents came home and went to see the same movies.
Today before noon I visited the Cohens with my sister. Attorney Cohen helped me interpret some letters from the Czech bank. The bank had notified us that the money was free to be transferred under my father's discretion. The money was in a locked account, as my father had been residing in Germany. Mr. Jasper wrote that he was going back to see the Foreign Minister on my family's behalf. In the afternoon an acquaintance visited my family. My father again displayed his displeasure of life in Antwerp,
Antwerp, Monday 9:05 p.m., September 25, 1933.
Yesterday morning my mother and I shopped. For five francs I went to the public bath house. Now I am using the one hundred francs remaining from my money to buy shoes. The balance will be pocket money. I took my sister back to the dentist.
This morning my mother and I cared for financial matters at the Polish Consulate. Afterwards I returned my sister to the dentist. I paid for her fillings, thirty francs. At the Diamond Club I deposited a diamond ring and the Czech bank book. I inquired into travel plans for my mother. I had my French lesson, but I do not think his lesson is as good as the ten francs teacher. I plan to return to the ten francs teacher because I was learning more. My father once again was yelling about my frivolous behavior. Soon he was once again complaining that I took him out of Germany. My mother packed her bags for a short trip to Berlin to get the 3,000 marks in the bank. She was fearful for her savings, as my father had been unsuccessful at freeing the funds. I pray for my mother's safe return. Now I will study French.
Antwerp, Wednesday 6:45 p.m., September 27, 1933.
Yesterday morning I went to the Polish Consulate, then I wrote a letter to the Czech bank. I returned again to the Consulate. My father bought a lottery ticket, but he did not win. In the afternoon my father went to the movies, while I watched my sister and did my homework. A letter arrived from our attorney in Berlin, He had received a permit to export the 3,000 marks from Germany, thereby making my mother's excursion futile. I had warned my mother against making the trip, but my father was adamant that she go. After dinner I went to the Capital Theatre to see two French films, "The Man That Saved Tom," an average Western film, and "Back Street," a beautiful love story starring Irene Dunne. After the movie I read out loud from the Jewish newspaper for my father. (At this time he was still illiterate; he did not learn to read until we were planning to move to America, where literacy is a requirement.) I went to bed at midnight.
Today I did my French homework; we received a letter from my mother.
Antwerp, Thursday 11:45 p.m., September 28, 1933.
This morning I walked with my sister. Together we went out for lunch and napped in the afternoon. I read the Jewish paper to my father. I bought food to prepare dinner. Maria Goldwasser came by to say that mother telephoned to say she would arrive tomorrow at noon in Antwerp, She was leaving Berlin tonight. After dinner my father went to buy the Shabbes meal. I put Sonia to bed. I listened to the radio with Maria, and we danced until my father came home.
Antwerp, Friday 4:45 p.m., September 29, 1933.
We picked up my mother at the train station shortly before we expected her because she had caught an express train. Finally my mother was able to transport her money from Germany. The Belgian banks were unable to cash the check until they received notification from the German bank.
My mother was so glad to get her money out of Germany that she gave me one hundred francs in pocket money. When their check is cashed, my parents will give me the remainder of my savings from Berlin. Afterwards I went to the dentist. He gave me two gold crowns for one hundred and fifty francs. I went to the five francs French teacher to cancel my remaining lessons. Then I did some shopping for my mother. Now I am going to get properly dressed for Yom Kippur tonight. My little sister is feeling unwell with a cold.
Antwerp, Sunday 3:00 p.m., October 1, 1933.
When I came home after Kol Nidre from temple, Mr. and Mrs. Grindach were visiting. I wished everyone a happy and healthy New Year. During our conversation my father again began complaining about being dragged by me to Belgium. My father claimed that I had been running around with Goldwasser's three daughters. He complained that I had been sitting around for three months in Belgium doing nothing. I listened to my father's raving and was aggravated, but would not respond because it was a holiday. I told my father he could deduct from my savings from Germany the amount which he thought I overspent in Belgium. My mother in the meantime did not take his side, so my father cursed at her too for passively taking my side. He brought up the fact that she bought expensive shoes when she went back to Germany.
Yesterday I spent most of the day at temple. I fasted from Friday at 6 p.m. until 7:06 p.m. Saturday, My mother also fasted. I wanted to show my father that I was respectfully dating, not "shlepping around" with several women. That night I went to the Chantilly night club. I enjoyed the time away from my father. Afterwards I went out for a glass of beer. The evening cost fourteen francs.
Today I paid the dentist the fifty francs that I still owed him. I took Sonia to the park, she was feeling better. I visited the Goldwassers both days to wish them a Happy Holiday. Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. My father unfortunately is following another direction; he continues to return to blaming me for taking him to Belgium. Last night I went to sleep at 10 p.m., the night before at 1 a.m.,
My mother is suffering a lot. She risked her life to return to Berlin and save my father's money. But all my father could do was yell at her for expensive shoes. He yelled so much that she threatened to kill herself just to get away from his abuse. Today my mother received a letter from her sister in Poland, David Mendelson's mother. Her sister's other son, Israel Mendelson, who was serving in the Polish army, was hit by three hand grenades and killed. I believe this is the death that the palm reader had told me about in Mocha Hafte on April 9, 1933. May he rest in peace. I am sorry to bring bad news, I hope there is good news in the future. The Polish Army required that I sign up in their Consulate to agree to serve in there army wherever I am in order to maintain my citizenship.
Antwerp, Tuesday, October 3, 1933.
Sunday afternoon I walked around a bit and did my French homework. On Monday before noon I was in the Polish Consulate regarding the money in the Czech bank. Then I brought the gold from the bank home for my mother to give my father. I returned to the Consulate with 1,380 marks to convert to francs and deposit in my bank account. Now I have 19,900 francs of my own money. In the afternoon my father took me to Brussels where we explored leads for new businesses. After dinner we came home. At midnight I finished my business correspondence.
Today I went to the dentist in the morning and took my sister for a walk.
Antwerp, Wednesday 2:05 p.m., October 4, 1933.
Yesterday afternoon I did some more work before going out with Leo Silverman, a seventeen-year-old German refuge. Leo speaks a bit of French and English, his father is a cantor. We registered for public (free) French language courses. Afterwards, David Mendelson visited with a letter he received from his cousin in Palestine. I went to sleep by 11:30 p.m.,
My father is very interested in moving to Palestine. My mother and I are reluctant. In today's world economic situation, it seems there are few other options. The anti-Semitism is so widespread, not just in Germany but throughout the world. (It is almost incomprehensible to understand the pre-war anti-Semitism today.) My parents now want to visit the Mendelson's in Deurne. I am returning to my French studies. Today I bought my sister cod liver oil for five francs. Lately I have been spending some extra money for newspapers and barbershop visits, etc. After my French homework I am going to the movie theatre.
Antwerp, Friday 12:00 p.m., October 6, 1933.
Wednesday afternoon I saw the movie, "Don't Be Jealous." It was a double feature followed by, "The King of Jazz." It was one of the first pictures in multi-color. The scenes and clothes were lavish, but the film was a little straining on the eyes. In the evening I studied French before retiring at 11:30 p.m.,
Yesterday afternoon I went to the dentist and took a walk with my sister. The dentist invited me for coffee after my appointment. I went to bed at 10:45 p.m., I had a hard time falling asleep because of my toothache.
This morning I returned to the dentist. Tonight I will go to the Wednesday will be Sukkos. I paid my dentist one hundred francs by check today.
Antwerp, Sunday 12:00 p.m., October 8, 1933.
Friday I went with my parents to visit some family friends. In the evening I did French homework and went to bed. Yesterday before noon I walked around with my sister. I escorted my father to the railroad station to go to Paris. In the afternoon I did more homework. In the evening I played checkers with my mother; I won ten francs from her, but only took five. Then I got dressed and went to the ball in Century after 10 p.m., I was not very anxious to go. I offered inside to go to the theatre with my mother, but she did not want to go out. The admission at the Ball was very high, but I waited a little while and got in free. The Goldwasser daughters were there, so were other people I knew. The music was nice, and some other acts were nice. I danced with many people. I met a nice young Jewish girl. She was nineteen years old and spoke German, English, French and Flemish fluently. She was at the Ball with her mother and brother. She is a member of a sports club that I am considering joining. My father has urged me to get active in sports, not just "running around." He also thinks improved fitness will be helpful if we go to Palestine. Today we set our clocks back. The whole evening cost eight-and-a-half francs. I walked home with the girl and her mother.
This morning I was with my friend Leo in the public school. Soon I would like to begin studying Hebrew.
Antwerp, Sunday 8:40 p.m., October 8, 1933.
I went to the dentist again today and then visited the Goldwassers. Mrs. Goldwasser delivered a sermon to me that I had not been nice to her daughters because I did not offer to dance with them at the Century the other night. I thought greeting them nicely and sitting near them was enough. I was grateful for all they had done for me, but was surprised by her expectations. Afterwards I walked with my mother and Leo. I have a bit more writing work and will listen to the radio and study French.
Antwerp, Monday 10:10 p.m., October 9, 1933.
Today before noon I went to see various people in different places regarding the damages from our moving. In the afternoon I studied French before walking with my mother. After dinner I went with Leo Silverman and his sister to the public language school. I am taking two classes, one basic and one advanced French class. The lessons are informative and enjoyable. I need to purchase a different lesson book than the one I was previously using. Each lesson is two hours. The other students seem more advanced than I am, but I am confident that I'll be able to catch up. The schedule for Hebrew lessons at the school have not been determined. The French classes meet twice weekly. Mother is already sleeping. Now I will go to sleep.
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:25 p.m., October 10, 1933.
I took my sister walking and went to the dentist. In the afternoon I studied French. After dinner I played checkers with my mother. I just received a letter from our lawyer, Mr. Jasper. He said I should come see him in Brussels.
Antwerp, Wednesday 7:30 p.m., October 11, 1933.
My father returned from Paris at 1 a.m. this morning. He told us today that he had discussed Palestine with some Frenchmen who had just returned from there. These Frenchmen had returned to Paris because they thought the business opportunities were difficult, and the climate was difficult for their families to adjust. This changed my father's mind about Palestine. Now he became focused on Paris. He discussed our opening a barber shop in Paris with a friend of ours in the salon business. He suggested I train to become a beautician so I have a skill. The idea of having a profession is good. But the idea of putting money into a business with a partner who is not willing to invest money is unappealing to me. I am further motivated to learn French. My parents are also now interested in learning French. I am afraid that I am about to endure a financial loss that the palm reader had predicted. I don't want to be superstitious, but I am concerned about opening this business with an uninvested partner in something in which I have no experience.
This morning I walked with my sister. In the afternoon I was with Mrs. Brochowitz, I left a message for her daughter that I was interested in meeting her at the Sports Club.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:15 p.m., October 12, 1933.
Today is Simchas Torah, the last day of Sukkos, a very festive day. After walking with my sister, my father gave me ten francs. After lunch I spent two francs at the cinema while my parents visited the Mendelsons in Deurne. I saw a comedy followed by, "Girls in Uniform." The first film was about vagabonds. The second film I had seen earlier in Berlin, Afterwards I took my sister to temple. Simchas Torah is a holiday which caters very much to children with noise makers, flags and fruit for all.
Antwerp, Saturday 2:30 p.m., October 14, 1933.
Yesterday morning I was in temple with my sister. Then we went for a stroll. In the afternoon I did writing work and walked with my sister. My mother was not feeling well. After dinner mother was in bed. I went out for a little while before putting Sonia to bed. Afterwards I saw a German film, "Once There Was A Waltz in Vienna." The second film starred Buster Keaton, "The Plumber in Love." The second show was more whimsical, but enjoyable.
This morning I cleaned my room and took my sister for a walk.
Antwerp, Saturday 2:30 p.m., October 14, 1933.
After lunch I went to find a doctor to pay a house call to my mother.
Antwerp, Sunday 10:45 p.m., October 15, 1933.
Yesterday afternoon the doctor checked in to see my mother. He did not think she needed medication. I begged my father to call a specialist doctor who tends to women; it was a more expensive doctor and he refused. Before noon today I took Sonia to the dentist and then out for a walk. I tended to housecleaning and meals and my little sister. I also assisted my father. In between I find time to study a bit of French in the dictionary my father bought me for seven-and-a-half francs.
Antwerp, Monday 10:35 p.m., October 16, 1933.
Last night David Mendelson visited. I gave him two of my ties and an old winter coat for a present. Today before noon I ran some errands. First I went to the French Consulate. They do not want to give me a French visa to visit. Afterwards I went to the gas and electric company. David Mendelson came back to visit again with his wife. They cooked for us because my mother was still sick. After lunch I napped and took my sister for a walk. I wrote a letter to our lawyer Jasper in Brussels saying that my parents were trying to move elsewhere. I asked him to send back the papers for our case. Yesterday a police officer came to see my father about my permit to remain in Antwerp. I stated that I did not know from which border we would be leaving Belgium and when. Meanwhile I hope to extend my temporary permit.
Antwerp, Tuesday 9:30 p.m., October 17, 1933.
This morning I again had many errands. I visited several banks for information in connection with our different monies. There is still money remaining in Czechoslovakia, blocked in part because the German government left the Geneva Conference on arms control. Everyone is preparing for and anticipating war between Germany and the countries surrounding it. By freezing the account, the Czechs hope to keep the money from German authorities who might confiscate it from German Jewish citizens. Today we gave our landlord notice that we anticipate moving to Paris. After dinner I cleaned the kitchen and put my sister to bed. I am going to study French and go to bed. This evening my mother gave me a gift of five francs for my help around the house.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:40 p.m., October 18, 1933.
This morning I went with my father to the French Consulate for information on moving. Afterwards I went to find out about the money in escrow for our damaged furniture. I was supposed to receive that money from the movers and have not yet. I was also supposed to receive a refund for duties mistakenly charged us by the customs house. At the customs house I was finally advised that we would have to remain in Belgium and prove our residence to receive the money. I received an invitation for a dance Saturday night from the Jewish Sports Club where Ms. Buchovitz is a member. Ms. Buchovitz contacted me and expressed her hope that I would attend the dance.
Antwerp, Thursday 9:50 p.m., October 19, 1933.
My father is now also sick, leaving me with many household chores. I read to my father from the Jewish newspaper in bed. After dinner I studied my French. My friend Leo visited. He is now in the confectionery business, so I bought some chocolate from him.
Antwerp, Saturday 7 p.m., October 21, 1933.
Yesterday I bought groceries in the morning and went to the Polish Consulate for my father. In the afternoon I went to the dentist and the barber. The dentist is working on my third gold cap. All that remains is a filling and all my teeth are properly cleaned, I won't have to see him for a while. I paid him one hundred and fifty francs from my own bank account. In the evening I made a foot bath and went to bed by 10 p.m.
Today before noon my father and I went to the German and Czech Consulates. On Monday my father wants to go to Czechoslovakia to personally try to get our bank account released. In the afternoon I cleaned and pressed two suits with my mother's help. Now I am waiting for dinner. I look forward to going to the dance tonight.
Antwerp, Sunday 9:35 p.m., October 22, 1933.
Last night I went to the Sports Club where there were many young Jewish men and women. A Victrola provided music. Young couples were dancing. The entire affair was in a large room rented in a hotel. The party ended at midnight and a group of us escorted each other home. By 1:30 a.m. I arrived home and went to bed. The entire evening cost three francs and forty centimes. This morning I took my sister for a walk. In the afternoon my parents went to a movie theatre. I studied French.
Antwerp, Monday 10:30 p.m., October 23, 1933.
Today before noon and in the afternoon I cared for my sister and shopped for the home. I ran errands at the Diamond Club and the Czech bank for my father. At 6 p.m. I took my father to Gare Central to board the train for Czechoslovakia. After dinner I went to my French class. My father gave me twenty francs for sending him off so nicely. I hope for my father's safe trip and return.
Antwerp, Tuesday 11:35 p.m., October 24, 1933.
This morning I wrote some business correspondence and did my grocery shopping. I visited the gas and electric company. We have temporarily backed out of the notice of moving with our landlord. I watched my sister in the afternoon while my mother went to the beauty parlor. Then I walked with my mother and sister. After dinner I ironed my laundry and spent five francs on a double feature starring Jackie Cooper, "The Close Friendship," and a French film, "Cadaver #5." I understood the French film well and enjoyed it.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:55 p.m., October 25, 1933.
Before noon I walked with my sister and went to the bathhouse for a shower costing five francs. In the afternoon I visited the Goldwassers with my mother and sister. After dinner I went to my French course.
Antwerp, Thursday 9:05 p.m., October 26, 1933.
I cleaned house in the morning. In the afternoon I visited Erna Gruber and her sister Olga, girls I knew from French class. Together we studied and I had tea with her mother and sisters. My mother and sister were sleeping, and now I'll go to bed.
Antwerp, Sunday 7:25 p.m., October 29, 1933.
Friday I shopped with my mother so that she would not have to carry the heavy bags. We received a letter from my father in Carlsbad (it was a resort in Austria, I believe, with spring water). In this letter he advised us that he was taking the train to Prague. In the afternoon we visited Goldwasser, where my father had already telephoned to say that he had left Prague successfully. In a letter written by my father's friend on his behalf said that he was unable to free the money. Charlie Joelson, a young man that we met at the Goldwasser house, was a German refugee. Charlie is in great need of help and assistance; he didn't even have decent clothes to wear. We took this man with us, and I donated an old suit to him. After dinner I went to Cinema Plaza for three francs. The first film was, "The Widower in Love." The second film was an English film, "The Man Who Married an Indian." At 11:55 p.m. I went to bed.
Yesterday morning I walked with my mother and sister. After dinner I went again to the Jewish Sports Club. One gentleman there recited an entertaining story about Judaism. Then we played group games in which the winner was entitled to a kiss. I spent two-and-a-half francs for cafe that night. After evening activities we walked around town. I was home by 12:40 a.m.
Today before noon I went shopping with my mother. I rested in the afternoon. Ms. Erna Gruber and Leo came over so we could study French together.
Today my mother told me that David Mendelson and Kamilovsky were expected to visit. I have a feeling that my father will return late tonight.
Antwerp, Monday 11:45 p.m., October 30, 1933.
My father did not return yet, as I expected he would. I am worried because we have not received any further mail from him. My family went to the railroad station twice today to see if my father was there; he was not. In the afternoon we rested. After dinner I went to my French course. My mother returned again to the railroad station. Everyone is worried. I hope nothing has happened to delay his return. I did not sleep well last night, waiting up for my father.
Antwerp, Tuesday 8:25 p.m., October 31, 1933.
This morning, my dear father, thank G-d, returned from Prague. He did have a lot of trouble and work there. Now he has his money back. As a matter-of-fact, they opened a new account for him at the main office in Prague. He has six hundred and fifty thousand Czech kronen in the Prague bank. My father brought home presents for me: shirts and cufflinks, a pair of sock, chocolate, and ten francs.
In the afternoon my family went to the cafe. Until the evening I studied French. Now I have shined everyone's shoes. Usually I only clean and shine my own. Today I also received a letter from my lawyer in Berlin about the auto accident when the taxi driver ran me over. The lawyer told me that he lost the case because the taxi driver had some phony witnesses, Nazis. The lawyer sent me a bill for more money, even though he took the case agreeing to take only a percentage of the win.
Antwerp, Wednesday 8:50 p.m., November 1, 1933.
This morning I walked around with my sister and visited the Grubers and studied French. In the afternoon I did shopping for the house and played with my sister. I spent the early evening with Mr. Katz who visited with my family. He was also from Berlin. After dinner I listened to a speech broadcast from Hitler in Weimar.
According to Hitler's speeches and statements you would think he's not that strong anymore. I pray he will soon reach his end, and the world will return to living in peace. Whether my parents are glad that they are out of Germany, I certainly am glad. My other relatives in Poland, whom I have never met and do not know, I feel sorry for them, for I think they are in trouble there. Now I am doing my French homework. I pray for help and relief for humanity and for Jews, who should not have to be killed by their enemies.
Antwerp, Thursday 8:10 p.m., November 2, 1933.
David Mendelson visited until late yesterday. This morning I ran errands and visited the Goldwassers. In the afternoon I visited the Buchovitz's; they invited me to join them for tea. It was a nice discussion with the entire family. I went to the Yiddish theatre to purchase advance tickets for my parents.
Antwerp, Sunday 2:20 p.m., November 5, 1933.
Friday before noon I walked my sister. In the afternoon I was by Gruber doing French homework. After dinner my family went to visit the Katz's.
Yesterday morning I walked through the park. In the afternoon I had a private lesson with the French lady who comes to my house to first give my parents a lesson; they have just begun learning French. Then she tutors me for an hour. My father treats. After dinner I had a meeting with wholesale grocery dealers who are about the establish a cooperative. My father is expected to invest some money in return for which I will be fully employed. I am skeptical that it will ever take off. Afterwards I went to the Jewish Sports Club for the evening.
This morning I went walking with Jack Rosenberg, the nineteen-year-old man who I had met at the Sports Club.
Antwerp, Sunday 9:20 p.m., November 5, 1933.
This afternoon Jack and I went to Cinema Plaza to see two French films. I spent four francs to see "Circus Barnum," and "Free Souls." Both films were taken from real life, I enjoyed them. I had seen the second one a few years earlier in Germany. Afterwards I went to the police station with my mother (I do not remember why.)
Antwerp, Monday 11:20 p.m., November 6, 1933.
After vacuuming and attending to family chores, I took my sister to the park. I picked up groceries in the afternoon and went to my French class after dinner. (On Saturday I met a twenty-one-year-old Jewish woman, Ritka Heiner. She was about my height, very nice. I may sometime want to take her out.)
Antwerp, Tuesday 1:35 a.m., November 7, 1933.
This morning I went to a few different banks to research exchange rates. Then I did my French homework. Jack Rosenberg and I went to call on Jack Gruber. We went to a book exposition. After dinner my parents took my sister to go visit some friends, while I studied my French and did some French writing.
Antwerp, Thursday 12:00 p.m., November 9, 1933.
Yesterday afternoon I went to the bank to exchange some money. My parents and I went to the National Bank to close an account that we had. I bought myself a French-German dictionary for seven francs. In the afternoon I went with Jack Rosenbaum to visit Gruber. While my parents had their French lesson, I did my homework and then had my lesson. After dinner I went to the French course. After my course I was introduced to Helen Lamb, a local girl in Antwerp, She is nice, but nothing exceptional. I took her with me to visit Gruber, then escorted her home. This morning I walked around with my sister.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:35 p.m., November 9, 1933.
In the afternoon I taught my parents some French. Then I went to the police department for my father. Then I visited Gruber. With Gruber, his sisters, and Helen Lamb, we practiced French. I escorted Helen home. After dinner I visited Katz. Mendelson visited her.
Antwerp, Sunday 3:25 p.m., November 12, 1933.
Friday before noon I did my French homework and took my sister for a walk and had a bath later for four francs. In the afternoon I visited Gruber and practiced French with his sisters. After dinner my parents went out, and I did my French work. David Mendelson was here. I went to bed at 10:35.
Yesterday afternoon I took my sister to visit Buchovitz. I bought a ticket to the Maccabee Ball. In the afternoon I learned French and had my lesson. Then I went to the barber. Yesterday my mother loaned me fifty francs. After dinner Jack Rosenbaum visited. I changed into my tuxedo for the Maccabee Ball. The crowd was great. Goldwasser's daughters were there. I danced twice with Maria Goldwasser. I spent most of my time with Thelma Buchovitz, her lady friend, and her mother. I also danced with some other nice young ladies. There were some beautifully performed solo serenades. The evening cost eight francs for myself and Thelma together. We left by 2 a.m., I escorted Thelma home. Then I returned home and to bed. I really had a good time. Thelma is a pleasure to be with.
This morning I put everything in order in my room and cleaned it properly. Now Leo Silverman is here. After he leaves I will take a walk with my mother and sister.
Antwerp, Monday 9:30 p.m., November 13, 1933.
Yesterday I went after dinner to bed. This morning I walked. In the afternoon I had work to do in the stockroom of a men's suits store. My father had bought out a men's suit store - about six hundred pieces. Maybe now he will settle here instead of Paris.
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:40 p.m., November 14, 1933.
This morning I went with my parents to the National Bank of Belgium. My parents had removed their balance and placed it in my checkbook account. Now I have a savings account book. My total balance is twenty-thousand francs in this particular bank. I have three hundred and fifty francs from my father towards the money that was sent. Now I have only fifty francs from my mother on Saturday, She had given it then as a loan, but now made it a present. I went back with my father to check the men's clothes. We separated the suits by size and quality. In the afternoon I searched for a store we might rent to open a business with these suits. After dinner I studied French.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:10 p.m., November 15, 1933.
Today I spent all day with my father sorting our merchandise. We began displaying signs that we would be selling the suits from that store for a month, in case we were unable to rent someplace before then. I missed my French class because of work.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:45 p.m., November 16, 1933.
Today I searched again with my father for a store. In the evening we went to Schwitzer Pressing Company, where our merchandise is being stored. We have been unsuccessful at renting a store on an experimental basis. After dinner I did my French work. Now I go to bed with hope in my heart that G-d shows us we are doing the right thing.
Antwerp, Sunday 8:05 p.m., November 19, 1933.
Friday all day I looked for a store. In the evening I studied my French. At 11 p.m. I went to bed.
On Saturday I also searched for a store. Afterwards I studied French and went to my private French lesson. In the evening I went to Buchovitz. I took Thelma with me to look at a street on which I was recommended to open small businesses. It was a small section, and we didn't see any customers going in and out. We also found an empty house for rent that didn't look half between. We took the trolley to the Jewish Sports Club. After drinking coffee, we walked around town with a group of club members.
I spent a bit more on transportation looking for a store to rent. This morning I readied my sister for a walk. Then I gave her to my parents and went swimming with Jack Rosenbaum and Gruber. Afterwards I visited Thelma Buchovitz.
Antwerp, Tuesday 8:00 p.m., November 21, 1933.
Sunday evening I did a little studying and went to bed by 9:30 p.m. Yesterday morning my father and I continued to look at store locations. After dinner I went to my French course and visited Helen Lamb and her brother along with Gruber. We had interesting discussions and danced. Today I searched new areas for a store. For two-and-a-half francs I bought a fountain pen.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:30 p.m., November 22, 1933.
Early this morning I did my French homework. I had a private lesson in the afternoon. I again went looking for stores to rent. I did more homework before going to visit Goldwasser and attend my French class.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:35 p.m., November 23, 1933.
I went with my sister to Gruber in the afternoon after vacuuming. After my French homework and dinner I checked out another store.
Antwerp, Friday 12:00 a.m., November 24, 1933.
The entire morning was spent looking at different stores in different areas. In the afternoon I shopped with my mother for groceries. Then I listened to radio reports. After dinner I went to the French movie, "All For Love." It was well worth the two francs it cost.
Antwerp, Saturday 9:15 p.m., November 24, 1933.
So far we have been unsuccessful at finding a store and are also unable to find a customer to resell our goods. I bought a valise and suggested to my parents that I show our suits to department stores to sell it to them. Today I was unable to sell any of it. The department stores all complained that they too did not have customers. Even the shops that looked golden were dead. Some promised to come by to the warehouse to look at our goods. In the afternoon I took a rest. My mother gave me ten francs today. I went to the barber in the afternoon before visiting Thelma Buchovitz. She was not home, so I visited Gruber.
Antwerp, Sunday 10:55 p.m., November 26, 1933.
This morning I went with my father to Schwitzer to resort and check our inventory again. We picked a few garments to have in the apartment to show to neighbors as a sample of our merchandise. I rearranged my room and brought a rack up from the basement. I hung them in nice order. A couple of suits I placed on figures. In the evening I visited Buchovitz and Gruber. I studied French with his sisters.
Antwerp, Monday 8:35 p.m., November 27, 1933.
This morning one man came to look at our samples, but he bought nothing. He was the man who promised he would visit on Saturday, Today before noon I went to my French private lesson. I visited Goldwasser in the afternoon and Buchovitz in the evening. My parents are at the theatre; I am playing with my sister. Then I will put her to bed.
Antwerp, Wednesday 5:15 p.m., November 29, 1933.
Monday evening one other customer visited before I put my sister to bed. Then I did French homework.
Yesterday before noon I visited a few firms. I was unsuccessful. After noon I did French writing work. In the evening a customer came that I brought to Schwitzers. He looked over a broad lot of goods. Afterwards I went to a cafe to make phone calls. When I went home I discussed prices with my father.
Today before noon another prospect came to look over our merchandise. He had been here once before. He brought along a sister and began to bargain on the prices. We were unable to reach agreement. In the afternoon Jack Rosenbaum came by. I went by the Goldwasser's to congratulate them on their daughter Fannie's engagement. I went to my cousin to take care of chores.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:30 p.m., November 30, 1933.
Yesterday I went to my French class and then went to bed.
This morning I again straightened our merchandise. I excused myself from my French private lesson in the afternoon because I would have to show the merchandise to some scheduled customers.
This afternoon an auctioneer wanted to know if he could auction our goods on the open market. I studied some French.
Antwerp, Friday 10:45 p.m., December 1, 1933.
This morning I went to the bank. I exchanged French francs for Belgium because of the advantageous exchange rate. My parents gave me thirty francs, twenty of which went straight to my French teacher. In the afternoon I arranged my letters and correspondence work. I went with my parents to the bathhouse. They paid for my bath. In the evening I purchased theatre tickets for my parents. They went to the Yiddish theatre while I played with my sister. Until now I was working on a rubber stamp so that I could print small business cards. I put a business card in each pocket of every suit. It advertised my father's tailor skills.
Antwerp, Sunday 8:00 p.m., December 3, 1933.
Yesterday morning I was subpoenaed to court to testify to an agreement I had witnessed between two people. I received five francs for the witness fee. After walking with my sister I visited Buchovitz. I bought a box of chocolate candies that my mother paid for. After dinner I went to Goldwassers. I was invited to Fannie's engagement party. I brought them the box of candy as a gift. There were many people there, including Leta Linkofsky. I was home and in bed by 3 a.m.,
This morning I went grocery shopping and took my sister walking. Together we went to Buchovitz. Then I did my French writing work. The Buchovitz sisters and Solomon sisters both called me to remind me of the party at the Jewish Sports Club. They called on me, and we all went to the party together. The evening cost me eight francs. I escorted the girls back home.
Antwerp, Monday 9:55 p.m., December 4, 1933.
This morning my father and I went to the auctioneer's house. We took a few items back from the auctioneer for my father to sell separately. I did my French homework and went to my private lesson in the afternoon. I paid the teacher ten francs from my pocket money. I wrote a letter to the attorney Hartstein. After dinner I went to the French evening course where I found out that the course is temporarily suspended because the local teachers had not been paid by the town. Now I am having tea with my mother.
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:30 p.m., December 5, 1933.
This morning I dressed my sister, straightened the house and went to visit Katz. I delivered one suit to them. My parents remained in the townhouse. In the afternoon I had photographs taken. I ordered some business cards at the printers. My father is trying to establish himself in Antwerp as a tailor. He wants to give the buyers at the auction business cards for his tailoring. I did French homework and pressed my clothes. After dinner I went to a meeting about a grocery cooperative. Their conditions were unsatisfactory.
Antwerp, Wednesday 9:45 p.m., December 6, 1933.
This afternoon I picked up the passport photos for five francs and ran some other errands before studying my French. My father's photos were not ready yet. I went with my mother and sister to the printer to get a sample of the business card for my father. I bought Sonia some toys to play with.
After dinner I visited the Solomons. My parents went to the movie theatre. I did some French writing. I am trying to get an appointment to see the mayor because I am uncertain about the restrictions of my permit.
Antwerp, Thursday 11:30 p.m., December 7, 1933.
I took out one hundred francs from my National Bank savings account. I bought my mother a record for the Victrola with the two francs car fare money she gave me, instead I walked home. After lunch I went with my sister to Gruber and did French study work. After dinner I went to Cinema Plaza. For four francs I saw, "The Prince From Arcadia," the second film, an English film was, "Mixed Up News Reports."
Antwerp, Friday 10:10 p.m., December 8, 1933.
This morning I walked with my sister and brought my bank book back to the safe and went to the dentist. In the afternoon I went with a man, Mr. Stemple, to the cafe where he offered my father a business proposition. He gave me the conditions. It was his expertise and our money. This evening Mr. Stemple returned.
Antwerp, Saturday 10:30 p.m., December 9, 1933.
Today before noon I was with my sister with the Buchovitzs. In the afternoon I was with Gruber and studied French with his sisters and had tea with them. We were entertained and danced a little to piano music. Today I answered a letter from the mayor of Antwerp. He said he was very busy and had little time. He recommended that I give him all the information and material by way of letter.
After dinner I listened to the radio. The Kremilovsky's were visiting my parents. Now I am going to sleep.
Antwerp, Sunday 10:00 p.m., December 10, 1933.
Before noon I went to the Buchovitzs. Then I went with my father to order something at a store. My father went with me to the pharmacy and purchased something to bring down the inflammation in my gums and mouth for one franc. I went to Gruber's that afternoon with the two sisters from Buchovitz and Salomon. We listened to music, danced, and chatted. It was very amusing. After dinner I studied some French. Now I am listening to news on the radio. I write up the news for my parents, since they are now in a cafe listening to music. My father had a conversation with a gentlemen regarding entering that man's business, after an investment, as a partnership. His business is a textile wholesaler with woolen, cotton, and knitted garments. My father wants me to join him in this venture. He wants me to have a profession and means well. He is also willing to add money to the small amount of money I have on my own to allow me to join this venture. I hope something will come out of these discussions. Maybe we will hear. I think I am correct in saying that one must go out and look for things. As the Bible says," if you seek, you will find". But you also have to have faith in G-d that he will look after you, and everything happens for the best.
Antwerp, Tuesday 12:20 a.m., December 12, 1933.
Monday morning I was walking with my sister. I bought her an adding machine for 4.25 francs for Hanukkah. For my mother for Hanukkah I bought a nice silk kerchief. After lunch I registered my family's address with Customs so we won't have to pay great duties if my father decides to go into an export business. After dinner I went to the French evening course, which is again continuing. Now Mr. Greengrass is negotiating with my father about the textile wholesaling.
Antwerp, Tuesday 9:20 p.m., December 12, 1933.
This morning my mother didn't feel well, so I took my sister to the park with a sled. She enjoyed it, and so did I. Then I went with my parents to the police, since we received a notice. There we found out that we would be getting temporary permits to live in Antwerp, We would soon be receiving a letter of confirmation. In the afternoon I went with my father to the auction of our suits and coats and Schweitzer's warehouse. The auction started today and lasted until the evening. I had advised my father against an auction, even though I know he means well and wants to finish this business up. He sold some, but not too many. The auction will continue tomorrow. I hope it will go well.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:30 p.m., December 13, 1933.
Today all day I was at the auction, watching them sell my father's wares and helped however I could. In the afternoon the auctioneer did not continue, but we sold our goods on a personal basis that, worked out better. In the evening after dinner I went to the French evening course. Now I have writing work to do before going to bed.
Antwerp, Thursday 11:30 p.m., December 14, 1933.
This morning I went to the bank and then went to my lady teacher to excuse myself for not taking the private French lesson I had to miss because we were busy. Until the evening I worked with my father, continuing the sale of suits and coats. The sales were weaker today; we did better yesterday. After dinner for four francs I went to the Cinema Rixia where I saw, "Jenny Frisco," a wild west film. The film before it was a nice life-like love story. Both films were English language with French subtitles. I liked them both very much. I hope the clothing sale goes better tomorrow. My father gave me five francs as a present.
Antwerp, Friday 9:30 p.m., December 15, 1933.
This morning I went to the barber. The rest of the day I spent in the store with my father. We sold some items, but not too much. After dinner I read the newspaper out loud for my father. Now I am studying and practicing French before going to bed.
Antwerp, Sunday 7:40 p.m., December 17, 1933.
Yesterday before noon I was with my father at the business. Then I went to Buchovitz and Gruber before going to temple and back to my father's business. After dinner I got myself ready for the Machunai Israel Ball in the Billiards room. The program and coat check cost me 9.15 francs. I spent five francs on food. I had a pleasant evening, enjoyed nice dancing and meet many people there who I knew. I made the acquaintance of Ms. Augusta Pearson, a very pretty Jewish girl. I liked her very much, more than anyone I met there. I danced with her many times. She was very sweet. She had performed a few nice French songs for the people there. Afterwards she was presented with a large bouquet of flowers from the leaders of the club. I did not have an opportunity to make a date with her, but hope to meet her again. The Ball closed after 2 a.m. I went with the Solomon's and the Buchovitz sisters to Solomon's house where we had a snack before escorting the Buchovitz sisters home. I was in bed by 2:50 a.m.
Today before noon I was at the business. We handed out fliers, but still the business had dropped dramatically. I took my sister out in the afternoon and we went to a children's Hanukkah party. Now the Mendelson's are visiting my parents. I am going to have dinner and go to bed early.
Antwerp, Monday 11:15 p.m., December 18, 1933.
Yesterday evening I took a footbath and went to bed. This morning I went with my parents to a one-hour French lesson. I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon in the business. The sale was just a little bit better. After dinner I went to the French evening course. Beginning January we must again pay for the French lessons. I hope to be able to continue my French lessons with no charge. My father gave me two francs. Now I am going to bed.
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:45 p.m., December 19, 1933.
Early this morning my mother woke me because two local police officers arrived at our house. They had a letter directing me to leave Belgium immediately, within eight days. The letter came from Brussels. They wanted me to sign a paper saying that I agreed to leave Belgium within this time frame. They wanted to know which border I planned to leave by. I would not sign that I would leave Belgium. Instead I wrote that I refused to sign the paper. They said that if I refused to sign the paper, they would get a warrant to arrest me within two days.
I went with my mother to the townhouse immediately. After much begging and pleading, they allowed us to see the mayor and tell him our story. The mayor tried very hard to understand. He did not know why I would be deported from the country. I had not given them any reason to deport me. The two people who visited me that morning asked for my temporary visa permit and refused to return it to me. The mayor's secretary wrote an application letter that the mayor signed and sent the letter via special messenger to Brussels. There was nothing more we could do except wait and hope. They advised me to return Friday to wait and get further advice. I went with my mother to the bank and the Diamond Club and gave her power of attorney for the bank account and the safe so she could take care of things if I was forced to leave. Then I spent the rest of the day until the evening with my father in the business. Sales were going nicely. After dinner Jack Rosenbaum visited. I hope to G-d that I will be able to stay in Belgium with my family until we are standing on our feet and able to move. As I say, I hope to G-d and maybe I will make it. We must always have confidence trust and faith.
Antwerp, Wednesday 9:50 p.m., December 20, 1933.
This morning I was in the business until lunch time. My friend Katz brought me his whole selection and stock in sock holders (similar to pants suspenders, but for socks). I am going to try to sell them to stores and businesses if nothing else happens in the meantime. I will bring these to the same stores where we sell our clothes. It was a quiet day in the business. After dinner I was in the French language course. I thanked the teacher and her class for the help he had extended to me. I wished him good luck and health to the teacher and said goodbye because I won't be going there any longer. I pray for G-d's help because he can do good and help me when no one else can. I hope that the two police won't come and arrest and deport me. I am not so afraid for myself because at least here in Belgium they are at least human. They may deport me, but in Germany they wouldn't deport me, they would just kill me. I read about this in the papers and remember from when I was in Germany. As I said, I am not so afraid for myself as I am for my mother. She would be very upset and get herself sick if I am taken away. I pray to G-d for help.
Antwerp, Thursday 7:55 p.m., December 21, 1933.
This morning I awoke very early and went down to the business. I wanted to be open in case any early customers came. Also I wanted to be out of the house in case the police came back to arrest me. I spent the entire afternoon in the business. After dinner I did writing work for my cousin Mendelson and wrote a French letter for him. I intended to get registered in the evening course for French given by the public school of Antwerp, But my parents did not want me to go, so I did not. Again I pray for G-d's help that this will all get straightened out. I felt again like I had a bad cold.
Antwerp, Friday 10:45 p.m., December 22, 1933.
This morning I went to the townhouse and met the mayor's secretary who showed me a reply from the Minister to the Mayor's previous letter. The Minister said that the deportation order was halted, and that the Minister had requested to get personal information about me. I will receive a temporary permit to stay anywhere in Belgium if the information about me is satisfactory. The Mayor held the deportation order in his pocket when he visited the Minister in Brussels. I thanked G-d that he helped me out of this mess. I hope to get further good news about this getting straightened out. I thanked the secretary most profusely. I went back to business and then bought seven razor blades for ten francs. Then I bought cigarettes for 7.6 francs, which I gave to my father for his fortieth birthday on Sunday, May he have one hundred and twenty birthdays, G-d willing. Business was slow. I visited Katz with my mother and father. Then I went to the French class which I paid ten francs for.
Antwerp, Saturday 9:35 p.m., December 23, 1933.
This morning I went to the bank and then into the business. In the afternoon I stayed in bed before returning to the business. It was very quiet today. I went to buy New Year's cards and a nice birthday card for Solomon's birthday tomorrow. I bought myself collar buttons for my top shirt. I spent 3.4 francs. My father gave me ten francs pocket money. After dinner my parents went out, and I wrote the birthday card for Solomon's to be sent out. I want to make a note for myself that at the Ball I met Rika Henreich, but I really did not like her at all. She really is not anywhere near my cup of tea, in no way. Now I am going to bed and doing a little French homework.
Antwerp, Sunday 10:25 p.m., December 24, 1933.
This is Christmas eve, a holy evening for the Christian people. The business was a little active this morning, thank G-d. I took my sister to Buchovitz this afternoon so my parents could sleep undisturbed. I congratulated my father on his birthday and gave him the cigarettes. My parents took my sister for an afternoon walk. I did not go out because I did not feel well. I did my French homework and listened to the radio. I feel like I have the flu or maybe just a cold. I feel cold with the chills and then warm; maybe I have a fever. I am going to sleep.
Antwerp, Tuesday 12:50 a.m., December 26, 1933.
Monday I stayed in bed until noon. Then I took my sister to the Goldwasser's, and then for a walk. I lay down again in the afternoon and read the newspaper out loud for my parents. I still did not feel good. Then we all went together for a walk. Then I went to Gruber's. After dinner I changed and went out to a few cafe houses and dance places but I did not see any of my friends and acquaintances, and I did not want to sit around spending money by myself. I didn't feel like dancing because I still felt a bit sick. Then I met the brother Rosenbaum and went with him to a cafe where the Paul Morich Orchestra was playing. It cost three-and-a-half, but it was pretty good. Today I sent a New Year's card to Augusta Pearson. I just put my name on it with my P.O. box for any reply. I hope that she responds because I would like to have a date with her. I am going to bed.
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:35 p.m., December 26, 1933.
The business was very quiet today, the day after Christmas. If you do a lot of business before Christmas, you can expect a lot of returns and exchanges afterwards, but we did not expect a lot of business. I went to bed for a while and wrote my parents a New Year's card. After dinner I listened to the radio. Regarding the remaining suits and coats, there were some calls. Some of the cigarettes that I bought my father I had to return because my father did not like them and wanted to exchange them.
Antwerp, Thursday 3:45 p.m., December 28, 1933.
Yesterday I was in the business and then went to French class in the evening for ten francs. As my parents saw that I was still feeling sick, they told me that the teacher's son also had the flu and was very weak because he did not rest. Now he is very sick with a relapse. On their advice I went home to bed and took some aspirin and perspired profusely trying to sweat out the cold. Today I was lucky enough to sell the remaining suits and coats for a small profit. When the check in four weeks gets paid with cash, we will know for sure that my father made a profit. Now it is all finally completed with that big lot of suits and coats. It worked out all right, even though it was a lot of work and took a lot of attention. Now we look forward to getting busy with the details of the wool business with Mr. Greengrass to give us an occupation. I hope tomorrow I will be well enough to rise from bed. The writing in my diary is so poor because I am in bed. I do not know if I will be well enough to go out for New Year's Eve.
Antwerp, Friday 3:45 p.m., December 29, 1933.
This morning Jack Rosenbaum came to visit. In the afternoon I was allowed to get up. Now I am back in bed again. This morning I did not feel well again. Now is a little better, but still I am not feeling all right. I still have a head ache and pain in my ears.
Antwerp, Saturday 8:20 p.m., December 30, 1933.
Yesterday I was allowed to get up for dinner. After dinner my parents went with Mr. Greengrass to a movie theatre. I went to bed. This morning I was up at lunch time for lunch and remained up for two hours. I was up again for dinner. My parents went to the Yiddish theatre. I went back to bed, and didn't feel well. My head feels so heavy, and when I move about I feel a flush of heat go through me and start to perspire heavily. Today my parents gave me four Czech kronen as a gift which equals four francs.
Antwerp, Sunday 10:30 p.m., December 31, 1933.
Silverster (the German word for New Year's Eve). This
morning I walked with my sister, went to the barber and after lunch
I went to bed. In the evening I got dressed again. After dinner my
parents went out. I got up to do my French homework. I listened to
the radio before going to bed. I said a blessing for the New Year. I
hope there will be peace in the world and peace in my family with
everyone getting along nicely. But we always must try to keep our
head up and smile and not lose our good mood if things don't always
go well. I really wanted to go out for New Year's Eve, even quietly
without dancing, but because I was sick I thought it was best to say
"L'Chaim, Happy New Year", and keep my head up because soon in
hours it will be 1934."L'Chaim" at least. I am up and able to write
this in my diary, so I thank G-d because it could always be worse.
This morning I spent with my father taking inventory of Mr. Greengrass' stock we did not finish. After dinner my cousin David Mendelsohn came to visit. I went to bed early.
Antwerp, Tuesday 11:20 p.m., January 2, 1934.
This morning I finished taking inventory at Greengrass'. This afternoon I was in the bank to get information about buying different currencies for my father. He feels it is not good to have all of your possessions in one type of currency. He wants some Belgian, some French, and other types of money including gold pieces. Afterwards I had to write some French letters to different manufacturers and wholesale firms because my father is considering opening a raincoat factory like we had in Germany besides our clothing factory. Mr. Greengrass came back this evening. but we could not come to agreement because the prices on his inventory was too high. Now I am going to bed. I brought my father fifty cigarettes today for ten francs. They were of very good quality. I do not know if I will be able to get the bad ones exchanged. But I do not want him to smoke the bad ones; it is bad enough that he smokes all together.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:25 p.m., January 3, 1934.
This morning I went to my French private lessons for ten francs. My mother gave me twenty-five francs for running an errand for her at the bank. In the afternoon there were several people here asking my father to do alterations. I had advertised this service by putting a business card in each of the suits that we sold. Later David Mendelson came by asking me to write a letter for him. He got a loan of a thousand francs from my mother. He signed a note for the loan. David hopes to pay her back a little bit each month. I spent four francs to relax at the bath house. Then I studied my French.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:30 p.m., January 4, 1934.
This morning I went shopping with my mother so she would not have to carry heavy bags home. I took my sister out to give my mother time to get things done. Then we visited the Goldwasser's before I delivered my father's alterations. One customer gave me a four-franc tip. My parents gave me a ten-franc tip. After dinner I went to the public students' school. I paid ten francs to register. I went there to learn Flemish and French. The course is every Thursday from 7-8 p.m. Flemish and 8-9 p.m. French. Other than the registration fee, there is no charge. I listened to the radio in the evening and learned that things were difficult all over the world. But it was particularly bitter and bad in Germany, and it was getting to be bad in the countries surrounding Germany. My parents and I decided to buy different currencies the next day to be put in the Diamond Club safe.
Antwerp, Friday 9:05 p.m., January 5, 1934.
This morning I went to the police bureau, and then to the main post office to insure that my correct address is registered there in case I receive any mail. Our address is 10 Avenderness. I went to different banks and bought for my father gold pieces from Holland. No matter what happens, they will be valuable. That afternoon I was busy with writing work and filing. My little sister took a nap, and I dressed her and returned to the police bureau regarding our residence permits. The police said it was still pending. I brought the Holland gold to the Diamond Club safe. After dinner my parents went to the movies. and I put my sister to bed and went to bed myself. Gut Shabbes.
Antwerp, Sunday 11:30 p.m., January 7, 1934.
Yesterday morning my sister and I stopped by the Goldwasser's. Then in the afternoon I went walking with my parents. I did some French homework and ran grocery errands for my mother. I went to visit the Buchovitz's. After dinner I went to the cinema to see the German film, "The Song of the Nile." It was a wonderful picture. I went to bed at 11:45 p.m. I spend the whole morning today walking with my sister. I lay down in the afternoon and went walking again before studying French. I visited Gruber before going to the Sports Club Macnanai Israel. There was an evening of debates for two-and-a-half francs. It was very interesting.
Antwerp, Monday 9:10 p.m., January 8, 1934.
Before noon today I went to jobbers, wholesalers, and piece-goods manufacturers listed in the Belgian address book which the bank had. In the afternoon I was with my father regarding his passport because he wants to take another trip to Prague. I went walking with my mother and my sister. After dinner Jack Rosenbaum visited while my parents were at the Yiddish theatre. I did some French homework before bed.
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:45 p.m., January 9, 1934.
I went with my mother this morning to straighten out my father's passport. I walked with my sister, and then my mother treated me to the cinema to see the English film with Maurice Chevalier, "Love Me Tonight," and a French film, "Madame Butterfly" with Sylvia Sidney. Both films were very good. After dinner I went to a French conversation class.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:00 p.m., January 10, 1934.
This morning I was again trying to straighten out my father's passport problems. Then I wrote some French letters before attending my French class. Then I registered my sister for kindergarten. Then I took a walk with my mother. After dinner I studied French and listened to the radio.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:05 p.m., January 11, 1934.
In the morning I went with my father to the Czech consulate, to a travel bureau and then the German and Polish consulates. In the afternoon I walked with my sister and attended to some currency transfers for my parents. My parents gave me six francs. I escorted my father to the railroad. Then I went for the Flemish/French lessons. I pray for my father on his trip; he needed to get Polish papers. Since he is a Polish citizen, he needed German permission to travel through their country on the way to Prague. Today I accepted an invitation by letter from Solomon and Kitty for Sunday evening. They suggested that I invite other young ladies along. I confirmed in my letter that I would come.
Antwerp, Friday 8:20 p.m., January 12, 1934.
This morning I took my sister to kindergarten. Then I cleaned two of my suits. My mother helped me press them. Afterwards I picked up my sister at kindergarten. In the afternoon my mother and I brought Sonia back to the kindergarten and attended to chores and shopping. We picked up Sonia at the end of the day. I delivered another garment to a customer after my father had altered it. My mother went to the movies while I studied French, did some reading, and listened to the radio. I hope my father is all right in Prague.
Antwerp, Saturday 11:35 p.m., January 13, 1934.
This morning I brought my sister to kindergarten and ran some errands before going to the Grubers. We all went walking and picked up my sister. I napped in the afternoon and walked with my mother and sister. I went to the barber before studying my French. After dinner I went to the Cinema Empire for six francs. I saw a French film, "The Sixth Week." The film had good actors, and the French was easy to understand and it was amusing, simply excellent. I pray for my father's well-being.
Antwerp, Monday 3:40 p.m., January 15, 1934.
Yesterday morning my sister and I visited the Goldwasser's. Then I went to the Buchovitz's. Afterwards I rested and went with my sister and one of Gruber's sisters walking. This afforded my mother a chance to rest too. Then I readied myself for a visit to the Solomon's. I brought some of our Victrola record to listen and dance to. The Buchovitz sisters, the Solomons, another young man, and I were all entertained and danced. We played some games and everyone had fun. We escorted the girls home. I went to bed by 12:30.
This morning we received a card from my father that he arrived safely. We hope the rest will go well. I brought my sister to the kindergarten and did some correspondence work. I wrote a personal letter to Rika Henreich. We are planning to meet this week in the night school. I am going to bring this letter to her house personally. I picked my sister up afternoon and brought her back to the kindergarten. I am at the Gruber's to give my mother a chance to rest at home alone. I am waiting for a visit from a man at a textile firm that sells piece goods.
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:45 p.m., January 16, 1934.
After dinner yesterday I walked and went to bed early. This morning after bringing my sister to kindergarten, I did shopping and chores. In the afternoon I studied French. Then I studied French with Gruber. They dictated to me, and then I did French writing which they checked over. After dinner I went to the French evening school, and I also met Rika and escorted her home.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:45 p.m., January 17, 1934.
This morning I brought my sister to kindergarten, then I studied French. I was in my private lesson and then went to the bath house. My mother gave me a five-franc present. I lay down in the afternoon and studied French. After dinner I walked and then read the French newspaper. My mother said today that she feels my father will return tomorrow. I replied that that was possible, but I was skeptical because we had not heard from him. Later my mother said that she had dreams that he was crying. She is afraid that he is in trouble. Maybe, she feels, he was arrested or something terrible happened. I think my mother is just nervous. But I hope to G-d that all is in order.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:15 p.m., January 18, 1934.
This morning I brought my sister to kindergarten after breakfast. The door bell rang. As my mother had predicted, it was my father. My mother told me this morning that she dreamed again last night that he was all right and that he was returning home. I still think that her dreams were just a product of her worrying. My father said that he had collected three hundred thousand kronen on his trip. He told us the story about how he had to pick up the money. He was very lucky to get by the border and return safely. It seems that my mother predicted correctly that he was very afraid. With G-d's help he got by all the borders. In the afternoon I went with my father to the bank. He bought English pounds because he wanted to teach me not to rely on simply one currency. We had money in many currencies, as well as gold pieces. Afterwards I went to the currency exchange office to exchange a few hundred kronen into Belgian francs. I had to go to different banks to find the best exchange rate. My father gave me five francs for my efforts. In the evening I went to the Flemish/French lesson. Afterwards I escorted Erica Hiender to her house, along with her other friends. We all benefitted from the opportunity to speak French together. I am thankful to G-d that my father successfully took care of that financial matter and came home safely. G-d takes care of us and many others.
Antwerp, Friday 10:45 p.m., January 19, 1934.
This morning I went to currency exchange offices to find out the currency price for the Czech kronen. I am sorry to say the currency went down quite a bit. But we did not know that yesterday. We lost some money. I took care of some chores and bought some household items. I wrote some French letters before taking my sister home from school for lunch and bringing her back. I read the newspaper after lunch and went with my mother to get my sister a uniform for first grade. After dinner my parents went to the Yiddish theatre. I made a sketch for the tailor to instruct him about getting the dress made for my sister. Now I am listening to the radio before bed.
Antwerp, Sunday 8:55 p.m., January 21, 1934.
Yesterday I brought my sister to kindergarten. I spent the rest of the morning observing business traffic on certain streets in town. We were looking for a location to rent a store. Then I went shopping with my mother. I read the newspaper before dinner. After dinner my father gave me five francs, my mother offered me more money. I thanked her but said I did not intend to spend that much. I thanked her, but took no more money. I went to a night club to dance. It was an inexpensive place for dancing. I met my friend Morris Badler and another friend there. I joined them at their table. We wanted to move the table to make it more comfortable for three people. Accidentally we tipped over the drinks and had to order more in order to remain there. We agreed that the broken glass would bring good luck, like broken glass when people get married. Unfortunately, I did not have enough money to pay for all these drinks. Morris loaned me eight francs, which I will repay. Some actors performed and I danced. Together we all went home after one.
This morning I went with my sister to Buchovitz and to pay a friendly visit to Dr. Cohen. Before dinner I visited the Goldwasser's. After dinner I read the newspapers aloud to my parents.
Antwerp, Tuesday 1:10 a.m., January 23, 1934.
This morning I went to the custom's office and dropping my sister at school. Then I went to the banks to find out the latest exchange rate. I picked up my currency at the Diamond Club and got one hundred francs pocket money. I picked up my sister from school and kept her busy with a game before school began again. I studied my French and was visited by Gruber. His sisters helped me with my French homework. After dinner Jack Rosenbaum visited. Together we visited Morris Badler and walked around.
The Czech money is still falling.
Antwerp, Wednesday 12:45 a.m., January 24, 1934.
I took my sister to school and vacuumed the house. An agent from a textile firm came. I picked up my sister for lunch and studied French while she was in school for the afternoon. I took her walking, and we returned my bank book to the Diamond Club. After dinner I went to the French evening course. In the evening Mr. Greengrass came by to negotiate a partnership in his wholesale business. He thought I was too young to be a partner in his business. He was only interested in inviting my father to be his partner. I did not think it was nice that he did not tell me until now that he did not want me as a partner. I do not want to be pushy, but I am suspicious of his interests in taking my father's money, but not letting me work in the business with my father.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:30 p.m., January 24, 1934.
Today I loaned my mother fifty francs and paid ten francs for my French lessons. After taking my sister to school I read the French newspaper. I picked up my sister and helped my mother carry heavy shopping bags. My parents went out after dinner while I did my French homework. I told my parents my thoughts about Mr. Greengrass.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:45 p.m., January 25, 1934.
This morning I took care of a few chores and went to different banks to get information for my father. In the afternoon I had to first do some chores before visiting my friend Gruber. I studied my French with his sisters. After dinner I went to the Flemish/French class. Then I went to Morris Badler to return the money I owed him.
Antwerp, Saturday 8:40 p.m., January 27, 1934.
Yesterday morning I checked out the bank account statement and went to the bank to receive the interest my parents had earned; they gave three francs.
I went to the dentist before getting my sister for lunch. I did some writing work before picking her up at the end of the day and going to the bath house. After dinner I went to the Movie Theater Plaza where I saw an English movie and a French film, "Captive" with Joan Crawford. Both films were very good and well-acted. I went to bed by midnight.
This morning I vacuumed the house, then I went to pick up my sister from school where she attends the first grade. In the afternoon I walked with my parents and did some chores and shopping. I went to the barber and visited the Buchovitz's. After dinner my parents went to the movies. Now I want to write a contract to join Mr. Greengrass' business.
Antwerp, Tuesday 7:45 p.m., January 30, 1934.
I do not have time to write because we are eating dinner. Afterwards I am going to Machanai Sports Club.
Antwerp, Wednesday 12:30 p.m., January 31, 1934.
Saturday evening Selma Buchovitz and Kathy Solomon visited me. I finished the contract for joining Mr. Greengrass' business. At midnight I went to bed.
On Sunday I typed the proposed contract, which stipulated I would be a partner too. I read it to my father and we gave a copy to Mr. Greengrass. Greengrass found this contract unsatisfactory because it gave each partner equal rights. He instead expected that my father would put in a hundred thousand francs and become a silent partner. Greengrass wanted to maintain all the rights to make decisions exclusively. My father would be unable to decide if he wanted to remove his money from the partnership at any time. Greengrass then suggested instead that they start a new business completely. I continue to think that Greengrass is a thief. Greengrass planned to take my father's money, but not make him a full partner. The contract I prepared was fair and even-handed. Greengrass wanted no part of it. I do not think anything will happen with Greengrass, and that is probably for the best.
In the afternoon I visited the Buchovitz's and then the Gruber's. There were others visiting the Grubers, including a young lady from Rhineland, Germany. I became acquainted with the young lady, who knew Racha Schnook. Racha was the lady friend that my father had when he was visiting in Nordenai. This woman said Racha had a bad reputation, which did not surprise me. My father had written her through one of his employees. I wrote Racha a letter when I discovered what my father was doing and got her address. I used a pseudonym so she did not know that I was related to my father. In her return letter she said she was looking forward to meeting me. Well, let her keep on waiting.
After dinner I went dancing with Morris Badler in a cafe. It cost eight francs for the evening. Meanwhile my mother returned me the fifty francs I had lent her.
Monday morning I did some grocery shopping and vacuuming. Afterwards I went to the U.S. Consulate to get information about moving to America. My parents many years ago had letters from an Uncle Gold from Brooklyn. They applied for papers for the U.S. at that time, but they were doing well in Germany at that time and didn't want to leave. That afternoon I requested application forms to move to America. I sent this request to the American Consulate in Berlin in order to get whatever correspondence that remained in Berlin from the previous attempt to get papers for America. The letter requested that they forward that correspondence to us in Belgium. My father had read in the Jewish papers that the U.S. was to allow a certain number of displaced Europeans to enter the U.S. Later Jack Rosenbaum and I went for a walk.
Yesterday (Tuesday) morning, my parents had a big fight. I went with my father to the bank and the safe at the Diamond Club. He had to pick up additional currencies that he had bought to put in the safe. In the afternoon I took a walk looking for my mother who had left the house angry. She had left at noon and had not returned all afternoon. When she finally returned, I was at Gruber's studying French. After dinner I went to a party at the Machunai Israel Sport Club where some people were reciting some informative stories. Afterwards there was dancing. I went there but was bored; it cost four francs. Besides that, I had paid five francs to join their club as a member. I went home by 1 a.m.
This morning I went to the bank and then to my private French lesson for ten francs.
Antwerp, Wednesday 9:45 p.m., January 31, 1934.
My mother is still in bed. She is sick after her aggravation yesterday with my father. After dinner I studied my French homework and prepared dinner for my mother. I decided to stop studying Flemish because I can communicate very well with our neighbors. I do not feel it is necessary at present to be able to write Flemish. Instead I am interested in improving my English. I am going to begin English courses. My father is now playing with the idea of going to America. I will be better able to help and get along if I can speak a little English. I am beginning to forget the little English I know because I do not have the opportunity to speak English. I want to take courses before my English gets more rusty.
Antwerp, Thursday 9:45 p.m., February 1, 1934.
This morning I vacuumed and went with my father to various banks. We applied to open a new account in one bank. Then I went to an agency to find a maid for the house. In the afternoon I went with a gentleman who had invited us to see a store he had recommended to my father. He suggested that we start a business together. Because the rents are so high in the area he suggested, my father was not very interested in such a high risk investment. My father feels it is better to invest in merchandise than high rents. The merchandise will always have a value, rent once spent is consumed. I went to the dentist. Then I went to school to study English/French.
Antwerp, Friday 11:00 p.m., February 2, 1934.
This morning I took my sister to school. She skipped a few days this week because she had a cold. I vacuumed the house before going to the banks with my father to put different currencies we bought into the Diamond Club safe. I brought my sister to school and picked her up. In between I studied French. After dinner I listened to French radio while my parents were away. My parents returned with a neighbor named Reuben who had lived in America. He is temporarily visiting Belgium. Our other neighbors had told us about him. He said that America was very nice. You had the opportunity to do business if you were willing to work for it. He strongly recommended that we would like America and suggested that we leave these European countries surrounding Hitler's Germany.
Antwerp, Sunday 1:45 a.m., February 4, 1934.
I visited Buchovitz and the Grubers in the afternoon. I met a lady at the Gruber's house. This lady has a sister who moved to New York four months ago. This sister liked America and had decided she wanted to stay there. Originally she had just gone to visit but had decided to remain there. After dinner I went to the English course in the evening school. Joseph Gruber came to pick me up, but my parents wanted to go to the Yiddish theatre, so I had to stay home to care for Sonia. Gruber and I remained and listened to music and had nice conversations.
Antwerp, Sunday 8:20 p.m., February 4, 1934.
This morning I wrote a long letter to our aunt and uncle Gold in Brooklyn, New York. It is my mother's aunt and uncle. Years before they had made applications to help my parents come to America, I hoped they would help us again. I wrote my request in English. Later that evening I spent six-and-a-half francs to go dancing with Joseph Gruber. At first I made an appointment with a nice Christian lady for next Sunday to go to a dance at the Chantilly in the Century Hotel near Gaascentral in Antwerp, When I noticed that she was very preoccupied with another young man, I made another appointment with another nice Christian lady. This second lady was a little younger, maybe nineteen and prettier. We planned to meet on Saturday night at the Roxy Cinema. With both of these women I spoke French. The first woman was Martha. I do not remember the name of the second one. Now I am doing my English homework in my old English book. I had a nice evening.
Antwerp, Monday 9:35 p.m., February 5, 1934.
This morning I took my sister to school, then I studied my French and visited Gruber, I spoke French and studied with his sisters. I went back to pick up my sister for lunch and brought her back after lunch. Then I did the grocery shopping for my mother and picked up my sister at the end of the day. I was walking with my mother until dinner.
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:35 p.m., February 6, 1934.
This morning I brought my sister to school, then I went with my parents to the American consulate. Then my father and I went to the bank before I studied French and brought my sister home for lunch. My parents went to a matinee while I studied French. I wrote a letter to Nora Eisenberg in Frankfurt am Main to send me another copy of my birth certificate because I would need it for whatever country I traveled to. The Polish Consulate had once requested my birth certificate and kept it in their files, so all I had was a copy.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:55 p.m., February 7, 1934.
This morning I went to my private French lesson. This was my last lesson for a while. My parents had suggested that I cancel these lessons and focus on my English. I am afraid that I will lose the French, which I have only studied for a short time. I am not yet in control of the grammar or an extensive French vocabulary. I still have not studied the second Berlitz book in French.
After I had picked up my sister from school, I studied some English homework and visited the Grubers and studied French with his sisters. Then I had to pick up my sister at school and go with my father to the bank and conduct other errands. After dinner my parents went to the Yiddish theatre. I did some French homework.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:45 p.m., February 8, 1934.
This morning I had to visit a few different banks and attend to a few other matters. On the way to the bank I met Ms. Goldstein, the one I know from the Jewish Committee for Immigrants and Refugees. She promised to help me write an English formal application to the American Consulate for my family to immigrate to America. I said I would go to the Committee on Sunday. I picked up my sister, did some French homework and took a walk with my mother and sister. Then I shampooed my mother. After dinner I went to the English lesson and then the French lesson.
Antwerp, Friday 8:40 p.m., February 9, 1934.
This morning after taking my sister to school, I did the shopping for the house and vacuumed. It was already time to pick up my sister at school. Afterwards I went to the bath house for four francs. In the afternoon I took my sister back to school and did my English studying. I went to the barber shop. Afterwards David Mendelson came to visit. He told me that he opened a new business and asked me to come visit him and help in the store. I intend to do that. Then my father pressed a suit for me, and I pressed my trousers and ties so they would look fresh. While my parents were out I straightened up the house and the kitchen for the Shabbes meal to make things easier for my mother. When she came home she was very pleased. After dinner my parents went away. I will study my English before going to bed.
Antwerp, Sunday 12 a.m., February 11, 1934.
This morning I brought my sister to school, and then I went to Mendelson's until noon helping him decorate his display window in the new shoe store. Afterwards I walked awhile. For eight francs I purchased two good seats for Cinema Plaza in advance sales for my date this evening, having confidence that she would show up for our date. After dinner I went to my English course before our movie was to begin. Unfortunately, my date did not show up. I went into the movie theatre alone; the other ticket went wasted. I saw an English film with Harold Lloyd. The picture was whimsical.
Antwerp, Sunday 10:35 p.m., February 11, 1934.
This morning I went to the Committee for Jewish Refugees and Immigrants, but Ms. Goldstein was not there. I went to her home at 103 Avenue du France. She received me very nicely and prepared a very nice letter in English for the American Consulate. She told me that she is American and has only been in Belgium for six years. She said she was very interested in returning to America herself. She will be leaving her job at the Committee for a position with the Red Cross. She lives in a well-equipped home and appeared quite well-to-do. In general she has a very nice family. I invited her to visit at our house sometime. She enjoys conversing in German and I like to talk with her in English.
In the afternoon I wrote the English letter. Then I went walking with Gruber. I arrived late at Chantilly with no intention to stay very long. I had made an appointment to met some acquaintances of mine, but planned not to stay with them long. I danced a bit. There was a possibility that my date would arrive punctual as arranged. After one-and-a-half hours I left. After dinner I walked to Machinai Israel Sports Club for a little while. Today in Antwerp they are celebrating a local carnival.
Antwerp, Monday 8:40 p.m., February 12, 1934.
Early this morning I went to Ms. Goldstein's to have her check my letter to the American Consulate. At the Consulate I learned that our old case history papers had been received from the Berlin Office of the American Consul. The gentleman who handled the matter was very nice to me. My English was choppy, but I made do as best I could. He gave me formal application to fill out. With application in hand I returned to Ms. Goldstein. She explained to me how to fill out this application properly. She was very helpful. If I ran into any difficulty she promised to introduce me to an American gentleman in the local Consulate who would offer me additional help. In the afternoon I found out that the Czech government was planning an inflationary measure to devalue their currency. My family still has a great deal of Czech currency in Belgium. We had not exchanged it because it had been constantly falling and we hoped it would level off if we held out. I went to visit the Czech Consulate, but it was closed. My father wanted me to get some information on Czechoslovakia because he was considering making permanent residence there. My parents went to the Yiddish theatre, leaving the house very quiet for me to do my language study. I also planned to listen to the radio. There were many troublesome events occurring.
Antwerp, Thursday 7:00 p.m., February 15, 1934.
On Tuesday morning I went to the Diamond Club to pick up my bank books and notify them that I was discontinuing my account in an effort to exchange my Belgian francs, which was also getting weaker, for another currency. I left the bank book at home because I was busy with my father in the afternoon visiting several banks about similar money matters. We brought Holland gold again and another one hundred thousand Czech kronen from the bank. He wanted to hold on to this currency in the house because he wanted to have it nearby in the event that the currency picked up. I urged him to put it into the Diamond Club because I was uncomfortable leaving such great sums of money in the house. When I came home my mother suggested that I go out and enjoy myself. Instead I took the money in the house and brought it to the safe. In the meantime my mother had taken my sister to the bathhouse at 3 p.m., When I came home from the Diamond Club at 4 p.m. I found the door closed but not locked. I thought that my mother was home, but there was no one in the house. I entered my room to find all the drawers and closets doors broken open and disheveled. Worried that the thief was still in the house I went searching for him, only to find the remainder of the house in disarray from the break-in. I locked up the apartment and notified the landlord. I went to find a policeman. The officer returned to the apartment with me. He found no one there. I went to find my mother in the bath house. I told her slowly and calmly what had happened, so as not to shock her. My mother surveyed the house to determine what was missing. Five gold pieces from Germany had been taken, as well as my ties and a stick pin and a broach I owned and a dozen of my father's top shirts. The thief also took my savings in the house of twenty-three francs. My mother was very agitated. They had also stolen her new silver fox collar that I believe my father had bought her in Prague on their last trip. Then we saw two suspicious looking people peering into our apartment. The landlord also noticed them. The detective from the police department came to take fingerprints and a description of the two men who looked suspicious. The owner thought he saw those two men walk out of the house just prior to my returning to the house. The entrance to our apartment was undamaged, they had managed to open the door with phony keys or some similar tool. The greatest danger was in my returning. Had the thieves still been there, I could have been in danger. I thank G-d that did not happen. I searched some dark alleys and unsavory restaurants. If I found the two I had seen, I would notify the police and they said they would arrest them. Unfortunately we did not find them. They had damaged my desk, but had not taken anything from it, including my bank book. Yesterday morning I gave the police a detailed list of what was stolen and damaged. I believe this is fruitless because these men will not be found. We went to the different banks to alert them to the break-in in the event that someone came in to sell them Holland gold pieces. Then I went to take home the Holland gold from the bank as my father requested. My mother yesterday found an empty box that had once contained a gold watch and bracelet. The bracelet was heavy, but not anymore; it was stolen, it was gone. In the afternoon I went with my father to various restaurants to search again for the men who we thought broke in to our apartment. We did not find them. Maybe we are lucky to not find them. Maybe we would have gotten into more trouble. My mother told me to forget about the theft and to go out and have a fun evening. I went to Savigny to dance for eight francs. I read in the newspapers that the Czech minister made speeches about devaluing the currency.
This morning I went to the barber and then went to the American Consulate. I made arrangements so that my parents were next in line to be considered to enter America.
The American doctor examined my eyes. He used to toothpick to keep my eyes open and it was very painful. I was so nervous that I was unable to cooperate. The doctor gave me another appointment. My parents were very angry. I went back that afternoon and passed the doctor's exam. I went with my father to different banks to get balance statements required by the Consulate. If we could show enough income, we would be eligible to enter America because we would not be a burden or taking other American's jobs. We announced that we were closing our accounts and returned to the American Consulate. I received word from the Post Office that a registered letter had arrived from Frankfurt am Main containing my duplicate birth certificate. I had an extensive physical exam. The American Consulate, noticing that I wore glasses, gave my a long and painful eye exam. Before returning to the Consulate I went to pick up my duplicate birth certificate and attend to more bank matters. We had to fill out more forms to receive American visas. All of the bank certificates showing our finances pleased the Consul. Now they are communicating with Washington, D.C. to obtain visas for us. The Consulate advised us to get our Polish passports extended. We must maintain our Polish passports until we can get citizenship, if that's what we choose, from America. We had to bring more photographs and documents to the Consulate. The money that my parents had in Czechoslovakia and the kronen currency are doing very poorly. My parents are about to take a substantial loss to exchange the currency. In the beginning of the week there was a general strike in France, all of Germany's neighboring countries are having difficulties. Czechoslovakia is having a sort of civil war, which is very bad. But there is nothing we can do about that except hope and wait for visas from the American Consulate. The police think they have some suspects from the theft, but I am not going to expose myself to have them arrested, because I did not see them so well. We are trying to forget about that episode. I am listening to the radio; nowhere is there any good news. I am very tired from going to the banks and back and forth to the Consulate.
Antwerp, Friday 9:35 p.m., February 16, 1934.
This morning I had to run around between the American and Polish Consulate and the townhouse with many different documents. Many of the documents need to be translated to be evidence to help our application along. I had to go to the Ezra Office (similar to HIAS in the U.S.). The afternoon was more of the same. We went to a photographer and placed the Holland gold that we bought in the Diamond Club safe.
Antwerp, Sunday 9:05 p.m., February 18, 1934.
Yesterday I was to the photographer, the townhouse and the Consulate. In the afternoon I went to Gruber's, to the barber's and finally to the Machinai Israel for some nice conversations. After midnight I went with Selma Buchovitz and Kathy Solomon and three others to a coffee house. We enjoyed the music and danced for five francs. At about 3 a.m. we went home. I went right to bed. The evening had been a lot of fun.
This morning I visited the Goldwassers with my sister. I found out that yesterday evening the Belgian king was involved in a fatal accident in the mountains. He fell to his death off a cliff during a climbing excursion. This was tragic because he was a beloved king for over twenty-five years. He had been a friend of the Jews and had not persecuted them like other leaders. It is unfortunate that this could not have happened to Hitler instead. Such a sad thing should not happen to such a nice person. I guess life must take its course. In the afternoon I rested, and then I listened to the news report. I think I caught a cold this afternoon, and that's why I remained in bed in the afternoon.
Antwerp, Monday 8:45 p.m., February 19, 1934.
This morning I went with my mother to pick up a large amount of money and pieces of gold from one other bank and return it to our safe in the Diamond Club. We brought our photos and Polish passports back to the American Consulate. The Consulate held our Polish passports this time. He had written to Warsaw to confirm the information we had provided. We also had to be counted within the quota from Poland. We were not considered refugees from Germany, because we were Polish citizens; the Americans considered that we had somewhere else to go. Except we did not want to go there. I believe that Poland is the next Anschluss, which means the next nation to collaborate with the Germans. The Consulate said if everything is in order according to Warsaw, we will receive our passports back as well as visa permits for America to move as prospective new citizens. He asked us to return next Monday. I do not want to celebrate too early because I hope nothing happens to spoil it. But I want to go to the U.S. and I pray to G-d. I hope if we go to the U.S., my parents will be happier. We returned to the banks to prepare to transfer our savings when we journey to America. We went to another bank which advised us to buy currency in gold, since the dollar had not yet stabilized. He advised us to wait in purchasing the dollar as long as possible because it continues to decline. I believe gold must remain valuable because if gold declines, all the money everyone holds is worth nothing. I went to several banks to learn more about exchanging currency into dollars. I went home and was occupied with correspondence work. I compared the statements from the different banks. After dinner my parents went to the Yiddish theatre. I listened to the radio; nothing good was happening in the world. Everywhere there was trouble and it all appeared interconnected.
Antwerp, Tuesday 9:40 p.m., February 20, 1934.
This morning I took my sister to school while my parents slept. Then I took my mother to the dentist. I went to the bank for my father, and then to the Czech Consulate regarding our money that remains there. I learned that the kronen currency had lost one-sixth of its value; again our personal savings were diminished. In the afternoon I went to the banks with my father. Then we heard that two thieves were arrested today in a cafe house. Perhaps they were the same men who had broken into our apartment. I went to a couple of different police stations in regards to this matter. Our landlord may be able to help identify the thieves as the same ones he saw enter our house. The landlord was to see the police commissioner in order to identify the two men. I went to several more banks to buy gold from them. Tomorrow I will go back with my father to the police station.
Antwerp, Wednesday 9:55 p.m., February 21, 1934.
This morning I went with my father to the bank. Then we went together to the police precinct, where we met the landlord. We were officially introduced to the landlord because he was there to identify the thieves. Afterwards I went with my father to the National Bank. I withdrew whatever was remaining in my account, including three hundred francs in interest. I had a total of 20,100 francs. We went to a second bank to purchase gold bars and pieces, which we placed in the Diamond Club safe. In the afternoon I took 19,858.5 francs and bought 1,350 Holland currency in gold pieces only. These gold pieces were also placed in our safe. Tomorrow is the funeral procession for King Albert of the Belgians; all banks will be closed in respect. My family believes that the gold can only appreciate, we are not too worried that the gold will go down. We also do not expect the francs to rise very much since other similar currencies have recently been dropping, like the Czech kronen. Later I went to inquire about the Czech kronen. My father anticipates taking a big loss on the kronen he presently holds. Since he has not yet sold it, he cannot anticipate the loss. There are very few buyers for kronen since it continues to drop steadily. After dinner my parents went to the movie theatre and Jack Rosenbaum visited me.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:00 p.m., February 22, 1934.
Today is the day of King Albert's burial, may he rest in peace. He was a fine gentleman, that's why someone killed him. The rumor is that his "accident" was no accident, but that he was killed to make room for someone else politically. I took my sister for a walk in the morning and visited Gruber. In the afternoon I worked on correspondence and fixing my drawers that were damaged from the theft. After dinner I listened to the news and thanked G-d that I wasn't in the many places in the world where there were terrible things happening.
Antwerp, Sunday 8:15 p.m., February 25, 1934.
Friday I was busy visiting several banks. Afterwards I visited the Buchovitz's. On Friday, Leopold III, the son of recently deceased King Albert, was sworn in as the new King of the Belgians. In the afternoon I took a walk. After dinner, I went to Cinema Lucas for two-and-a-half francs; I saw two movies. The French film, "The Words Without A Face," was the first film. The second French film was, "The Winning of Calcutta." Both movies were real-life dramas and very serious. The first film portrayed a love affair as the main plot. The second film dealt with gambling, winning and losing and finally the tragedy of the winner.
Yesterday morning I took my sister with me to a bank to obtain information. In the afternoon my parents visited Linkofsky, and I met with some people to give me more information about America. Then I took another walk. This week my father was offered a business to take over. Now he is ambivalent about his decision to move to America. Until now he had found no business investments. Since we may be leaving, he is hesitant to get involved in business in Belgium.
Antwerp, Sunday 10:00 p.m., February 25, 1934.
My father has very little confidence in the future of business in Belgium because he has seen many businesses fail. Last night my parents took my sister to a movie. I prepared dinner for myself before attending the Maccabbee Purim Ball. It cost fifteen francs. I met a lot of people I knew including the Grubers, Goldwassers, Ratners, and Morris Badler, etc. I also saw the Buchovitz and Solomons. I enjoyed myself and danced with many ladies including Maria Goldwasser. I treated the Goldwassers to a plateful of oranges. I spent an additional nineteen francs on food and beverages. I was introduced to Jack Rosenbaum's cousin, Hedda Cohen. She had also left Germany. She had come out from Bochun. She has been living in Belgium for only five months. Her girlfriend Gusti Herschon was also from Germany. Gusti sang at the Ball. Although the Ball was not over, I left at 2 a.m. with Hedda Cohen. I escorted her home and promised that I would send her a postcard to let her know when we can get together for a movie. I arrived home at 2:45 a.m. and went to bed. The evening was very nice, the music pleasant, and the variety of people interesting.
This morning I cleaned and mended my suits. In the afternoon I spent a few hours reading the newspaper to my father. Afterwards I took a walk and went to a cafe that cost two-and-a-half francs. Now we ate dinner and I am going to bed.
Antwerp, Monday 8:30 p.m., February 26, 1934.
This morning, after bringing my sister to school, I accompanied my mother to the American Consulate. We did not get our visas yet because they had not checked out all the details yet. The Vice Consul said that it seemed that we would get our visas in the next few days. I went to the bank and the Polish Consulate. I had a notice to appear at the Polish Consulate where I received the registration paper to register as a temporary absentee. I had to sign a paper promising to be a Polish soldier if they went to war. Then I picked up my sister at school, attended to some banking business and deposited more Holland gold into the Diamond Club safe. It is hard to know for sure which currency will remain stable. We are still trusting mostly in the gold pieces. Thinking too much about the currencies can drive you crazy trying to predict their declines and increases. My father is still upset about the Czech kronen whose value continues to drop precipitously. We cannot even get the reduced value of the kronen because there are no buyers. We just hope this situation will turn around soon. Later I studied some English. Jack Rosenbaum visited. I gave him a note for his cousin Hedda Cohen. In this note I invited her out for Thursday evening. Then a notice from the police precinct arrived compelling me to appear tomorrow morning in connection with the burglary, I was to confront the suspects. Perhaps I would identify the suspects, but I was uncertain whether I would be able to. After dinner my parents went to the movies. I studied some more English. It seems the whole world is crazy, standing on its head with problems.
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:10 p.m., February 27, 1934.
This morning I accompanied my mother to the police precinct. Then I accompanied my father. I regret that I was unable to recognize the men I had seen. Our homeowner had also come to identify them. Afterwards I went to the American Consulate. They still did not have our visas. My father and I ran more bank errands. In the afternoon we had more bank errands to run exchanging currencies. Thank G-d my father was successful in selling some of his Czech kronen today. He lost about twenty percent of the value of the kronen he sold. It is still good that he was able to rid himself of some of them, since it is possible that they will lose more value. After dinner I went to the French class.
Antwerp, Wednesday 11:25 p.m., February 28, 1934.
It is the night before Purim. This morning I again accompanied my mother to the police precinct in connection with the robbery. Afterwards we called the American Consulate who notified us that everything was in order. They said to pick up the visas tomorrow. I hope to get the visas, but in the meantime we can just wait. My father had purchased gold with the money exchanged for the kronen. We exchanged it for gold that afternoon and put it in the bank. Jack Rosenbaum came to visit towards the evening and gave me a message that Hedda Cohen had to work on Thursday and would sent me a letter to set a different date. After dinner I saw a German film, "Dangers of Love." It was a wonderful, real-life film. I saw a second film that was French, "Two Gentlemen and One Lady." This was an enjoyable comedy. I hope to get good news tomorrow with our passport and visas.
Antwerp, Friday 12:05 a.m., March 2, 1934.
Purim was Thursday, We celebrate the death of Haman, a man who tried to kill the Jews, a man like Hitler, except Hitler was even closer to succeeding. After dropping off my sister at school I went to the American Consulate. Thank G-d the papers were all there, a permit for everyone in my whole family. There were people at the Consulate who waited several years. There was one woman who was waiting seven years to reenter the United States and be reunited with her American husband. Then I went to the bank to receive the additional gold we had bought and deliver it to our safe in the Diamond Club. Now we just hope and pray that everything will go well from now on. In the afternoon I was walking with my sister. We returned to the police precinct about the burglary. I also returned again to the banks and the safe to transfer money. This morning I had received a letter from Hedda Cohen. She said she could come this evening, but would be a little bit later. I went to the English lessons for one hour after dinner before meeting Hedda Cohen. We went to the Odeon Cinema. I paid eight francs for the two of us to see a very nice German film. I escorted Hedda Cohen home.
Antwerp, Friday 9:15 p.m., March 2, 1934.
Today I was busy all morning and afternoon going to different banks. My father accompanied me to some of the banks. Mr. Katz paid a visit after dinner and discussed going to America and perhaps going to Palestine.
Antwerp, Sunday 10:15 p.m., March 4, 1934.
Yesterday morning I went to various banks again. Among others, we opened a special account at a banking conglomeration to keep dollars. In the afternoon I visited the Grubers and Ms. Goldstein (from the Committee of Jewish Refugees and Immigration). I thanked Ms. Goldstein for her help in applying to America. I told her we had been successful. She promised to visit my family with some tips about life in America. She thought it was best to take our furniture to America instead of selling it here. She thought it would be more expensive to buy it in America, and we would not receive much money for our old furniture here. My parents took my sister to a movie in the afternoon, while I studied English. After dinner I went to Machanai Israel for two-and-a-half francs. There wasn't anyone I was interested in seeing there, so I left. I would like to note here that in the last two weeks I spent about fifty francs of my pocket money on car fare and other small expenses to run all these various errands.
This morning my father and I tried to sell our remaining Czech kronen. We were unsuccessful. Afterwards my sister and I visited Goldwasser. After vacuuming the house I tried again to unload the kronen. I took my sister on another walk in the afternoon and read my father the paper in the evening. My parents went for a walk in the evening. My parents have decided to return to Czechoslovakia to withdraw their remaining money. Tomorrow we will begin to arrange for their trip.
Antwerp, Monday 11:20 p.m., March 5, 1934.
Today I spent all morning at the Consulate, travel bureau, and Diamond Club tending to chores for my parents' journey. In the afternoon I was at the boat company getting information about travel to America and the fares. After 5 p.m. my sister and I brought my parents to the train station. They left for Prague. I hope that G-d will help them get things in order, get their belongings and themselves safely out of Prague. I went shopping and ran errands before preparing dinner for my sister and myself. After dinner I readied my sister for bed and cleaned the kitchen. I was lonesome in the evening so I telephoned Ms. Helen Schlessinger, our neighbor. She kept me company, listening to music and dancing. I escorted her home.
Antwerp, Tuesday 9:50 p.m., March 6, 1934.
Early this morning I took my sister to school. Then I cleaned the house. I took a walk and brought more gold pieces to the Diamond Club safe. When I walked I passed the house more often to insure that it was not burglarized a second time. I took my sister to a restaurant for lunch before returning her to school. I tried to exchange my father's kronen, still there were no buyers. While Sonia was at school I worked on some correspondence until it was time to pick her up. Together we went to eat. The weather was poor, so I entertained her in the house. I had shopped enough so that I did not have to go out in the rain. My sister got sick that night and vomited. I put her to bed with some light food. I did the dishes and cleaned up from my sister before retiring to bed.
Antwerp, Wednesday 8:50 p.m., March 7, 1934.
This morning I took my sister to school and did some food shopping. I made breakfast and cleaned the house before withdrawing the fifty-thousand kronen to try again to exchange it at a bank. After many attempts I went to visit the Goldwassers before getting Sonia at school and taking her out for lunch. I went to more banks in the afternoon before taking Sonia for an afternoon snack after school. Then at a bank I was able to sell the fifty-thousand kronen for a little less than my father had hoped, but a lot better than the kronen's value a few weeks ago. I hope they will be satisfied with my exchange. It wouldn't make any sense to be proud and independent and hold on to the kronen until its price drops again. I will get a check for the exchange tomorrow and will deposit it in the Diamond Club safe. I studied English for a while. Mrs. Schlessinger came by with some cereal that she had made for Sonia. Sonia had to go to the dentist to have a loose tooth removed. Then we ate dinner together. My mother had left extra money, so I didn't have to spend my pocket money on meals while they were away. I am listening to the radio before going to sleep.
Antwerp, Thursday 9:55 p.m., March 8, 1934.
This morning I brought my sister to school and cleaned her room and vacuumed the house. I went to the safe before noon to cash and then deposit the check. I found out that the kronen rose a bit in price today. Bankers now are interested in kronen. I was very aggravated that I had sold the kronen yesterday at such a loss. Then again, you can never be sure when the right time to sell or buy is. When you deal with currency its like playing the stock market. Hindsight is much better than foresight. I still hope that my parents will be pleased that I did the best I could under the circumstances. I didn't sell it at the worst time, so I saved them a little bit of money, buy I didn't sell it at the best time either. I learned that a diamond dealer also had Czech kronen, and I tried to negotiate a price between him and the bank. It was a difficult task. I managed to arrive at an agreement whereby I bought the kronen from the gentleman and sold it to the banker at his buying price. I made a one hundred and twenty-five francs profit on the transaction. I am very satisfied about this deal that I made. Now I can show my father that I made a deal and derived a profit. Maybe he'll be glad that I used my head and did it all by myself. G-d helped me get a little more acquainted with business, and I am thankful for that. In the afternoon I took Sonia out for lunch and then ran errands for the house before picking her up again. I played with her in the house. Again Mrs. Schlessinger came by to help me cook dinner for Sonia. I washed and cleaned and put Sonia to bed. I am very tired from caring for Sonia and the house. Today I received an airmail postcard from my parents in Prague, that they had arrived safely. They did not show any return address on the letter.
Antwerp, Friday 10:00 p.m., March 9, 1934.
This morning I received a very nice airmail letter from my dear parents. Afterwards I took my sister to school. The rest of the morning I attended to chores. I completed my dealings with the Czech kronen at the exchange office. Today the kronen market was weaker again and buyers were few. I picked up my sister from school and visited Mrs. Goldwasser, who invited us for dinner. I cleaned the house while Sonia was at school, then I took her for a snack and a walk. I sent a return airmail letter to my parents, answering their questions and notifying my father about the kronen exchange rate. My mother was worried that we were sick or in trouble; I allayed her fears in the letter. We went to the Goldwasser's for dinner, which was very nice. Afterwards I put my sister to bed and went to sleep.
Antwerp, Saturday 9:40 p.m., March 10, 1934.
This morning I took my sister to school, listened to the radio, and cleaned the house. By the time I finished errands at the bank, I had to get my sister for lunch and a walk. Mrs. Schlessinger came by and helped me occupy Sonia. After dropping Sonia off at school, I did the dinner shopping and prepared dinner. Sonia was good today and ate dinner well. Because she was good I let her stay up a bit longer and listen to the radio with me. Then I put her to bed. I received mail from my grandmother in Poland giving me the address of our family in Poland.
Antwerp, Sunday 9:10 p.m., March 11, 1934.
This morning I slept a bit later and did house shopping and cleaning. I spent some time walking with Sonia before lunch. I played with her after lunch and ran some errands. We had a snack and played some more. I got information on possible times that my parents could be arriving from Prague if she left today. I listened to the radio and went to bed.
Antwerp, Tuesday 3:05 p.m., March 13, 1934.
After readying Sonia for school yesterday I cleaned house and had breakfast. My parents came home shortly after that. Thank G-d. My mother had nice gifts from my father, including a new Persian lamb coat and jacket that she had wanted for a long time. She also got a replacement for the silver fox collar that was stolen. Sonia also got some nice things. I got a new top shirt and tie as well as a wallet. My father promised me a nice summer suit tailor-made. I went to the bank and the safe and purchased a bouquet of flowers for five francs. I picked up my sister from school and gave her the flowers to give to my parents. She greeted my mother with the flowers to show them how happy we were that they were home safe. My parents were very satisfied that the house was clean and my sister looked well. My mother said that my sister fixed herself well. She said Sonia looked much better than before they had left for Prague. In the afternoon I returned to various banks with my father to exchange the kronen he had withdrawn from Prague. Thank G-d we no longer have any money in that country. We bought a little gold that I brought to our safe. When I was carrying around the bundles of gold, I carried a gun that carries tranquilizer bullets. Fortunately I never had to use it. I know that one time a brother in one of the exchange offices was robbed and badly beaten. After dinner I changed and went out with Helen Schlessinger to the affair of Karen Kayemen. Helen had an admittance card, and I paid fifteen francs for myself. First there was a variety show, then there was dancing. Helen danced with other friends of hers, and I joined Madame Linkofsky and her daughter and danced with other people. I enjoyed myself very much. I left with the Linkofsky around 2 a.m. Drinks and small items cost me ten francs beyond the admittance cost.
This morning I went to the bank a few times regarding the current prices for the Czech kronen. I also read and listened to the news to determine exchange rates. We finally exchanged the remaining hundred thousand kronen at a fairly good price, much better than the portion my father had exchanged yesterday. I earned fifty francs for myself as well that my father let me keep. I brought my sister back to school and rested awhile. I am doing a little writing work before going to pick up Sonia from school. Today I called Helen Goldstein. She promised that she would come visit Thursday.
Antwerp, Wednesday 9:50 p.m., March 14, 1934.
Yesterday afternoon I picked up my sister from school and we walked around. I also went to a ship company to get information in preparation for our trip to America. After dinner my parents were out. I did a little reading and went to bed.
This morning I am taking care of some correspondence and writing some letters to relatives in Brooklyn before picking up Sonia from school. In the afternoon I inquired about getting a maid to help my mother with house work. I stopped at a travel bureau for additional information. I put my correspondence in order. After dinner my parents went to the movie theatre. Jack Rosenbaum came to visit.
Antwerp, Friday 4:50 p.m., March 16, 1934.
Yesterday was my mother's forty-second birthday. She should live and be well until her hundred and twentieth. I congratulated her. I like giving practical gifts, but I did not know what to get her, so I will buy her a nice pullover sweater like I had promised her. I wanted to take her along to pick out the sweater. I straightened out some old correspondence before picking up my sister. Then I went to an employment agency to get a maid for my mother. In the afternoon our neighbor Ms. Goldstein visited. She gave us advice on personal matters. I went to English class in the evening, and then to see two films. The first film was, "Men Do Call It Love." The second movie was in French with Jean Harlow and Clark Gable. I came home by 11:30 p.m. My parents told me that Ms. Goldstein and her daughter were visiting to explain life in America that evening.
This morning I brought my sister back to school. I went to a newspaper office and placed some ads to try to sell our furniture. I went back to the employment agencies to find someone to do our housework. While doing my errands I coincidentally met a lady who is looking to buy furniture. I gave her our address. We had a visit from one of the agents of a furniture moving company. I had some business at the Diamond Club in the afternoon. I went to another employment agency for a house girl in the afternoon. I took a bath for four francs.
Antwerp, Sunday 9:40 p.m., March 18, 1934.
Friday afternoon I was out walking. I listened to the radio and went to bed by 9:05 p.m. Yesterday the lady who was interested in furniture came by our house. In the afternoon I was home. After dinner I went to the Machanai Israel Sports Club for two-and-a-half francs. Besides that I spent five francs on membership dues. I cancelled my membership for the future, since we are intent on moving. There was some dancing. I came home by 12:30.
Yesterday some more people came to look at our furniture for sale.
This morning I took my sister for a walk and we visited the Goldwassers. I also sent a letter to relatives in America. In the afternoon I went to the barber shop. The Buchovitzs, Cathy Solomon, Jack, and another young man picked me up for an afternoon dance and tea. We had a nice time. We three young men treated the ladies, my share came to five francs. The dancing was very pleasant. After dinner I wrote a card again about our selling the furniture.
Antwerp, Tuesday 9:30 p.m., March 20, 1934.
Yesterday morning after bringing my sister to school I went to another employment agency to find a girl for the house work. Then my mother hired one of the girls who was recommended. She came to our house today. I picked up Sonia in the afternoon. The Goldwassers came by and bought some of our furniture. After dinner Mr. Goldwasser picked up some of the small items that he had purchased from us. I helped him bring some of them to his home. I asked Goldwasser's daughter to help me prepare a letter to her cousin, Ms. Margaret Goldwasser, who lives in New York. I had met her when she was visiting in Antwerp, I had taken her out to some of the museums and cites in Antwerp during her stay. I planned to send the letter that we composed. One of the questions I asked in the letter was whether she could meet us at the boat when we were due to arrive. I went to the Cinema Trocadero to see "Buster Keaton Went To War." It was a comedy in English with a sparse plot. I went to bed shortly after midnight.
This morning the lady who was interested in the furniture came by and planned to return shortly with her husband to show him what she was interested in. I am going to the newspapers to possibly renew our ads. In the afternoon I studied English, and in the evening I went to my French class.
Antwerp, Thursday 10:55 p.m., March 22, 1934.
Yesterday morning I ran errands to compile information for our journey. In the afternoon Ms. Goldstein assisted my parents in shopping, including the purchase of some fabric. My parents returned and negotiated the sale of a large portion of our furniture. After dinner Jack and I studied English. I went to bed around 11 p.m.,
This morning I went to the townhouse and then to the shipping company, "Red Star Line." We want to use them because they have a port in Antwerp and go to America. I wanted some information regarding our journey and received a permit to inspect the boat prior to our trip. Some people came to look at our furniture but bought nothing. In the evening I went to the English school. Some of our friends visited later in the evening. I think we are preparing to leave Antwerp on April 20th. That is the boat we will look over with the permit we received. We are going to see it now because it is due to leave for America tomorrow.
Antwerp, Sunday 9:40 p.m., March 25, 1934.
On Friday morning I visited the office that represents the overseas boat company to get cards allowing us a discount in purchasing boat tickets. Afterwards I ran errands to other offices for our journey. In the afternoon I accompanied my parents to the port. We looked at the "Western Land" boat cabins of the "Red Star Company." My parents were satisfied with the viewing and glad that I had arranged it. They also feel that we came ahead of time to choose the cabin we would occupy when we are going on such a long trip to America. After dinner my parents went out, and I went to bed around 10:00 p.m.,
Saturday morning I took my sister to the American Consulate to gather some information. I taught my mother a little English. I started with simple English lesson for my mother. In the afternoon I wrote a letter to Ms. Margaret Goldwasser, the niece who had visited her last summer from New York. I informed her of the date we planned on arriving in America and asked her again if she would meet us at the boat and give us some advice about life in America because we would be strangers. In the meantime none of our relatives had responded to our letters. I went with my parents to a cafe. My father had purchased a diamond bracelet and a wristwatch. I wanted to purchase a small gold tie pin for myself, preferably with a small diamond. In the evening I went to my English class and then to Machanai Israel. A woman was giving an interesting lecture. Then I danced and went home by 1:20 a.m. The evening cost two-and-a-half francs.
Today I sold a clothes closet from my room to a customer. Then I went to the bath house for four francs. In the afternoon, Joseph Gruber picked me up to go to the Sauvigny for dancing; it was very nice and cost six francs. This evening a gentleman visited; I ordered a diamond tie pin from him. He intends to buy my desk.
Antwerp, Monday 10:10 p.m., March 26, 1934.
This morning I went to the Izra travel agency owned by Red Star to ask about tickets to America. Then I went to the American Consulate and the bank. In the afternoon I went with my mother to the Red Star Ship Line Office regarding reservation for specific cabins we were interested in. I accompanied my mother to the dressmaker for a fitting of the dress being made from the goods she bought a week again. In the evening a friend visited.
Antwerp, Tuesday 9:50 p.m., March 27, 1934.
This morning I went searching for an English teacher for my father. I went back to the Izra travel agency about our travel plans. In the afternoon I walked with my sister. My parents went out looking at diamonds to have earrings made for my mother. I went to school in the afternoon to pick up my sister and back to the Diamond Club.
Antwerp, Wednesday 10:30 p.m., March 28, 1934.
This morning I went with my mother to visit the office regarding the diamonds that they had bought yesterday. We did further negotiating to settle on a slightly reduced price. We picked them up and paid for them. I took all the gold we had remaining in our safe in order to take inventory at the house. In the afternoon I returned it to the Diamond Club safe. We went back to the bank and the Red Star Line that afternoon and finally made the reservation for two cabins on the Western Land Boat. The boat is to leave on the morning of April 20th. We must board on the evening of April 19th and sleep there. Then I had to attend to the discount on the boat tickets at Izra; there we paid for the tickets. We went to the American Consul and Jack Pollard came to visit in the evening.
Antwerp, Saturday 9:00 p.m., March 31, 1934.
Today is the first day of Passover. Thursday morning I went to the Izra ship company and ran many other errands to get signatures for our discount. Then I went to the Red Star Line office and picked up our boat tickets. They gave us an appointment when we must visit the office for a doctor's exam before we are allowed to leave. The whole family must come for this exam. They explained that they would also check that my father was literate in at least one language. This was a requirement to move to America. My dear father really is unable to read and write properly because he did not have the good fortune to have good parents who sent him to have that learning. I am grateful that I know the little that I know. Because my father had to work when he was very young to support the family and bring in food. For that reason he cannot even read Yiddish. In the afternoon I visited different banks. Since there is a chance that we will be unable to visit America, we got my father a private tutor, Mr. Krimilovsky, to read and write "Jewish". I hope to dear G-d that he will learn and retain a little. He is not very receptive in any kind of learning. I think it is very fair and reasonable that America not even require that you read and write their language, English. The Polish Consulate had required that people entering read and write Polish before they were allowed to enter the country. That evening I went to my English class. I bought a picture; the donation went to charity.
Friday morning I went to the bank, the safe, etc. In the afternoon I received payment for selling an old gold ring of my father's. He gave me twenty-five francs for my efforts. I went to bed by 10:00 p.m., after celebrating the first seder.
This morning I visited the Goldwassers and the barber. Then I went walking with my sister and Joseph Gruber. We had three photos taken and developed. That afternoon I went to Machanai Israel with Jack Collins. We listened to a lecture about Jewish prayer. Then I visited Jack Gruber. My parents went to a movie after dinner. I had a very nice time with an eighteen-year-old young lady who I got acquainted with.
Antwerp, Sunday 8:25 p.m., April 1, 1934.
This morning Joseph Gruber went with me for a walk by the port. We took some pictures there. I napped and Joseph picked me up to visit the Sauvigny for dancing. It cost eight francs. I danced there with the girl I had met yesterday. Later, on April 10th she stood me up for a date. She excused herself for not coming to our rendezvous. We made another date to meet at the Avenue Kaidser on Thursday; I had also made a date for Saturday evening. I ate my dinner and went to bed.
Antwerp, Sunday 10:00 p.m., April 1, 1934.
Today is Easter Sunday, I walked with my sister and we visited the Goldwassers. We met Olga Gruber in the park, and the three of us rented a row boat and walked some more. I paid three francs for my sister and I. In the afternoon I was with Joseph Gruber in the Nightingale Park for outdoor tea that cost five francs. I met many friends and acquaintances including Ms. Goldstein. When I came home there were many prospective customers looking at our furniture.
Antwerp, Tuesday 9:30 p.m., April 3, 1934.
This morning I went with my parents to the Diamond Club to bring the diamonds my parents had bought to a diamond worker to make earrings. Then I went to several banks with my father. We bought some American dollars. We are afraid that we may have to exchange our gold for currency because some people told us we may not be able to bring our gold into America. We will check into that further. I paid twenty francs for repairs to my gold wristband instead of selling it. I felt it was worth it because gold is valuable and we will try to hold on to it if we can. I don't hardly wear the wristwatch because it is a lady's piece, but I maintain it for its value. We could not find a pullover sweater to my mother's liking, so I may have to buy her something else for her birthday. I picked up my pictures today for 6.3 francs. I put them in my photo album as #99, #99a, and #100. I also purchased a cheap nice English book to do more studying in the afternoon.
Antwerp, Wednesday 9:45 p.m., April 4, 1934.
Today before noon I was busy at the banks. We sold some of our gold for American dollars. I also sold my 1,350 Holland gold pieces and 97.5 francs for nine hundred and thirty dollars, with which I opened a new account at the bank. I also spent two francs for the picture I took on Sunday with Josie Gruber. I studied some English. Later the Mendelsons came to visit, and I wrote a letter for them.
Antwerp, Friday 9:10 p.m., April 6, 1934.
Today is the day before the last day of Passover. Yesterday morning I went to the bath house before going to Ezra. At the Ezra, a nice gentleman, Mr. Schultzsinger, helped me put together a nice letter to America that we hope gets to our American relatives in time. In any case, if none of them come, we hope someone from the Jewish Committee will pick us up at the boat in America and give us assistance in the beginning. Then I had many things to attend to at the banks. In the afternoon I took a row boat with my mother and sisters. Afterwards I went to the barber, the bank and the safe. After dinner I went to my rendezvous. I waited awhile, but my date did not show. Instead I met Joseph Gruber accidentally. His supposedly new girlfriend stood him up. So we went together to the Sauvigny Club. We were dancing with many girls. I met a German Christian girl twenty-one-years- old, Mia Essa. She has been living in Antwerp for four years. We made a date. Then Josie Gruber said he would escort her home, but she declined. Instead I escorted her home that night. We planned to meet on Monday evening at the Station Central. I kissed her hand and said goodbye. I was not very pushy. I went to bed by 2 a.m.
This morning I attended to more bank business. In the afternoon I slept before visiting more banks. We are opening an account in National Citibank of New York. Today I met Josie Gruber and he told me that Mia Essa also promised to meet him on Monday evening at the Sauvigny. I do not know if he tells the truth. In any event she can only be with one of us, or maybe none of us. I do not know what she will do, because yesterday Josie was stood up by a friend of that girl. After dinner my parents went to the movie while I kept Sonia busy and then put her to bed. Sonia otherwise would have cried because my mother was not home with her. Sonia does not like to be put to bed by the housemaid. Today I spent eight francs.
Antwerp, Saturday 11:40 p.m., April 7, 1934.
Today was the last day of Passover. This morning I went to several banks, took a nap, visited Gruber, and then went walking with my parents. Since I was in no mood to keep my rendezvous tonight, I went to dinner late. I do not know if she came or not. In any event I did not go to meet her. Instead I went to the Plaza Cinema and saw, "The Sweetheart and the Fire." There were good actors in the film. The second film was French, "The Kiss in Front of the Mirror." Both were very excellent pictures. The first was about money and thieves. The second film was about love and jealousy. Today in the middle of the night in Belgium the clocks were changed. At midnight we spring ahead to 1 a.m.
Antwerp, Sunday 11:10 p.m., April 8, 1934.
Today before noon I took my sister out for a nice long walk. Today I paid seventy francs for a nice hat for my mother that Ms. Schlessinger made to order for her birthday, instead of the pullover sweater we could not find. In the afternoon I went walking, visited Gruber, and studied English. In the evening Mendelson came to visit.
Antwerp, Tuesday 12:30 a.m., April 10, 1934.
I spent forenoon entirely in banks. My mother picked up her earrings, let her wear them well. I went to the barber and bought a dozen razor blades for four francs. Then I had to go to more banks and the safe. After dinner I went to Gare Central to the rendezvous, but she did not show up, and I felt a little bad about it. She had also given me her address and I had given her my postal address for her to write if she was unable to come. I will check the post office tomorrow to see if she had written. Afterwards I met Joseph Gruber. Gruber was also stood up at the Sauvigny. Then I met Sam Fishman. Together we went to the Cinema to see, "The Life of a Great Artist." The film cost three francs; I enjoyed it very much and I treated Sam. Sam has not repaid me yet, because when we left the Cinema he had to rush to catch his trolley. He probably will pay me.
Antwerp, Tuesday 10:35 p.m., April 10, 1934.
This morning I went to Ezra regarding our furniture escrow money. Then I attended to bank matters. In the afternoon I went walking with my sister and went to visit Gruber. After dinner Jack Pollard and Joseph Screiber came to visit. We had nice discussion and did some English studying.
Antwerp, Wednesday 8:40 p.m., April 11, 1934.
I attended to bank matters in the morning. Then I was away selling gold that we might not be able to take for American dollars. The dollar value is declining daily. In the afternoon I visited the Mendelsons with my parents. I also visited Sam Fishman, but he did not pay me back. Later I had to attend to more bank matters. My parents are out. I will take a foot bath before going to bed. Today my parents gave me fourteen pair of socks.
Antwerp, Thursday 6:00 p.m., April 12, 1934.
On Tuesday I wrote a postcard to Mia Essa. This morning I found a small letter from her at the post office waiting for me. She must have also sent the letter on Tuesday that she was unable to come on Monday. She said in the letter that she would come on Tuesday, which has also passed. It isn't really important anyway. Then I went to the Ezra about our furniture escrow. Then I went with Mr. Krimilofsky to see the customs office director, but it was worthless trip. Then I noticed that I felt feverish; I had both a head ache and an ear ache. I was feeling nauseous. I went straight to bed. In the afternoon I was up a little and went to the post office looking for mail from Mia Essa; I was wrong. Then I visited Gruber and went back to bed because I was still feeling sick. I hope G-d will help me get better.
Antwerp, Friday 9:40 a.m., April 20, 1934.
Now I am writing from the Red Star boat. In the last eight days I was very busy, a lot happened, and a lot changed in our lives in general. At twelve noon I went to bed. An hour later I still had a high temperature. Dr. Stoltz was to see me and told me to stay in bed. He came to visit me again on Sunday and Monday, At his last visit he said that the grippe that I had had gone away, but I got a relapse because I did not take care of myself well. The relapse was worse with a higher temperature than the previous flu. He thought I would have to stay for four to six weeks in bed and may be unable to travel to America. In the afternoon another doctor came and advised me to be careful of my weak lungs because of my previous illness. He thought I would be well enough to travel, but I must take it easy. On Wednesday I went with my mother to the Diamond Club and then went back to bed. Yesterday the letter we sent to the Golds in Brooklyn came back saying wrong address. These were the same relatives we had written to years earlier from Germany, when we decided not to go to America. Yesterday I was picking up escrow money, and then I took our goods to the port for loading onto the boat. After this I had to rest awhile because I was not supposed to exert myself. I was just able to visit our friends and acquaintances to say goodbye. I am checking again to see if Mia Essa has written, but I intended no more rendezvous with her anyway, I was just curious to know if she had ever answered or cared. Maybe she was handicapped or sick also and unable to write. Jack Rosenbaum came by to visit me and bought me a Carl Reiner book as a goodbye present. I gave him three jars or preservatives as a present; they were already getting a little old. Because I was feeling weak over the past few weeks I did not want them or want to carry them with me. The Schlessingers next door were very nice to us. On the day before our journey, when our kitchen supplies were packed, they prepared us a dinner and brought it to our house. In the evening I went to the bank and returned the keys to the safe box at the Diamond Club. Then I bought insurance for our belongings. For twenty-four francs I bought myself twelve photo plates for my camera. I had given my mother power of attorney at one time to go to the safe. Because of my sickness I was never able to get my diamond tie pin. My father let me wear one of his diamond rings set in platinum. We did this so that customs would not think we were carrying too many diamonds into America. If it is personal jewelry rather than gem goods, you do not have to pay a duty. I went to the barber last night. When I came home my parents were already packed with hand baggage, waiting by the taxi.
Madame Schlessinger was there. My father had purchased a pair of
shoes that my cousin Mendelson had made. He was there with his
family. The Krimilovskys and Linchovskys were also at the port
seeing us off with a large bouquet of flowers for bon voyage. Each
one asked me to write them when we got to America. The only problem
we had concerned my father's inability to read, even with the
tutoring he had received. It was with the help of Mr. Schultzsinger
that we were able to get on the boat to America. My father had to
promise to continue his lessons on the boat so he would not get
caught at the destination port for illiteracy. I was worried that I
would be stopped from traveling because of my illness. I hope that
I will make it and get better soon. G-d has been good to us so far
in helping us escape Hitler Germany and the torn and upset other
countries. Hopefully he will continue to help us. The cabins were
very nice and so were the other facilities. Last night we went to
sleep. The ship left harbor at 5:30 a.m. Friday morning, April 20th.
Today a very nice breakfast was served. We hope and pray that
everything will continue to go as well as it has so far, that G-d
will continue to help us.
This was the first picture I took on the
whole trip because of my general condition. I was sorry I was unable
to take pictures before. My dear parents were pretty seasick on
parts of the trip themselves. My mother was feeling the worst. She
said that she hopes she will not have to take any more trips on the
sea. The seasickness made her feel very weak. It hit me pretty bad
too because I was in a weakened condition when we started the trip.
When one goes for a trip on the sea, one should be in good health,
then it probably wouldn't affect them much. Today the ship left from
Halifax. I feel that G-d is with us and we are lucky that it will be
a more quiet sea for the rest of the trip. We are anticipated to
arrive in New York on Tuesday, It may help and be more quiet because
we will only be riding along the coast. I was able to take more
pictures on the boat because I was feeling better. I slept well in
the afternoon. I hope the rest of the trip will go good for us,