Guess Whose Grandfather Asked Not to Be Deported by the Government? Go On, Guess.

By Bekka Supp | Politics | March 6, 2017 | Comments ()

By Bekka Supp | Politics | March 6, 2017 |


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Today it was announced that Trump signed yet another executive order in which he revisits his Muslim travel ban, only making it 14% less of a Muslim ban by exempting the country of Iraq. So that’s something, I guess. This particular executive order had been so widely and heavily criticized that it resulted in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejecting the ban. The only thing that could make that marginally better was knowing that Trump would respond in a calm and measured way.

Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban Two: The Bannon Bannining has inspired dozens, if not hundreds of think pieces about how immigrants have been integral in the shaping of our great nation. For someone who is so vehemently anti-immigration, I was struck by a letter written in 1905 addressed to the “Most Serene, Most Powerful” Prince Luitpold of Bavaria unearthed by a German tabloid Bild.

Here’s the letter, translated from German, in its entirety:

Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!

I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.

After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.

The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.

But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.

Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.

In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.

Your most humble and obedient,

Friedrich Trump

Huh.

So Friedrich Trump wrote a letter pleading to allow Trump and his family to remain living in Germany. Friedrich Trump also emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 16 to avoid mandatory military service. I didn’t know that was a genetic trait. At any rate, Friedrich Trump went on to make a a small fortune in the U.S. through restaurant and real estate ventures and returned to his beloved Kallstadt in 1901 as a wealthy man.

The parallels do not end there. Trump wished to stay in Bavaria for a multitude of reasons. Mainly, Trump’s wife could not tolerate the climate of New York (feel free to swap out “New York” for “Washington” if you haven’t already) and he wanted to care for his own mother at home.

In a surprising twist, years later, German authorities discovered that Trump was a draft dodger and his German citizenship was revoked. He was given the option to leave or face deportation. This series of events led the elder Trump to make an impassioned plea to stay in his home country.

His plea was ignored. His appeal against deportation was rejected in court (fancy fucking that, another inherited trait!) and the order was upheld. On July 1, 1905, the Trump family finally left Germany for good. The Trumps would find their way back to New York and three months later, Donald Trump’s father was born in Queens.

If you stuck it out this long to read all of this, thank you. It was a weird rabbit hole to fall into. Especially when the folks over at Fusion have done a better job at it.

Follow Bekka on Twitter and on the podcast, Debate Club.


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