The Emigrants by Grandpa Trump


“Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family.”

In November, a German tabloid unearthed a 1905 letter from Donald Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich Trump, in which he begged German authorities not to deport him. The handwritten letter—originally in German—has now been translated and published in the latest issue of Harper’s.

The elder Trump first emigrated to the US from the Bavarian town of Kallstadt in the German Empire in 1885 at the age of 16, illegally skipping out on mandatory military service (sounds familiar). That move lost him his citizenship, and he later became a US citizen where he made his fortune running brothels and bars during the Yukon gold rush.


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