Sunday, January 29, 2017


Distant relatives of Donald Trump still live in the sleepy German village where his grandfather was born, but locals describe the anti-immigrant presidential hopeful as 'spooky'.

Kallstadt is a village with a population of just 1,200 people and where stuffed pork belly is the local dish - is the ancestral home of the Trumps.

Kallstadt is home to just 1,200 people, but numerous people claim to be distant relatives of Donald Trump.

The Donald's grandfather Friedrich Drumpf left Kallstadt in western Germany in 1885 and arrived in New York when he was 16.

Bernd Weisenborn, a local restaurant owner, said: 'My father is Donald Trump's third cousin, but we don't talk much about the Trumps in the family.'

Many feel it is ironic that Trump, who has made himself notorious both in America and around the world with his anti-immigrant rhetoric, should himself be the offspring of immigrants.

'If his grandfather had been treated the way Trump wants to treat immigrants, he would never have made it,' said Veronika Schramm, a local.

Friedrich was 16 when he arrived in New York and began working as a barber. He later managed a hotel in California, before opening a bar for gold prospectors in Yukon, Canada.

Friedrich returned to Kallstadt to marry his sweetheart Elisabeth Christ, who lived across the street from him when he was growing up.

The local history books record how Bavaria, the rulers of the town at the time, would not let him settle back in the town because he had forfeited citizenship by emigrating.

Picturesque: Many people feel it is ironic that Trump is the offspring of immigrants, considering his anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Still standing: Trump's grandfather's house remains in the village with a sign at the gate reading: 'God sees everything, but my neighbour sees even more'


Donald Trump's paternal grandfather was Fred Trump - originally called Friedrich Drumpf and born in Kallstadt, Germany in 1869 - came to America at the age of 16 with empty pockets.

After Fred arrived in New York City, he worked as a barber for six years and lived in tiny immigrant apartments with his sister and brother-in-law before venturing west to Seattle.

It was there that he launched his first business, a late-night restaurant in the sleazy end of the town. He learned to navigate the district's saloons, opium parlours, pawn shops and brothels.

Next he got his first taste of the phenomenon that was mining, setting up shop in the short-lived mining town of Monte Cristo, just north of the city.
In July 1897, as word of a massive gold strike in the far north spread through Seattle, Fred took advantage, opening another restaurant catering to the thousands of stampeders who were chasing their fortunes.

He then had enough money to travel to Germany and then returned to New York City with his wife. In 1905, his son Fred Junior, Donald's father, was born.

By the time he died in Queens at the age of 49, during a Spanish flu epidemic, he had built up a fortune worth $31,642.54 - or around $542,000 in today's money.

He left his small fortune to his wife Elisabeth, who used it to go into business with her eldest son Fred Junior, who was just 15 at the time.
The pair created the Trump empire, which is now headed by Fred Junior's entrepreneurial son, Donald.

Elisabeth went with him back to America and after he died, founded the E. Trump & Son company, which would become the property empire inherited by and built upon by Donald.

'Kallstadt people were never barons, real-estate magnates and all that,' said Hans-Joachim Bender, a retired winegrower who also claims distant familial links with The Donald.

'He was packing things into bottles and selling it, just as the winegrowers do.'

Ms Wendel, who in 2014 made a documentary about the town and its links to the mogul, said: 'Many locals find Mr Trump a little…spooky.'

Donald Trump claimed in his 1987 autobiography that his grandfather came from Sweden, not Germany.

Ms Wendel told the Wall Street Journal that most people don't really 'get' Trump, adding: 'Knowledge of the connection is so ingrained locally that it's almost like something you'd get in your breast milk, but people still care little.

'Many don't get what you're supposed to do all day with real estate.'
What is baffling to many Kallstadters is that Trump claimed that his grandfather came from Sweden, not Germany. He stated it in his 1987 autobiography, 'The Art of the Deal.'

Gwenda Blair, the author of several Trump biographies, said 'there is no possible way he could not know' his grandparents were German. 'His grandmother spoke German.'

'He's full of hot air,' one sales woman at a local butcher shop told Der Spiegel.

By Allan Hall In Berlin and Jenny Stanton For Mailonline

26 January 2016

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