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.
Trump returned to his homeland in the early 1900s, but he was scheduled to be deported because of his draft-dodging history. The newly translated letter is a plea to Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, who ruled over the Kallstadt at the time, not to deport Trump back to the US.
"Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family," Trump writes. "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."
Apparently the letter didn't do enough to convince the prince, since history has it that Trump wound up in the United States again, churning out a lineage of children that would someday wind up in the White House. Would the 2017 political climate be a different place if a well-bearded Bavarian royal did Friedrich Trump a solid in 1905? Let's not dwell on that one too much.
You can go read the whole thing over at Harper's.