• Donald Trump's grandfather Friedrich Trump (left) wrote a letter begging not to be deported. (Wikipedia/Getty Images)
Friedrich Trump wrote an emotional letter to Prince Regent Luitpold, begging not to be deported from his native Germany.
By
Alyssa Braithwaite

22 Aug 2017 - 1:13 PM  UPDATED 22 Aug 2017 - 1:48 PM

More than a century ago, a scared citizen wrote an emotional letter, begging not to be deported from his beloved native country, Germany. 

The letter was signed Friedrich Trump, and his grandson Donald Trump would go on to become President of the United States of America.

This week, the emotional letter has been circulating through social media, attracting comments on Twitter about the irony between the current US president's tough public stance on immigration and the deportation of illegal immigrants, and his own immigrant past. 

According to reports, Friedrich had emigrated from Germany to the USA in 1885 aged 16 to escape poverty.

On a trip home to Kallstadt in 1901 he met and married his wife Elizabeth Christ and took her back to the US. She became homesick in New York, so they returned to live in Germany.

However, he failed to notify authorities of his initial departure from Germany, and did not complete his mandatory military service. 

Last year Roland Paul, a historian from Rhineland-Palatinate found the royal decree ordering Friedrich Trump to leave Bavaria and never return, in the local archives.

“Friedrich Trump emigrated from Germany to the USA in 1885. However, he failed to de-register from his homeland and had not carried out his military service, which is why the authorities rejected his attempt at repatriation," he told the German tabloid Bild.

The document was issued in February 1905, giving Friedrich Trump eight weeks to leave, or else be deported.

"If they had accepted him back at that time in 1905, Donald Trump wouldn't be in the US - in fact, he wouldn't exist..." 

 

In an attempt to overturn the royal decree, Friedrich wrote a letter to Prince Regent Luitpold, begging to be allowed to stay.

"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," Friedrich Trump wrote.

"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."

The prince rejected his appeal, and Friedrich left Germany with his wife and daughter on 1 July 1905 - when Elizabeth was three months pregnant with Donald Trump's father Fred.

Fred was born in the US, where he later met Donald Trump's mother, Mary Anne MacLeod.

"If they had accepted him back at that time in 1905, Donald Trump wouldn't be in the US - in fact, he wouldn't exist," the historian, Paul tells CNN.

"Trump talks against illegal immigration, so I think he should remember his own family story from time to time."

Here is the full text of the letter, translated from German by Austen Hinkley and published by Harper's Magazine

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

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