Donald Trump’s ancestors (Was Donald ever Drumpf?)

So, it’s official: the 45th president of the
United States of America is Donald John Trump. And whatever you think of his policies,
whether you love them or hate them, one thing we can all agree on is that the next
four years are going to be very interesting. But I’m not going to talk about his politics. Instead, I’m going to take a look
at his ancestral background, which is relevant to this channel, because
his family originally comes from Germany. To be specific, from the village of Kallstadt in the region known as the Palatinate
in south-west Germany. There was a time when the Trump family
claimed to have come from Sweden, but you need to understand that
this was during the First World War, when anti-German sentiment
had broken out in America: this was the time when sauerkraut
was renamed “liberty cabbage”. Since then Donald Trump has publicly stated that he is proud of his German heritage. The people of Kallstadt are getting a bit tired of journalists constantly asking them
about their famous connection. And they would probably want you know that
the other famous family to come from there is the Heinz family. That’s Heinz as in ketchup. Before we go any further, we should
talk about the family surname. A few months ago the British-born
American comedian John Oliver stated that the name was originally Drumpf, which he thought sounded comical, and so he started a campaign
to “make Donald Drumpf again”. The truth is a bit more complicated than that. The segment prompted a lot of people
to research the family name Trump, and they came up with lots of different stories
as to exactly when it changed. But up until just a couple of hundred years ago, people simply didn’t pay too much attention to
the exact spelling of family names; and the official records have lots of
different variations on the name Trump. You can’t pinpoint the exact moment it changed because it was changing all the time. The local dialect may have played a part in this. In the Palatinate, “t” often sounds like a “d”, and the name Trump is pronounced
something like “Droomp”. It was a young man called Friedrich Trump who, seeing no future for himself
in the village of Kallstadt, joined his sister,
who had already emigrated to America. His name was recorded
by immigration officials like this. He made his fortune in the Klondike Gold Rush, and returned to Kallstadt a rich man,
now calling himself Frederick Trump. He married the girl next door,
and took her to live with him in New York. But she soon got homesick, and so he decided to move back to Kallstadt. But in his absence, the Kingdom of Bavaria,
which at the time ruled the Palatinate, had passed a new law. Trump had left at the age of 16, and the authorities ruled that he had done so
to avoid military service. The new law was that anyone doing this would be stripped of their citizenship
and forced to leave. Trump fought as hard as he could, pointing out that he had left
before the law was enacted. But it was no use: the authorities wouldn’t budge. And so Trump and his disappointed wife
had to go back to New York. He continued to build his business, though, profiting from rising property prices in New York; but tragically became one of the first victims
of the Spanish flu, leaving his homesick widow
to run the family business until their son Fred was old enough
to take it over. And this Fred was the father of Donald, who, in due course, took on the business and transformed it into
the Trump Organisation we know today. Thanks for watching. If you enjoyed the video,
why not send me a postcard? Here’s the address. Or visit, follow me on Twitter,
subscribe to my blog.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *