The German mayor of Donald Trump’s grandfather’s hometown of Kallstadt said a visit to his ancestor’s village might bring the U.S. president “back to earth” in the aftermath of Trump’s recent attacks on four Democratic congresswomen.
“Seeing the not-so-imposing homes of his ancestors might bring him back to earth,” Kallstadt’s conservative mayor Thomas Jaworek told the Washington Post in an article published Tuesday. Born in Kallstadt, Freidrich Trump left the German town as a teenager to emigrate to America for a better life.
Despite his suggestion, Jaworek said he has little interest in hosting Trump due to the enormous security risks and media frenzy that would likely arise from such a trip. However, he noted that if the U.S. president did decide to visit, he hopes the trip will change his staunch views on migration and citizenship.
“Everyone has his or her roots somewhere — and to demand of others to simply leave the country is paradoxical for him,” Beatrix Riede, 61, who leads an association for women in the town, told the Post. “I can only wish Americans that they will elect someone who turns on his mind before saying something.”
Friedrich Trump migrated to America in 1886, at the age of 16. He was born into a family that ran a small vineyard in the area and he worked in a barbershop before making his move overseas. In addition to the lack of opportunities in Kallstadt, Friedrich was also expected to serve for a period in the military, as per German law.
According to Gwenda Blair’s 2001 book, The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire, Friedrich “seemed to have no choice but to leave.”
“The stifling lack of opportunity in the village seemed to close in on him. Without any apparent opportunity for a better life, he saw what lay ahead was dreary, difficult, and poor,” Blair added.
Trump on Sunday urged four progressive congresswomen — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib — to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
“Then come back and show us how it is done,” the president tweeted. “These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”
Although the president did not name any of the congresswomen he was referring to, most agreed his remarks were directed at the four freshmen members of the so-called “Squad,” all first-term progressives and women of color.
Despite the president’s claims that they were all foreign-born, all but one were born in America. Minnesota congresswoman Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and arrived in the U.S. as a child after her family fled their home nation.