DOES HE EVER TELL THE TRUTH?
Donald Trump Even Lies About Being Swedish (He’s Actually German)
A Swedish website teases the world’s most famous comb-over for continuing to peddle his grandfather’s fake origin story.
More than 100 million people from 185 of the world’s 193 countries have gone to TrumpDonald.org to take a turn mussing the world’s most famous bottle blond comb-over.
“Still waiting for North Korea,” Jacob Sempler, creative director of Animal, the Swedish ad agency that acquired the domain name and put up the site, told The Daily Beast. “Come on, Kim!”
The site features an interactive animation of Donald Trump’s head, the top of which constitutes a tonsorial representation of how he responds to unwelcome facts.
“The hair was a bit of a challenge because Donald Trump’s hair is fairly—how do I put this—um, complex,” Sempler said.
The designers added a moveable horn that emits a gust of air from various directions, causing Trump’s hair to rise from its concealing swirls and extend as straight as truth.
That blast of honesty imparts a certain irony to Sempler being Swedish. One demonstrable lie Donald Trump tells in The Art of the Deal is that his immigrant grandfather “came here from Sweden as a child.”
In truth, Frederich Trump arrived at Ellis Island from Germany, to be precise the small town of Kallstadt.
Frederich worked for a brief time as a barber in New York and then headed to Canada for the Klondike Gold Rush. There he ran what has been variously described as a restaurant and a whorehouse. He then returned with his fortune to Kallstadt, where he married a young woman named Elizabeth Christ who grew up across the street.
The bride in particular had no desire to leave their hometown. They might well have stayed there had German authorities not observed that Fredrick had departed the fatherland just before he was to have begun compulsory military service and returned just after he aged out.
Frederich became that very rare person who is deported from his own country. Elizabeth came along and is said to have been the most unhappy of immigrants as they arrived in New York, he for the second time.
Frederich died at the age of 49 in the great influenza pandemic of 1918. Elizabeth put what was left of his fortune toward founding a real estate firm, E. Trump & Sons. Her son, also Fred, married a young woman named Mary Anne MacLeod, whose first language had been Scots Gaelic while growing up in the town of Stornoway on the island of Lewis in Scotland. A ship carrying home the town’s young men who had survived World War I had gone up on the rocks on New Year’s Eve, 1919. A young woman who wished to marry was almost forced to emigrate and Mary Anne had followed an older sister to New York.
Fred joined his manifestly and proudly Germanic mother in the real estate business, constructing homes and apartment buildings. Many of the customers were Jewish and he began telling folks that he was Swedish. He became a big-time backer of Israel bonds.
Fred’s mother, in the meantime, marked her 80th birthday by making a triumphal trip back to Kallstadt with a number of her grandchildren. Kallstadt also happened to be the hometown of the family that emigrated to found Heinz Foods in America. Unlike the Trumps, the Heinz clan never claimed to be anything but German.
Fred continued the fiction about Sweden. His son, Donald, then memorialized the lie in The Art the Deal. A reporter in Vanity Fair asked him in 1990 if he were not in fact of German origin. Donald responded as was his wont, with what was almost certainly more lying.
“Actually, it was very difficult,” Donald replied. “My father was not German; my father’s parents were German… Swedish, and really sort of all over Europe… and I was even thinking in the second edition of putting more emphasis on other places because I was getting so many letters from Sweden: Would I come over and speak to Parliament? Would I come meet with the president?”
Donald Trump was not likely pleased by a certain line in The New York Times obituary after Fred’s death in 1999.
“[Fred] Trump would tell friends and acquaintances that he was of Swedish origin, although both his parents were born in Germany.”
Donald later owned up to the truth in his own particular way.
“I love Kallstadt!” he declared.
In November, the genuine Swedes at the Animal agency happened to see that the domain named TrumpDonald.org was available.
“We just couldn’t resist,” explained Sempler, the creative director.
The site went live in February and as of Thursday, 107 million people from around the globe had given it a try. Sempler told The Daily Beast that Animal’s goal was simple.
“We just wanna ‘Make the Internet Great Again,’” Sempler said.