In the wake of President Trump’s attendance at the 75th anniversary commemorations for D-Day, revelations as to the role played by one of his relatives in the conflict have emerged. “He really deserves to be better known for the vital contribution he made to the Allied victory,” says historian Ernie Hemp of Frederick Von Trumpenhoffer, a prominent member of the German branch of the Trump family. “In fact, he played a crucial role in the success of D-Day itself, which might well surprise many people, as he was on Hitler’s staff.” Hemp, who is currently preparing a biography of the German – The Phoney War of General Von Trumpenhoffer – explains that at the outbreak of World War Two, the German businessman had bought himself a commission in the Wehrmacht and, having made a killing in the property market by buying up homes vacated by German Jews and selling them for a handsome profit to Nazi Party members, by 1944 had secured a position on the Fuhrer’s staff. “He was actually in Normandy on June Sixth 1944 – playing golf at a course the SS had requisitioned,” claims Hemp. “As soon as he heard that the invasion had started, he hot footed it back to Berlin on the first available plane. Although some sources say that he merely used the invasion as an excuse to throw the game of golf he was losing – he was stuck in a bunker at the time.” It was back in Berlin that Von Trumpenhoffer was to play his vital role in the invasion’s success. “He told Hitler that talk of an invasion was ‘Fake news, mein Fuhrer’, telling him that he had only seen a handful of Allied soldiers in Normandy,” says the historian. “When challenged on the numbers, he told Hitler that the soldiers landing in France were actually deserters and that he’d heard them shouting ‘Heil Hitler’ and seen them giving Nazi salutes. As a consequence, Hitler refused to release the reserve Panzer divisions to Normandy, thereby ensuring the success of the Allied beach head.”

This, apparently, wasn’t the first time that Von Trumpenhoffer’s interventions had influenced a decisive moment in the war. “It has been alleged that Von Trumpenhoffer was instrumental in Hitler’s decision to invade Russia in 1941,” Hemp opines. “After a business deal with Stalin went wrong – it had something to do with some tanks he sold the Soviets which turned out to be scrap metal – he legged it out of Moscow and told senior Nazi Party members in Berlin that he had evidence the Russkis were planning to attack Germany. He told them that he had reliable information that Stalin had been rearming the Red Army in preparation by buying tanks. Naturally, they told Hitler, who gave the order to strike first!” Von Trumpenhoffer was also on hand to offer advice when the invasion of the Soviet Union turned sour and the Germans found themselves in full retreat. “In early 1944 he suggested that Hitler build a wall on the Polish border to keep out the Red Army, built using Russian slave labour,” Hemp explains. “He argued that it was a sure fire success, pointing to how effective the so called ‘Atlantic Wall’ had been in keeping the Western Allies at bay. He even offered to tender for its construction, as his companies already had large numbers of slave workers toiling in their factories.” Further advice from Von Trumpenhoffer included, during the last days of the war, that Hitler should sue the Allies for damages due to the destruction of German cities. “His reasoning was that the case could go on for years, holding up the Allied advance into Germany,” muses Hemp. “Not surprisingly, Hitler didn’t follow through on this advice.”

Despite his undoubted contribution to the Allied victory, Von Trumpenhoffer still found himself facing trial as a war criminal following the conflict’s end. “He was captured by American soldiers when they found him hiding in the deepest bunker on a Berlin golf course,” says Hemp. “Apparently he’d misunderstood when he was told that all of Hitler’s most senior staff were to report to ‘The Bunker’. Von Trumpenhoffer tried to deny any involvement with the Third Reich and the ‘final solution’ during the Nuremburg war trials, describing the holocaust as ‘Fake news’. “He tried to claim that it was all part of a plot by Churchill to discredit Germany after a business deal had gone bad,” the historian says. “According to him, Churchill only declared war to avoid being sued for breach of contract, then came up with all the holocaust lies when he realised he was going to lose the case.”

Even when confronted with evidence of his involvement in the construction and operation of concentration camps, Von Trumpenhoffer tried to deny any responsibility. “He claimed that while his company had built a concentration camp, he’d actually lost money on it and had been forced to sell it at a loss to the SS,” recalls the historian. “He claimed that he just thought that it was a soap factory, but that it had produced low grade soap that was sold at a loss. He blamed this on the use of poor quality ingredients and too much state imposed red tape – he claimed that the furnaces were never used at full capacity because of health and safety restrictions.”

Incredibly, even after a ‘guilty’ verdict, Von Trumpenhoffer continued to insist that the trial had, in fact, exonerated him, claiming that it had not established any collusion in the ‘final solution’ on his part and therefore no responsibility for any extermination. “He was heard repeating the phrase, ‘No collusion, no extermination’, even as he walked to the gallows,” says Hemp. “He even told the hangman that he was the victim of a conspiracy by Social Democrats out to discredit him. Obviously, it did him no good.” His family subsequently moved to the US, Anglicising their name to ‘Trump’ in the process, so as to fall in line with the US branch of the family. While President Trump himself has so far not commented on Hemp’s revelations, a White House spokesperson has dismissed them as yet another attempt by the ‘liberal media’ to blacken the Trump name by trying to associate it with right wing extremism. As a curious coda to the life of Frederick Von Trumpenhoffer, it has subsequently emerged that he had been the original inspiration for Sergeant Schultz, the fat prison camp guard in Hogan’s Heroes, whose catch phrase was originally going to be ‘It’s fake news, Colonel Klink, nobody has escaped’. However, it was thought not to be catchy enough and didn’t sound like anything a real person would say, so was replaced by the familiar ‘I see nothing!’