Rick Santorum: My Grandfather Was a Democrat, Knew Hitler

Mike TuttleLife

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Rick Santorum almost didn't make it to America to run for President. In fact, were it not for a technicality, his family would've been turned away at the shore as unwanted immigrants.

In 1921, a law was passed in the United States that limited the number of persons allowed to immigrate into the U.S. from southern and eastern Europe. The idea was that these people were "hyphenates", such as “Polish-Americans,” “Greek-Americans,” and “Italian-Americans.”

People of Western European descent, who made up the bulk of the U.S. population at the time, felt that those from further east could not assimilate into America properly and would be a divisive influence with loyalties to their home countries. So the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 was passed to severely limit their access.

But when Rick Santorum's grandfather, Pietro Santorum, came to the U.S. from Italy in 1923, he had an edge.

“The ’21 immigration act was an act clearly designed to stop southern Europeans and Jews — that’s who was targeted,” Santorum said in an interview when asked about his grandfather. “The reason he got in, is when he was born in Riva del Garda in the 1880s, that was a part of Austria.”

In fact, Santorum surprised everyone by telling a little-known fact about his grandfather.

“He fought for Austria-Hungary in the first world war," Santorum said. "He knew Hitler."

But his grandfather had no love for the future dictator.

"‘[Hitler] was a loudmouth, idiot — nobody paid any attention to him,’ that’s what he told me,” Santorum related.

But the most out-of-place thing about Santorum's heritage? His grandfather would not have voted for him.

“He was a Democrat and always voted Democrat," Rick Santorum said. "Above the kitchen table was a picture of the pope, Jesus, and John F. Kennedy."

Mike Tuttle
Writer. Google+ Writer for WebProNews.