Republican congresswoman who said she was Jewish 'had Nazi grandfather'

Florida Republican Anna Paulina Luna claimed that she had been raised as a Messianic Jew, but her grandfather actually allegedly fought with the Nazis


A Florida Republican who was elected in November claimed to have Jewish ancestry, but an investigation by the Washington Post appears to show that that claim was false.

Anna Paulina Luna, who beat a Jewish Democrat in the November midterm elections, told Jewish Insider during the campaign that she was “a small fraction Ashkenazi” and was “raised as a Messianic Jew by my father.”

However, it appears that not only does Luna not have Ashkenazi heritage, but her paternal grandfather allegedly served in the armed forces of Nazi Germany as a teenager in the 1940s.

Over the course of the election campaign and in an interview with Jewish Insider, Luna said that while she identifies as a Christian, she was “raised as a Messianic Jew by her father.”

Although Messianic Jews identify as Jewish, they believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, per the Christian faith.

In text messages exchanged with the Washington Post, Luna's mother described her father, George Mayerhofer, as a "Christian that embraced the Messianic faith".

She added: “He eventually got clean and started attending a messianic Jewish church in Orange County. He brought Anna to services and she buried him to Jewish customs."

However, according to three members of her extended family who also spoke to the Post, Luna's father was Catholic and they were unaware of him practising any form of Judaism during her youth.

Genealogical records reviewed by the Post also do not support the claim of Ashkenazi heritage.

George Mayerhofer’s father, Heinrich Mayerhofer, left Germany for Canada in 1954, and immigration records show that he identified as Roman Catholic.

Heinrich Mayerhofer died in 2003, but one of his sons, Edward, gave the Post what he described as a portrait of him dressed in a Nazi uniform during the Second World War, and experts at the Simon Wiesenthal Center confirmed that the uniform worn was consistent with that of a member of the Wehrmacht.

Edward's wife, Jolanta, told the publication that he had no choice but to serve the Nazis: “It hurt for him to talk about it. He said, ‘You getting the letter, you need to show up, otherwise your life is over. … He did not like it, but that’s what life was.”

If Luna did indeed knowingly fabricate elements of her heritage, she would be the second Republican member of congress to do so; George Santos of New York has come under fire for false claims that he was Jewish and descended from Holocaust survivors. Historic social media posts also show apparent praise of Hitler, but he has so far rejected widespread calls for him to resign.

In reaction to the pair, the Jewish Democratic Council of America tweeted, “Republicans are increasingly using Jewish Americans, our community, and our history as political props.”

In a statement to the Washington Post, Luna said: "As I’ve said before, and as [The Post] has clearly showcased, anyone who is a conservative minority is a threat to Leftist control. They can try to discredit me, but unfortunately for them the facts completely blow their story out of the water.”

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