A Nazi Consulate in Rodney Street

Reconstruction of how the German Consulate on Rodney Street looked when the Swastika was displayed until 1939. Image: Bygone Liverpool

Just a couple of months before Britain declared war on Nazi Germany on 3 September 1939, a question was raised in the House of Commons concerning the German Consulate in Rodney Street, Liverpool. The Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain was asked if he was aware that officials wore Nazi uniforms and that the swastika was flown on the outside of the building when the consulate held a ‘tea and cake party’. A large number of Liverpudlians gathered to protest and a significant uniformed police and C.I.D. presence was required to keep the peace.

Mr. Kirby asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that a tea and cake party was held at the German Consulate in Liverpool on Saturday last which many Germans attended; that the swastika emblem was displayed over the doorway and that Nazis in uniform were at the entrance; that this gathering caused resentment among loyal residents of Liverpool who assembled in large numbers necessitating the use of large numbers of police; and can he take steps to have this Consulate run on lines that are less provocative?

House of Commons, 19 July 1939
Bertie Victor Kirby CBE, DCM, Labour MP for Everton. Image: British Newspaper Archive

Although the idea of uniformed Nazis holding a tea and cake party sounds almost comical, it was in fact hiding a more sinister purpose for the meeting. German Nazi-supporters in Liverpool and across Lancashire had been spreading anti-Semitic propaganda since the early 1930s and recruiting members for the German Labour Front. The meeting was for the members of the GLF and Consulate officials.

The Consulate had hardly been out of the news in 1939. In the Spring of that year it had been at the centre of an espionage scandal. It was proven that the officials there had acted as the intermediate between a British man who had stolen plans of a new munitions factory and the German Secret Service. (see below)

The location of the German Consulate from 1937 to 1939, placed over a 1906 plan. Image: Bygone Liverpool
29 Rodney Street today. Image: Google Street view

Nazi consulates in Britain

Liverpool was not the only place where a Swastika was displayed at a German Consulate. As the national flag it would have flew over all embassies across the world prior to the outbreak of WWII. In Washington D. C. the Swastika was lowered to half mast on the death of Hindenburg in 1934. At Carlton House Terrace, the German Embassy in London, the Swastika covered the coffin of Leopold Von Hoesch in 1936. As staff gave the coffin the Nazi salute from the balcony, British Guardsmen lined the route of the state funeral past Buckingham Palace to the din of a 19-gun salute in St. James’ Park.

Image: Discovery Channel via Daily Mail

Nazis on Rodney Street

The swastika in Liverpool was not the first time the consulate in Rodney Street made the news, in 1938 there was a demonstration outside the Consulate protesting about the Nazis’ treatment of Jews. A resolution passed at Central Hall, Renshaw Street was handed in to the Consul General Walther Reinhardt.

The resolution was as follows: This meeting of Liverpool citizens, representing all parties and creeds, strongly protests against the merciless attacks’ which are being made by the Nazi Government against the Jews in Germany, and regards such unwarranted persecution of a defenceless minority as being contrary to the common law of humanity and the principles of justice as recognised throughout the civilised world.

Liverpool Echo – Tuesday 22 November 1938
Image: BNA

Mr B. Stinton-Johnson (Unionist agent for Abercromby and leader of the Liverpool Anti-Nazi movement) handed over the resolution in a room displaying a large photograph of Adolph Hitler:

There is no doubt.” said Mr. ‘Johnson. “that it is the voice of Liverpool speaking as one and expressing ‘horror at the brutal and inhuman treatment of the Jews in Germany.” Mr. Reinhardt replied ” Thank you very much for the trouble you have taken.” – The room In which this meeting took place—the Consul-General’s office contains a large photograph of Herr Hitler which hangs over the fireplace.

The Consulate had made the papers a few months before. In June, Reinhardt was forced to issue a denial of the story that consulate officials were instructing Germans and Austrians working as domestic servants in this country to give up their jobs if their employee was Jewish.

On the 7th July 1939, at the height of the espionage scandal, there was Royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of Kent (Prince George and Princess Marina of Greece) to Liverpool. The streets were lined with large crowd of spectators, the largest group being in Rodney Street as the group were visiting the cathedral. Outside the Consulate, in plain view of the Royal visitors, was a huge Swastka hanging from the front of the building:

More than an hour before the Royal visitors were due to reach Liverpool Cathedral the route was lined with spectators. Among them were large numbers of school children waving flags. One of the largest crowds had gathered in Rodney-street and was banked behind barriers. The street was gaily decorated with flags and bunting and the Union Jack was everywhere. Outside the German Consulate in Rodney-street was flying a huge flag with the German Swastika on a background of red. Not far away stood three policeman.

Liverpool Evening Express – Friday 07 July 1939
The Duke and Duchess at Liverpool Town Hall.
Liverpool Evening Express – Friday 07 July 1939. Image: BNA

On yer bike!

On 2nd September 1939, just one day after Germany had invaded Poland, a cyclist dismounted outside the Consulate and climbed up the portico to remove it’s ‘German sign’. He then threw it in the middle of the street and rode off. The next day Britain declared war on Germany.

Liverpool Echo – Saturday 02 September 1939. Image: BNA

The sign was described in July 1939 as being above the front door and ‘an emblem consisting of the German eagle and the swastika’. The sign, like that displayed by all Nazi Consulates, would have been a red oval with eagle holding a Swastika with the words Deutsches Konsulat above:-

Illustration of the Consulate sign in Liverpool that was torn down by a cyclist. Image: Bygone Liverpool
A close up of the reconstruction showing the sign above the portico. Image: Bygone Liverpool

A spy in Rodney Street

The Consul himself, Herr Walther Reinhardt was at the centre of a espionage story in the preceding April when it was revealed at trial that he had acted as the intermediate between a spy named Joseph Patrick Kelly and the German Secret Service. The story made international headlines and resulted in the Consul being sent back to Germany.

31 year old Kelly of Rigby Street, in Bolton was a bricklayer on the construction site of Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF) at Euxton. This was a massive munitions factory that went on to employ 30,000 people at the height of its production. For comparison, the ROF at Kirkby employed 20,000 people. Kelly had broken into the offices and stole plans to sell to the German Secret Service. These plans would be of great interest to the German authorities as the factory would be a prime target for the Luftwaffe when the inevitable war started.

The huge Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF Chorley) at Euxton. Image: http://www.alchetron.com/ROF-Chorley
Leicester Evening Mail – Wednesday 19 April 1939. Image: BNA

Kelly made contact with the German Consulate in Liverpool at Christmas time in 1938 who told him his information would reach the ‘Right quarter’. Soon after communication began between Kelly and the German Secret Service. Kelly got himself a passport and was instructed to make his way to Colonge to deliver the plans. He left England in March 1939 and travelled via Holland. For his betrayal he was paid £30 (approximately £2,000 in today’s money). On his return to England mid-April he was arrested by Bolton police officers in Manchester. Kelly was seen chewing a piece of paper that he spat out. The police recovered the note and found that it contained a code and his contact in Germany.

At his trial in May, Kelly said in his defense that he was married with three children and earned £5 a week. He had drinking and gambling problems and stole the plans to raise money. The Judge Justice Staples sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment, later reduced to 10 years:

You put yourself into communication with the agents of a foreign power. You received your reward and had no consideration for the people you worked with or their well being.

The Act of Parliament enables me to send you to Penal Servitude for 14 years and I notice that in another country two men who committed a similar act were executed.

Keith Johnson, Lancashire Evening Post
The Daily News, Perth, Australia. Thursday 20th April 1939. Image: trove.nla.gov.au

On 18th June Charles Wilberforce of the Sunday Pictorial ran a full page piece about Kelly entitled ‘The Great Spy Scandal’:-

He levered his ungainly twenty-stone into the office at night, calmly removed the plan off the wall and was paid £30 by his German friends for his “work”.

Wilberforce then asked the question:

Why in the name of all that is sane should a heavy drinker and gambler like Kelly ever be allowed to acquire the knowledge that enabled him to do such terrible harm?

He had a point. Before he was employed at Euxton Kelly had a string of convictions including assaulting a police officer, warehouse breaking, breach of the peace, stealing lead and using false pretences. In January 1939 he was in court when the owner of Holme’s Residential and Social Club in Dunscar had offered him 100 to burn down for the insurance. The police were informed before he had the chance to go through with it.

Sunday Pictorial, 18th June 1939. Image: BNA
The full article from the Sunday Pictorial, 18th June 1939. Image: BNA

Reinhardt is expelled from Britain

For the Consulate’s role in the spy case, the British government expelled Reinhardt. Although there was no direct evidence he had personally organised the meeting between Kelly and the German secret service himself, his role as Consulate was enough to have him ‘sent packing’.

The police had visited his home in Oxton, Wirral around the 19th April, a month before Kelly’s trial, but initially played down the story. The Echo reported the visit on April 20th and said they had been informed ‘it was purely in connection with the renewal of a firearms permit in the ordinary course of firearm regulations’.

On 21st April a small group of people hand-delivered a giant postcard addressed to Reinhardt at Rodney Street. It read ‘Notice to quit from Liverpool liberty-seeking citizens’. A servant said she would hand the card to Consul. The group consisted of members of International Brigade Association, the National Unemployed Workers’ Movement and the Merseyside Young Communists League. Crowds gathered but were moved on by the police.

In response to Mr Kirby’s question in the House of Commons, the order to expel Reinhardt was made on Monday, 12th June. He left on the 24th June, his family stayed in Birkenhead for a while as his daughters were sitting their exams. Eventually they joined him in Germany but later they would be captured by the Russians and interred in a prison camp.

Liverpool Evening Express – Wednesday 14 June 1939. Image: BNA
Reinhardt’s wife Ilse and daughters Gisela and Sybil. Liverpool Daily Post – Thursday 22 June 1939. Image: BNA
Reinhardt’s daughters stayed in Birkenhead until they had taken their exams. Bradford Observer – Saturday 24 June 1939. Image: BNA
Herr Walther Reinhardt is expelled from Britain. Daily Sketch, 25th June 1939. National Archives

In a reprisal for Reinhardt being expelled, Hitler dismissed the British Consul-General at Vienna, Mr. G. St, Claire Gainer.

Daily Mirror – Thursday 15 June 1939. Image: BNA
Northants Evening Telegraph – Thursday 22 June 1939. Image: BNA

The Nazi (Tea and cake) Party

In July 1939 Mr B. Stinton-Johnson, (the leader of the Anti-Nazi movement in Liverpool who delivered the complaint about the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews to Reinhardt) was again at the Consulate. This time it was to protest with a large group against a meeting of the German Labour Front that were having a meeting in the building. The Germans had described this event merely as a tea and cake party. The German Labour Front (DAF) had been recruiting in Lancashire since at least April when questions were raised in the House of Commons on the organiser of the campaign Herr Ernst Lahrmann (known to the Nazis as Stützpunktleiter – ‘Base Action Leader). Stinton-Johnson said ‘that German guests would not go all the way from Sheffield merely to partake of tea and cakes’. (see bottom of this post)

With Reinhardt gone it was Herr Gustav Sibbers in charge. Stinton-Johnson asked to see Sibbers but was told the Consul was ill in bed. A strong detachment of uniform police officers and C.I.D. were called in case the demonstration got out of hand. When Stinton-Johnson was refused entry he was escorted from the steps of the building by the police.

Great care was exercised by those in charge before anybody was admitted to the premises the heavy door of which, surmounted by the Swastika sign, being kept on a short latch chain throughout the proceedings . Even bona-fide German guests frequently had to spend Some minutes on the steps in their endeavours to convince the guard inside that their invitations were genuine.

The Scotsman – Monday 17 July 1939
The Scotsman – Monday 17 July 1939

Herr Walther Reinhardt

From previously secret M.I.5. and M.I.9. records held at the National Archives we know that Walter Ludwig Wilhelm August Reinhardt was born in Germany around 1899. Reinhardt had been appointed as Consul on 21st October 1937, his jurisdiction did not just cover Liverpool, it was the whole of northern England and Northern Ireland.

The King approves Reinhardt as Consul. The London Gazette, 29th march 1938
Image: BNA

Reinhardt lived with his wife and daughters at The Hermitage, Ingestre Road, Oxton. His daughters, Gisela (14) and Sybil (16) attended Birkenhead Girls’ High School at Park Road South.

Map showing the now demolished Hermitage house, Ingestre Road, Oxton. Map: NLS

Previous to Liverpool, Reinhardt had been in Montevideo, Rio De Janeiro, New York, Chicago, Zurich and Latvia. From 1928 to 1934 he was the Consul in Seattle, United States.

Looking back in 1941, after Germany’s diplomats had been expelled from the U.S. prior to the war, the Seattle Times reflected that during Reinhardt’s years in Seattle he “was feted at teas, musicales, cocktail parties and other affairs by Seattle residents.

When Nazis walked the streets of Seattle. Knute Berger, 2016

Reinhardt’s job included propaganda for the Nazi regime and to deny any persecution of the Jews. One such denial was printed in a Jewish newspaper The Transcipt:

In his letter to the Transcript, he related that he had visited Germany that summer with two unnamed American friends and that their impression was “that in no country in Europe they found less anti-Semitism than in Germany and that at no time in Germany less anti-Semitism was prevailing than now.” He went on to explain that restrictions placed on Jews were for their own good and had generated a more friendly attitude toward them by the German people. “Restrictions — yes! But no persecution, no atrocities,” said the toast of Seattle’s foreign service.

No longer whispering anti-Jewish falsehoods, Reinhardt was getting them published in a Jewish newspaper.

When Nazis walked the streets of Seattle. Knute Berger, 2016

After Seattle it is believed Reinhardt returned to Berlin working for the Foreign Office. Once he was was expelled back to Germany he returned to duties at the German Foreign Office. The M.I.5 files state that later in the war he worked for the Prisoner of War Department and helped the Allies with communication to the camps. He was responsible for the exchange of prisoners. A letter to the War Office on 29th September 1945 states he worked hard on behalf of prisoners at Oflag XII-B at Hadamar (for British, Belgian, Dutch and French senior officers). Brigadier W. L. O’Carroll of the Royal Tank Regiment was an injured prisoner who had been repatriated to Chester Hospital. In 1944 he was interviewed and said that although Reinhardt was ‘particularly anti German’ and ‘pretends to help our P/W and does not. He tells of an instance where Reinhadrt had promised to ‘put right the stopping and diverting of a trainload of repatriates from Italy, but in fact he did nothing’.

In May 1944 Reinhardt had been onboard the ship Gripsholm in Barcelona exchanging prisoners.

The Exchange of German and English Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees – Barcelona, May 17th 1944.
The International Committee of The Red Cross was asked by the German and British Governments to help their representatives assist with the exchange and repatriation of convoys of prisoners of war from Germany and North Africa which was to take place at Barcelona.

https://www.pegasusarchive.org/pow/jack_mepham.htm

Reinhardt’s camp appearance
A letter regarding Larry Allen (a repatriated Associated War Correspondent) who had travelled with Reinhardt on train and on the Grispsholm gives a description of him. When he visited the POW camps he wore mufti (civilian clothes) and was ‘a man of about sixty years of age, not above rouging his cheeks and colouring his finger nails’.

Image: National Archives

A Top Secret report by Captain G. Donald, R.A.M.C says Reinhardt on 4th June 1944 regarding Stalag 344 calls him a ‘Suspicious Civilian’ and states that he was from the German Foreign Office and had been at the camp since March. It also says he was ‘ignored by most of the regular German Staff’.

A letter dated 6th February 1944 shows that Reinhardt had spoken to a senior British officer and gave him information about German morale. Even before the Allied invasion into occupied Europe on D-Day (6th June 1944) he says that ‘Hitler will accept no advice accept from a few favourite Generals including Rommel. The Foreign Office are convinced the war is lost. A large majority of Germans would be relieved to see us occupy Germany before Russia. Reinhardt’s address is given as Ziethen Barracks, Torgau/Elbe.

Image: National Archives

The British Foreign Office was asked if it could assist with his family who were in Russian hands at the time. Reinhardt himself had been taken prisoner by the Russian army and had been held at Sachsenhausen concentration camp. He died in the camp in 1952.

MI5 file showing a letter stating that Reinhardt had died in Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1952. Image: National Archives

Reinhardt’s daughters survived both the war and the Russian prison camp, both married and emigrated to the United States.

Hans Ernst Lahrmann

Six other Germans were expelled at the same time as Reinhardt, one of these was Herr Ernst Reinhardt the leader of the German Labour Front in Lancashire. Larhmann had been in Liverpool for 12 years living at 11 Earls Close, Crosby. He was a manufacturers’ agent for Harms & Marcus, Hamburg with an office at 14 Canadian Buildings, 7-9 James Street. Later he moved to Tower Buildings.

Larhmann appears in Liverpool newspapers from as early as 1933. On April 2nd of that year, the day after Hitler had declared the boycott of Jewish shops in Germany, a protest was held at Central Hall, Renshaw Street. Larhmann wrote a sickening letter to the Liverpool Daily Post, justifying the German outrage on the Jewish people. Repeating what became known The stab in the back myth, Lahrmann blames the Jewish people themselves:-

Some reasons are that they associated themselves with the revolution in 1918 and by that succeeded in obtaining a very large number of leading positions. This led to the invasion of the law by the Jews, and for years Jewish judges have passed very severe sentences on German Nationalists for “offences ” against the State; offences which had been committed by young Nationalists who wanted to help their nation. Further, we had a vast number of cases of bribery, corruption, embezzlement, &e..and in almost every one of the more important cases Jews have been the accused. The behaviour of these has been so impertinent that it is not, surprising that feelings have been stirred against the Jew as a whole. Then, again, you will and that leading Jewish authors have in speeches and in writing heaped dirt upon German soldiers during the war, German pre-war institutions, &c., There are so many!

Ernst Lahrmann, Liverpool Echo – Tuesday 04 April 1933

Lahrmann finishes his letter with glowing praise for the Nazi action and also mentions his fellow Germans in Liverpool:

The national revolution has been carried out with the utmost discipline! in the first few days a few minor cases against Jews and Socialists or Communists could be reported, but what are they if one regards the greatness of this revolution? I do not think that ever before in history a fundamental revolution has been carried out so orderly as this one. I and my fellow-Germans in Liverpool regret the marked absence of a just Press lately, and friendship between nations is certainly not promoted by publishing, unexamined “atrocity” reports.

Liverpool Echo 4th April 1933. Image: BNA

A rebuttal to Lahrmann’s rant was printed in the Echo on the 26th April. Mr S. Wolfau wrote:

No, these attemps by Nazi sympathisers to blind the world to the atrocities epretuated by the Nazis will not succeed. The world is watching Germany, and no amount of “white-washing” by Mr. Lahrmann and his pro-Nazi friends will cover the crimson blot.

Mr. S. Wolfau, Liverpool Echo – Wednesday 26 April 1933
Liverpool Echo – Wednesday 26 April 1933. Image: BNA

Lahrmann’s recruiting and propaganda continued until 1939. In April, the time of the espionage scandal, a series of pamphlets distributed by him were reproduced in the Evening Express. If a German living in Britain did not want to join the Labour Front there was a form to at the bottom to fill in with a signature and address. It was feared that these were to be sent to Germany.

Evening Express, April 11th 1939. Image: BNA

Lahrmann had organised meetings at the ‘Gemeindehaus’ (Community House) were he insisted party badges (the German Labour Front badge was a Swastika inside a gear wheel) were worn. The location was the newly constructed hall at the German Church on the corner of Bedford Street and Canning Street. It was when the consulate on Rodney Street was used that the House of Commons was informed.

Liverpool Evening Express – Thursday 13 April 1939

Because of the opposition, that particular meeting was cancelled. The Echo reported that both Lahrmann and Pastor Garke, head of the Lutheran church in Liverpool, were not available for comment. The church issued a statement that they would stop these as they were concerned it may appear that they agreed with the views discussed.

Belfast News-Letter – Friday 14 April 1939. Image: BNA

‘Versammlung absecagt!’ (Meeting cancelled!). Liverpool Daily Post 14th April 1939 Image: BNA

The German Church had originally been at Renshaw Street but moved to the former Presbyterian church on Canning Street in 1931. This was later demolished and a new German Church was opened in 1959.

Lahmann had also been organising these meeting in Dulcie Street, Manchester, again the house committee at the church hall banned them as ‘they did not engage in active politics or propaganda’. Lahrmann once said “We do not discuss party politics because there is only one party in Germany.

On the 20th April the question about Lahrmann’s propaganda campaign was read in the House of Commons:

Mr (David) Logan asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware of the Nazi propaganda carried on by Herr Ernst Lahrmann in Lancashire, and the method of approaching Germans resident in England; that spaces are left on enrolment forms to note refusals to join the Nazi Labour Front; and what action does he intend to take to suppress this propaganda?

Hansard, HC Deb 18 April 1939 vol 346 cc173-5

In February 1939 it was reported that Lahrmann had been appointed German Vice-Consul for Manchester. Shortly after Alderman E. J. Hart stated that the Home Office had informed him that the appointment would not go ahead.

In May Lahrmann was expelled along with 5 others across the country; Richard Hans Curt Frauendorf, Captain Adolf Eduard Julius Jäger, Rudolf Gottfried Rösel, Guther Schallies and Friedrich Wilhelm Scharpf.

29 Rodney Street after Reinhardt

The German government had taken out a ten year lease of the building in 1937, this made made ineffective at the outbreak of war and the owner regained possession. 29 Rodney Street was put up for sale in 1940 with an asking price of £4.500 (or offers) or a yearly rent of £350.

In 1945 the building was the premises of I.C.I.. An article appeared in the Daily Post featuring Mr. H. Harris, the caretaker of the building, who had done much to improve the garden of the building ‘formerly the Nazi Consulate’.

Liverpool Daily Post – Wednesday 18 July 1945. Image: BNA

Liverpool Vs Fascists

While it is shocking to hear of the swastika being flown in Liverpool, it is reassuring that some Liverpudlians had demonstrated their disgust of Nazis since at least 1933.

10 October 1937 would see a more hands-on approach when Sir Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists, visited the town. When he stood on top of his loudspeaker van he was stoned by one section of the 8,000 strong crowd. One hit him on the head and he had to be taken to Walton Hospital. Mr G. C. Balfour of 101 Queen’s Drive (director and district treasurer of the B.U.F. in Wavertree) was also hit and sent to hospital.

14 people, including two women, were appeared at Liverpool Police Court on charges relating to the event. One of the accused, George Olsen Melanden of Arundel Street, was arrested for throwing the stone that hit Mosley’s head, he was remanded in custody for seven days. In February 1938 the charge was withdrawn and Mr Justice Lewis urged the Jury to return a verdict of not guilty.

Mosley gets a warm welcome at Liverpool. Pictured published on the Daily Mirror front page 11th October 1937. Image: Liverpool Echo
Mosley’s loudspeaker van was parked close to the Corporation Yard (green tone) at the west end of Walton Hall Park. Map 1906 NLS
Image: libcom.org
Mosley’s mum picked him up from Walton Infirmary before here retreated to a secret location ‘Somewhere in the depths of the country’. Probably as far away from Liverpool as he could manage.
Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette – Saturday 16 October 1937. Image: BNA

Further reading
Hitler’s British Traitors: The Secret History of Spies, Saboteurs and Fifth Columnists.

Feel free to share this post but please credit the authors, you can also follow us on Twitter @bygoneliverpool.


9 thoughts on “A Nazi Consulate in Rodney Street

  1. Astonishing! I used to live at 29 Rodney St but had no idea of it’s history!
    The front door is indeed very substantial and the short chain (as well as two very heavy bolts) is still there.
    One reason the Germans may have liked it is because of the balcony. There were other consulates on Rodney St so for diplomatic purposes (and the glory of the Reich) they needed a grand building with a balcony they could stand on and do their stiff arm saluting business, as shown in your photo of the funeral.
    Rodney St is also ideal for parading along and until about 15 years ago the Royal British Legion (which was almost directly oppisite) would hold a parade on Remembrance Sunday from the cathedral. There were other events and it was something to be sitting on the balcony having tea as a brass band marched past!
    You can see that they hoped that maybe one day the German Army would also march past and dream about who would be on the balcony……
    Interesting that it was taken over by ICI during the war. After the war it was taken over by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries as offices and a laboratory for testing imported grain. In the 1960s it was bought by two families who had lived next door to each other in Grassendale Park, who then very ingeniously divided the building vertically into two separate townhouses, and it remains like that today.
    It was I believe originally built by one of the Heywood banking family in the 1780s or thereabouts, the ground floor being offices. The Heywoods were slave traders and financiers and it makes you think about what had been planned there. Heywood later built a bank building on Brunswick St, recently the Alchemist bar, and his bank was in due course taken over by the Bank of Liverpool.
    So between the slavers and the Nazis it has had a chequered history.

    Like

      1. Little strolls past the Pier Head to see what’s going on at Cammell Laird, and the Consul making a slight detour on his way home to Oxton to take in the landward side of Cammell Lairds and the Birkenhead docks. All perfectly innocent of course.

        Like

  2. In The Liverpool Directory 1938 there was also a German Consulate at Dominion Buildings, Brunswick Street. Hr. Gustav Sibbers,

    Like

    1. Hi Paul
      Good find! I’ll go back to our files and see what we have on him.
      This from August 1938…
      “Herr Gustav Sibbers. who for the past year or so has been Chancellor at the German Consulate in Rodney Street, Liverpool, has now left for Berlin to take up a position in the Foreign Office”

      Like

    2. Makes sense. Although 29 Rodney St is well endowed with large rooms suitable for practising stiff arm salutes and goose stepping, it is not suitable as office space and a long way from the river. Premises near the Pier Head would also make a lot of sense for handling commercial documents and routine shipping activity. It also meant that any paperwork or anything else intended for the Consul could be dropped off without attention being drawn to it as No29 was probably under surveillance (by a man wearing a trench coat and a hat in the doorway opposite most likely!)

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: