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A Jewish family from Pinner has been shocked to discover their luxurious six-bedroom home was originally commissioned by the Germany embassy in 1937 for Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler’s foreign policy adviser who was hanged for war crimes after the Nuremberg Trials in 1946.
The Nazi used the mansion as a country retreat while he was German Ambassador to Britain between 1936 and 1938. He then returned to Germany to assist in Hitler’s Final Solution.
The house, on Pinner Hill, was later sold by the British War office. The current occupants are Jewish South Africans who use the residence as a holiday home.
Comedy writer Laurence Marks recently discovered the house’s provenance, and current inhabitants, while writing a new play about Von Ribbentrop.
Marks began researching the infamous Nazi after discovering a watch he has owned since the 1980s once belonged to Von Ribbentrop and contained a hidden swastika engraving.
His offer to give the proceeds of the watch, worth 50,000 pounds, to Jewish charities was “shunned”. He said: “The dilemma of what to do with it has plagued me. However, maybe it’s a bigger dilemma to live in the home once owned by a fully-paid up member of the Third Reich.”
A spokesman for the Pinner Local History Society said: “Von Ribbentrop had a home built in Pinner in an exclusive road in 1937, supposedly with German bricks and labour, paid for by the German embassy. During the war his sister was discovered to be living in it and she was interned as enemy alien. It was subsequently taken over by the British government and sold.”Jewish family in Nazi house by James Marin