The opening line made me laugh out loud at the disconnect. "Hard to believe"? It may seem hard to believe now, but the Nazi Party once held offices in San Francisco.
Nazi Consulate once called the Whittier Mansion in San Francisco home
Hitler's right hand man once lived in a Pacific Heights Mansion
The Whittier Mansion, located on Jackson Street at Laguna Street, was once home to the Nazi consulate. Fritz Wiedemann, once a top aide to Adolf Hitler, lived in the house until shortly before the bombing at Pearl Harbor, when he fled the country.
According to a San Francisco Chronicle article from Jan. 30, 1950, the original owner's daughter, Mrs. W.B. Weir, sold the house to the Nazi government in April 1941 for $44,000.
"A black limousine, once the property of Adolph Hitler, drew up at the curb and a dapper, heavy-browed man named Fritz Wiedemann took over the house," read the article.
The German Consul General set up desks and safes, barred doors and piled file cabinets in the old dining room, and moved his consular staff into suites of rooms on the second floor. Wiedemann, his wife and children took up residence on the third floor. In July of 1941, Wiedemann was ordered to leave San Francisco before the middle of the month. He booked passage east on the Japanese liner, Yawata Maru. But as the ship sailed through the Golden Gate on July 14 Wiedemann was still in the house on Jackson Street, awaiting a guarantee of safe conduct from the British.
The next day, the limousine took Wiedemann and his family and consular staff to the San Francisco Airport. There they boarded chartered planes and took off for New York, where the consular party sailed for his Nazi homeland via Portugal.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government seized the mansion and everything left inside. The mansion remained bolted shut during the war years. In 1947 it was turned over to the Attorney General, who put it up for sale. The 1950 article announced the sale of the contents in an auction. The headline read, "A Treat for Souvenir Hunters. German Consulate Up for Auction."
In an earlier San Francisco Chronicle article, dated Dec. 11, 1937, Wiedemann was interviewed during a visit to the city. The headline read "Hitler's War Captain in S.F., Tells of Association in New Regime." Wiedemann was dressed in "pin-striped tailored flannel, brown suede shoes, fancy tab collar, blue and red silk handkerchief and monocle." The article stated "this Beau Brummel, although he looked right out of Hollywood, tall, well knit, handsome, is no mere fashion plate. He probably knows more about Adolf Hitler than any man living."http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Nazi-Consulate-once-called-the-Whittier-Mansion-10869519.php?ipid=articlerecirc#item-44548
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