Interested in buying a home with a lot of style, room, and history, to say the least? Have a little extra cash to spare, say, in the $2 million range? Well then, perhaps the Konstanz house, a former Nazi “safe house” on Templeogue Road, South Dublin, is the house for you.
Not only is it a rare example of the houses constructed in Ireland in the late thirties, a time when many of the Anglo-Irish big houses were being torn down, but its significance to the Nazis in WWII Ireland is something out of a Hollywood Blockbuster.
The Irish Times reports that the house became a target in 1940 for a police operation that found German military paraphernalia, a wireless transmitter, over $20,000 in cash, and certain documents referring to espionage.
Also found was a used parachute, later revealed to belong to a German SS officer named Hermann Goertz. Goertz had been lodging at Konstanz in hopes that it was a "safe house."
The man who had owned the house at the time, Stephen Carroll Held, had been acting as the middleman in a plot to supposedly align the IRA with the attempted Nazi regime in Britain.
This plot was set to be furthered by Goertz who wanted to speed the process of a Nazi invasion of Ireland in hopes of blitzing the British in the North.
Although the house's owner was arrested, Goertz had taken off before gardaí had shown up at the house, and remained on the run for the following year and a half. Despite making his way to Dublin, he was eventually apprehended and interned for the duration of the war.
His Nazi sympathizing colleague Stephen Carroll Held left Ireland for Australia upon his release from prison, eventually dying there.
Goertz seemed to make an effort to turn his life around upon his own release, becoming the secretary of the Save the German Children Fund.
Despite such progress, he was subsequently rearrested in 1947 and was ordered to return to Germany by the Minister of Justice at the time. Upon word of his fate, Goertz took his own life before he ever left Irish soil.
Several people have gone on to own the house where Goertz sought to kickoff his plan. The current owner is looking to downsize with retirement on the horizon.
Until recently, rumors had run rampant that a swastika had been painted on the roof to guide other Nazi parachuters to the house, just as Goertz did over seventy years ago.
The rumor has since been dispelled, but the history behind the house is a fascinating insight into the individual actions taken in a seemingly neutral Ireland during the second World War.