Man­sion will house war mu­seum...

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY LIANNE KOLIRIN

A MU­SEUM pay­ing trib­ute to Jewish refugees who per­formed a cru­cial in­tel­li­gence role in the Sec­ond World War is a step closer to re­al­ity.

Back­ers of the Trent Park Mu­seum Trust have signed a le­gal agree­ment with prop­erty de­vel­op­ers which could see the mu­seum open by 2020.

Trent Park man­sion, at the heart of a sprawl­ing coun­try park in En­field, north Lon­don, was used as a pris­oner of war camp for 59 se­nior Nazi gen­er­als — in­clud­ing Hitler’s deputy Ru­dolf Hess.

Their con­ver­sa­tions about the Fi­nal So­lu­tion, Hitler’s atomic bomb pro­gramme and U-boat tac­tics were se­cretly mon­i­tored by 103 Jewish refugees from the Nazis re­cruited by MI6 be­cause they were flu­ent in Ger­man.

The lis­ten­ers re­ceived no ac­knowl­edge­ment of their work. Just two are still alive: Eric Mark, who lives in Bel­gium, and Fritz Lustig, from north Lon­don.

Last week an agree­ment was signed be­tween his­to­rian Dr He­len Fry, Jason Char­alam­bous, chair­man of Trent Park Mu­seum Trust, and the Berke­ley Group, which in­tends to con­vert the man­sion into hous­ing.

The plans must still be ap­proved by En­field Coun­cil, but they en­sure the ground floor and base­ment of the grade II listed prop­erty will be leased to the trust. Once ap­proval is granted, mil­lions of pounds must be raised.

As well as learn­ing about the es­tate’s wartime past, vis­i­tors will dis­cover its ear­lier his­tory. As the home of Sir Philip Sas­soon from 1912 to 1939, it was a so­cialite’s par­adise, reg­u­larly host­ing fig­ures such as Char­lie Chap­lin, Win­ston Churchill and even the Queen.

Dr Fry told the JC: “We are de­lighted that Berkley has guar­an­teed the fu­ture of the mu­seum.

“It is ob­vi­ously im­por­tant for Jewish his­tory and Holo­caust ed­u­ca­tion, but is a site of na­tional im­por­tance as well. In March 1943, it was dis­cov­ered at Trent Park that Hitler had a se­cret site in north Ger­many where they were de­vel­op­ing the V1 and V2 rock­ets.” The Trent Park man­sion where Jewish in­tel­li­gence re­cruits lis­tened in on Nazi PoWs

Mr Char­alam­bous, who ini­ti­ated the cam­paign, said: “We have got a long way to go, but every­thing seems to be fall­ing in to place.”

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