A nursery in the Sevillian town of San Juan de Aznalfarache guards one of the most striking houses in the town among weeds. It is not only important for its appearance or architecture, but also because it was the residence of Otto Engelhardt, the German consul who disowned Hitler and was assassinated during the military uprising by order of Queipo de Llano. But the house is falling little by little, and nobody seems to want to do anything to prevent it.
An investigation indicates that a son of the German consul executed by the Franco regime, Otto Engelhardt, would have been buried in Pico Reja
To try to remedy this, the councilor not attached to the City Council, Manuel Pérez, has registered a petition in which he claims, among other things, that the area in which the house is located, attributed to the Sevillian Aníbal González (architect of the Plaza de Spain), is fenced to prevent the access of possible vandals, and actions are initiated to protect the property as soon as possible.
Otto Engelhardt was consul in Seville from 1903 to 1919. He was shot before the walls of the San Fernando cemetery in Seville. His rejection of the Nazi regime was such that, from the Sevillian capital, he returned to Hitler all the decorations he had received.
The house, which Engelhardt acquired in 1914, is currently owned by the company that manages the nursery located on the same farm, and Manuel Pérez’s request is aimed at signing a land swap agreement with it, so that the property passes into municipal hands and the building can be recovered.
An early 20th century figure
Otto Engelhardt lived in Seville for more than twenty years, where he was assigned as an engineer at Sevillana de Electricidad and Tranvías de Sevilla, and was the promoter, among other things, of public lighting and the electrification of transport in the Andalusian capital, where the Until then, public transport was pulled by mules.
To live near the city, he bought the aforementioned house in 1914, known as ‘Villa Chaboya’, a neo-Mudejar style property, until he was executed on September 14, 1936 in front of the Seville cemetery.
The house was occupied by his descendants until about 40 years ago, and is currently abandoned.
In a public act held years ago in the same building, the consul’s great-granddaughter, Ruth Engelhardt, advocated turning the house into a public space for the enjoyment of all the town’s residents and, at the same time, into a place for recovery of historical memory.
Agreement to recover the land
On September 23, 2020, the town council approved the agreement that will allow obtaining, through an exchange, the property of the farm on which Villa Chaboya is built. The agreement is intended to cancel the transfer that was signed in 1990, and that, initially, would have a maximum period of 25 years. However, in 2010 it was extended until 2020, starting an eviction procedure that was stopped by the agreement approved by the City Council. In essence, the company that manages the incubator agrees to leave its current facilities in exchange for another place to work.
It has not been specified by the sources consulted when it was definitively signed, although in it the two parties give themselves a four-year term to comply with it, at least until September 2024.