History of the German Consulate in Bombay
Apparent from the files of the political archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the history of the earlier Consulate General in Mumbai is the following information:
During the times of the Kingdom of Prussia the first consulates to be established were the Honorary Consulates in Calcutta in 1845 and in Bombay in 1856.
The Prussian Honorary Consulate in Bombay was taken over by the North German Confederation in 1867 and it became the Imperial General Consulate after the foundation of the German Reich. Its jurisdiction included Bombay presidency, the district Mangalore of the Madras presidency, the native states of these districts, the central provinces, the native states in central India and the Nizams Dominions.
In 1886 the Reichstag approved the request of the Foreign Office to establish a consulate in Calcutta and also in Bombay. Ressorting of the Consulate of Calcutta the Consulate of Bombay was heading in 1890 also the consular authorities of Aden and Karachi.
In 1901 the consulate's seat was at Henry Road, located directly on the sea-side at Apollo Bunder.
At the beginning of World War I, first the American and later the Swiss consulate assumed the representation of German interests.
After World War I all reports about India were filed exclusively by the German embassy in London.
Besides the consulate of Calcutta, which had been reopened in 1921, multiple efforts were made by the German imperial government to re-establish the consular representation in Bombay but these had been rejected until 1926. Finally, in 1927 Consul Knapp took over the official duties in Bombay again and in 1929 German companies were admitted again to the Bombay Chamber of Commerce.
In 1927 the consulate was housed on the first floor of the Narandas Office Building on Sprott Road. The area belonged to the Ballard Estate district where several other German companies such as IG-Farben, Krupp, Siemens and AEG had their offices due to its proximity to the Bombay ports. When the office space at Sprott Road was no longer sufficient, the consulate moved to the Cambata Building on Queens Road 42 in July 1937, where it remained till the outbreak of World War II.
In 1930 the jurisdiction of the consulate which included the Bombay presidency, Aden and Karachi including Sind, Rajputana, central india and Hyderabad was by then was extended to Portuguese-India (Goa, Daman and Diu). In 1938 the consulate became consulate general.
During World War II, Switzerland once again assumed the represention of Germany.
World War II ended in 1945 and in 1947 India achieved its independence from England. In 1951 diplomatic relations were established between Germany and India. India was the first nation to end the state of war with Germany and was also the first nation to express its desire to exchange diplomatic missions on the level of legations. On 26th April, 1951 Franz Mendelssohn von Theodor Heuss was appointed Consul General of Bombay and on 26th June, 1951 President Prasad signed his exequatur in New Delhi.