ROYAL DUTCH SHELL FOUNDER SIR HENRI DETERDING, NAZI FINANCIER
NAZI HISTORY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL
Royal Dutch Shell conspired directly with Hitler, financed the Nazi Party, was anti-Semitic and sold out its own Dutch Jewish employees to the Nazis. Shell had a close relationship with the Nazis during and after the reign of Sir Henri Deterding, an ardent Nazi, and the founder and decades-long leader of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. His burial ceremony, which had all the trappings of a state funeral, was held at his private estate in Mecklenburg, Germany. The spectacle (photographs below) included a funeral procession led by a horse-drawn funeral hearse with senior Nazis officials and senior Royal Dutch Shell directors in attendance, Nazi salutes at the graveside, swastika banners on display and wreaths and personal tributes from Adolf Hitler and Reichsmarschall, Hermann Goring. Deterding was an honoured associate and supporter of Hitler and a personal friend of Goring.
Deterding was the guest of Hitler during a four-day summit meeting at Berchtesgaden. Sir Henri and Hitler both had ambitions on Russian oil fields. Only an honoured personal guest would be rewarded with a private four-day meeting at Hitler’s mountain top retreat.
Shell appeased and collaborated with the Nazis. The oil giant instructed its employees in the Netherlands to complete a form giving particulars about their descent, which for some, amounted to a self-declared death warrant. Shell used slave labour and was a close business partner in Germany of I.G. Farben, the notorious Nazi run chemical giant that also used slave labour and supplied the Zyklon-B gas used during the Holocaust to exterminate millions of people, including children. Shell continued the partnership with the Nazis in the years after the retirement of Sir Henri and even after his death. It was money generated on Shell forecourts around the world, profiteering from cartel oil prices, that funded the Nazi party and saved it from financial collapse. Evidence about Shell’s Nazi connections can be found in extracts from “A History of Royal Dutch Shell” Volumes 1 and 2 authored by historians paid by Shell, who had unrestricted access to Shell archives. There are 67 pages in total, so takes some time to download.
Photograph (full size here) shows a Swastika flag flying at the head office of Royal Dutch Petroleum, 30 Carel van Bylandtlaan, The Hague, during the Nazi occupation of the in World War II (From Image Database Hague Municipal)
Sir Henri Deterding (photograph above and oil painting below), the founder of the Royal Dutch Shell Group – known as “The Most Powerful Man in the World” – who became an ardent Nazi and financial supporter of Hitler and the Nazi party on behalf of his beloved company, Shell.
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HITLER & THE THIRD REICH
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- A History of Royal Dutch Shell
- Adolf Hitler
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- Sir Henri Deterding
- Sir Henri Deterding and the Nazi History Royal Dutch Shell
- Sir Henri Deterding Funeral
- Sir Mark Moody-Stuart
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Category Archives: Oil
The above screenshot is from an article published by the Financial Times on 5 February 2015.
Extract from the article: “Royal Dutch Shell is facing a storm of criticism after deciding to proceed with plans to bring a ship named after a Nazi war criminal into UK waters to decommission the Brent oilfield…”
In January 2015, The Observer newspaper published a major article by its then chief correspondent Ed Vulliamy under the headline:
“Jewish outrage as world’s largest ship, named after SS war criminal, arrives in Europe”.
The Shell logo is prominently displayed on tens of thousands of gasoline forecourts around the world. In the 1930‘s, there was a strong bond between its most celebrated and feared leader, Sir Henry Deterding, a Dutchmen with “extreme right-wing opinions,” and the Nazi party led by another dictator, Adolf Hitler. Deterding became an ardent Nazi and was surrounded by Nazi appeasers.
In the years just before WW2, a number of Dutch top executives at Royal Dutch Shell let their principles be corrupted by the Third Reich.
Sir Henri Deterding died in St. Moritz, Switzerland on 4 February 1939 several months before the outbreak of the 2nd World War. As could be expected given his global fame as an oil mogul and a man of wealth, mystery and intrigue, there were numerous newspaper obituaries from around the world. Many mentioned his financial support for Hitler and the Nazi movement in Germany.
It may seem odd to focus on the death of Sir Henri Deterding in this early chapter, but the global news coverage of his sudden demise and even more significantly, the location – Nazi Germany – of his spectacular funeral, speak volumes.
On 10 February 1939, a burial ceremony with many of the trappings of a state funeral was held at a private estate near Berlin. The spectacle included a funeral procession led by a horse-drawn funeral hearse with senior Nazis officials and Shell directors in attendance. An indication of the high esteem in which Sir Henri Deterding was held by his Shell colleagues and by Adolf Hitler, who sent a wreath.
Sir Henri Deterding, a foreign national, was honored with what amounted to a state funeral in Germany, where he was buried.
This chapter deals with the role of Royal Dutch Shell as a contributor to the economy of Nazi Germany and financier of the Third Reich via its long-time Director General, Sir Henri Deterding. The funding was of a scale that led to Hitler paying homage to him as a great friend of the Germans. Sir Henri actively supported the rearmament of Nazi Germany. He was a generous friend that the Nazis tried to exploit even after his death.
Any major company in existence for over 100 years is bound to have some skeletons in the closet. In the case of Royal Dutch Shell, it arguably includes indirect responsibility for millions of deaths.
The above photograph is of Sir Henri Deterding around the time of his retirement as absolute leader of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, standing alongside his third wife, a thirty-eight-year-old German-born ardent Nazi, Charlotte Knaack. Her admiration for the Nazis probably strengthened his views, and no doubt played a part in the decision to move their home to Germany.
Several IG Farben directors were found guilty of war crimes arising from their actions during WW2. The firm manufactured large quantities of Zyklon-B gas used by the Nazis to kill millions of Jews at extermination camps during the Holocaust. Royal Dutch Shell was a business partner of I.G. Farben both in Germany and globally.
Prior to WW2, Royal Dutch Shell had been a business partner both internationally and in Germany, with I.G. Farben (Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG.
IG Farben was formed in 1925 from a number of chemical companies and became the largest chemical company in the world. Involved in war crimes during WW2, the company was seized by the Allies in 1945 and liquidated in 1952.
The photograph shows military uniforms worn by marching employees of the Shell German subsidiary, Rhenania-Ossag. A photograph on the next page shows swastika flags on display during a staff meeting. Rhenania-Ossag was part and parcel of the Nazi movement when the Shell Group was in undisputed full control of the company. A senior director was involved in Nazi military planning.
In 1935, Rhenania-Ossag (owned by Royal Dutch Shell) was Germany’s second-largest gas station company, with 16,363 petrol pumps and several refineries. There were active Nazi members in the workforce and management. It’s DG, Dr. Erich Boeder, was involved in Nazi military planning (oil production) on behalf of the company.
The general public, drivers, investors, relatives of victims of the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes against humanity, are entitled on moral grounds, to be aware of this dark chapter in the history of Royal Dutch Shell. People can then decide on an informed basis if they wish to hold shares in the company, or purchase Shell products.
The purpose of this book is to present the unvarnished history of a very dark chapter in Shell’s past, rather than the spun version paid for by the oil giant. I have also drawn attention to other unethical episodes in the history of Royal Dutch Shell.