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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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Category Archives: A History of Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell should apologise for antisemitic conduct and Nazi support
By John Donovan
I strongly believe that Royal Dutch Shell should be held accountable for its outrageous antisemitic actions against its own employees, which cost some of them their lives. The same applies to Shell’s huge financial support for Nazi Germany that contributed to the deaths of some 50 million victims in WW2 including those poor souls who perished in the Holocaust. Shell’s leader, Sir Henri Deterding, was an ardent Nazi feted by Adolf Hitler. Shell has never apologised or expressed any remorse.
Shell commissioned a group of eminent “independent” historians (above) mostly Dutch, to author a history of Royal Dutch Shell to mark the Group’s centenary in 2007. The introduction in Volume 1 pledged independent research and “a proper and even-handed assessment of Deterding.” Something went amiss because the “history,” as published in regard to his dealings with Hitler, is simply untrue.
On 24 May 2015, a light-hearted story in the Prufrock column of The Sunday Times posed the question: “ARE corporate histories the new harbingers of doom?” It cited the release of corporate histories of two multinational banks that proved embarrassing to the banks due to unforeseen developments.
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.
In the pre-war years, Royal Dutch Shell adopted anti-Semitic policies within its Germany subsidiary, and subsequently in the Netherlands following occupation by the Nazis. The Swastika flag flew on the classic Dutch facade of Royal Dutch’s head office at 30 Carel van Bylandtlaan in The Hague. Displayed immediately below is a screenshot of the adjacent current HQ of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
As his infatuation with the Nazis grew, Sir Henri Deterding began making anti-Semitic remarks in his correspondence. See page 481 RDSH V1.
The Nazis presented considerable challenges to Royal Dutch Shell over control of its subsidiaries in occupied countries. The above caricature (and seated Nazi officer in the photograph) is a former Shell director, Hauptmann Eckhardt von Klass. He was the Verwalter (administrator) appointed by the Nazis to “exercise supervision over Group companies in occupied Europe.” See pages 80 and 81 from RDSH V2.
Before, during, and after World War 2, Royal Dutch Shell was the owner of companies located in Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe, including Rhenania-Ossag.
Shell’s historians downplayed the relationship between Hitler and Deterding. As far they are concerned, the two never met. They said that a request by Sir Henri for a meeting with Hitler in March 1933 was rebuffed and disregarded Deterding’s claim that he met with Hitler in November 1933. Not only were there meetings. Deterding “was revered and ultimately mourned by Hitler.”
Shell’s historians portrayed the relationship between Deterding and Hitler as standoffish on the part of Hitler, with all of Deterding’s attempts to meet with him being rebuffed. See pages 481 to 485 of RDSH V1.
Index of key dates:
Henri Deterding served as chairman of the combined Royal Dutch/Shell oil company between 1900 and 1936.
In or around 1931, Deterding bought a hunting estate in rural Mecklenburg, Germany. See page 477 RDSH V1.
The Reichstag fire, a pivotal event in the rise of Hitler, took place in January 1933.
Deterding welcomed Hitler’s appointment and by November 1933, Deterding said that he had met Hitler. See page 477 RDSH V1.