Category Archives: World War 2

SUMMARY OF FEATURED CONTENT FROM THE EBOOK “SIR HENRI DETERDING AND THE NAZI HISTORY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL”

  • In the years leading up to WW2, the Dutch founder of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, Sir Henri Deterding became an ardent Nazi. He financially backed the Third Reich and met directly with Hitler on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell.  
  • As a major financial contributor to Nazi Germany in pre-WW2 years, the Royal Dutch Shell Group, under Dutch leadership, arguably had some indirect responsibility for the death toll in the subsequent war, in which over 50 million people perished.
  • Shell publicly boasted at the time about the importance of its financial contribution to the German economy. The claims were made by Shell in Germany while the country was under Nazi control.
  • In years leading up to WW2, Shell conspired with partners, Standard Oil, and German chemical giant I.G. Farben, to covertly import oil products, including airplane fuel, from the US into Nazi Germany. The US government was kept in the dark.
  • I.G. Farben supplied the Zyklon-B gas used in the Holocaust to kill millions of people.
  • The portrayal in 2007 by Shell’s paid historians of a distant relationship between Deterding and Hitler, in which all attempts by Deterding to meet with Hitler were rebuffed is simply untrue.
  • In fact, their meetings included a four-day one-on-one summit held at Hitler’s mountain retreat, as reported by Reuters in 1934.
  • Deterding has been described by independent authors as “a hardline Nazi revered and ultimately mourned by Hitler.” That description is confirmed by the evidence within this book and evidence accessible via links.
  • There are credible allegations that the Royal Dutch Shell Group, under the control of Dutch directors, used forced labor at its German subsidiary, Rhenania-Ossag. Many of its directors and staff were fanatical Nazis.
  • Royal Dutch Shell collaborated in the annexation and occupation of sovereign countries by the Nazis – Austria and Czechoslovakia – before the outbreak of WW2.
  • The donations and financial contributions to the Third Reich were all carried out under the control of Dutch directors of companies within the Royal Dutch Shell Group.
  • In 1936, while still a director of multiple Royal Dutch Shell group companies, Sir Henri purchased the Castle Dobbin estate North of Berlin for 1,050,000 Reich marks from Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.
  • Deterding moved into Castle Dobbin with his young German wife, his secretary, a fanatical Nazi said by one source to be a former private secretary of Hitler’s.
  • Sir Henri’s friend Hermann Göring, the founder of the Gestapo, regularly visited Castle Dobbin to go hunting with him. Deterding generously gave Göring the Rominten Hunting Lodge in East Prussia as a spectacular gift. Kaiser Wilhelm II once owned it.
  • In 1936 and 1937, Sir Henri – while still a director of multiple companies within the Royal Dutch Shell Group, in which he held a controlling interest – made huge donations of food (“millions of tonnes”) to Nazi Germany as part of the “Winter Help” scheme. A New York Times report in June 1937 (“Deterding to Distribute More Food in Germany”) specifically linked the food donations to Germany’s rearmament policy.
  • The massive donations enabled significant funds to be diverted at a time when the Nazi regime was engaged in urgent rearmament of its military might.
  • Seven thousand railway wagons were used in the first immense delivery. 
  • Deterding died just before the outbreak of WW2. He was honored by a Nazi ceremonial funeral at Castle Dobbin in February 1939. It was attended by a full contingent of Royal Dutch Shell Group directors mingling with Nazi military officers.
  • A glowing tribute to Sir Henri on behalf of the German nation was inscribed on a wreath sent by Adolf Hitler. 
  • The Bishop who conducted the funeral service was a  supporter of Hitler and a rabid anti-Semite.
  • Film footage of the Nazi funeral spectacular exists.
  • Fears that the Nazis intended to exploit the death of Sir Henri, just before the start of WW2, to seize control of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, were well founded.  The UK National Archives has kindly given permission for related documents and correspondence to be featured within this book.
  • Dutch directors of the Royal Dutch Shell Group engaged in anti-Semitic policies against Shell employees and were also guilty of collaboration and appeasement.
  • Royal Dutch Shell employees in the Netherlands were instructed to complete a form that for some amounted to a self-declared death warrant. Many did not survive the war.
  • The Nazis did succeed in gaining control over Dobbin Castle.
  • In the latter part of WW2, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, SS leader Heinrich Himmler and General Alfred Jodl, Chief of the Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command, were all stationed at Dobbin Castle.
  • Hitler’s final despairing message from his Berlin bunker, a day before he committed suicide, was sent to Field Marshal Keitel at Dobbin Castle, whilst it was still owned by the Deterding family. Strangely, that somehow seems appropriate.
  • Evidence was on display at Castle Dobbin, signed by Hitler, confirming Deterding’s financial support for the Nazis. Also a personal testimony by Herman Göring acknowledging the generosity of his friend and benefactor, Sir Henri Deterding. 

DETERDING’S PALATIAL UK RESIDENCES

Kelling Hall, in Holt, Norfolk, shown above, was one of Deterding’s palatial UK residences. It is located near the Sandringham estate of the British royal family. Built for Sir Henri in 1913, in grounds of 1,600 acres, the property was sold in 2008 by his grandson James Deterding for £25 million (over $37 million USD).  

Deterding at various times owned a Dutch estate in Wassenaar near the Hague, a grand country home in Buckhurst Park in Winkfield, near Ascot in Berkshire, a fashionable apartment in Park Lane, London, and a villa at St. Moritz in Switzerland. read more

Posted in Adolf Hitler, Anti-Semitic, Appeasement, Austria, Castle Dobbin, Charlotte-Minna Knaack, Collaboration, Czechoslovakia, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, General Alfred Jodl, Germany, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Göring, Joost Jonker, Kelling Hall, Luiten van Zanden, Queen Wilhelmina, Rhenania-Ossag, Rominten Hunting Lodge, Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, Royal Dutch Shell Group, Shell, Shell Oil, Sir Henri Deterding, Stephen Howarth, The Holocaust, The Nazi Party, The Nazis, The Netherlands, World War 2, Zyklon-B gas | Leave a comment

CHAPTER 1: The best historians Shell could buy

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. read more

Posted in A History of Royal Dutch Shell, Adolf Hitler, Alfred Donovan, Anti-Semitic, Germany, John Donovan, John Donovan Ebook, Joost Jonker, Luiten van Zanden, Rhenania-Ossag, Royal Dutch Shell Group, Shell, Sir Henri Deterding, Stephen Howarth, The Nazis, The Netherlands, Uncategorized, Wikipedia, World War 2 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CHAPTER 6: Great friend of the Germans

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. read more

Posted in Adolf Hitler, Alfred Rosenberg, Anti-Semitic, Berlin, Germany, Hermann Göring, Jewish, Oil, Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, Royal Dutch Shell Group, Shell, Sir Henri Deterding, Slave labor, The Holocaust, The Nazis, Wikipedia, World War 2 | Leave a comment

CHAPTER 10: Shell support for the Nazis continued after the retirement of Sir Henri as leader

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.

In October 1936, the first news reports of the pending resignation of Sir Henri Deterding as the leader of Royal Dutch Shell Group were published. read more

Posted in Charlotte-Minna Knaack, Fritz De Kok, Germany, Human Rights, I.G. Farben, IG Farben, Jewish, Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, Oil, Rhenania-Ossag, Royal Dutch Shell Group, Shell, Sir Henri Deterding, Standard Oil, The Holocaust, The Nazis, World War 2, Zyklon-B gas | Leave a comment

CHAPTER 11: Shell collaborated in the Nazi annexation of Austria and occupation of Czechoslovakia

German forces entered Vienna on 17 March 1938 (above). The Nazis annexed Austria in what became known as the Anschluss and occupied Czechoslovakia a year later. Royal Dutch Shell authorized its German subsidiary Rhenania-Ossag, to take over Shell operating companies in both countries.

Being one of the two biggest German oil concerns and the main lube oil manufacturer, Shell subsidiary Rhenania-Ossag was an industry leader in Nazi Germany. Many of its directors and staff were Nazis.

Following Hitler’s annexation of Austria on 12 March 1938 (photo) and the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, Dutch directors of Royal Dutch gave approval to Rhenania-Ossag taking over the Shell operating companies in those countries. read more

Posted in Adolf Hitler, Czechoslovakia, Deutsche Gasolin A.G., Germany, Hauptmann Eckhardt von Klass, Heinrich Himmler, I.G. Farben, IG Farben, Rhenania-Ossag, Royal Dutch Shell Group, Shell, Standard Oil, The Nazis, Uncategorized, World War 2 | Leave a comment

CHAPTER 12: Shell’s notorious business partner: IG Farben

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. read more

Posted in Dr. Erich Boeder, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Göring, Human Rights, I.G. Farben, IG Farben, Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, Oil, Rhenania-Ossag, Royal Dutch Shell Group, Russia, Shell, Sir Henri Deterding, Slave labor, Standard Oil, Verwalter, Wikipedia, World War 2, Zyklon-B gas | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

CHAPTER 13: Royal Dutch Shell and Nazi slave labor

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. read more

Posted in Adolf Hitler, Anti-Semitic, Collaboration, Deutsche Gasolin A.G., Germany, I.G. Farben, IG Farben, Jewish, Oil, Rhenania-Ossag, Royal Dutch Shell Group, Shell, Slave labor, Standard Oil, Swastika flag, The Nazi Party, The Nazis, The Netherlands, Uncategorized, Waffen-SS, World War 2, Zyklon-B gas | Leave a comment

CHAPTER 18: Time for a rare public apology from Shell?

Members of Nigeria’s Ogoni community protest against Shell in New York. Photograph: Bebeto Matthews/AP

Shell does not appear to be big on making apologies. Google “Shell apology” and the search results relate to hoax Shell apologies for human rights abuses in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. Shell has recently apologized for causing Dutch earthquakes, but not for the evil conduct of its past directors in relation to the financing and appeasement of the Nazis, which cost some Shell employees their lives.  read more

Posted in Alaska, Appeasement, Arctic, Environment, Exxon, Groningen Earthquakes, Human Rights, NAM, Niger Delta, Nigeria, Ogoni, Shell Spying, The Nazis, The Netherlands, World War 2, Yes Men | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CHAPTER 19: INDEX OF KEY DATES

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.

On 30 January 1933 (page 465 RDSH V1) Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor of Germany. 

Deterding welcomed Hitler’s appointment and by November 1933, Deterding said that he had met Hitler. See page 477 RDSH V1. read more

Posted in A History of Royal Dutch Shell, Adolf Hitler, Berchtesgaden, Mecklenburg, Rhenania-Ossag, Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, Royal Dutch Shell Group, Shell, Sir Henri Deterding, The Nazi Party, The Nazis, The Reichstag fire, World War 2 | Leave a comment

Chapter 22: Author’s unique connection with Shell

John Donovan, the author of “Sir Henri Deterding and the Nazi History of Royal Dutch Shell

As the Chairman of an International sales promotion agency and more recently as an individual, I have a relationship with Royal Dutch Shell stretching back over 35 years. It has been the subject of media coverage in newspapers, magazines and TV news and documentary features. It took a wrong turn when Shell misappropriated  ideas I had disclosed to the company in strictest confidence.

In  the Ed Vulliamy article about my campaign to rename a $3 billion new ship hired by Shell, reference was made to a Shell related website I co-founded with my late father a decade ago:  read more

Posted in A History of Royal Dutch Shell, Adolf Hitler, Alaska, Arctic, Bill Campbell, Donald G. Lane, Dr. John Huong, Environment, Germany, Human Rights, John Donovan, John Donovan Ebook, Michiel Brandjes, Nigeria, Oleg Mitvol, Peter Voser, President Putin, Royal Dutch Shell Group, Russia, Shell, Shell Spying, Sir Henri Deterding, Sir Henri Deterding and the Nazi History Royal Dutch Shell, The Nazi Party, The Nazis, World War 2 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment