The coffin of Royal Dutch Shell founder and ardent Nazi, Sir Henri Deterding, with an honor guard of Nazi-soldiers.
By Alfred Donovan and John Donovan
On 10 February 1939(1), a historic event with some trappings of a state funeral, was held at a private estate in Dobbin, Mecklenburg, Germany.
The spectacle included a funeral procession led by a horse drawn funeral hearse (photograph above), with senior Nazis officials in attendance, Nazi salutes at the graveside, swastika banners on display and wreaths and personal tributes from Adolf Hitler and Reichsmarschall, Hermann Göring.(2)
‘In the name and on the instructions of the Fuhrer, I greet thee, Heinrich Deterding, the great friend of the Germans.‘(3)
The deceased person honored in such an extraordinary fashion by Hitler and the Nazis was a Dutchman with a British title, Sir Henri Deterding. Sometimes described as “The Most Powerful Man in the World” or “The Napoleon of Oil”, Sir Henri founded the Royal Dutch Shell Group and during his remarkable 40 years with the Anglo-Dutch multinational, over 30 as absolute leader, built it into the oil giant best known as “Shell”.
In the 2010 “Fortune 500 Ranking by Revenue World’s Largest Corporations”,(4) Royal Dutch Shell is ranked as number 2, with Wal-Mart Stores at number 1. Deterding, more than anyone else, was responsible for creating Royal Dutch Shell, building it into a global colossus and turning Shell into an iconic brand instantly recognisable around the world.
Some outstanding leaders who amass absolute power, influence and huge riches become corrupted by success and fame. A few turn into megalomaniacs and as they grow older, adopt extremist views.
In the case of Sir Henri, he became infatuated with Hitler and the Nazi and as a consequence, led Shell into becoming the financial savior of the Nazi Party. As we will see, he also became anti-Semitic.(5) After his retirement in 1937, Royal Dutch Shell, determined to curry favor with the Nazi, acted with “undue haste” to implement an anti-Semitic policy against Jewish employees, which cost some of them their lives.(6)
On 13 February 1939, Time Magazine published an article(7)about the death of Sir Henri. It said that he “backed Hitler in Germany” and had “added a German residence to his English, Dutch and Swiss homes.“
Sir Henri had died suddenly on 4 February in St. Moriz.(8)(9)
Royal Dutch Shell directors were present at the funeral along with the Nazi party representatives.(10)
Some more photographs of the funeral…
Simultaneously memorial services were held in all offices in Germany of the Royal Dutch-Shell group.(11)
PART 1 OF 10
We have previously published articles on the subject of Royal Dutch Shell financing the Nazi party. This is part 1 of an updated account with extensive additional evidence.
It includes information from “A History of Royal Dutch Shell” - a four volume history authored by a team of four historians associated with Utrecht University commissioned (paid) by Shell to write a full-length history of the company from 1890 until 2007. For this purpose, the team were given unrestricted access to Royal Dutch Shells archives.
Shell internal emails in March(12) and June 2007(13) reveal that Shell was fretting about the potential consequences of John Donovan obtaining the History book, which was due out on 5 July 2007. It took us sometime to get round to reading it all and extracting the information salient to this subject, which is undoubtedly the darkest time in the history of Royal Dutch Shell. The emails were obtained from Shell under the UK Data Protection Act. Shell redacted names and other unknown information.
It also became the darkest time in the history of the world. Tens of millions of people perished, many in horrific circumstances, as a consequence of the evil actions of the Nazis Party, led by the megalomaniac Adolf Hitler and funded at a crucial moment in it’s history by Deterding and Royal Dutch Shell.
1. The Times: SIR HENRI DETERDING’S FUNERAL: 11 FEBRUARY 1939
2. Information from page 490 “A History of Royal Dutch Shell” Vol 1: From Challenger to Joint Industry Leader 1890 -1939 by Joost Jonker & Luiten van Zanden published in the UK in 2007 by Oxford University Press.
3. See page 188 of “A Century in Oil” by Stephen Howarth published in 1997 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson ISBN: 9780297822479
5. Information from page 481 from A History of Royal Dutch Shell” Vol 1: From Challenger to Joint Industry Leader 1890 -1939 by Joost Jonker & Luiten van Zanden published in the UK in 2007 by Oxford University Press.
6. Information from page 469 of “The History of Royal Dutch Shell” Vol 1: From Challenger to Joint Industry Leader 1890 -1939 by Joost Jonker & Luiten van Zanden published in the UK in 2007 by Oxford University Press.
7. Time Magazine: Petroleum: Royal Dutch Knight: Monday 13 February 1939
8. The Times: Sir Henri Deterding Obituary: 6 February 1939
9. Date of death confirmed on page 490 “A History of Royal Dutch Shell” Vol 1: From Challenger to Joint Industry Leader 1890 -1939 by Joost Jonker & Luiten van Zanden published in the UK in 2007 by Oxford University Press.
10. Information from page 490 of “The History of Royal Dutch Shell” Vol 1: From Challenger to Joint Industry Leader 1890 -1939 by Joost Jonker & Luiten van Zanden published in the UK in 2007 by Oxford University Press.
11. The Times: SIR HENRI DETERDING’S FUNERAL: 11 FEBRUARY 1939
12. Shell internal email dated 11 March 2007, marked as being “Legally Privileged and Confidential”
13. Shell internal email dated 6 June 2007 subject “Online Issue Management – Group Strategy”
LINKS TO OTHER PARTS OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NAZI SECRETS
Royal Dutch Shell Nazi Secrets: Authors relationship with Shell (Alfred Donovan and John Donovan)
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