Royal Dutch Shell Nazi Secrets Part 9: Further evidence from published sources
By John Donovan
Extract from an article published by The Times on 23 April 2004:
“When the British Shell company merged with Royal Dutch in 1906 it was soon dominated by a single despot, Henri Deterding, a brilliant trader who became increasingly autocratic and ended up a fervent admirer of Hitler.”(1)
A New York Times article(2)reported that as early as 1929, the Nazi had begun to try and make friends in Britain and a firmer bond had been established with “Sir Henri Deterding, the oil magnate, and his associates.”
In 1933, Sir Henri was said to be “currying favor with Adolf Hitler in the hope of winning oil contracts for Royal Dutch Shell.”(3)
New York Times: Propaganda Success in Britain Vaunted by Rosenberg to Hitler: 10 January 1946(6)
“NUREMBERG, Germany, Jan. 9- One of Alfred Rosenberg’s reports to Adolf Hitler on his work in winning friends for nazism in foreign countries came to light today.”
‘Rosenburg also told Hitler that “a firmer bond” had also been established between Rosenberg’s British division and Sir Henri Deterding, the oil magnate, and his associates’.
EXTRACTS FROM “THE SEVEN SISTERS” BY ANTHONY SAMPSON: PUBLISHED IN 1975
His influence on the company was erratic and as one Shell veteran recalls: ‘Deterding’s interventions were like thunderstorms; suddenly flattening a field of wheat, while leaving other fields un-scathed.’ The stately managers of Shell began to have the worrying impression that their Director-General was going mad, and still worse, going pro-Nazi.(7)
He died six months before the outbreak of war: memorial services were held in all Shell offices in Germany and Hitler and Goering both sent wreaths to the funeral on his estate.(8)
EXTRACTS FROM “THE PRIZE” BY DANIEL YERGIN PUBLISHED IN 1992
The government also had to cope with a different kind of problem-the future of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. The current management of the Group was no less concerned and apprehensive. For there was a risk that the Group could pass under the Nazi sway. The heart of the problem was Henri Deterding, the grand master of the company. He had continued to dominate the Group through the 192os. “Sir Henri’s word is law,” observed a British official in 1927.
“He can bind the Board of the Shell without their knowledge and consent.” But by the 1930s, Deterding’s grip on the company was slipping, and he was becoming an embarrassment to the management and a source of anxiety to the British government. His behavior was increasingly erratic, disruptive, megalomaniacal.
In the mid-1930s, as he entered his seventies, Deterding had developed two infatuations. One was for his secretary, a young German woman. The other was for Adolf Hitler.(9)
Deterding died in Germany in early 1939, six months before the war began. Strange and deeply disturbing rumors immediately reached London. Not only had the Nazis made much of his funeral, but they were also trying to take advantage of the circumstances of his death to gain control of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. That, of course, would have been a disaster for Great Britain. The company had virtually been Britain’s quartermaster general for oil during World War 1. Should it now pass under Nazi domination, Britain’s entire system of petroleum supply would be undermined. But it was discovered that the key “preference” shares, which embodied control, could only be held by directors, and at his demise, Deterding’s shares had been swiftly distributed to the other directors. At best, the Germans could only get their hands on a tiny fraction of the common shares, which would do them no good at all, either before or after the outbreak of war.(10)
Ironically, the driven ruthless man most responsible for the great enterprise which is Royal Dutch Shell Plc today, was also largely, though not completely responsible, for one of the darkest chapters in its long history.
Photograph shows Swastika flag flying at the head office of Royal Dutch Petroleum, 30 Carel van Bylandtlaan , The Hague, during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in World War II (From Image Database Hague Municipal)
More archive documents from WW2 are released into the public domain from time to time. Further evidence will be added to any updating of this compilation of information when it comes to light.
1. Extract from a Sunday Times article “A very British kind of scandal: why Shell is no Enron” published on 23 April 2004.
2. Information from a New York Times article “Propaganda Success in Britain Vaunted by Rosenberg to Hitler” published 10 January 1946.
3. Quote from Time Magazine article “GERMANY: Co-ordination” published 17 April 1933.
4. Quote from New York Times review “Powerful Henri Deterding Who Rivals Standard Oil” published 12 June 1938.
5. Quote from New York Times review “Review/Television; The Epic Of Oil, Catalyst Of Conflict” published 11 January 1993.
6. Extracts from a New York Times article “Propaganda Success in Britain Vaunted by Rosenberg to Hitler” published 10 January 1946.
7. Extract from page 96The Seven Sisters: By Anthony Sampson: Published by Hodder and Stoughton Limited ISBN 034021323 X
8. Extract from page 97The Seven Sisters: By Anthony Sampson: Published by Hodder and Stoughton Limited ISBN 034021323 X
9. Extract from page 369 The Prize by Daniel Yergin published 1992 by FREE PRESS ISBN 0-671-79932-0
10. Extract from page 370 The Prize by Daniel Yergin published 1992 by FREE PRESS ISBN 0-671-79932-0
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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