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Will Shell block Internet publication of its Nazi past?

Will Royal Dutch Shell carry out threat to block Internet publication of its connection with Hitler and the Nazis?

By John Donovan

I have printed below my recent email correspondence with Mr. Michiel Brandjes, the Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

As can be seen, it relates to Royal Dutch Shell’s support for Hitler and the Nazis.

I have already published a related article: “Royal Dutch Shell and the Nazis: Shell threatens legal proceedings

This is obviously a highly sensitive subject for Shell.

The reply to my email concerning our intention to publish related information from “A History of Royal Dutch Shell”, authored by Shell’s paid historians, is the first time we have managed to elicit any comment from Shell on the subject.

Since Shell’s statement and associated threats are likely to be of most interest, I have printed it first, then again in appropriate order, within the entire correspondence.

The links immediately below are the pdf files which generated the threats from Royal Dutch Shell. Because they contain multiple pages, they take some time to load, so please be patient.

A History of Royal Dutch Shell: Pages from Volume 1

A History of Royal Dutch Shell: Pages from Volume 2

Despite the bluster, it is doubtful that Shell will take any action, because to do so would guarantee coverage of the subject by the mainstream media, a development Shell executives must dread.

The example (top right) from Volume 2 of “A History of Royal Dutch Shell” is the official announcement in May 1940 of the transfer of Royal Dutch’s legal seat to Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles located in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. Royal Dutch Petroleum directors refused to locate the company seat in England. Perhaps they were not sure whose side they were on and were hedging bets about the outcome of the war? There was also antagonism between UK and Dutch directors in the Group, which seems to be a reoccurring theme.

EMAIL FROM MICHIEL BRANDJES, 3 MARCH 2011

From: [email protected]
Date: 3 March 2011 09:02:21 GMT
To: [email protected]
Subject: RE: A HISTORY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL

Dear Mr Donovan,

Thank you for your message. Except for this message the company does not wish to respond to you other than to convey that it strongly disagrees with your views and allegations, objects to your actions and reserves its legal rights, including with respect to copyrights.

On an exceptional basis we tested your views about history with the relevant historians. They convincingly refute with evidence what you claim in contradiction with A History of Royal Dutch Shell.

Best Regards,
Michiel Brandjes
Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate
Royal Dutch Shell plc

Registered office: Shell Centre London SE1 7NA UK
Place of registration and number: England 4366849
Correspondence address: PO Box 162, 2501 AN  The Hague,
The Netherlands

ENTIRE EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE IN DATE/TIME ORDER

JOHN DONOVAN EMAIL TO MR MICHIEL BRANDJES, WEDNESDAY 2 MARCH 2011

From: John Donovan [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: woensdag 2 maart 2011 13:43
To: Brandjes, Michiel CM RDS-LSC
Subject: A HISTORY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL

Dear Mr. Brandjes

I have tried, without success, to send you two pdf files for your information. Both exceeded a size limit imposed by your server.

Each contains a selection of pages from “A History of Royal Dutch Shell”.

The first pdf relates to Volume One, 1890-1939, and contains the front and back cover, plus three preamble pages, including  copyright and publishers details. In addition, it includes numbered pages 464 to 493 inclusive.

The second pdf relates to Volume 2, 1939-1973, and contains the front and back cover, two preamble pages covering publishers details and copyright information, plus the following numbered pages: 12, 22, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84 and 86.

Both include the following 2 page introduction, plus an article from the New York Times published on 26 October 1934 reporting on a 4 day summit meeting between Hitler and Sir Henri Deterding.

INTRODUCTION

Royal Dutch Shell and the Nazis

By John Donovan

In the “Fortune Global 500 Ranking by Revenue 2010”, Royal Dutch Shell Plc is ranked as the second largest company in the world, after Wal-Mart Stores.

Many people know something about the oil giants’ controversial track record in Nigeria. It includes decades long plunder and pollution, with involvement in espionage, corruption, torture, murder, and other human rights abuses.

Some people are aware of Shell’s unscrupulous dealings with despotic regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Libya. Shell deliberately disguised shipping movements of Iraqi and Iranian oil during UN sanctions.

Very few people have any inkling of Shell’s pivotal support for Hitler and the Nazi Party.

Basically, Shell saved the Nazi Party when it was in danger of financial collapse and continued, for over a decade, to pump funds into the Nazi project. As a consequence, Shell was arguably indirectly responsible for over 30 million deaths in World War 2.

I have already published a series of articles on this explosive subject, the most recent major article under the headline: “Royal Dutch Shell Nazi Secrets”

The Dutch oil baron Sir Henri Deterding drove Shell’s support for the Nazis. He was the dictatorial founder of Royal Dutch Shell publicly described as the “Napoleon of Petroleum” and “The Most Powerful Man in the World”. Sir Henri was infatuated with Hitler and the Nazis.

An official account of the history of the oil giant – “A History of Royal Dutch Shell” – authored by eminent historians associated with Utrecht University, provided invaluable information during my research. The historians were given unrestricted access to Royal Dutch Shell archives. The Research Institute for History and Culture supervised the project. The entire 4-volume history published in 1997 costs £140 (over $200).

I have created pdf files from relevant pages of Volumes 1 & 2 for publication on the Internet. Public interest in knowing the truth about such historically important matters in my view outweighs copyright issues. Instead of the information being buried in an expensive set of history books available mainly in a few reference libraries for research by academics, the information is now freely available on the World Wide Web.

The public and investors should be aware of Shell’s Nazi past. Some people, perhaps relatives of those poor souls who suffered horrific deaths in the Nazi gas chambers, may wish to boycott Shell on these grounds alone. Shell’s Nazi business partner, the infamous I.G. Farben, supplied the Zyklon-B gas used during the Holocaust to exterminate millions of people, including children.

Information in Shell’s own authorised history of the company confirms that Shell pumped funds into the Nazi in a variety of ways, was at times anti-Semitic, sold out its own Dutch Jewish employees to the Nazis and conspired directly with Hitler.

Readers can see for themselves from the pages below that Shell continued its partnership with the Nazis in the years after the retirement of Sir Henri Deterding as leader of the company. Sir Henri remained a director after his retirement from the top job and made huge food donations to Nazi Germany that were widely reported. This meant that Shell was aware of his activities and allowed him to remain as a director; no surprise bearing in mind that Shell also continued its partnership with the Nazis (even after the subsequent death of Sir Henri).

As a long-term campaigner against Shell management misdeeds, my objectivity and impartiality is open to question. This is why I created pdf’s containing relevant pages from “A History of Royal Dutch Shell”, so those interested can read Shell’s own account of relevant events.

Since the historians were paid by Shell, it follows that their objectivity and impartiality is also open to question. They also appear to have enjoyed some global jet setting funded by Shell.

The relevant historians  – Joost Jonker and Jan Luiten van Zanden – downplayed the central issue of Shell funding the Nazis on the basis that Hitler would not even agree to meet with Sir Henri. My own research, including newspaper reports from the 1930’s unearthed in The New York Times archive, revealed that this could not have been further from the truth.

Agents engaged in sinister activities jointly for Hitler and Sir Henri after the two men had a private four-day summit meeting at Hitler’s mountain top retreat in Berchtesgaden. Both dictators had designs on the Russian oil fields.

What transpired all those years ago obviously has no reflection on current Shell employees, the vast majority of whom are decent hard working people.

The dreadful events do however stain forever the name of Royal Dutch Shell and the brand name by which the company is best known throughout the world: Shell.

John Donovan

March 2011

INTRODUCTION ENDS

You will see my stated contention that public interest overrides copyright issues.

As you will probably be aware, I published an article last week giving notice to Shell lawyers of my intention to publish this information on the Internet.

I have not received any response and this suggests that Shell has no objection to such publication.

Please let me know if this assumption is wrong.

Shell is, as always, welcome to correct any inaccurate information which is stated as fact in the introduction.

If you want any comment or response by Shell to be added, it will be included on an unedited basis.

If there is no response within the next 48 hours, I will take that as confirmation that Royal Dutch Shell plc has waived copyright in favour of the public interest and our right to criticise Shell using the Internet, as stated by your company in its submission to the World Intellectual Property Organisation in 2005. This was in regard to the proceedings by Shell in respect of the top level domain name RoyalDutchShellPlc.com and two other Shell related domain names.

Internet publication in controversial circumstances may promote renewed interest in “A History of Royal Dutch Shell” and generate sales.

If you need more time to consider the matter, that is not a problem. Just kindly let me know within the 48 hour period that you will be responding after due consideration.

Best Regards
John Donovan

EMAIL RESPONSE FROM MICHIEL BRANDJES, 3 MARCH 2011

From: [email protected]
Date: 3 March 2011 09:02:21 GMT
To: [email protected]
Subject: RE: A HISTORY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL

Dear Mr Donovan,

Thank you for your message. Except for this message the company does not wish to respond to you other than to convey that it strongly disagrees with your views and allegations, objects to your actions and reserves its legal rights, including with respect to copyrights.

On an exceptional basis we tested your views about history with the relevant historians. They convincingly refute with evidence what you claim in contradiction with A History of Royal Dutch Shell.

Best Regards,
Michiel Brandjes
Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate
Royal Dutch Shell plc

Registered office: Shell Centre London SE1 7NA UK
Place of registration and number: England 4366849
Correspondence address: PO Box 162, 2501 AN  The Hague,
The Netherlands

REPLY FROM JOHN DONOVAN

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
Date: 3 March 2011 13:18:33 GMT
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: A HISTORY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL

Dear Mr Brandjes

Thank you for your response.

For the record, we are not in contradiction with the stated facts based on information/evidence in Shell archives, but rather with the surprising opinions and conclusions aired by your paid historians in relation to that evidence.

Their defence of the numerous allegations of Shell/Deterding funding of Hitler and the Nazi Party was founded on the claim that all attempts by Deterding to meet with Hitler were rebuffed, with the conclusion being that Deterding could not have been held in high esteem by Hitler. I can only surmise that the historians were unaware that in fact Deterding had a summit meeting with Hitler at Berchtesgaden. Only an honoured personal guest would be rewarded with a private four day meeting at Hitler’s mountain top retreat. In contrast, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s face-to-face meeting in September 1938 with Hitler at Berchtesgaden in an attempt to avoid war, lasted for just three hours. The absence of any reference to the Deterding/Hitler meeting in my view undermines the credibility of the relevant paid historians and their ill informed opinions on this historically important matter.

Further evidence of the high regard the Nazis had for Deterding was apparent at his Nazi funeral, which included a glowing personal tribute from Hitler in a wreath sent by Göring: ‘In the name and on the instructions of the Fuhrer, I greet thee, Heinrich Deterding, the great friend of the Germans.‘

I am sure that you will understand that having been bombarded with various threats by Shell and its lawyers for getting on to 20 years, such threats have lost their impact.  Please also bear in mind the fact that we are in possession of a Shell internal communication indicating that Shell decided long ago that it would never take legal action against us. There was a fear expressed in one such communication about “internal laundry”. If you categorically state that Shell will take legal action if we proceed with our planned publication, then we would be more impressed and act accordingly.

As to the blanket condemnation of “our views about history”, I note that not a single example of any inaccurately stated fact has been provided.

Best Regards
John Donovan

CORRESPONDENCE ENDS

Text: “Together with Jersey Standard, Shell distributed the synthetic gas oil produced by IG Farben and was a partner in the extension of the project. The town of Leuna in eastern Germany was the hub of I. G. Farbenindustrie and gave its name to the company’s synthetic petrol.”

Royal Dutch Shell was for many years a business and cartel partner both in Germany and on a global basis, with I.G. Farben, the German Chemical giant, which was under control of the SS. The synthetic gasoline contributed significantly to Germany’s ability to wage war despite having been cut off from all major oil fields. I.G. Farben supplied the Zyklon-B gas used during the Holocaust to exterminate millions of people, including children. During the Nuremberg trials, I.G. Farben Directors were found guilty of war crimes, including crimes against humanity, the “mistreatment, terrorization, torture, and murder of enslaved persons” and of being members of a criminal organisation, the SS. (Some information/extracts sourced from the Wikipedia article: IG Farben Trial)

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