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A History of Royal Dutch Shell – Volumes 1 & 2: In bed with the Nazis

By John Donovan

In the “Fortune Global 500 Ranking by Revenue 2010”, Royal Dutch Shell Pic was 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. Itincludes 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 linked 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 pdfs containing relevant pages from “A History of Royal Dutch Sheil”, 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

Links to 38 pages including pages from:

A History of Royal Dutch Shell Vol 1: From Challenger to Joint Industry Leader 1890-1939


A History of Shell, volume 2: Powering the Hydrocarbon Revolution, 1939-1973

Plus relevant pages from the notes

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

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