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Shell collaborated in the Nazi annexation of Austria and occupation of Czechoslovakia


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.


As a result, a Shell subsidiary company dominated by the Nazis gained control over Shell subsidiaries in Austria and Czechoslovakia.

The move fitted in with Nazis plans or otherwise it would not have been allowed. These developments took place before the outbreak of WW2.

The annexation of Austria occurred while Deterding was still an active Shell supervisory director. The Nazi regime did not appoint an administrator for Rhenania-Ossag until January 1940.


Part of the information is sourced directly from page 78 of RDSH V2 (and the remainder from the Rhenania-Ossag Wikipedia article).

The following is an extract from page 78

Following Hitler’s annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia, Group managing directors sanctioned Rhenania-Ossag taking over the Shell companies in those countries.


Baron van Eck was one of the relevant Group directors. He and his colleague N. van Wijk participated in related correspondence involving Rhenania-Ossag. See item 142 on page 456 of RDSH V2 notes.

Van Wijk was company secretary of Royal Dutch.  The Verwalter, Hauptmann Eichardt von Klass, later appointed him as a director of Royal Dutch.

See Page 32 RDSH V2.

It provides proof from Shell’s own archives that Royal Dutch Shell collaborated in the annexation and occupation of these sovereign countries by the Nazis.

Information on pages 1080/81 of a 1,616-page Nuremberg War Crimes court document confirms that in March 1938, Dr. Boeder of Rhenania-Ossag, and Dr. Brunck of Deutsche Gasolin were involved in Nazi military planning.

The planning was in regard to the production of petroleum.

There is evidence on page 1538 of the same document relevant to the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia.

In March 1938, as part of a German army plan, Deutsche Gasolin A.G. refueled gas stations in southern Germany located on roads heading towards the Czech border. 


This crucial aspect of the plan facilitated the Nazi military move into Czechoslovakia days later.

Shell was a partner in Deutsche Gasolin A.G. with IG Farben and Standard Oil of New Jersey.


Himmler in Vienna on the day after the annexation of Austria


Hitler with Heydrich and Himmler in Vienna, March 1938


Cheering crowds greet the Nazis in Vienna


John Donovan, Royal Dutch Shell

John Donovan, Royal Dutch Shell

The ebook by John Donovan (right) can be purchased via Amazon websites around the world. Chapter headings are listed below. The introduction and some sample Chapters are accessible via the hyperlinks provided.



  1. The best historians Shell could buy
  2. News story February 2015: Shell ship named after a Nazi SS Officer
  3. Royal Dutch Shell and the Nazis
  4. Media coverage of Sir Henri Deterding’s Death
  5. The Nazi Funeral of Royal Dutch Shell leader Sir Henri Deterding
  6. Great friend of the Germans
  7. You Can Be Sure of Shell
  8. Royal Dutch Shell Anti-Semitism
  9. Deterding’s support for Nazi Stormtroopers
  10. Shell support for the Nazis continued after the retirement of Sir Henri as leader
  11. Shell collaborated in the Nazi annexation of Austria and occupation of Czechoslovakia (above chapter)
  12. Shell’s notorious business partner: IG Farben
  13. Royal Dutch Shell and Nazi slave labor
  14. Control of Royal Dutch Shell companies in Nazi-occupied Europe
  15. Nazi connections relating to Shell
  16. Shell historians attempt to distance Deterding from Hitler
  17. Why does it still matter?
  18. Time for a rare public apology from Shell?
  19. Key Dates
  20. Shell cloak and dagger activities
  21. Wikipedia: The sanitization of Shell’s history
  22. Authors unique connection with Shell

Index of Shell leadership financial support for the Nazis

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

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