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Wiesenthal Centre to Royal Dutch Shell CEO: ‘Disassociate Your Company from Glorification of a Nazi War Criminal’

By John Donovan

I became aware today of a letter (see below) which a director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre sent to Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden on 5 February 2015. The communication stemmed from my campaigning activities that ended with Allseas renaming the worlds largest ship. I will shortly be supplying the Simon Wiesenthal Centre with a trove of evidence about Shell’s Nazi history including its close partnership in Nazi Germany with IG Farben, the chemical giant which manufactured the gas used to exterminate several million Jewish people in the Holocaust. Dutch Directors of the Royal Dutch Shell Group including Sir Henri Deterding helped finance Hitler and the Nazi Party.


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“Annul Shell’s dealings with Allseas – a company which apparently celebrates Nazi crimes by glorifying a perpetrator”

“It is interesting to note on the Shell portals’ list of associated countries, the conspicuous absence of Israel”

Paris, 5 February 2015

In a letter to Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Ben van Beurdon, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted, “Shell has contracted from the Swiss-based offshore pipeline installation and subsea construction company, Allseas Group, their crane-ship Pieter Schelte, to service Brent oil platforms on the British continental shelf.”

Samuels expressed indignation that “this vessel, described as “the largest ship in the world,” is named for the father of Allseas’ owner, who was a convicted Nazi war criminal.”

The letter explained, “Peter Schelte was jailed after the war for commandeering some 4,000 Dutch citizens for forced labour on the Eastern Front. As a Dutch Waffen SS officer, he reportedly stated, ‘the German race is a model. The Jewish race by comparison is parasitic. Therefore the Jewish question must be resolved in every Aryan country’.”

Samuels pointed out that “the International Transport Workers Federation has demanded that Allseas rename the ship,” adding, “Our Centre feels that the offence to the memory of Dutch victims of Nazi crimes and British casualties in liberating Europe from Hitler’s tyranny demands more of Royal Dutch Shell.”

The Centre urged, “In the spirit of the 70th anniversary of these events, we urge Shell to annul its dealings with Allseas – a company which, apparently, celebrates Nazi crimes by glorifying one of the perpetrators”, continuing, “we are sure that Shell will wish to publicly disassociate itself from this travesty”.

“On a related matter, it is interesting to note, on the Shell portals’ list of countries with which it is associated, the conspicuous absence of the State of Israel,” concluded Samuels.

For further information please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels 00 33 6 09770158, join the Center on Facebook,, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

Photo: The Pieter-Schelte entering the Port of Rotterdam. Inset: Pieter-Schelte Heerema in SS uniform



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