BRITISH PATHE NEWS film footage has come to light which shows the huge importance Hitler attached to his fundraising vehicle for the Nazi regime. Royal Dutch Shell founder Sir Henri Deterding was by far the largest single donor, sending 7,000 railway wagons full of Dutch food produce. Despite criticism in the news media, specifically linking the money saved on food to Nazi rearmament, Deterding continued to donate Dutch food to Nazi Germany.
By John Donovan
In December 1936, there were global news reports about Royal Dutch Shell founder Sir Henri Deterding’s massive food donations to Hitlers Winter Relief Charity fundraising project in Nazi Germany. Numerous examples can be found in an Index of Shell leadership financial support for the Nazis.
The scheme was run directly by the notorious Nazi propaganda minister Dr. Joseph Goebbels, known by his detractors as the poison dwarf.
BRITISH PATHE NEWS film footage has come to light which shows the huge importance Hitler attached to his fundraising vehicle for the Nazi regime. Royal Dutch Shell founder Sir Henri Deterding was by far the largest single donor, sending 7,000 railway wagons full of Dutch food produce. Despite criticism in the news media, specifically linking the money saved on food to Nazi rearmament, Deterding continued to finance Nazi Germany.
The film is of a spectacular Nazi rally with a massive mesmerised audience of perhaps a million Germans addressed by Hitler under a giant sign: Winterhilfswerk 1936-37. As can be seen from a screenshot below, Dr Goebbels, along with Deterding’s personal friend Reichsmarschall Göring, were also present.
The “Winterhilfswerk” speech is basically to the German people encouraging them to donate. Hitler says in his speech that there are always some people poorer than others. So everybody has to donate. The people are everything in whole, the single doesn’t count. To maintain the people of Germany has the highest priority. He expects from every German “with decency and character” to be part of the gang marching together. The translation is challenging because it is old-style German delivered with typical Hitler emotionalism.
All of Deterding’s financial support for Hitler and the Nazi party took place while he was a director of multiple companies within the Royal Dutch Shell Group and retained a measure of control via preference shares. This included the period after he had retired as Director-General.
According to Shell’s records, Deterding donated 10 million guilders in surplus Dutch food to the annual Nazi-run Winterhilfswerk (Winter Relief) organization in Germany. See page 483 from A History of Royal Dutch Shell Volume 1.
Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and Reichsmarschall Göring were also present at the Winterhilfswerk rally addressed by Hitler.
The above screenshot and the following two give some idea of the mega-size of the spectacular Winterhilfswerk rally. More than a million Germans attended one such rally.
Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and Reichsmarschall Göring
(Screenshot immediately above from a second related British Pathe news report)
The accompanying text of the brief second Britsh Pathe news film reads: “GERMANY’S SCHEME FOR WINTER RELIEF- Dr Goebbels directs operations in Berlin on Collection Day.” The narration during the film says that Dr. Goebbels had the huge task of organising the Winter Help scheme. Believe I also spotted Reichsmarschall Göring in the film.
Photograph of Winterhilfswerk staff at the Nazi-run charity in which Sir Henri Deterding of Royal Dutch Shell was the largest donor.
The two screenshots displayed above are from the TV series The World At War. Goebbels, Göring and the Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess were all shown in the first episode A New Germany (1933–1939) holding Winter Help collection tins.royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com