In later years, Sir Henri became an ardent Nazi. He financially backed the Third Reich and met directly with Hitler.
Evidence signed by Hitler confirmed Deterding’s financial support for the Nazis. The funds to support the Nazis were generated on Shell petrol forecourts around the world.
At the time, Shell publicly boasted about the importance of its financial contribution to the German economy, in which it was a significant player via a subsidiary company controlled by Dutch Directors of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. The subsidiary became involved in Nazi military planning.
Before the outbreak of WW2 directors of the Royal Dutch Shell Group collaborated in the annexation and occupation of sovereign countries by the Nazis - Austria and Czechoslovakia.
Several Dutch directors of the Royal Dutch Shell Group also engaged in anti-Semitic policies against Shell employees and were guilty of collaboration and appeasement.
Deterding died just before the outbreak of WW2. He was honoured with a Nazi ceremonial funeral near Berlin attended by Royal Dutch Shell Group directors mingling with Nazi military officers. Hundreds of mourners took part in the funeral procession. A glowing tribute on behalf of the German nation was inscribed on a wreath sent by Hitler.
Fears that the Nazis intended to exploit the death of Sir Henri, just before the start of WW2, to seize control of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, were well founded. The UK National Archives has kindly given permission for related documents and correspondence to be featured within this book.
As a major financial contributor to Nazi Germany in pre-WW2 years, the Royal Dutch Shell Group under Dutch leadership arguably had indirect responsibility for the death toll in the subsequent war, in which over 50 million people perished.
Comprehensive, independent information and evidence, accessible via several hundred links, confirm the veracity of the stated facts.