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Film of Royal Dutch Shell founder Sir Henri Deterding giving a Nazi salute

Begin viewing at 49 minutes to see the part where Sir Henri gives a Nazi salute. (The whole video is worth watching if you have the time)

Video clip from a PBS TV Documentary adapted from Daniel Yergin’s book “The PRIZE: Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power. Published in 1992 by FREE PRESS ISBN 0-671-79932-0

The Prize (Part 2 of 8) – “Empires of Oil”

Covers the story of Royal Dutch Shell.

Includes, at just over 49 mins, film of Royal Dutch Shell founder Sir Henri Deterding giving a Heil Hitler salute at a major sporting event for Shell employees celebrating his birthday. 

Extract from narration by Donald Sutherland:

Under Deterding’s leadership, Royal Dutch Shell expanded enormously. He had shaped a great global organisation. He had been the greatest oil man since Rockefeller. But Henri Deterding… Marcus Samuel’s old partner… had, in his old age, become a Nazi sympathiser…

Comments by Grandson, James Deterding:

“I think he was a supporter of Hitler when he saw how well Hitler was doing getting Germany out of a really thorough mess which it was in the early 30’s… And then there is some family talk about the fact that when he realised that he had backed the wrong horse when Hitler started really rampaging round Europe… this is possibly what killed him.”


In fact, the invasion of Poland, which started World War 2, did not happen until September 1939. Deterding had passed away several months earlier on 10 February. 

Video can also be viewed here

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Royal Dutch Shell Founder Sir Henri Deterding giving a Nazi salute at a sporting event

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James Deterding, Grandson of Sir Henri Deterding (seen in the background portrait)

 SIR HENRI DETERDING and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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