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Nazi named ship a bloodstain on the name of Shell

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According to a Dutch magazine article published today, Shell had a long connection with Pieter Schelte Heerema, who, on May 17, 1942, was promoted by Heinrich Himmler no less, to SS- Untersturmführeris. Shell is currently scheduled to be the largest user of the Nazi named ship. Consequently, Shell has the clout to put immense pressure on Edward Heerema to change the name, under the threat of cancelling the contract. Surely Shell has contingency insurance in place to cover any losses, knowing beforehand that it was playing with fire in contracting to use a ship with such a toxic name? Astonishing similarity with the Brent Spar decommissioning affair, which turned into a PR disaster for Shell and seems destined to happen again in this foreseeable “storm of criticism” unless Shell acts decisively. Regular visitors to this website know that I have been warning Shell for ages about associating itself with this Nazi named ship. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the sleazy sinister son, Edward Heerema, is unhinged in relation to this issue. Shell should bear this obvious fact in mind. By naming his pariah ship after his father, Mr Heerema has transformed a relatively obscure Nazi into an internationally infamous Nazi and in the process, drawn a lot of unwelcome attention to himself and his tax affairs. 


By John Donovan

The Financial Times has this evening published an article by Mark Odell under the headline:

“Shell attacked over Nazi history behind ship’s name”

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It reports:

“Royal Dutch Shell is facing a storm of criticism after deciding to proceed with plans to bring a ship named after a Nazi war criminal into UK waters to decommission the Brent oilfield, having failed to get the owner to change the name.”

It says Shell has filed plans with the UK government to decommission the Brent Delta oil platform.

Some main points from their article:

  • The Nazi name has ignited outrage in the Jewish community.
  • Pieter Schelte Heerema worked alongside the infamous Josef Mengele in the elite 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking in the Waffen-SS, a unit linked to war crimes. 
  • Pieter Schelte later dispatched slave labour to the eastern front.
  • He was found guilty of war crimes.
  • His claim to have renounced the Nazis and join the resistance has been discredited. 
  • Claims made by Allseas as to the reason that Pieter Schelte joined the Waffen-SS have also been discredited. 
  • Shell says it supported a campaign to change the name of the ship but Edward Heerema refused to do so.
  • The matter has been discussed by senior Shell management. I assume that includes Ben van Beurden?
  • The British government says the Nazi name is an issue to be resolved by Allseas and Shell.

Esther Voet, speaking for the Dutch Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel says:

 This is a bloodstain on the name of Royal Dutch Shell…”

The Amsterdam-based Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies has evidence of a speech made by Pieter Schelte Heerema when he stated:

“Compared to the German race, the Jewish race is a parasite and for that reason the Jewish question must be resolved in every country.”


John Donovan, Co-Founder of Royal Dutch Shell

John Donovan, Co-Founder of Royal Dutch Shell

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