Posts Tagged ‘Shell’

OPEC Reaching Comfortable Middle Age, Turns 50 Tomorrow With Oil at $75

OPEC Turns 50 Years Old
A ceremony for the new OPEC headquarters in Austria on March 17, 2010. Photographer: Vladimir Weiss/Bloomberg

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries turns 50 years old tomorrow, having survived a tumultuous history of wars, embargoes and in-fighting. The world’s oldest and largest energy producer group is now enjoying prices close to the $75 a barrel level that its largest member Saudi Arabia considers “ideal.”
OPEC’s Timeline:
Sept. 14, 1960: The organization was born in Baghdad. The five founding members — Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela — created the group during a five-day meeting in the Iraqi capital, dedicated to “the coordination and unification of the petroleum policies of Member Countries and the determination of the best means of safeguarding their interests.”
Sept. 1, 1965: The group moved its headquarters from Geneva to Vienna, where its secretariat is now based. Between 1961 and 1971 the following six countries join: Qatar, Indonesia, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Nigeria.
October, 1973: The six-month Arab oil embargo pitted OPEC’s Arab members against the U.S. and Israel in a politically-motivated suspension of exports that pushed prices above $12 a barrel. The Paris-based International Energy Agency was created in 1974 by consumer nations, in response to the oil price shock. Ecuador and Gabon join OPEC in 1973 and 1975, respectively, only to leave the group later.
Dec. 20, 1975: Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as Carlos the Jackal, took more than 60 hostages during a raid on OPEC’s Vienna headquarters to protest against treatment of Palestinians by Israel.
October, 1978: Protests and strikes in OPEC member Iran against ruling Shah Reza Pahlavi, deposed the following year in a revolution, cut the country’s oil production within three months to a 27-year low.
Sept. 23, 1980: Iraq invaded Iran in the first war between OPEC members. During the eight-year conflict, with its attacks on oil-tankers in the Persian Gulf, group production plunged to a 20-year low.
October, 1981: OPEC members agreed to maintain oil prices within a range of $32 to $38 a barrel.
August, 1985: Saudi Arabia abandoned the system of “posting” oil prices to one in favor of letting the retail value of refined products such as gasoline determine the cost of crude.
1986: OPEC members switched to a new pricing system in which futures contracts traded on exchanges in New York and London effectively determined the cost of oil shipments.
Aug. 2, 1990: Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait marked the second war among OPEC members. Repelled the following year by a U.S.-led coalition, withdrawing Iraqi troops set fire to Kuwait’s oil wells.
Nov. 29, 1997: At a meeting in Jakarta, OPEC raised production quotas for the first time in four years as the Asian financial crisis unfolds, sending prices as low as $10 the following December. Analysts often refer to the event as “the Ghost of Jakarta.”
June 24, 1998: OPEC was assisted by non-members including Mexico, Russia and Norway in cutting production as demand collapsed, helping revive prices. The coordinated action followed initial talks between Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico.
March 19, 2003: Aircraft and missile attacks on Iraq begin, followed by a U.S. and U.K. troop invasion that subsequently topples Saddam Hussein’s government in Baghdad.
Jan. 1, 2007: Angola joined OPEC, its first new member since the 1970s. In November, Ecuador re-joined the organization following a 15-year absence.
Sept. 10, 2008: Indonesia exited the oil group after becoming a net importer, leaving the total number of members at 12.
Dec. 18, 2008: OPEC announced the largest production cut in its history as the financial crisis sent prices plunging from a record $147.27 a barrel in July, 2008, to near $30 by the year- end. Oil prices then climb 78 percent during 2009.
Sept. 14, 2010: In happy middle age, OPEC turns 50, with oil prices near $75 a barrel and above $70 a barrel for all but two weeks of this year.
To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at

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Venezuela oil minister seeks U.S. investment


Exxon Mobil Corporation
12:00am GMT+0200
9:00pm GMT+0200

* In overture to US, Ramirez has 1st talks in DC in 6 yrs

* More OPEC output would end up in inventories-oilmin

* Oil market speculation causing current oil price-oilmin (adds comments from Latin America analyst)

WASHINGTON, April 15 (Reuters) – Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez on Thursday welcomed investment by U.S. oil companies to help develop his country’s vast crude reserves, as he held energy talks in Washington for the first time in six years.

Ramirez said Venezuela is signing agreements with companies in Russia, China, Europe and Japan to develop its reserves and U.S. companies should be there as well.

“This United States cannot miss this opportunity,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a two-day conference of Western Hemisphere countries meeting to address energy and climate change issues.

Relations between the United States and Venezuela have long been strained, hitting a particularly low point in 2006 when visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took on then-President George W. Bush at the United Nations, calling him a “devil.”

Ramirez said foreign oil companies wanting to do business in Venezuela would have to “respect” the country’s energy laws and policies.

Venezuela has an estimated 99.4 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, with last year’s oil production averaging 2.2 million barrels per day, down 190,000 bpd from the year before. It is the world’s eighth largest oil exporter and the fourth biggest foreign oil supplier to the U.S. market.


To boost its sagging output from traditional wells, Venezuela needs foreign investment and technology to tap the heavy oil of the Orinoco belt that requires much upgrading to turn into lighter crude.

Venezuela was criticized several years ago when it forced foreign companies to renegotiate their oil development contracts, reducing their profits. Several companies, including those U.S.-based, sold their stakes instead of following the Venezuelan government’s new terms.

Leading U.S. oil companies Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N), left Venezuela in 2007 after being pushed out of multibillion-dollar Orinoco projects.

Before Thursday, Ramirez had not held energy talks in Washington since 2004. He said Venezuelan-U.S. relations had been hurt by the Bush administration, which he said had been “hostile” to his country.

“There’s no reason whatsoever for this relationship to have been halted,” he said. Ramirez said he expected to have a private meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, during the conference.

Patrick Esteruelas, Latin America analyst at Eurasia Group in New York, said he did not think Ramirez’s comments about U.S. firms was significant because Venezuela has not discriminated against companies from specific countries.

“It has just demanded an equally aggressive share of the (oilfield) rent from all willing investors…very few U.S. companies have shown much willingness to go in and swallow that pill,” he said.


On oil market issues, Ramirez said OPEC will not increase petroleum output to bring down oil costs, even though crude prices have been hovering near 18-month highs.

Global oil inventories are “very high” because demand is low, Ramirez said. Any additional output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would end up in inventories rather than satisfying consumer demand, he said.

“As long as there is no robust increase in demand there will be no increase in supply,” said Ramirez.

Oil prices settled near $86 a barrel on Thursday on strong economic data from China, a weaker dollar, and an unexpected drop in U.S. crude inventories. [O/R]

Ramirez side-stepped questions about whether oil prices above $80 to $90 per barrel would hurt global economic growth, saying that high prices were caused by market players betting on the price.

“The current price is result of speculation in oil markets,” said Ramirez.

Current prices are stronger than the $70 to $80 range that OPEC ministers said last month is good for both producers and consumers.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner and Tom Doggett; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Bob Burgdorfer)

UPDATE 3-Venezuela oil minister seeks U.S. investment
| Reuters

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Another conspiracy theory I hadn’t seen until now, although as usual there may be some truth to it all…


Evidence of how Royal Dutch Shell saved Hitler and the Nazi Party

By John Donovan
Updated 31 August 2009
This is an updated article about the role of Royal Dutch Shell as a collaborator and financial supporter of Hitler and the Nazi Party via its founder, Sir Henri Deterding.
Further research has revealed evidence that a huge injection of Royal Dutch Shell funds by Sir Henri, saved the Nazi Party from collapse and in so doing, indirectly caused millions of deaths in World War II.
I have provided extensive verification evidence from reputable independent sources of the Royal Dutch Shell connection with Hitler and the Nazi. This includes evidence of a four-day meeting between Sir Henri and Adolf Hitler at his Mountain top retreat, The Eagles Nest in Berchtesgaden.
Declassified US intelligence records show Royal Dutch Shell was viewed as “a Nazi collaborator that used Hitler’s slave laborers”.
A ruthless thirst for access to new oil fields was a driving force by Sir Henri (right) for his support for the most evil man in history. Sir Henri was himself described at one time as “The Most Powerful Man in the World”. The oil baron, able at the height of his powers, to bind the Board of Shell without their knowledge and consent, became an embarrassment to Shell because of his infatuation with Hitler and the Nazi.
These historical events provide a lesson in what can happen if a dominant person becomes too all powerful in any County, or for that matter, any multinational company.
It was perhaps a lesson not learned the first time round by Shell given the reserves securities fraud revealed in 2004 that resulted from another dominant Shell leader, the fraudster Sir Phillip Watts. He also ended up causing huge long-term damage to Shell’s reputation.
Like some Shell employees being culled in the Vosification process, Sir Phillip was escorted from Shell premises. However, in his case, he left with a severance package worth a reported $18.5 million despite bringing an end to the Anglo-Dutch twin company structure, which had lasted for 100 years. The unified company – Royal Dutch Shell Plc – rose from the ashes.
While Royal Dutch Shell support for the Nazi all those years ago has no link to current Shell management, there is a link to current activities, with Shell supporting *yet another evil dictator.  Oil and gas is the reason why Shell (and BP) has signed contracts with the Libyan mass murderer, Gaddafi.
So basically, nothing has changed; Shell is still willing to deal with the devil to fuel its unquenchable thirst for oil, irrespective of moral considerations and the potential deadly consequences of handing over billions of dollars to a regime which may well end up funding future terrorist atrocities, as it has in the past. In addition to the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Gaddafi was also responsible for arming the IRA, another  terrorist organisation.
In 1984 police constable Yvonne Fletcher was shot dead outside the Libyan Embassy in London while policing an anti-Gaddafi demonstration. A burst of machine-gun fire from within the building was suspected of killing her, but Libyan diplomats asserted diplomatic immunity and were repatriated. (This paragraph contains extracts from Wikipedia)
*It is not long ago that Shell was funding the corrupt Nigerian dictator, General Sani Abacha, during Shell’s plunder and pollution of the Niger Delta.
As I said, nothing has changed.

Detailed Historical Evidence of how Royal Dutch Shell saved Hitler and the Nazi Party

More than 60 years after the demise of Nazi Germany, people apparently remain fascinated by the evil deeds of Adolf Hitler and his equally evil henchmen.
The recent movie ‘Valkyrie‘ tells the story of the well-documented bomb plot against Hitler. Tom Cruise is in the lead role of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, the patriotic aristocrat who unsuccessfully attempted to carry out the assassination. An article published in The Sunday Times on 4 January 2009 reviews a related book release:Valkyrie, by Philipp von Boeselager.
Another example of the resurgent interest is the video clips on YouTube said to glorify Nazi troops. A Daily Telegraph article reports that the controversial clips have received “million of hits”.
The same newspaper published an article on 3 January 2009 reporting the extraordinary news that “the Fuehrer has been given centre stage by the next European City of Culture.” The article said that the Austrian city of Linz has decided to showcase the works of the architect of the Third Reich.
What is less well known is the Royal Dutch Shell connection with Hitler and the Nazi. It is one of those episodes in Shell’s history, such as the recent multibillion-dollar reserves fraud, which the oil giant would prefer to forget.
The unfortunate association stemmed from the actions of a colossal figure in the history of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, Sir Henri Deterding, the ruthless Dutchman described as THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD, the title of a book written about the oil baron by Glyn Roberts. Deterding was the man responsible for founding the Royal Dutch Shell Group and was at the helm of the oil giant for 30 years. He was known as the “Napoleon of Oil”.
A Time Magazine article about the launch of the Glyn Roberts book said: “Roberts thinks his backing for Hitler and his admiration for Mussolini are based on his hatred of communism…”
An article published by The Times on 23 April 2004 said: “When the British Shell company merged with Royal Dutch in 1906 it was soon dominated by a single despot, Henri Deterding, a brilliant trader who became increasingly autocratic and ended up a fervent admirer of Hitler.”
The association between Deterding and the Nazi was such that Hitler and Goering both sent wreaths to his funeral when Deterding died just before the outbreak of the 2nd World War. The Nazis propaganda machine exploited his funeral and also intended to exploit the circumstances of his death to gain control over the entire Royal Dutch Shell Group.
A New York Times article reported that as earlier as 1929, the Nazi had begun to try and make friends in Britain and a firmer bond had been established with “Sir Henri Deterding, the oil magnate, and his associates.”
He was openly described as being “pro-Nazi” and a Nazi supporter.
The New York Times published an article on 26 October 1934 under the headline:
The article with the sub-headline: “Hitler’s Terms for Control of Distribution Unsatisfactory to Royal Dutch and Shell” reported the content and outcome of a four day meeting between Hitler and his guest, Sir “Henry” Deterding, held at Berchtesgaden – Hitler’s mountain top retreat known as the Eagles Nest.
“LONDON, Oct. 25.-It is reported confidentially from Berlin that the object of Sir Henry Deterding’s recent visit to Chancellor Hitler at Berchtesgaden, where he stayed for four days, was to discuss the conditions for granting a monopoly to the Royal Dutch and Shell Companies of petrol distribution in Germany for a long period of years. Chancellor Hitler’s terms were unsatisfactory and the negotiations have broken down temporarily. Three conditions advanced by the Germans were”
First-The companies were to supply oil on credit for the first year.
Second-The companies were to build a network of distributing stations along strategic motor roads, these buildings to be protected against air attacks.
Third-The companies were to invest their money, frozen in Germany, locally.
On 13 February 1939, Time Magazine published an article about the death of Sir Henri. It said that he “backed Hitler in Germany” and had “added a German residence to his English, Dutch and Swiss homes.”
On 25 October 1942, The Los Angeles Times published a review of a book authored by reporter Marquis Child’s, titled: “I WRITE FROM WASHINGTON”. Child’s is described in the review as “trying to be eminently fair” in his appraisal of public figures. During his research, he had discovered “startling facts”, some relating to Shell and Sir Henri.
Child’s said in his book:
“…Sir Henri Deterding of Royal Dutch Shell was not himself innocent of working with Hitler. Sir Henri backed him with a huge sum when the Nazi party was about to fall; and it was the oil man’s objective to get Hitler to attack Russia so that Sir Henri might take over the Baku oil fields.” 
Printed below are extracts from three books, which included extensive coverage of the Royal Dutch Shell connection with Hitler and the Nazi.
His influence on the company was erratic and as one Shell veteran recalls: ‘Deterding’s interventions were like thunderstorms; suddenly flattening a field of wheat, while leaving other fields un-scathed.’ The stately managers of Shell began to have the worrying impression that their Director-General was going mad, and still worse, going pro-Nazi. His anti-Communism, spurred on by his Russian second wife, had already made him sympathetic to the Nazis. But in 1936, just after he had celebrated his seventieth birthday and his fortieth year with Shell, he married a third time, to a German girl, Charlotte Knaack, who had been his secretary. He was now convinced that the Nazis were the only solution to the Communist menace.
He died six months before the outbreak of war: memorial services were held in all Shell offices in Germany and Hitler and Goering both sent wreaths to the funeral on his estate.
The outlook was grim and disheartening. Norway and Denmark were in German hands, France would surrender the following month, and Britain would stand alone, bearing the brunt of the war. No one was better suited than Churchill to lead his country through its “darkest hour.” No one better understood the critical role that oil would play, first in Britain’s very survival, and then in the prolonged conflict ahead.
The government also had to cope with a different kind of problem-the future of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. The current management of the Group was no less concerned and apprehensive. For there was a risk that the Group could pass under the Nazi sway. The heart of the problem was Henri Deterding, the grand master of the company. He had continued to dominate the Group through the 192os. “Sir Henri’s word is law,” observed a British official in 1927.
“He can bind the Board of the Shell without their knowledge and consent.” But by the 1930s, Deterding’s grip on the company was slipping, and he was becoming an embarrassment to the management and a source of anxiety to the British government. His behavior was increasingly erratic, disruptive, megalomaniacal.
In the mid-1930s, as he entered his seventies, Deterding had developed two infatuations. One was for his secretary, a young German woman. The other was for Adolf Hitler. The determined Dutchman-who had gravitated to Britain before World War I, had been courted by Admiral Fisher and Winston Churchill, and had become a firm and fervent ally during that war-was now, in his old age, entranced with the Nazis.
On his own, Deterding initiated discussions in 1935 with the German government about Shell’s providing a year’s supply of oil-in effect, a military reserve-to Germany on credit. Rumors of these talks so greatly alarmed the Shell management in London that one of the senior directors, Andrew Agnew, asked the government to have the British embassy in Berlin investigate so that Agnew “could take suitable actions with his colleagues on the Board here in good time.”
Finally, retiring from Shell at the end of 1936, Deterding acted on both of his new infatuations. He divorced his second wife, married his German secretary, and went to live on an estate in Germany.
Deterding died in Germany in early 1939, six months before the war began. Strange and deeply disturbing rumors immediately reached London. Not only had the Nazis made much of his funeral, but they were also trying to take advantage of the circumstances of his death to gain control of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. That, of course, would have been a disaster for Great Britain. The company had virtually been Britain’s quartermaster general for oil during World War 1. Should it now pass under Nazi domination, Britain’s entire system of petroleum supply would be undermined. But it was discovered that the key “preference” shares, which embodied control, could only be held by directors, and at his demise, Deterding’s shares had been swiftly distributed to the other directors. At best, the Germans could only get their hands on a tiny fraction of the common shares, which would do them no good at all, either before or after the outbreak of war.
The 1930s had proved a difficult and unpredictable decade for Shell Transport and Trading – the Depression, the successful move into chemicals, the increasing politicization of oil as governments of both extremes came to power. Yet even if none of that had occurred, it would still have been a climactic time, for on l7 November 1936 Sir Henri Deterding retired. He was then a few months over 70 years old. His forty years in the oil business included twenty-nine as an executive director of Shell Transport and Trading (in modern terminology, a Group Managing Director) and thirty-six as General Manager (that is, president) of Royal Dutch. He had been a decisive, governing influence in Shell Transport, and in almost complete charge of Royal Dutch, for more than half his life: he had become a dominant force throughout the world-wide industry, earning the respect of almost everyone who knew him, and often their affection too.
Naturally, therefore, his departure engendered a considerable sense of loss; and yet it was not entirely unwelcome, for as he had grown older he had become rather an embarrassment to his colleagues.
Given all his achievements, this is an unhappy story, and one which has caused lasting distress within Shell Transport and Royal Dutch; but it is as much a part of the history as the more glorious days, and enough time has passed for it to be seen in some perspective.
Briefly, Deterding had become increasingly right-wing, bordering, some said, on the megalomaniac. His memoirs, published in 1934, were a masterpiece of vanity and egocentricity, reading as the self-portrait of an autocrat. For example, there was his talk with Mussolini – ‘a man who, regard him as you may, has shown a driving force almost unparalleled in running a country’. Deterding decided that this conversation:
proved that there were several points on which we saw eye to eye. We both agreed that the coping-stone of Education is a sense of discipline and a respect for prestige, lacking which no youth can be considered to have been properly educated at all… To people unacquainted with the Italian character his manner in public may seem at times to be a trifle theatrical, but what chiefly interested me at our meeting was that he seemed so direct. One felt that, if faced with a difficulty, he would get out his sledge-hammer and strike straight at its root.
So too would the ageing Sir Henri. When he wrote that, he was 68. Many people, as they grow older and see the world changing around them, become more conservative, with a hankering for ‘the good old days’ and a growing belief that things are not what they were. With Sir Henri the process was becoming somewhat marked. In the same text, he wrote this memorable sentence:
If I were dictator of the world – and please, Mr. Printer, set this in larger type – I WOULD SHOOT ALL IDLERS AT SIGHT.
But in a world where millions of working men and women were idle through no fault or desire of their own, Deterding’s colleagues (particularly in The Hague) were very sensitive to the public display of such sentiments, and still more so to his open admiration of what he perceived as the firm government which had recently been elected in Germany.
Back in 19l4, just before the outbreak of the Great War, Britain’s Admiral Fisher had written to Winston Churchill: ‘I have just received a most patriotic letter from Deterding to say he means you shan’t want for oil or tankers in case of war – Good Old Deterding! How these Dutchmen do hate the Germans!’
The new Lady Deterding was German. In a striking lack of imagination on Sir Henri’s part, she was also his former secretary; and because the Nazi regime was visibly restoring order to her country’s chaotic economy, she was very much in favour of it. So was Sir Henri, who saw the disciplined economic aspects of Nazism as the world’s most powerful weapon against Communism. The Nazis, eager even after his death to exploit the publicly-avowed support of this world-famous individual, virtually hijacked his funeral: Field Marshal Goering, chief of the German air force, sent a wreath; so did Hitler himself; and, even Germanizing his name, the functionary who represented them said as he laid the wreaths: ‘In the name and on the instructions of the Fuhrer, I greet thee, Heinrich Deterding, the great friend of the Germans.’
To his former colleagues both in Shell Transport and Royal Dutch, these events were intensely painful and hard to come to terms with.
Recalling his irrational and damaging price war in 1927 against buyers of Soviet oil, and his high-handed ‘colonial’ treatment of the left-wing Mexican government in 1934, some wondered privately if he might have been going mad. Probably he had not; rather, traits that he had always possessed – simplicity of outlook, clarity of goals, strength of character and forcefulness of speech – had become accentuated by old age. By then, their expression was crude and humiliating. In his youth and middle age, though, the same traits had been priceless business assets. Using them, he had rescued Shell Transport from virtually certain extinction, and had built its fortunes, together with those of Royal Dutch, to an level which simply would not have been credible when he began; so both as a friend and an inspiring leader, his passing was genuinely mourned.
Deterding apparently felt very strongly on the subject of “idlers”. According to an article published on 18 February 1940, “Sir Henri Deterding had told Hitler that Mexico had the laziest population in the world, and rich prizes for Germany to grasp.”
On 19 November 2001, TheBoston Globe published an article entitled “Cloaked Business”.
The second paragraph said:
Newly declassified United States intelligence records reveal in unprecedented detail how US and Allied firms systematically used backwater countries to conduct backroom business with Axis enterprises. The files peel away a whole new layer of collaboration, describing scores of so-called “shadow agreements” in which corporations disguised their ties with the enemy through the cover of other companies in neutral countries, from Spain to Sweden to much of Latin America.
The article also contained the following reference to Shell:
The report said the two men also ran a steamship company that chartered tankers for Royal Dutch Shell, a Nazi collaborator that used Hitler’s slave laborers.
Ironically, the driven ruthless man most responsible for the great enterprise which is Royal Dutch Shell Plc today, was also responsible for one of the darkest periods in its long history.

4 Comments on “Evidence of how Royal Dutch Shell saved Hitler and the Nazi Party”

  1. #1lamare
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 11:41 am
    Some further info might be found in the archive of Time magazine.
    This one talks about the Six family, mentioned in the article posted before:,9171,928980,00.html
    Some further links on Shell, Deterding, etc:,9171,730889,00.html,9171,731068,00.html,9171,787095,00.html,9171,786372,00.html,9171,787406,00.html,9171,881211,00.html,9171,928908,00.html,9171,732267,00.html,9171,737841,00.html,9171,738261,00.html,9171,881885,00.html,9171,738401,00.html,9171,739034,00.html,9171,739126,00.html,9171,739113,00.html,9171,739952,00.html,9171,740771,00.html,9171,752594,00.html,9171,752744,00.html,9171,741513,00.html,9171,743018,00.html,9171,769614,00.html,9171,929496,00.html,9171,847291,00.html,9171,847238,00.html,9171,847260,00.html,9171,745738,00.html
    Oh, I forgot to mention that it is a public secret that the Dutch Royal family (used to) own stocks in Royal Dutch Shell…
  2. #2lamare
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 11:12 am
    “You may want to see if there are any R.D. Shell connections to Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This was a Thyssen- run bank which owned in turn the US- Union Banking Corporation in New York.”
    There’s a connection, all right and it points right to the Dutch Royal family. Interestingly, Henri Deterding bought his house in Germany where he spent the last years of this life from the Dutch Royal family…
    In 1991, there were twp articles in a leading Dutch news paper, NRC, about “operation Juliana”, the operation whereby the Thyssen securities were smuggled from the eastern sector of Berlin to the safe of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart:
    A very interesting detail is that the Nederlandse Handel Maatschappij was one of the shareholders of the BHS in 1947, while the main shareholder of this Handel Maatschappij was Queen Wilhelmina. I have some of the documents this article was based on, some in Englisch, some in Dutch. Drop me an email at lamare at gmail dot com if you’re interested.
    I have translated parts of this article:
    From part 1:
    In the previous century, the German August Thyssen laid his basement for his Vereinigte Stahlwerke, an imperium of mines, [factories that extract iron from the raw material, don’t know the word in English], steel factory, with thereto coupled transporting- and [companies that deliver partly products to others], [companies that own and exploit ships], banks and trading companies. The in 1918 founded Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, a daughter of the August Thyssen Bank in Berlin, belonged to the last category. While the BHS at first was just a ‘border-event’, during the twenties, end especially the thirties the bank expanded in various directions. She took minor- and major-interests in countless companies; from, to name a few, the NV Havenbedrijf Vlaardingen Oost and the Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappij (!) up to Union Banking Corporation in New York. Beside that, Thyssen-daughter BHS became the owner of many other Thyssen-comanies. The BHS grew to become a spider in an invisible web of ownershiprelations. Within the Thyssen-conglomeraat the BHS had become so important that, according to a speech of its board, that the English had said about it: ‘Not the dog wags the tail, but the tail wags the dog.’ With that the question of who the tail was became more and more interesting.”
    Part 2:
    NRC Handelsblad – June 8, 1991
    Operation Juliana
    Part 2: how the Royal contraband led to confusion in The Netherlands
    Short contents of the preceding: In august 1946, the Dutch reserve-officer and lawyer J. Coert Jr. untertook the risky adventure of smuggling an enormous amount of Dutch shares and obligations, worth more then seventeen million guilders (then worth ten times as much as today), that had been robbed by the Germans, from the Russian sector of Berlin to the Netherlands. Amongst these a considerable part of the stock possessions of Queen Wilhelmina she had to leave behind at her departure to the United Kingdom in May 1940. The royal securities had been stored during the war by the Germans in the safe of the Rotterdam Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart (BHS), which stood under direct German supervision.
    From there they had been transported along with the other stockportfolios to the head office of the August Thyssen bank in Berlin. This bank was just like the BHS part of the Thyssen-concern. After the liberation concern-owner Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, living in Switzerland, asked his Dutch lawyer J. Coert sr. wether or not he could ensure that these stocks would be returned to The Netherlands, thereto incited from the ‘highest circles’ in The Netherlands. Coert sr. recruited his son for this, which took care of the Dutch economic interests in the British occupied area of Germany. With the aid of a German bank director, Coert Jr. managed to retrieve the stock possessions under the eyes of the Russian guard from the destroyed bankbuilding, and, breaking the allied regulations, transport them to Rotterdam.
    While the transport was still underway, Coert sr. rang one of the administrators, appointed by the Dutch government, of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, the lawyer W. Suermondt, and asked him if the packages with shares could be put in the safe of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart again. Coert could have known that this message would not be received with cheer and joy. He and his son had, at August 12th 1946 – when the operation had not been carried out yet -, carefully polled the administrators of the BHS about a possible ‘evacuation’ of the Dutch shares from the Russian sector of Berlin. Thereby, they were not met with enthusiasm.
    The state supervision of the BHS, prescribed as long as it was not clear was which nationality BHS-owner Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza the Kaszon actually had (German or Hungarian), was assigned to a trio. Beside the already mentioned lawyer Suermondt these were a former director of the BHS, H.J. Kouwenhoven, and another former top man of Thyssen-concern, J.G. Groeninger. The latter two had already been involved with the activities of Thyssen in the Netherlands since the beginning of the twenties. They were sound, decent ‘traders’ (as they called themselves according to the annual reports of the bank), not in for adventures and risky business.
    They had cautiously guided the bank and the other Thyssen-corporations in the Netherlands trough the crisis years. Both had also shown to have their hearts at the right spot during the war. Kouwenhoven had been fired as BHS-director in 1942 because he resisted the transportation of the stocks to Germany (see the previous episode); out of protest against this lay-off, Groeninger resigned on his own initiative. Hence, the Nederlandsch Beheers Instituut delegated them as supervisors to the BHS.
    There, they had a hard time. At the bank they were considered as ‘unloyal’ because they would not so much handle in the interests of the company, but in that of the Dutch government.
    From the events that followed, it would become clear that they indeed took their task as government curators “au serieux”, but this way of conceiving their task did not prevent that Kouwenhoven and Groeninger still felt themselves very connected to the bank. ‘I don’t need to say how much I desired to be allowed to live this day,’ said Kouwenhoven in his speech getting in office as an administrator. ‘Approximately thirty years, I have been connected to the concerns you work for, and the task of a lifetime I got to fullfill with this, had the love of my heart. Today I taste the large satisfaction of having been returned to your ring.’
    Kouwenhoven and Groeninger, and as a matter of fact also Suermondt, had put themselves to task of gradually bringing the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart into quieter waters, after the also in financial-economic respect devastating years of war. If there was one means to this end that did not lie in their nature, it were experiments and risky adventures. For this reason, the three had reacted indignated when father and son Coert had flown the kite of the stock contrabande.
    ‘Wild-West-stories’, that’s how Kouwenhoven had labelled the plans of the two Coerts, and he had warned with emphasis against actions like that, which ‘in his opinion had to lead to a serious conflict with Russia’. And all of a sudden he and his fellow managers were put in front of an accomplished fact not even a week later!
    After Coerts phone call that the stocks were on their way to the Netherlands, the trio rapidly deliberated with one another and with the rayon office of the Nederlandsch Beheers Instituut in Rotterdam by telephone. The result of this was that the administrators refused to recieve the consignment as long as they had not consulted ‘The Hague’, because of ‘the large interests and consequences connected to this matter for the Dutch State’, according to their later representation of the events. When Coert Jr. rang Suermondt on Sunday August 25th to say that the consignment had arrived in the Netherlands, he got to hear that the safe of the BHS would remain closed.
    Coert Jr. could hammer at the risks he had taken for this stunt as much as he wanted, Suermondt remained that first the Dutch government had to ask herself wether or not she thougt this smuggling action was worth a collision with the Soviet Union. ‘Does she consider Russia as a country with which no normal relations are possible anyway, which have strange sick methods themselves and with which one therefore does not have to take everything that particularly?’ Or was the Soviet Union in The Hague’s eyes a powerful country, which could better not be provoked? Coert Jr. gave up and furiously threw the horn on the hook. Until further notice, the packages with shares were stored at the home of Coert sr. at the Essenlaan in Kralingen.
    A few hours later, Suermondt got a phone call again, now from the lawyer H. Stenfert Kroese, who held a prominent position at the Rotterdam rayon office of the Nederlandsch Beheers Instituut. Coert sr. had approached him and had persuaded him to cooperate at working on a solution. Obviously, Coert sr. had hinted him a few things about the large interests that were at stake. At least, Stenfert Kroese ordered on behalf of the Beheers Instituut that the shares from Berlin could be deposited at the BHS in the name of Coert sr. He pressed Suermondt on his heart to stay silent about the complete affair and ‘completely forget that this affair ever took place’. Suermondt and both the others however, did not accept this ’solution’ and demanded an immediate conversation with Stenfert Kroese.
    That conversation already took place the next day, August 26th. Stenfert Kroese was obviously terrified that the smuggling affair would leak out. He pressed the others again to keep ’strict confidentiality’ about what had happened during the last few days with the ’shares of the Bank’ that were deposoted at the August Thyssen Bank in Berlin. The Beheers Instituut itself woult take the responsibility for the shares, so that the three administrators of the BHS could keep a clean conscience. But Suermondt, Kouwenhoven and Groeninger did not want to hear anything like that. They wanted a conversation with Prime-Minister dr. L.J.M. Beel and with the concerned Ministers, namely dr. G.W.M. Huysmans of Economic Affairs, dr. P. Lieftinck of Finances and laywer C.G.W.H. baron of Boetzelaer and Oosterhout of Foreign Affairs. Stenfert Kroese agreed to that. A day later already, the companionship sat together at the head office of the Nederlandsch Beheers Instituut in The Hague, with on the agenda the plan to request a common audience with Beel about the matter.
    Again two days later, on August 29th 1946, the three BHS-administrators asked the Beheers Instituut to let them know as soon as possible, in writing, when they could count on a conversation with Beel.
    Apparently the Beheers Instituut saw much less reason to haste than Kouwenhoven, Groeninger and Suermondt, since no request for a conversation with the Prime-Minister left the door. That was found at September 13th, when the trio asked in The Hague why no date for an appointment had been passed on. It had not come to that because the Beheers Instituut ‘expected welfare of keeping the facts confidential’, as Groeninger and Kouwenhoven (Suermondt had given up) wrote to Minister Huysmans some weeks later. The two administrators had become furious, and had announced to arrange a conversation with Beel or at least with one of the Ministers concerned themselves.
    At October 10th 1946, the two gentlemen had a short conversation with Minister Huysmans, during which they told him something about the matter. Huysmans apparently had little time, since he asked them put an exposité about the matter on paper. That same day Kouwenhoven and Groeninger composed a long memorandum for Huysmans. In that they warned: ‘The carrying away of securities out of the Russian occupied area, of which in the last resort an Hungarian citizen baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, probably considered as an enemy by Russia, considers himselve the owner, remains just as well as delivering services with respect to the safekeeping of these, against a state with which we are not at war, extremely irresponsible.’
    It started to dawn on Huysmans that something had possibly happened that could have unpleasant consequences for the Netherlands, even though he did not understand the rights of it yet, and he didn’t know what to do with it. He informed Beel of the stock smuggling, as well as his colleague of Finances, Lieftinck, and that of Justice, Mr. J.H. van Maarseveen, along with the question who was competent for the affair. It was Lieftinck who acted as first. On November 7th 1946, he requested the head of the Customs Investigation Service to establish an investigation into the smuggling affair and ‘if necessary, to seize the stocks concerned’.
    Would Lieftinck had also given this order if he had known that amongst the ’stocks concerned’ there was a considerable part of the fortune of the Oranjes? That seems extremely improbable, considering the fact that the Minister strook sail super-fast after some highly placed persons had brought the consequences of its intention under his eyes. Still the same day, thesaurier-general of Finances rang his Minister to tell tell that Coert sr. had became higly upset when hearing about the possible seizure: ‘Mr Coert told me that such a seizure would not only bring along large misfortunes for the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, but would also bring along considerable damage for The Netherlands.’
    Coert sr. wanted a conversation with Lieftinck immediately. Also the extraordinary envoy and authorised Minister to the Dutch embassy in London, baron A. Bentinck of Schoonheeten, who was married to a daughter of Heinrich Thyssen, protested to Lieftinck, as well as – even more important – the lawyer dr. H. Albarda, director of the Nederlandse Handel Maatschappij, of which the queen was major shareholder and where her stocks had been in depot until the German intervention (by then, Coert sr. had already been allowed to give the papers that were at his home in preservation to the Handel Maatschappij).
    Indeed, no investigation was done; out of anger about that Kouwenhoven and Groeninger resigned within the same november-month as administrators at the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart. Lieftinck wrote immediately to the Nederlandsch Beheers Instituut that the two leaving administrators should be replaced by people that had the full confidence of the shareholders of the BHS (amongst which by then the Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappij); a remarkable instruction if one considers that the administrators should handle in the first place in the interest of the Dutch state and not in that of the shareholders.
    A few months afterwards, in March 1947, Prince Bernhard came with a proposition about the supervison of the BHS. The supervision by the Nederlandsch Beheers Instituut should be ended, he wrote to Lieftinck, and be replaced by a Council of Commissioners. In that Council should be, beside Coert sr., the already named diplomat Bentinck, the former major of The Hague, S.J.R. de Monchy, and the old-Minister of Navy, J.M. de Booy. De Monchy and De Booy were both trustees of the mother in law of Bernhard (Queen Wilhelmina).
    Further, the prince pointed out that all directors of the BHS had to be Dutchmen, this to emphasise the Dutch character of the bank.
    Nevertheless London nor Washington undertook anything against The Hague. Perhaps respect for the Dutch Queen played a role, but then at least not an important role. Even though the British and the Americans knew that capital owned by Wilhelmina was part of the ‘transaction’ according to their reports, it was also clear that with the venture as a whole much larger interests were at stake. A more important consideration at the Foreign Office, was the certainty that an official protest by the British government to the Dutch ambassador would alarm the Russians. Around that time the friendship between the Soviets and the other Allied Forces already was that much cooled off that the West was extra careful not to provide the Russians with ammunition for battling out diplomatic conflicts. London let the Control Commission in Berlin know that the Western Allied Forces formally had nothing to do with the smuggling-affaire, because the stocks were stolen from the Russian sector of Berlin.
    === called to the stain – is this correct?
    “op het matje roepen” is like when you have to go to the office of the head of the school, for example, when you did something wrong and have to justify your actions…..
    What did happen however, was that the head of the Dutch military mission in Berlin, colonel A. van Lennep, was called to the stain by the British in March 1947 to be told informally that a formal protest to the Dutch government still belonged to the possibilities. Van Lennep pretended to know nothing of the ‘transaction’ by Coert Jr.; he was prepared however to send Coert to Berlin to give an explanation to the English. This offer however, has not been used by the British, or at least they have not put any pressure behind it, since Coert Jr. never had to go to Berlin for justification, according to his widow and his son. Thanks to the cold war the matter disappeared into the forget-book. In the middle of 1947, the Dutch government formally gave an import license for the smuggled stocks, and with that the transactio had become legal.
    One aspect had to be regulated urgently now, however, in order to be able put a finalt point behind the complete affair, and that was the question of the nationality of the main shareholder of the BHS. If it was clear that the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart was Dutch possession, after all the charge that Dutch government had been serving German interests would be expired. Baron Benktinck took the initiative to solving this problem. The discussion had until then always focused on the question of which country Heinrich Thyssen really was a national of, but Bentinck put forward to Foreign Affairs to that his father in law was ‘mentally not completely normal anymore’, and with that he could no longer be the driving force behind the Thyssen-concern. In his place, Bentinck slid his oldest brother-in-law, baron Stephan Thyssen, forward. According to Bentinck, Stephan was stateless and as a result of that, no German. A problem was however, that during the complete war he had lived in Germany, an incidental circumstance that called some doubt to his state as being stateless.
    In the summer of 1948 , Captain-Lieutenant at sea J.H. Zeeman of the Dutch Military Mission got the task of figuring out the nationality of Stephan Thyssen, but once Zeeman had in October of that year put the question forward ‘wheter or not by a treatment of the matter of subject the danger could arise that certain Dutch interests become, namely those of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, would be damaget’ , he got orders from The Hague to stop with his research. Formally, it was no longer disputed that Stephan Thyssen was stateless, and the young Thyssen promised to ensure that the BHS would be conducted in ‘Dutch spirit’. There came a council of commisioners, in which the candidate mentioned by Bernhard, De Monchy, got a seat, as well as Bernhards confidant jonkheer Mr. P. Six. The interests of the Handel Maatschappij in the BHS were guarded by Albarda.
    Also another candidate for a BHS-commissionership mentioned by Bernhard, Coert sr., received a seat in the Council in 1947, and he remained commissioner up to 1956, when he resigned because of his progressed age. Colonel Swart, who had done so much useful services for ‘Operation Juliana’, became director of the flourishing Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, which moved to a brand-new building in the middle of the fifties at the Coolsingel in Rotterdam. Swart retired in 1968, briefly before the BHS merged with the Nederlandsche Crediet bank, also a component of Thyssen-concern. He died some years ago. Coert Jr., who had returned in 1947 to the Rotterdam legal profession, died in 1971. Kouwenhoven died in 1948, in New York, a year after his former supreme boss Heinrich Thyssen.
    And the capital of the Oranjes [Dutch Royal Family]? Once per year, now already for decades, the queen of the Netherlands is claimed to be the richest woman of the world by some American magazine, which is then subsequently denied the [Dutch] state information service.
  3. #3John Donovan
    on Aug 10th, 2009 at 6:29 pm
    The quote from The Los Angeles Times article from October 1942 is self-explanatory:
    “…Sir Henri Deterding of Royal Dutch Shell was not himself innocent of working with Hitler. Sir Henri backed him with a huge sum when the Nazi party was about to fall; and it was the oil man’s objective to get Hitler to attack Russia so that Sir Henri might take over the Baku oil fields.”
  4. #4steve from virginia
    on Aug 10th, 2009 at 6:09 pm
    Deterding liked Adolf Hitler and Mussolini as did Charles Lindbergh and Joseph Kennedy. Nothing in any of these quoted articles has Deterding ’saving’ Hitler or the NSDAP or in providing funding.
    Hitler was well- funded by Brown Brothers Harriman and Fritz Thyssen prior to 1933 had the resources of a nation and Hjalmar H.G. Schacht to organize them afterward. There are documents freshly brought to light that have Prescot Bush (George H.W. Bush’s father) organizing the banking conduit between US capital and Fritz Thyssen, between the US and Germany.
    You may want to see if there are any R.D. Shell connections to Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This was a Thyssen- run bank which owned in turn the US- Union Banking Corporation in New York.
    While there is no suggestion that Prescott Bush was sympathetic to the Nazi cause, the documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen’s US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war.

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