Pieter Schelte is... Nazi War Criminal?

Just saw a headline about Jewish outrage in Europe as the “Pieter Schelte” arrives in Rotterdam. After all the hype over this boat for the last several months (through her construction, fitting out, commissioning, etc…) I’m surprised to only be hearing about this now. Why the delay? What are everyone’s thoughts on this? Could there be a renaming in her future? And what about all the bad luck to go with such a thing!?

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;153392]Just saw a headline about Jewish outrage in Europe as the “Pieter Schelte” arrives in Rotterdam. After all the hype over this boat for the last several months (through her construction, fitting out, commissioning, etc…) I’m surprised to only be hearing about this now. Why the delay? What are everyone’s thoughts on this? Could there be a renaming in her future? And what about all the bad luck to go with such a thing!?[/QUOTE]

What an odd thing to name a ship after such a scoundrel. Surely the son knew this would create controversy? It’s clear he gave zero sh!ts about other people’s opinions.

[QUOTE=catherder;153396]What an odd thing to name a ship after such a scoundrel. Surely the son knew this would create controversy? It’s clear he gave zero sh!ts about other people’s opinions.[/QUOTE]

I like the Netherlands very much when I visit Europe but they are an odd lot. Rightfully they can claim much, but they have an underlying arrogance which often bubbles to the surface when you deal with them. In the end, it’d pick the Danes over the Dutch if I had to choose one for my team.

[B]Jewish outrage as ship named after SS war criminal arrives in Europe[/B]

As Holocaust day nears, anger erupts at arrival in Rotterdam of the Pieter Schelte, the world’s largest vessel


The Pieter Schelte, seen entering the port of Rotterdam, is more than 120 metres wide. Photograph: Bram Van De Biezen/EPA

Ed Vulliamy

Saturday 24 January 2015 11.21 EST

Leaders of Jewish communities and Holocaust memorial groups in Britain and the Netherlands have reacted with rage and despair at the arrival in Rotterdam of the world’s biggest ship, the Pieter Schelte, named after a Dutch officer in the Waffen-SS.

The vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush, said: “Naming such a ship after an SS officer who was convicted of war crimes is an insult to the millions who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis. We urge the ship’s owners to reconsider and rename the ship after someone more appropriate.”

Esther Voet, director of the Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel (Cidi), based in The Hague, said that the timing of the ship’s arrival, shortly before Jews were targeted and killed in Paris and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, was “a coincidence, I’m sure, but a sign of the times. We lost our battle to have the ship’s name changed, and we are left eating dust.”

Survivors of the Holocaust in Britain also spoke out. Ruth Barnett, a tireless campaigner who arrived from Nazi Germany as part of the Kindertransport, said: “I am outraged by the intensity and extent of denial and indifference that fails to challenge things like this ship, and allows the impunity for perpetrators to think they can get away with it.”

The London-based Lloyd’s Register dug in to defend its role in the ship’s building and development, while the shipbuilder said it had been named in honour of the owner’s father for his “great achievements in the offshore oil and gas industry”.

The definition of “world’s largest ship” is disputed but the vessel is certainly the largest crane ship. It was built by the Swiss-based group Allseas, a pipelayer for the oil and gas industry, and is currently being fitted up for deployment in the North Sea and service to British companies. The ship weighs 403,342 gross tonnes, is more than 120 metres wide (the length of a football pitch) and 382 metres long.

Allseas is owned by a Dutchman, Edward Heerema, who is the son of Pieter Schelte Heerema. The ship bearing his father’s name arrived in Rotterdam from the Korean Daewoo shipyards two days before the killing of four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris and three weeks before the Auschwitz anniversary.

Voet says: “We’ve fought this for 10 years, tried to persuade everyone involved that this was offensive. But no, we’re left with this fact: the largest ship in the world is named after an officer in the SS, and not enough people are offended to get this changed.”

She continued: “The only thing we can try to do now is persuade the authorities in Rotterdam not to accept it. But then it becomes an issue of jobs, and difficult. I only hope we keep the moral high ground.”


Pieter Schelte Heerema in his SS uniform. The ship was named in recognition of his ‘great achievements in the offshore oil and gas industry’. Photograph: PR

On the coincidence of the ship’s arrival with the killing in Paris and the Auschwitz anniversary, she added: “If they are insensitive enough to name a ship after a Nazi, they’re not going to be sensitive enough to care about the anniversary of Auschwitz!”

Cidi cited a petition organised by a British-based website monitoring the affairs of Royal Dutch Shell, the energy group, which trumpeted the ship’s arrival in Rotterdam and which Allseas confirms in a press release to be among its early clients. The site, Royaldutchshellplc.com, is run by John Donovan, a former Shell contractor who is completing a book on the history of the company’s relations with the Third Reich. His petition reads: “Please change the ship’s name so that it no longer sails under the name of a former Waffen-SS officer jailed for war crimes.”

Donovan told the Observer: “This public homage by Edward Heerema as the wealthy son of a Nazi war criminal is an affront to the relatives of tens of millions of souls who perished at the hands of Nazi Germany. The name is unacceptable.”

Lloyd’s Register, which has been closely involved in bringing the Pieter Schelte to launch and featured the ship in glowing terms on the cover of its magazine, stuck by its position. “It’s not our role to take a view on the name of a single ship,” said a spokesman, Mark Stokes.

Allseas refrained from comment, but its communications office sent “general information”, including an interview with Edward Heerema in the Telegraaf newspaper, and a summary of his father’s career. This stated that he “became a member of a national socialist organisation in the early stages of the second world war. From November 1942 to June 1943 he was a director of a company under the SS.”

It continues: “Heerema lost his sympathy for the Nazi regime, and defected in June 1943. At the end of the war he was arrested. His trial in 1946 led to conviction for the period of his detention awaiting trial.”

After living in Venezuela, according to his official biography, Pieter Schelte Heerema returned to Holland in 1963, becoming “a civil engineer with great technical creativity, and an entrepreneur … The choice of the [ship’s] name Pieter Schelte is [his son] Edward’s acknowledgement of his father’s great achievements in the oil and gas industry.”

The Telegraaf article – reported from the ship’s “majestic bridge” and headlined “Unparalleled Dutch glory” – said the vessel was “set to revolutionise the offshore world”. Heerema tells the paper that his father “hardly ever talked about that time with his family … He turned his back on the Netherlands in 1947. Which also was a way to break away from the past.”

But Donovan has unearthed an extraordinary case in the high court in London last summer, brought after Allseas fell victim to a fraud scam.

The judge, Mr Justice Peter Smith, asked a witness about Pieter Schelte Heerema: “He was in the Dutch SS, was he?” “No, he was in the German SS,” came the reply. Counsel then asked: “And then he left the SS, you say, in the middle of the war?” Whereupon the judge remarked: “I didn’t know you could leave the SS. I thought it was a job for life.”

THE CASE AGAINST PIETER SCHELTE

■ Before the Pieter Schelte was built, the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies was compiling information on its namesake. Its main researcher, David Barnouw, said Schelte was “a member of a small fascist party before the war, but was in Venezuela when the Germans invaded. Schelte saw it as a reason to return”.

■ Having joined the SS, “Schelte fought on the Russian front for the Wehrmacht, but was recalled to be part of the ‘East Company’, working for the SS in the occupied East. The job was to provide labour, and Schelte promised 2,000 Dutch volunteers. But they were not forthcoming, so he commandeered 4,000 for forced labour”.

■ As the war began to “go badly for Germany, he joined a resistance party, then went to Switzerland. He was interned after the war, tried and I think the judges found him one of their own – a good businessman, well educated”.

■ Schelte returned to Venezuela where, says Barnouw, “any suggestions that he helped Nazis to escape to South America are untrue”. But, he asks: “Why does his son, who is … not a Nazi, give this ship a name that people will inevitably discuss?”

■ Among Schelte’s remarks was his verdict that “the German race is model. The Jewish race, by comparison, is parasitic … Therefore the Jewish question must be resolved in every Aryan country”.

I worked with a Dutchman once at Noble who I swear if he had been alive during WWII would have been a Nazi collaborator or donned an SS uniform! Hell, I am sure he would have happily ratted out Anne Franck if he would have had the chance!

I’d have to agree with you there. The Danes have always seemed to be a very dignified people, whereas the Dutch can be a little crazy… Look at Amsterdam, pot and prostitution, come on guys, get it together.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;153402]I’d have to agree with you there. The Danes have always seemed to be a very dignified people, whereas the Dutch can be a little crazy… Look at Amsterdam, pot and prostitution, come on guys, get it together.[/QUOTE]

Fun fact: Marijuana is actually illegal in the Netherlands (including Amsterdam) – it’s merely an administrative policy that has suspended enforcement of the law.

[QUOTE=Glaug-Eldare;153403]Fun fact: Marijuana is actually illegal in the Netherlands (including Amsterdam) – it’s merely an administrative policy that has suspended enforcement of the law.[/QUOTE]

unlike good ole socialist pinko Washington where you can legally toke on brah!

It’s not like he was in the Totenkopfverbände. He was merely a foreign recruit in the Waffen-SS like 55 thousand other Dutch, 12 thousand Danes, 15 thousand Norwegians and a couple hundred thousand other Europeans. So if the son wants to name the ship after him, what’s the problem?

[QUOTE=Kraken;153406]It’s not like he was in the Totenkopfverbände. He was merely a foreign recruit in the Waffen-SS like 55 thousand other Dutch, 12 thousand Danes, 15 thousand Norwegians and a couple hundred thousand other Europeans. So if the son wants to name the ship after him, what’s the problem?[/QUOTE]

spoken like a true Quisling…how about the hundreds of thousands who didn’t join or the hundreds of thousands of citizens of the Netherlands who died at the hands of the Nazis or their fellow countrymen who turned on them?

How about your own country?..plenty of blood shed there too!

Kongsberg that sold propeller technology to the Russians during the cold war…
than had to invent Simrad to but on a brave face to trade with the rest of the world??

[QUOTE=c.captain;153411]spoken like a true Quisling…how about the hundreds of thousands who didn’t join or the hundreds of thousands of citizens of the Netherlands who died at the hands of the Nazis or their fellow countrymen who turned on them?

How about your own country?..plenty of blood shed there too![/QUOTE]

Before we are so quick to judge others remember the USA when brother turned on brother for political reason in 1860’? During WW II the winds were changing daily, choose the wrong side and you die today or later…depending. I remember being in Cambodia in the early 70’s representing my government of the day and we were supporting Pol Pot because he was an ally for the time being.Time showed him to be one of the most murderous and cruel “humans” to ever exist. I witnessed some of his atrocities, may God forgive me for not deserting or dying after seeing what my government was supporting then.
I will not pass judgement on the naming of this ship any more than I would pass judgement on naming a street after Robert E Lee or W. T. Sherman. Ultimately the god of your choosing judges all of us.

[QUOTE=tengineer1;153414]Before we are so quick to judge others remember the USA when brother turned on brother for political reason in 1860’? During WW II the winds were changing daily, choose the wrong side and you die today or later…depending. I remember being in Cambodia in the early 70’s representing my government of the day and we were supporting Pol Pot because he was an ally for the time being.Time showed him to be one of the most murderous and cruel “humans” to ever exist. I witnessed some of his atrocities, may God forgive me for not deserting or dying after seeing what my government was supporting then.
I will not pass judgement on the naming of this ship any more than I would pass judgement on naming a street after Robert E Lee or W. T. Sherman. Ultimately the god of your choosing judges all of us.[/QUOTE]

sorry but no sale…being a member of the SS in Nazi occupied Europe was and remains today hideously criminal even if you only washed dishes in the messhall for them. If you wore the uniform with the insignia you were complicit with their crimes again mankind. Far too many innocent citizens of the Netherlands as well as all the rest of occupied Europe died at their savage and cruel hands to warrant any clemency EVER! The SS were barbarians in every sense of the word!

btw, in case you haven’t noticed…I am more than aware of the horrible barbarity of our own Civil War and I believe it is more than adequately known which side fired the first shot in it and which was ultimately victorious. One side fought to preserve a nation and another to preserve the right for Joe Boss to keep his slaves. And you wonder why I feel as I do about the South? How about one of you Rebels here admit the Confederacy was about preserving slavery which was a criminal reason to start a war? It never ever was about your cherished “state’s rights” but about the most incredibly inhuman institution imaginable not for the benefit of the majority of the population of the Confederate States but for the very few very rich!

To quote a captain I worked with. “When you scratch the paint off a dutchman, you find a Nazi hiding underneath.”

[QUOTE=Too bad steam is gone;153417]To quote a captain I worked with. “When you scratch the paint off a dutchman, you find a Nazi hiding underneath.”[/QUOTE]

I like that one…

[QUOTE=c.captain;153411]How about your own country?..plenty of blood shed there too![/QUOTE]

I would think so, Norway was invaded. But that was 75 years ago.

[QUOTE=c.captain;153416]How about one of you Rebels here admit the Confederacy was about preserving slavery which was a criminal reason to start a war? It never ever was about your cherished “state’s rights” but about the most incredibly inhuman institution imaginable not for the benefit of the majority of the population of the Confederate States but for the very few very rich! [/QUOTE]

I’ll partially take you up on that one. Southern states’ secession articles make it clear that the reason for separation was the ruling class’s fear that it would be made illegal to own people, which was a major source of wealth. It was a foolish and abominable reason to secede, but in my opinion a legal one, which should have been dealt with in another way than invasion. I disagree that “first landed blow = started the war,” as taking Fort Sumter before it could be resupplied and made into a foreign army’s beachhead was more akin to tasing somebody while they’re in the process of drawing a gun on you. Instead of a diplomatic solution, a dumb secession led to a horrible war that cost us dearly in many ways, both tangibly and intangibly. I think I’d enjoy a discussion on the topic, but I think that’s a topic for the Scuttlebutt board!

(Note: My avatar is a version of the Crossland Banner, a portion of the Calvert arms used by Maryland secessionists due to its red and white colors. I consider it an important symbol of our difficult and often overlooked history during that war.)

[QUOTE=catherder;153396]It’s clear he gave zero sh!ts about other people’s opinions.[/QUOTE]

If you had one of the biggest ships in the world and you wanted to name it after your deceased father who was an important figure in your industry which the ship is intended to serve, would you reconsider if some small group of people out there would get butthurt because of something that happened 70 years ago?

As for Heerema and his career in the SS, he turned against the Nazi regime after a few years “[I]as he could no longer associate himself with the ideas of the Nazis[/I]”, was convicted after the war, sentenced to prison, released after “[I]courts having recognized his unspecified but “very important” services to the resistance between August 1943 and March 1944[/I]” and THEN went into the offshore construction business for decades, for which reason the ship was named after him. (quotes from this article)

[QUOTE=c.captain;153411]How about your own country?..plenty of blood shed there too![/QUOTE]

Fought alongside Germany against the Soviet Union. Never had to learn Russian at school. On hindsight, should have learned it voluntarily, for now I need it at work…

[QUOTE=Tups;153430]Fought alongside Germany against the Soviet Union. Never had to learn Russian at school. Thanks, Germans! :)[/QUOTE]

Q: If East Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland at the same time, who would the Poles shoot first?
A: The Soviets, of course. Business comes before pleasure!

[QUOTE=Kraken;153426]I would think so, Norway was invaded. But that was 75 years ago.[/QUOTE]

and many Norwegians sided with the Nazis like many Dutchmen as well. So 75 years on, all the people who suffered and died horribly don’t matter anymore? HMMM?

[QUOTE=Tups;153430]Fought alongside Germany against the Soviet Union. Never had to learn Russian at school. On hindsight, should have learned it voluntarily, for now I need it at work…[/QUOTE]

and this is something you are proud of there in Finland? That you there fought alongside Nazis? Do you celebrate the day Germany invaded the Soviet Union there?

[QUOTE=Glaug-Eldare;153427]Note: My avatar is a version of the Crossland Banner, a portion of the Calvert arms used by Maryland secessionists due to its red and white colors. I consider it an important symbol of our difficult and often overlooked history during that war.)[/QUOTE]

I guess you can be proud to be on the side of the losers…

[QUOTE=Tups;153428]would you reconsider if some small group of people out there would get butthurt because of something that happened 70 years ago? [/QUOTE]

so Death Camp survivors are just a small group who feel butthurt eh? Well there certainly can’t be very many left alive after all these years and all the ones who died before are already dead so they don’t matter either! Why respect people who aren’t here anymore? I mean they can’t protest or anything!

[QUOTE=c.captain;153432]and many Norwegians sided with the Nazis like many Dutchmen as well. So 75 years on, all the people who suffered and died horribly don’t matter anymore? HMMM[/QUOTE]

Was it Pieter Schelte who personally invaded and killed all the Norwegians? No? Then I have no problem with the name.