Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Named after SS Nazi war criminal: World's largest ship sparks outrage as it arrives in Europe

The arrival of the world's largest ship in Europe has provoked outrage after it was revealed it was named after a SS Nazi war criminal.

The Pieter Schelte, which is so big it can lift oil rigs out of the water, is docked in Rotterdam after being constructed at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering shipyard in South Korea.

But as Holocaust Memorial Day nears, anger has erupted after it was revealed Pieter Schelte Heerema was a Dutch officer in the Waffen SS.

The vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush told the Observer: '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.'

Schelte was the father of Dutchman Edward Heerema, the owner of company Allseas, who commissioned the building of the ship.

He was an officer in the Waffen SS during the Second World War, when he acted as a director for the Dutch East Company.

It is thought he was responsible for recruiting Dutch men to be put into forced labour in Nazi-occupied territories in Eastern Europe.

However, he is reported to have left the SS in 1944 as he lost sympathy with the Nazis and joined a resistance party, fleeing to Switzerland.

He was tried and sentenced to three years in prison for war crimes after the war but was released early and went to Venezuela  where he set up a engineering company.


It seems to me that the man is entitled to honor a father who  joined the resistance to the Nazis.  It seems that his father was in any case an office worker rather than an armed combatant

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