World’s biggest ship, named after Nazi SS officer, stirs protest

Pieter Schelte was a member of the Nazi Waffen SS.

January 12, 2015 03:51
1 minute read.

THE PIETER SCHELTE. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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BERLIN – The Pieter Schelte, the biggest vessel in the world, arrived in Rotterdam on Thursday, triggering a protest to change the ship’s name, because Pieter Schelte was a member of the Nazi Waffen SS.

The ship is owned by Schelte’s son, Edward Heerema, and it is part of the Swiss-based Allseas group.

According to the petition addressed to Heerema, “Astonishingly, you have named the ship in honor of your late father, Pieter Schelte Heerema, a former officer in the murderous Waffen SS, an SS officer and a diehard member of the Nazi Party, who was once quoted as saying ’The German race is model. The Jewish race, by comparison, is parasitic ... therefore the Jewish question must be resolved in every Aryan country.’” Heerema collaborated with the Nazis in the Netherlands and served three years in prison for this after World War II.

According to a December Forbes article, titled “Big Oil’s $3 Billion Homage To A Nazi War Criminal,” the author, Eamonn Fingleton, wrote, “The interesting thing is that Allseas seems to be getting away with this. The Dutch government even provided a subsidy for the project. Meanwhile, after a brief flurry of interest in 2008 when the original contract to build the Pieter Schelte was signed with Korea’s Daewoo shipyard, the Dutch press has largely swept the controversy under the rug.”

The petition notes, “ in view of the unspeakable war crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis, I believe your action is morally wrong and hope you will reconsider an act that many might regard as the height of arrogance and blatantly disrespectful to the victims of Nazi atrocities. 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.”

Port News reported on Sunday the Pieter Schelte is 382 meters long and 124 meters wide and is designed to “for installing and removing topsides and jackets of large offshore oil and gas platforms in a single lift.”

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