Get the world’s biggest ship, named after a Nazi SS officer, out of our waters


"We survivors do not want our past to be our children’s future,” said Roman Kent last week.

He spoke at the site of the Auschwitz death camp, seventy years on from the liberation of those imprisoned in this hell.

Roman was one of 300 survivors, reunited to remember the 1.1 million people who perished there at the hands of the Nazis.

As they gathered, the world’s biggest crane-vessel was preparing for the UK.

The Pieter Schelte is named after a SS officer, a war criminal, a man jailed for the enslavement of 4000 men on the eastern front, a man who allegedly spoke of the Aryan supremacy and in the most abhorrent terms about the Jewish people.

Contracted by its Swiss owners Allseas to work on Shell’s Brent platforms, the Pieter Schelte is now bringing its terrible history to our waters.

As the world community pledges to `never forget’, this gross dishonour to those who tormented by Nazi tyranny must be challenged.

For over ten years, Holocaust survivor groups have fought to rename the Pieter Schelte. Despite its pariah status, and at this of all times, Shell will sail that ship, with this name, into the North Sea.

That’s why Unite joins with calls to say `no’.

The values of the labour movement, which we proudly serve – of international solidarity, of decency and dignity for the common man – are such that we cannot stay silent in the face of this horrendous insult.

We fear too for those employed to work on this flag of convenience vessel; they need us to speak up to ensure that they are not mistreated.

We have appealed to the UK prime minister to get involved, while at both Westminster and Holyrood, elected members are marking their outrage too.

The Shell Group proudly states : ‘We set high standards …ethical behaviour that we apply internationally… according to our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people.’

This ship confers honour to a man responsible for grotesque crimes against humanity. So to Shell we say: get this ship renamed, or get it out of UK waters.


Unite is urging people to sign the petition to rename this vessel, which can be found at