NEW INFORMATION ON THE NAZI PAST
OF CONTROVERSIAL DUTCHMAN, PIETER SCHELTE HEEREMA
A new biography, A Snake on the Heart – History, Mystery, and Truth: The Entangled Journeys of a Biographer and His Nazi Subject, brings to light new information about Pieter Schelte Heerema, a controversial figure in recent Dutch history. Heerema, who pioneered the development of the Netherlands’ offshore oil industry in the 1960s, was a member of the Dutch SS who claimed, after the war, that he joined the resistance in 1943. Jan Jürgen (John) Petersen, the subject of A Snake on the Heart, was also a member of the Dutch SS, knew Heerema, and wrote a report on him for the Dutch SS’s Intelligence Service in April 1944. In addition to providing new information on Heerema’s rank and his activities for the Dutch SS, the report also lends credence to Heerema’s disputed claim that he joined the resistance. “The Dutch were good enough to serve as cannon fodder, but would never receive any rights. That was clear to him now,” the report says of Heerema.
For detailed BACKGROUNDER: “New information on the Nazi past of controversial Dutchman, Pieter Schelte Heerema,”