Meet The Hitler Of Congo, Who Unleashed New Horrors On The African Continent

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His name is King Leopold II of Belgium and the living incarnation of evil killed over 10 million innocent people in what is now called the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Of the Europeans who scrambled for control of Africa at the end of the 19th century, Belgium’s King Leopold II left arguably the largest and most horrid legacy of all. — BBC

Reign Of Terror

To fulfill his dream to establish Belgium as an imperial power, Leopold led the first European efforts to develop the Congo River basin, founded his own private colony – the Congo Free State – in 1885 with the pretext to improve the lives of the native inhabitants, only to annex it as the Belgian Congo in 1908.

Under the reign of terror instituted by Leopold, as many as 10 million Africans lost their lives to one man’s greed, exploitation and brutality that Africa and the world must not forget. Presenting himself as a philanthropist eager to open the heart of Africa to Christian missionaries, Western capitalists, and Western civilization, Leopold embarked on an ultimately successful effort to make a vast fortune from his new possession by committing widespread atrocities against his colonial subjects.

He “bought” the Congo and enslaved its people, turning the entire country into his own personal slave plantation. He disguised his business transactions as “philanthropic” and “scientific” efforts under the banner of the International African Society. He used their enslaved labor to extract Congolese resources and services. His reign was enforced through work camps, body mutilations, executions, torture, and his private army. — Films For Action

leopold-horror
The photo above shows a man named Nsala Wala with his daughter’s hand and foot. Alice Harris, working as a missionary in the Congo, took the photo in May 1904, after he had come into her mission at Baringa with a small package containing the severed body parts.

Leopold never set foot in “his” Congo for all the 23 years but his “rubber terror” and barbarity knew no bounds. Since the Congo economy was largely operated by forced labour, the effects were devastating. 10 million Congolese were either murdered or worked to death by Leopold’s private army. Women were starved and systematically raped, worker’s hands were cut off and hundreds and thousands of indigenous people endured kidnapping, looting and village burnings. Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost, writes:

“Some were beaten or whipped to death for failing to meet the rigid production quotas for ivory and rubber harvests, imposed by Leopold’s agents. Some were worked to death, forced to labor in slave like conditions as porters, rubber gatherers or miners for little or no pay. Some died of the diseases introduced to (and spread throughout) the Congo by Europeans. And still others died from the increasingly frequent famines that swept the Congo basin as Leopold’s army rampaged through the countryside, appropriating food and crops for its own use while destroying villages and fields.

“Hostage-taking and the grisly severing of hands (from corpses or from living human beings) were part of the government’s deliberate policy — a means of terrorizing others into submission. As the “rubber terror” spread through the Congolese rain forest, entire villages were wiped out: Hundreds of dead bodies were dumped in rivers and lakes, while baskets of severed hands were routinely presented to white officers as evidence of how many people had been killed.”

The Curious Case of World Ignorance

Ever wondered why the world and the media don’t remember Leopold and why his name doesn’t produce fear, hatred, and sorrow? Leopold ensured that his crimes would never make it into the history books. Shortly after the turnover of the colony, Hochschild writes, the furnaces near Leopold’s palace burned for eight days, turning most of the Congo state records to ash and smoke.

Is there a hidden agenda to not talk about genocides in Africa perpetrated by European capitalist monarchs? There’s a Wikipedia page called “Genocides in History” but the Congolese Genocide isn’t included in the list despite the fact that attempting to eliminate a portion of the population is enough to qualify as genocide under the UN convention. Wonder why?

He’s part of a long history of colonialism, imperialism, slavery and genocide in Africa that would clash with the social construction of the white supremacist narrative in our schools. It doesn’t fit neatly into a capitalist curriculum. Stories which support the white supremacist narrative about the subhumanness of people in Africa are allowed to be entered into the records of history. The white guy who turned the Congo into his own personal part-plantation, part-concentration camp, part-Christian ministry and killed 10 to 15 million Congolese people in the process doesn’t make the cut. — Liam O’Ceallaigh


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15 COMMENTS

  1. Hochchild’s book is a must read.

    another of his worth investing is
    To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918

  2. I dont know the situation in other countries, but in germany we learned about that guy in history at school. Its not something that the government keep secret, its just irrelevant to them.

  3. Soon or later Congolese people will know the whole truth and it will set us free. They can do what they want, killing us, but at the end, we will write our own history.

    • We’re only talking a little over 100 years ago. That’s nothing. If someone killed one of your parents and then said the same to you, how would you feel? Or how about if it was your great grandfather, would that be harder to imagine & therefore easier to leave behind? Would you care less about him than your grandfather say? Now ask your parents how they felt about your great grandfather being killed (their own grandfather), would they care less? This is about education & empathy. People who so easily say it’s all in the past are typically the ones who haven’t been affected or taught the truth. They haven’t grown up hearing the stories about not just their own family members but whole communities killed & oppressed and so how could they possibly understand without being told the truth. Colonization didn’t end with black and white TV or at some vague blurry point in the past, it is alive and well today, just carried out through more backhanded political & economic means via the IMF, world bank & others. Read/watch “confessions of an economic hitman” for a taster. You only have to look at a map of US military bases around the world to see exactly what modern day colonization looks like.

      Only once people who have been colonized stop being meddled with and are allowed to gain back their autonomy, can they begin to repair their communities. If reparations and apologies are made then they may also begin to emotionally repair. Make no mistake, historical trauma is a very real thing that has huge ramifications on the world political stage. Anyone born under the banner of an ex-colonial power should stop & think twice before casually suggesting that the colonized world just suck it up. It’s not only people’s families that have been taken away, it was (and still is in many many cases) their communities, countries, resources, political power and autonomy. I’d like to see ANYBODY suck that up so easily.

    • we can, but it won’t leave us behind…why do you think there is so much hatred in the world? do you think that one people moving on in, and taking on over by killing, maiming, destroying families and all the rest, and then taking the lands and resources is ever going to be “just fine with everyone”? What if this happens to your family directly?, would you think, “oh it’s fine, they say they are superior, so that makes it all good..”. You need to wake up to the fact that today’s world is built on the blood of others, and if balances are not redressed, then they will eventually be redressed by the descendants of the people wrongly treated. How can you justify what happened? You can not! You are only separated from it because you belong to those that benefit from the past actions…wake the f**k up!

  4. In Holland we weren’t taught much about this kings’s business. At least not in the 70’s or 80’s, which were basically my school years. They did teach us about most other infamous European rulers, but somehow Leopold was hardly mentioned. All the more peculiar since Belgium is our direct neighbour. Then again, they also didn’t exactly tell us the whole truth about our own past. Teaching us at school about the wondrous Golden Age (17th century) but hardly mentioning the role of the Dutch in the infamous slave trade.

  5. i am from belgium 37 never saw this in school. If the school is pro royalty i think.
    This dark side of our history i feel terrible and a shamed.
    But our royal family is a joke
    of pedofieles anti abortion and outside marriage fckng .
    But every country has his black page i guess

    • If you prefer to stick your head in the sand like an Ostrich & ignore world history than history will repeat itself. You might be on the RECEIVING end of these atrocities. At that point your attitude will likely change. The sickening way that Europeans murdered and plundered Africa makes me sick. They are the first one to abhor violence but they took violence to a new level to get what they want.

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