No one really learned about the man pictured above, and we all should have.
This man is King Leopold II from Belgium, and he was responsible for a horrible genocide of over 10 million people in the African country of Congo. This should be taught in schoolbooks as it was an act of horror and it was forgotten and swept under a rug by the western world. It didn’t fit into school curriculums because it was so racist.
Crimes committed by the Belgian monarch exceeded above most other known dictators in the 20th century. Mainly it was ignored as it didn’t fit into the same category of oppression as the Holocaust and US slavery of African-Americans. He has quite a bit of history of imperialism, slavery, genocide and colonialism in Africa.
When Leopold II came to power in 1865, he was the kind of ruler the people needed after many hard reforms and revolutions. The European monarch had vast ambitions of creating an empire overseas, and believed that a nation’s strength comes from whats taken from the colonies.
He had it so that his business dealings came off relatively scientific and philanthropic, while enforcing slave labor to take resources and services from the Congolese. He did no good for the people and what’s worse, is he built slave camps, and enforced torture, body mutilations, and executions. His own private army helped to enforce the his reign and hold power over the Congolese.
King Leopold II ruled the Congo Free State for about 30 years, and was his established property that helped him achieve wealth. He had the worlds largest plantation that was 76 times bigger than Belgium, that included an abundant source of minerals and agriculture.
By 1924, half the population was lost when the first census reported there were 10 million people in Congo. Schools only teach our kids certain parts about African history rather than the full reign of Leopold II. They’ll go over Egypts pharaohs, slave trade, and the HIV epidemic. Maybe South African Apartheid if you had gone to a good school.
Its common for us to see safaris on animal shows, deserts and savanna’s, as well as starving children looking sadly into a camera. We didn’t get to learn about Leopold’s reign of horror in the Congolese genocide. He converted the country into his own plantation and concentration camp.
He even passed around christianity through his ministry. It’s terrible to think that a man like this who killed 10 million Africans, isn’t labeled as a dictator like Hitler or Stalin. What he did was evil and he deserves to be remembered for the horrible crimes he committed.
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