Belgium and the Congo (some history)

“Leopold II, the second king of modern Belgium, had transformed the medieval city during his long reign (1865-1 909) into a modern wonder-with wide roads, proper sewers, and a magnificent urban display that had been crafted for the Universal Exhibition of 1897. While the city celebrated the genuine architectural and artistic treasures of northwestern Europe, it did little to reveal the basis of its own immense wealth… But by 1927, the main source of wealth for Belgium and the city was not from the artisans but from Africa. It was Africa, particularly the Congo, that made Leopold II one of the richest people on the planet, and it enabled the Belgian economy to become the sixth largest in the world…officials brutalized the people of the Congo, killing them mercilessly, and torturing those who could not or would not work. Leopold II’s Free State set up the Force Publique, a militia designed to strike terror in the heart of the workforce. If a worker did not work hard, the officer would cut off their hand; one district official received 1 ,308 hands in one day from his subordinates.” Vijay Prashad, The Darker Nations, So this was less than 100 years ago…

Repost from Nadia Nadesan on facebook.

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