The story of King Leopold’s II’s rule in the Congo Free State is among the darkest episodes of European imperialism on the African continent in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, many people are not even aware of the massive genocide that Leopold unleashed during his several decade rule over the Congo Free State. At least 8 million people were brutally killed during this time. Many were subjected to slave labor to harvest the rubber that enriched King Leopold as he literally ruled the Congo Free State as a private business enterprise.
- The Forgotten Horrific Truth About the Congo Free State
- Congolese Independence Speech by Belgian King Baudouin June 30, 1960
Video of King Leopold II 1906
While Leopold II boasted of his philanthropic mission in the Congo, his Force Publique severed the hands of their victims throughout the Congo. Severed hands became a form of currency that the colonial rulers used to enforce their rule against the natives in the Congo.
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Learn more about this period of the history of Africa through these books and links: