the history of drc
WHY IS HITLER REVILED BUT NOT KING LEOPOLD II WHEREAS BOTH MEN CONDUCTED MAJOR HOLOCAUSTS?
oganze raissa mushamalirwaST NICHOLAS DIOCESAN SCHOOL1000000
oganze raissa mushamalirwaST NICHOLAS DIOCESAN SCHOOL
TOC o “1-3” h z u INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc505019997 h 2ANALYSIS PAGEREF _Toc505019998 h 2SOURCES PAGEREF _Toc505019999 h 3EVALUATION OF SOURCES PAGEREF _Toc505020000 h 7SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE PAGEREF _Toc505020001 h 8CONCLUSION PAGEREF _Toc505020002 h 8REFLECTION PAGEREF _Toc505020003 h 8REFRENCES PAGEREF _Toc505020004 h 9WORD COUNT PAGEREF _Toc505020005 h 9
My aim of this investigation is to underline the fact that it is as important to learn about King Leopold II as much as it is important to learn about Adolf Hitler. Reason being, both men committed major holocausts. One killing 10 million Jews the other killing an estimated 15 million Africans so, why is it we learn about Hitler but not Leopold II? Whereas both are equally guilty? I plan on achieving my aim by gathering a variety of information from numerous history websites. These sources will be in the form of visuals that support my aim. Thereafter, I will evaluate each source and summarize my findings.
ANALYSISKing Leopold II also known as ‘The Butcher of Congo’ reigned from 1865 – 1909 not only as the second King of Belgium but also as a dictator in Congo Free State. In the late 1800’s during the ‘Scramble for Africa,’ Leopold II inherited the need of having more colonies from France and the United Kingdom hence, he began his attempts in colonizing regions. After being convinced that Congo could bring not only wealth but also prestige to Belgium, in 1908 King Leopold II colonized Congo without the support of the Belgium government under a false philanthropic organization known as the ‘Association Internationale Africaine.’ An organization that Leopold II stated would help better the lives of those living in Congo. The first project King Leopold II undertook after gaining all rights over Congo Free State was the construction of a railway road that connected Matadi Seaport to Leopoldville which is presently known as Kinshasa. This project resulted in the death of over 200 Africans each month in the 10 years the railway road was under construction. But with his hunger for profits, King Leopold II ensured maximum generation of profits by resulting to exploiting the Congolese along with their natural resources which issued brutal abuse and had Congolese women and children savagely mutilated. These profits benefitted Belgium before Leopold II had all profits go to him, making him one of the powerful men recognized among other super powerful men.
Looking deeper into King Leopold II’s reign over Congo Free State; the King had made an alliance with Muhammed Bin Hamed who also went by the name of Tippu Tip. An Arab slave trader who not only shipped slaves to Zanzibar but also posed as a rival for Leopold II. A rival in terms of controlling Central Africa. Therefore, by King Leopold II appointing Tippu Tip as governor not only did he gain an ally but also a promise of noninterference in the colonizing of Western regions. But in 1892, Leopold II had an army of Congolese mercenaries form. The King then double-crossed Tippu Tip and the Arabs and had conflict lasting three years before Leopold II defeated Tippu Tip’s people in all areas near the Great Rift Valley that had been densely populated and ultimately earned full control.
By King Leopold II gaining full control over Western regions, this enhanced the level at which he committed his horrible and unspoken of atrocities in Congo Free State. He demanded the slave men to work for him under unbearable working conditions and had them produce rubber which increased the riches of Leopold II. The level of brutality that occurred in Congo Free State attracted the attention of international communities which went against Leopold II. This negative publicity encouraged the Belgium government to demand King Leopold II to sign over the Congo Free State colony to Belgium government in 1908. Congo Free State was reported to have decreased in population by a half (estimated 15 million) due to King Leopold II. Hence, the King earned his nickname ‘The Butcher of Congo.
https://www.google.co.za/search?q=importance+of+learning+about+leopold+II&dcr=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjm1qLuwvrYAhUCasAKHfoMDvEQ_AUICigB&biw=1299&bih=668#imgrc=HvJjgudxlgENAM:&spf=1517138040131EVALUATION OF SOURCESSource A – This is a picture of Leopold II standing alongside a Congolese boy after having his arm amputated. This shows how little sympathy Leopold II had for children because why would one have a child suffer for a reason non-existent? Let alone hold the amputated arm of the boy with a face covered in a smirk. This proves how King Leopold II was a man of no sympathy.
Source B – A Congolese man sits down in anguish as he stares at his daughter’s hand and foot that Leopold II had ordered to be mutilated for the father to get the message that if he dare disapproves to work for Leopold II then his family will pay the price for his actions. This proves Leopold II had the families of the men suffer to ensure the men could not quit working for him. Reason as to why Leopold II mutilated the body parts of the children and women was because men with only one arm or one foot were useless to him whereas he needed the men for all the labor.
Source C – A picture of Congolese men guarded by soldiers chained down like wild animals forced to work for Leopold II. Their facial expressions and lazy body posture suggest they have been over worked and under fed. And taking into consideration how ruthless Leopold II was, it is possible that majority of his workers suffered from malnutrition or fatigue.
Source D – This meme was made to speak to masses and show them how comparing Leopold II and Hitler is not possible. Reason being, both men were unmerciful yes but Leopold II placed first when it came to be a cold-hearted murderer.
Source E – This picture basically supports my aim. It shows how cruel both men were yet between the two, we are only taught about one; Hitler whom some will refer to as the ‘choir boy’ since Leopold II was the master.
Source F – This quote said by Leopold II shows how deceitful the man was. ‘Us,’ he uses the word ‘us’ although when it came to colonizing Congo, he did it for himself. Since he did not want to miss having a piece of Africa. So, he did everything he could in his powers to own Congo even if it meant going against his own government back in Belgium similarly to how Hitler deceived Germany (the Jews).
SUMMARY OF EVIDENCEThe above sources were chosen because they are the most relevant and support my aim in showing how important it is to learn about Leopold II and not only Hitler. Some were extracted from articles whereas other we extracted from Google images. But despite where they had been extracted, source A – E outline what happened during Leopold II’s reign in Congo Free State. Source F helps paint a picture of how Leopold II was and from that source one can concluded he was not only a deceitful man but also a greedy one.
CONCLUSIONAfter conducting this investigation, it is safe to say that the aim of the investigation was reached. The aim was to prove that people should be taught about King Leopold II as much as they are taught about Adolf Hitler and this report highlights that the Congolese genocide also recognized as the Congolese holocaust tops the Jewish holocaust which is precisely why people need to be educated on the African genocide. Being educated on the Congolese holocaust would help prevent the repetition of King Leopold II’s horrible doings.
REFLECTIONIn my opinion, the reason why the ‘Republique Democratique du Congo’ is the way it is now with people living in unbearable conditions and with children as young as 5 being trained to be soldiers is solemnly King Leopold II’s fault. It is because of Leopold II that the Congo economy and country (which includes its citizens) has not recovered from his brutal atrocities. Yes, this may have happened over 50 years back but his brutality still floats around. Even though, the ‘Scramble for Africa’ occurred years back, today DRC or RDC still faces a “Scramble for Congo.” People from all over race to own a piece of DRC simply because they want a piece of Congo’s riches. Did Leopold II not cause this greediness though? Yes, he did. It is because of him that people still find the need to benefit from DRC’s coal, base metals, rubber etc. Now that DRC’s land and resources are owned by foreigners, it makes it difficult for DRC to develop and grow as a country. If it was not for Leopold II’s ideologies still floating about in the Congo atmosphere then today Congo could have been among the top five countries with a rich and stable economy.
I could state my opinion regarding this investigation after conducting a full research where I obtained information from various history websites and visuals (also from Google images) all thanks to the Wi-Fi my mother provided me with at home.