The world only knows about the Holocaust, where 6 million Jews were slaughtered by German dictator Adolf Hitler in 1945. However, before Hitler, 10 million Africans were brutally butchered in Africa, something history books have conveniently ignored for centuries.
After the Berlin conference of 1884-1885 where European nations established the ‘legal’ claim that all of Africa could be occupied by whoever could take it, different European nations set out to mount their flags all over Africa.
The nations set out murdering Africans and then taking their wealth to make Europe wealthier. King Leopold II set out for the Congo and declared it his territory proclaiming it his property, the people and the land, quickly turning the land into a money-making enterprise.
Congo was rich in many minerals, but at the time it was richer in ivory and rubber. He set up a system that was extremely harsh on the people — a system that, if they did not reach regular rubber collection quotas, he murdered and mutilated the indigenous people.
King Leopold II’s government declared that rubber harvesting was a necessary tax that would be paid to the crown by those who lived on the land. This literally meant that Leopold took the lands and wealth of a people and obliged them to work on their own land as slaves.
The rubber industry in Europe was booming and he had to meet the demands of the market. As punishment for not fulfilling the quota they cut off your limb or get murdered.
Leopold II had an army that consisted of about 19,000 European mercenaries, called Publique Force. The military aggressively recruited Africans into its lower ranks as well. These Africans were press-ganged into service and they were executed if they resisted.
The European officials were so ruthless and based on their rubber hatred and targeting that they created a rule for soldiers to cut off and deliver the hands of any of the Congolese citizens killed for failing to fulfill their quota.
The source began to decline thus becoming slightly scarce. It was then more difficult to obtain the rubber, as many individuals had to climb tall trees to reach the vines. People may often drop from the trees and fall to their deaths.
In addition to the shooting and maiming, disease was another factor that caused millions to die. The well-being of the workers was not taken into account by the Belgians, who fed them unhealthy meat and vegetables and starved them most of the time.
However, this did not make the Belgians stop. For the commercial benefit of their resources, they continued the slavery and enslavement of the people of the Congo.
The burning of their villages was one of the painful accounts of the genocide of the Congolese. The commissioners and their officers also gave a certain quota to a whole village to fulfill and if they failed their villages and inhabitants were burnt down.
Diplomatic talks and pressure from many quarters would later lead Leopold II to renounce his rule over the Free State of the Congo and then hand it over to the Belgian Government, and then the Congo to be named the Belgian Congo. The country gained its independence on June 30, 1960.
To this day, the Congo is still the property of the Europeans and has been held in constant conflict by European powers trying to seize their wealth while keeping the citizens divided.
Source: African Archives