The long overdue biography of human rights campaigner E.D.Morel has just been released. He and his Congo Reform Association were the principal movers in exposing the horrors of the holocaust perpetrated against the people of the Congo by Belgium's King Leopold. Joseph Conrad — author of Heart of Darkness — described it as “the vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured the history of human conscience.” And the human costs were, and still are, beyond comprehension.
The population of the country halved, some 10 million people are thought to have died over 25 years as a result of the greed and sadism of Leopold's imperialists. For some reason Morel seems to have been airbrushed out of the history books while racists and profiteers like H.M.Stanley are household names. Bertrand Russell sang the praises of Morel many years ago, but there has been very little since. The brutalities of the Republic of Congo today have European antecedents.
Hat tip to my friend Tony at Wolves in the City
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