King Leopold’s Ghost

16 Aug

“The book places King Leopold among the great tyrants of history. The death toll in the Congo under his regime is hard to pin down, both because accurate records were not kept and because many of the existing records were deliberately destroyed by Leopold shortly before the government of Belgium took the Congo out of his hands. Although Wm. Roger Louis and Jean Stengers[3] characterize the earliest population and mortality estimates as “wild guesses”, Hochschild cites many subsequent lines of inquiry that conclude that the early official estimates were essentially correct: roughly half the population of the Congo perished during the Free State period. Since the census taken by the Belgian government (after acquiring the Congo from Leopold) found some 10 million inhabitants, Hochshild concludes that roughly 10 million perished, though the precise number can never be known.” Wiki


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