Leopold II (Belgium)

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Leopold II.

Leopold II (born April 9, 1835 in Brussels ; † December 17, 1909 at Laeken Castle , Brussels; actually Leopold Ludwig Philipp Maria Viktor , French Léopold Louis Philippe Marie Victor , Dutch Leopold Lodewijk Filips Maria Victor ) from the House of Saxony-Coburg and Gotha was Duke of Brabant and Prince of Belgium until 1865 and succeeded his father Leopold I to the throne of the Kingdom of Belgium . From 1865 to 1909 he was King of the Belgians .

Leopold was a supporter of colonialist ideas and founded the officially independent Congo Free State in Central Africa , of which he was the absolute monarch and personal owner from 1876/1885 to 1908. At that time ivory and rubber were mainly exported from the Congo . The local population was cruelly mistreated and exploited. How many people died in the " Congo atrocities " is controversial. Adam Hochschild , an American journalist who has dealt intensively with the colonial era in the Belgian Congo, named the estimate "ten million victims" in a book published in 1998. The historian Christoph Driessen describes this number in his “History of Belgium” as “not proven”, but speaks of a “crime of apocalyptic proportions”. In 1908, the huge territory became the property of the Belgian state and in the course of this was renamed the Belgian Congo .


Family background

Leopold II as a child, Duke of Brabant, painting by Franz Xaver Winterhalter , 1844

Leopold was born on April 9, 1835 in Brussels as the second son of the incumbent Belgian monarch Leopold I and his second wife Louise d'Orléans , a daughter of Louis-Philippe I , King of the French from 1830 to 1848. Leopold's parents had four children, the eldest of whom, Crown Prince Louis Philippe , died before he was one. His brother Philippe and sister Charlotte , who married Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who later became Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico, were born after him .

Through his father, Leopold was a cousin of the British Queen Victoria , as his father and Victoria's mother were siblings. His grandfather King Louis-Philippe, living in exile in Britain since 1848, died in 1850 when Leopold was 15 years old. His mother, Louise, described as fragile, was deeply affected by her father's death. Her health deteriorated noticeably, so that she died of tuberculosis that same year .

Crown Prince

On August 22, 1853, Crown Prince Leopold Marie Henriette married Anne von Habsburg-Lothringen (1836–1902), Archduchess of Austria , the daughter of Archduke Joseph of Austria (1776–1847), a son of Emperor Leopold II (1747–1792) .

Leopold and Marie Henriette

The crown prince's health was considered precarious - his lungs were allegedly weak and one leg was lame. From 1853 until his accession to the throne, he went on several long sea voyages. From 1854 to 1855 he visited Egypt and the Middle East. He returned to Egypt in 1860 and 1862 and toured India and China from 1864 to 1865.

Even as Crown Prince, Leopold pursued the idea of ​​allowing Belgium, which is insignificant in the European power structure, to gain wealth and power by acquiring colonies. The Netherlands , whose colony in the Dutch East Indies , today's Indonesia , was characterized by economic success that increased after the construction of the Suez Canal , were proof of this. His father, Leopold I, had at times pursued similar ideas. After the failure of a colony to be founded in South America, however, the latter largely distanced himself from such ideas.

Accession to the throne 1865

In 1865 Leopold I died. The beginning of the reign of Leopold II was characterized by parliamentary disputes over questions of electoral law and education. After the Franco-German War in 1870/1871 , Leopold attached great importance to military defense as a prerequisite for Belgium's neutrality. However , he was only able to enforce the general conscription , which he saw as necessary for this, on his deathbed on December 14, 1909.

As a constitutional monarch, Leopold II basically had little power to implement his policy. This also included his idea of developing Belgium into a colonial power . Neither the Belgian government nor its subjects were interested in building colonies, the development of which threatened to be costly and not necessarily successful. The regions of the world in which this was promisingly possible were already largely divided up among the existing colonial powers. Leopold II, however, was one of the wealthiest men in Europe. He had inherited considerable private fortune from his parents and successfully increased them through speculation in parts of the Suez Canal . This gave him the leeway to implement as a private individual what was impossible for him as a monarch.

1876–1885: Land acquisition along the Congo

Under Leopold's rule, children and adults in the Congo who had not collected enough rubber had their hands chopped off as a punishment. (From: King Leopold's self-talk by Mark Twain, 1905)

Exploration of the interior of sub-Saharan Africa began in the second half of the 19th century. Leopold II closely followed all voyages of discovery in the African continent. The news from the first explorers proved that the interior south of the Sahara was not desolate and empty, which had not been ruled out for a long time. Verney Cameron , one of the first explorers in this region, reported on the immeasurable treasures in the Congo Basin . Presumably, Leopold II recognized earlier than others that with the development of steam navigation and with quinine as a drug to combat deadly diseases in Africa, colonization of Africa became possible. After his considerations of founding a Belgian colony in Asia had already proven to be unrealizable in the planning approach, he began to concentrate on founding a colony in Africa. As one of the first measures he financed an international geographic conference which took place in Brussels in September 1876. In his opening address, he described the development of Africa as a crusade worthy of the 19th century as an age of progress, and stressed that his and Belgium's interest in it was purely philanthropic . At the conference, explorers and geographers discussed how Central Africa could be made accessible to civilization. To this end, it was proposed to set up a chain of bases from Loanda to Zanzibar. The assembly also agreed on the establishment of the International Africa Society , which, as an international, ostensibly scientific-philanthropic organization, was to coordinate the development of Africa.

Equestrian statue of Leopold II in Brussels

Leopold's initiative met with a positive response in Europe and North America. The motives that Leopold II actually pursued can be seen in a letter he wrote to the Belgian ambassador in London on November 17, 1877. In it he describes Henry Morton Stanley as the man through whom Belgium could get to an African colony along the Congo:

“I am very sure that the British will stop me if I openly ask Stanley to take possession of part of Africa on my behalf. If I asked them for advice, they wouldn't be any less of a deterrent to me. If, on the other hand, I commissioned Stanley with further expeditions, it would not hurt anyone. And this would give us bases that we could take possession of later [...]. "

However, the British were far less interested in further colonizing Africa than Leopold II suspected. To protect the British colony on the southern tip of Africa, British forces advanced north over the next few months. This led to the Zulu War , which the British won over the long term, but in which such devastating defeats as the battle of Isandlwana also demonstrated to them the cost of such a policy of colonization.

In 1878 Leopold II founded the Committee for Research into the Upper Congo ( French Comité d'Études du Haut Congo (CEHC) ). He hired Stanley to do the research. While the official mission was scientific or philanthropic, he secretly hired Stanley to purchase land and bring ivory. In 1879 the committee was renamed the "Association Internationale du Congo - International Union of the Congo".

Stanley founded several settlements, including Leopoldville (now Kinshasa ), and began building a 200 km track from the mouth of the Congo along the Livingstone Falls to Stanley Pool (now Pool Malebo ). From there the Congo is navigable. Many of the forcibly recruited locals perished in this project. He also concluded treaties with around 450 tribal princes in which they assigned their land to Leopold II. Many chiefs were made to believe that Leopold II even ruled the sun. This was demonstrated with a trick with a magnifying glass. Stanley's reckless behavior was heavily criticized in England and earned him the African nickname Bula Matari ("who breaks the stones").

In 1884/85 the Congo Conference took place in Berlin , organized by Otto von Bismarck . Leopold II did not attend personally. Nevertheless, the only direct decision that was permanently respected by all involved was that the "Etat indépendant du Congo" became the property of the International Congo Society . In 1884, for example, Germany and the USA recognized society's sovereignty over the country. However, since Leopold was the sole owner of the company, the entire land became de facto private property. In return, he declared his tropical empire a free trade zone . With around 2.34 million square kilometers, the area was over seventy times the size of the Kingdom of Belgium.

1885–1908: The Congo Free State

In 1885, Leopold dissolved the International Congo Society , transferred its property and structures to the new state, and had himself confirmed by the Belgian parliament as the “sovereign king” of the newly created, formally independent and independent Free State. The Congo now belonged to Leopold II personally , de jure . The first years from 1876 to 1885 of the Free State (or its predecessor, the International Congo Society) are considered to be the "more bearable" years of the state. Leopold invested his large private fortune in the construction of mission stations and trading posts as well as in the expansion of the new capital Boma . Congolese freed from slavery by East African slave traders were educated in schools. In just a few years, Leopold created loyal, European-oriented local helpers who supported the Europeans in education and administration in trading posts and mission stations. These former slaves also served Leopold as a justification for his policies in Belgium, and some of them were sent to Antwerp as a successful example of his “philanthropic” policy . In 1898 Leopold founded the Musée Colonial de Tervueren (now the Royal Museum for Central Africa ) after having held a colonial exhibition at the Brussels World Exhibition in 1897 . The construction of the state devoured Leopold's considerable private funds, which is why there were two momentous developments. On the one hand, the formally independent Congo Free State came more and more into formal contact with the Belgian state, which granted Leopold loans and payments. On the other hand, Leopold was looking for an economic system that converted his economic losses into profit. He found it in the system of sheer exploitation and de facto serfdom.

In 1888 he issued three decrees: the first banned the arms trade , the second laid down the conditions for the employment of local workers, and the third formed the basis for the creation of the Force Publique , a kind of colonial army . He convinced the Belgian parliament to advance him 10 million francs for his projects in the Congo. Then various larger infrastructure projects such as the construction of the Matadi-Kinshasa Railway from the river mouth to Stanley Pool , which was completed in 1898, began. In addition, the shorter Boma-Tshela Railway was built. The large fortress Fort de Shinkakasa was built near Boma in 1891 and the port of Matadi was expanded.

In order to finance these larger infrastructure measures and the smaller expansion of posts, Leopold needed funds. From 1876 to 1885 Leopold had invested around 10 million Belgian francs in his private state. In 1886, however, the state only generated revenues of around 75,000 francs. Barter was the norm in the country, so it was not possible to collect taxes. So the Congolese should pay their taxes in kind. Initially, ivory was delivered to Europe. The monopoly of the ivory trade on the Europeans destroyed the old trading networks. In 1897, 245 tons of ivory were exported, which represented around 50% of the world's trade. Rubber was soon added, as Charles Goodyear had received a patent for the vulcanization of rubber in 1844 . This enabled tires to be made. The demand for this raw material had grown steadily since then. 44 years after Goodyear patented the vulcanization of rubber, John Boyd Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire. In view of the cobbled streets at the time and the potholes on the country roads, it was a success that once again increased the demand for rubber significantly. The king's troops raided villages and the residents were ordered to collect a certain amount of rubber, otherwise the whole village would be burned to the ground. Anyone who tried to flee was shot. In order to check whether the soldiers had not only hunted, they had to show the hands of the people who had been shot in exchange for used ammunition. When soldiers did hunt, the hands of living people were chopped off as well . Another interpretation of the practice of chopping off your hands, according to the trade journal Message , is that pressure has been put on the suppliers: If you don't supply enough rubber, your hand will be chopped off. In addition, the pressure on the locals to constantly collect rubber meant that they were less and less able to cultivate their fields. In some areas 60–90% of the population died of starvation or left their villages in order to evade the grip of the “state”. In 1890 the rubber yield was only 100 tons per year, in 1901 it was 6,000 tons.

The methods used by Belgian trading companies and the military in the Congo are described in Joseph Conrad's book Heart of Darkness (published in 1899) , among others . Conrad (1857-1924) had been hired in 1890 as the captain of a river ship. However, he fell ill soon after his arrival. What he had to see in the Congo also made him return to England as soon as possible. Among other things, he saw the soldiers bring baskets full of decaying hands to their bases to be counted. He also saw how the heads of those executed were displayed on stakes at a base.

In addition, the structures of the “state” favored the abuse of power. One could only speak of a real “state” in the westernmost province of the Congo Central , on the Atlantic coast . The vast majority of the vast country the size of Western Europe was controlled by around 3,000 Europeans and should be administered as cheaply as possible. Many Belgian officers came from the petty bourgeoisie and had no ideas about Africa and its living conditions. Relocated to a lonely post far away from any familiar environment, plagued by malaria and humidity, the officers often developed fears, melancholy and even complete madness and fantasies of omnipotence , which ultimately ended in numerous massacres. In fact, there was also no legal system . The absence of courts, laws, or any separation of powers at all opened the door to abuse of power by the officers, civil servants and employees of the companies. It was only after the end of the Free State that the Belgian state formed the first independent public prosecutor's office (procureur général) that could take action against corrupt or violent officials. Until then, large areas of the Congo, including de jure, were trapped in the absolute despotism of the local officials, who were the highest political and legal authorities on the ground, and whose excesses only existed in the outskirts of the capital Boma (where some European powers had set up official embassies ) did not occur. For example, Leon Fievez had 572 murdered in the first four months of his service as district commissioner for the province of Equateur . He then repeatedly took punitive actions. In a single punitive expedition he had 162 villages burned down and 1,346 people executed. The highest rubber yield was achieved in his province.

In 1891 the Canadian explorer and British military commander William Grant Stairs led an expedition on behalf of Leopold II that secured Belgium control of the copper regions of Katanga . In 1897 the Force Publique led a campaign under Louis Napoléon Chaltin to win the Lado enclave and to get closer to Leopold's dream of a "Empire on the Nile".

Evaluation of the Congo policy

King Leopold II, last picture

There are different estimates of how many residents of the Congo Free State were murdered under Leopold's rule or died or were displaced as a result of his policies. Between 1880 and 1920, the population of the Congo fell by at least half. In 1891 the village of Lukolela still had 6,000 inhabitants. In 1903 there were fewer than 400.

Adam Hochschild speaks of 10 million dead, which is based on an estimate by Jan Vansina. Large numbers of people were cruelly mistreated, tortured and brutally mutilated. As a result, many could no longer feed themselves and their families and died of malnutrition.

The Belgian historian David Van Reybrouck notes that Leopold's entire colonial policy actually had to end in exploitation because the birth defect of the “state” was already sealed at the Congo Conference. In order to develop a state, it first needs considerable financial resources. Officials, doctors, teachers, soldiers, missionaries have to be paid, infrastructure projects such as railways, fortresses, forts, settlements, schools, hospitals have to be built. Leopold was one of the richest people of his time, but it far exceeded his means to guarantee these things in the long term. The “state budget” of the Free State was de facto identical to its private assets. It was therefore hardly surprising that in 1890 both Leopold and the Free State were heading for bankruptcy. The policy of exploitation was therefore the corollary of a structure that had not been viable from the start. However, the character of Leopold's policy was shown by the fact that he did not throw this system overboard when he had consolidated himself financially around 1900. He kept the system, and so the riches flowed unchecked from the Congo to Belgium, where Leopold carried out numerous projects and construction projects, e.g. B. the Jubelparkmuseum , the Royal Palace , the boulevard of Tervuren including the Royal Museum for Central Africa , and posed as a benefactor. Major investments in the Congo (apart from the expansion of the army as a means of oppression) or the institutional expansion of a state that would have protected the inhabitants from the arbitrariness of the civil servants did not take place. With Leopold's investments, Belgium experienced an economic and cultural boom during these years. Leopold created a state that was built like a pyramid: Leopold, his henchmen in the societies and around 1,000 European officials benefited, while the vast majority of the millions of Congolese impoverished, perished or fled. If Leopold set out to end the system of slavery that plagued the Congo before he came to power, he had created a system that can be described as far worse. In this context, Van Reybrouck speaks of a hecatomb .

“To describe Leopold's colonial policy, contemporaries used terms that were considered the most telling at the time: 'curse' (curse), 'slave state', 'rubber slavery' (rubber slavery), crime, plunder ... Today one is frightened no longer retreating from the words mass murder and the Holocaust ”, says Elikia M'Bokolo, one of the first Congolese historians.

In 1890, at the 33rd session of the Brussels Conference, it was decided that the slave trade in Africa should be ended. From 1904 the campaigns of some missionaries and newspaper makers who publicly denounced crimes against the population showed success. Major newspapers reported regularly that the churches condemned the treatment of the population. The campaign was initiated by Edmund Dene Morel , he had worked for a shipping company that brought goods to and from the Congo on behalf of Leopold. His attention was drawn to the fact that the ships from the Congo were fully loaded with ivory and rubber, but only transported weapons and ammunition on the way back. Using statistics on trade and profits, Morel was able to confirm his suspicion that this was only a matter of the systematic enslavement of the locals, which had to be legitimized by the highest authority. In his notes he wrote: “[...] I felt dizzy and nauseous as I realized the importance of my discovery. It's bad enough to uncover a murder by accident. But I happened upon a society of murderers whose accomplice was the king himself. ”He published a regular newsletter with reports from the Congo that he received from missionaries and travelers. In 1903 Great Britain sent the diplomat Roger Casement to the Congo to investigate the allegations against Leopold II and his regime. In the 1903 Casement Report, Great Britain confirmed Morel's allegations.

In 1908, the governments of Great Britain and the USA condemned Leopold's system of rule. Under pressure from the world, Leopold II had to approve a law of the Belgian parliament, according to which the Belgian state bought this “ Free Congo State ” from the king and then administered it as the “ Belgian Congo ” colony .

As a result of these events, Leopold II became one of the most hated people in Europe. In December 1909, his remains were booed by the Belgian population during the funeral procession.

The website of the Belgian royal family writes: "Because of the excesses committed by the Europeans in Africa, the reputation of Leopold and that of his overseas work is being questioned".

The six-meter-high equestrian statue of Leopold in Kinshasa , dismantled in 1967 on the orders of the then President Mobutu Sese Seko , was re-erected by the Kabila government in February 2005 , but dismantled a few hours later.

Further foreign policy

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 he spoke out in favor of the neutrality of his country, and he succeeded in keeping Belgium out of the war.

Activities in Belgium

Leopold used the money from the Congo for buildings. He rebuilt his residence, the Laeken Castle , and built large greenhouses in the castle park. He had the Avenue Louise or Louizalaan built in Brussels, the Jubelpark with triumphal arch (for Belgium's 50th birthday in 1881), the Avenue de Tervuren, which leads to the Royal Museum for Central Africa , which he also built in Tervuren , about ten kilometers away , as well as buildings in the spa town of Spa , the Gileppe Dam and more. To this day, statues of Leopold II can be found in Belgium, despite his crimes in the Congo. However, these were only erected after his death.

In 1900 he converted this property into a royal donation and handed it over to the state, which now had to pay for its preservation. Among other things, the terms of the donation stipulate that the people only have access to the royal greenhouses that they finance for two weeks a year. In 1908 Leopold bequeathed his remaining assets to the Niederfüllbacher Foundation , which he was able to use himself. However, just over a year after his death, at the beginning of 1911, the foundation administrators gave the securities to the Belgian state in return for a settlement.

Leopold died on December 17, 1909, a monarch largely isolated from the other European rulers. His nephew Albert I succeeded him on the throne . Leopold II was buried in the crypt of the Church of Our Lady at Laeken , Brussels.

Leopold II as perceived by his contemporaries

"Majesty Schachtelteufel ", contemporary caricature of Leopold II.
The Congo in the stranglehold of King Leopold II's rubber clan, a caricature in the British magazine Punch , 1906

Many prominent writers participated in the international condemnation of the exploitation of the Independent Congo State by Leopold II. The best known are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle , who wrote the pamphlet The Crime of the Congo , and Booker T. Washington as well

The American poet Nicholas Vachel Lindsay (1879–1931) wrote The Congo in 1914 , in which he takes the position of those affected:

"Listen to the yell of Leopold's ghost
Burning in Hell for his hand-maimed host
Hear how the demons chuckle and yell
Cutting his hands off, down in Hell."

“Leopold's soul 'in hell' you hear screaming, pardon
the victims for mutilated hands.
Listen to how the devils scream loudly with comfort
when they cut off his hands in hell. "

- Nicholas Vachel Lindsay : The Congo, and other poems, I, 37-40

Recently added:

  • Adam Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost (published 1998) describes the history and brutality of the reign of Leopold II in the Belgian Congo.


Leopold's marriage to Marie Henriette of Austria has four children:

  1. Archduke Rudolf of Austria (daughter Elisabeth comes from the marriage )
  2. Elemér Edmund Count Lónyay von Nagy-Lónya and Vásáros-Namény , this marriage remained childless.

Leopold also had two illegitimate sons - Lucien Philippe Marie Antoine (1906–1984) and Philippe Henri Marie François (1907–1914) - their mother, his mistress Blanche Zélia Joséphine Delacroix (1883–1948), also known as Caroline Lacroix, whom he had met as a young prostitute in Paris, married five days before his death on December 12, 1909. The wedding ceremony, which was not legitimate under Belgian law, took place in the palm pavilion of Laeken Castle.


Ernst Friedrich of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (1724-1800)
Franz von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld (1750-1806)
Sophie of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1724-1802)
Leopold I King of Belgium (1790-1865)
Heinrich XXIV. Von Reuss-Ebersdorf (1724-1779)
Auguste Reuss zu Ebersdorf (1757-1831)
Karoline Ernestine zu Erbach-Schönberg (1727–1796)
Leopold II King of Belgium
Louis-Philippe II. Joseph de Bourbon, duc d'Orléans (1747-1793)
Louis-Philippe I King of the French, (1773-1850)
Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre (1753-1821)
Louise d'Orléans (1812-1850)
Ferdinand I King of the Two Sicilies (1751-1825)
Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily (1782-1866)
Maria Karolina of Austria (1752-1814)


On the occasion of Leopold II's accession to the throne - on December 17, 1865 - the Belgian sculptor and medalist Leopold Wiener created a coronation medal of honor.

Coronation medal Leopold II - accession to the throne on December 17, 1865 - by Leopold Wiener .
The photo Nsala of Wala in the Nsongo District (Abir Concession) - a father looks at his daughter's cut hand and foot.

An equestrian statue of Leopold II was erected on the sea dike at Ostend in 1931. It bears the inscription: “De thanks van de Congolezen aan Leopold II”. In 2004 strangers saw off the hand of an African depicted there. An action group called De Stoete Ostendenoare committed to this act . On December 23, 2009, the Belgian radio station VRT reported that the action group had agreed to return the sawed-off hand if the city of Ostend confessed to the truth about the ex-king's cruel Belgian rule.

In the course of the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement, which began in the United States in June 2020 in numerous other countries , the city council of Antwerp decided on June 9, 2020 to remove a statue of the king.

See also


Contemporary reports and novels dealing with excesses in the Congo

  • Joseph Conrad : Heart of Darkness . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1992 (original title: Heart of Darkness , 1899. Translated by Reinhold Batberger).
  • Mark Twain : King Leopold's self-talk . Essays, reports, sketches. In: Mark Twain: Selected Works . tape 12 . Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin / Weimar 1979 (original title: King Leopold's Soliloquy , 1905. Translated by Ana Maria Brock).
  • Arthur Conan Doyle : The Crime of Congo . 1909.

Current literature

  • David Van Reybrouck : Congo: A Story . Suhrkamp, ​​2012, ISBN 978-3-518-42307-3 (Dutch: Congo. Een geschiedenis . Amsterdam 2010. Translated by Waltraud Hüsmert , German first edition).
  • Adam Hochschild : Shadows over the Congo. The story of one of the great, almost forgotten crimes of humanity . 9th edition expanded to include an afterword. Klett-Cotta, 2012, ISBN 978-3-608-94769-4 (English: King Leopold's Ghost . 1998. Translated by Rolf Schubert, Monika Noll, Ulrich Enderwitz, first edition: 2000).
  • Thomas Pakenham : The Scramble for Africa . Georg Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1991, ISBN 0-349-10449-2 .
  • Ruth Weiss, Hans Mayer, Antony Martin: Africa for the Europeans . Hammer, Wuppertal 1985, ISBN 3-87294-249-2 .
  • Rolf Italiaander : King Leopold's Congo. Documents and pamphlets by Mark Twain, Edmund D. Morel, Roger Casement . Rütten and Loening, Munich 1964.


Crimes committed during Leopold II's reign in the Congo are portrayed in a documentary by Peter Bate released in 2004.

Web links

Commons : Leopold II. (Belgium)  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files


  1. See archived copy ( Memento from 23 August 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  2. King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa (1998; new edition 2006), ISBN 0-330-49233-0 . A German translation was published in 2000
  3. ^ Christoph Driessen: History of Belgium. The divided nation of Regensburg 2018, p. 131.
  4. ^ Thomas Pakenham: The scramble for africa. Georg Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1991, p. 13.
  5. Pakenham, p. 13.
  6. Pakenham, p. 14.
  7. Pakenham, p. 20.
  8. Le Monde diplomatique : Like gold, only better (from January 15, 2010)
  9. Pakenham, pp. 20-23.
  10. Pakenham, p. 38.
  11. ^ Forester, Stig; Mommsen, Wolfgang Justin; Robinson, Ronald Edward (1988). Bismarck, Europe and Africa: The Berlin Africa Conference 1884-1885 and the Onset of Partition. Oxford University Press German Historical Institute. Page 240. ISBN 9780199205004 .
  12. Davird Van Reybrouck: Congo A Story, p. 118.
  13. Adam Hochschild: Shadows over the Congo. 6th edition. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2001, p. 331.
  14. Vangroenweghe, Daniel: You sang sur les lianes. Brussels 1986
  15. [: en: Jan Vansina] in the English Wikipedia
  16. Elikia M'Bokolo: Le livre noir du colonialisme. XVIè-XXIè siècle: de l'extermination à la repentance, page 434
  17. See monarchie.be: Biography (accessed April 17, 2017)
  18. ^ European Atrocity, African Catastrophe: Leopold II, the Congo Free State and Its Aftermath in the Google book search
  19. brf.be
  20. krijgt Leopold II straks zijn terug hand? . www.deredactie.be (Dutch), accessed December 23, 2009.
  21. Antwerp removes statue of King Leopold II. In: Der Standard . June 9, 2020, accessed June 9, 2020 .
  22. Le roi blanc, le caoutchouc rouge, la mort noire (translated: white king, red rubber, black death.) Belgium 2004. arte.tv, November 11, 2005 plus repetitions.
predecessor Office successor
Leopold I. King of the Belgians
Albert I.