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European Journal

Belgium: A Shadowy Legacy in the Congo

There are still unresolved issues between Belgium and the Congo some 50 years after the latter's independence. Belgians in general are reluctant to look into King Leopold II's brutal policies in the former colony.

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König Leopold II. von Belgien

Severed hands, mass executions and villages razed to the ground were part and parcel of the Belgian colonial regime. This hardly features on the school curriculum back home, however. The Brussels suburb of Matonge is now home to many descendants of former Congolese slaves. Sometimes they have the feeling that Belgians still see the Congo as a colony.