In a jaw-dropping job interview, Belgian Prince Laurent, the brother of King Philippe, tried to protect his colonialist grandfather King Leopold II — who turned the Congo into a slave condition — soon after statues of the guy were being torn down and defaced this 7 days.
“He by no means himself went to Congo — so I do not see how he could have built individuals there put up with,” Laurent explained to the Sudpresse company.
“You need to see what Leopold II has done for Belgium,” the tone-deaf prince included, according to The Telegraph. “He had parks built in Brussels and several other items.”
In the course of Leopold’s 23-12 months rule of the Congo, which mercifully ended in 1908, tens of millions of Congolese died in the course of forced labor immediately after they had been sent to rubber plantations to get the job done for the gain of Belgium coffers.
King Leopold, regarded as a ruthless robber baron by historians, was eventually pressured out of the Congo because of to his atrocities.
Joseph Conrad wrote his 1902 horror novel, “The Coronary heart of Darkness” based on the Congo all through Leopold’s rule — and brought to light the atrocities dedicated. Six many years immediately after the publication of Conrad’s guide and an international outcry about abuses, King Leopold was pressured out of the Congo.
“There should be an acknowledgment that this was a trouble in particular aspects,” Joachim Coens, chairman of the Flemish Christian Democrats, explained to the broadcaster VRT. Coens instructed the King himself should remark on his grandfather’s misdeeds.