Leopold II, second King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909, was owner and absolute ruler of the Congo Free State from 1885 to 1908. He was responsible for the genocidal plundering of the Congo, looting its rubber, brutalising its people, and ultimately slashing its population by ten million, all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian.
In 1904, Chief Lontulu laid 110 twigs in front of a foreign commission. Every twig represented a person in his village who died because of King Leopold’s brutal regime in the Congo. His testimony joined hundreds of others to help bring an end to one of the greatest atrocities in human history.
Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja details the horrific abuses of Leopold’s occupation and looting of the Congo.