Belgian Congo

former Belgian colony corresponding to the modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Belgian Congo was a Belgian colony in Central Africa from 1908 until independence in 1960. The former colony adopted its present name, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in 1964.

Flag of Belgian Congo
La Brabançonne (National Anthem Of Belgium and The Belgian Congo)
Location of the Belgian Congo

QuotesEdit

  • This part of the State, that is to say the east of the Congo, is inhabited by happy blacks who often and without bringing them there, compared before me the happy present with the misery and the terror of when the Arabs had established themselves as slave traders in the region.
  • The Tambatamba, Bokusu, Batetela, and other followers of Arab families are congregated at Stanley Falls on both banks as far down as'La Romee. These two latter tribes live in large mud wall houses, detached, with yards or courts. They are both farmers and stock breeders. The former are clean, clothed, and polite, while the latter are like the Arabs, superior in appearance, dress, and manners in fact, the aristocracy of the land. Their fields are tilled by women and dependents and slaves. They are not true Arabs, though there are a few of these too among them. In all things except religion the Tambatambas follow their Arab conquerors of earlier days, but of religion they have only the superstitions without the bonds, rules, or system of worship of the Mahommedans.
  • The Belgians were there to educate the negroes, for the agriculture, for everything. But missionaries are also to blame; It's their fault there are so many children there. Condoms didn't exist either, but the women put the pill in their guy's soup.
  • Although the celebration on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Belgian colony did not occupy the motherland for long, the significance of 50 years of Belgium in Africa can hardly be overestimated. It means that for half a century the black tribes have not been able to kill each other, however much they would like to do it today. It means they are no longer starving to death, rotting away from syphilis or dying from sleeping sickness. It means that schools, dispensaries, bridges, harbors were everywhere, in short, the beginning of the infrastructure of a modern state. It means that the grandsons of the losers, who were sold on the slave market by Tippo Tip and his Arabs, are now studying at university, Roman bishop, judge, journalist and mayor, and tomorrow doctor, lawyer and engineer.
  • Who sees his life's work in jeopardy before it stands on solid ground. While Minister Buisseret and Governor-General Pétillon endear themselves to the blacks by expressing themselves energetically in this sense, the best of the whites argue that the Congo is far from ripe for independence, moreover they believe that a too strong emphasis on the emancipation policy will deter the white element, which is still so desperately needed, to such an extent that it will inhibit and damage further evolution. Ultimately to the detriment of the short-sighted, hot-headed blacks themselves.
  • Belgium has partially failed in its role as guardian. While the French and British took their duty to safely channel the urge for independence that arose after the Second World War, we remained passive. Hence the not entirely unfounded doubt and fear of letting the pupil walk on his own two feet now. A Congolese nation never existed. Once upon a time there was an old kingdom of Congo, but the borders of that negro kingdom did not coincide with those of “our” Congo. The whites have done little or nothing, beyond the strong tribal consciousness, to create a general Congolese mentality, a Congolese sense of nationality. What we still call Belgian Africa today is a construction of the whites, a conglomerate of very different areas and peoples, put together as it was customary in the days of the colonial touts around the green conference tables of Wiesbaden and Berlin.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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