Leopold II

by Vincent

Leopold II King of Belgium (1835-1909).

This imposing statue of King Leopold II on his horse is found at Place du Trône which is surrounding the Royal Palace.

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7 comments

Philippe December 1, 2008 - 11:51 pm

King Leopld II ordered the world largest genocide estimated at 10 million people and his statue is in display in th middle of a city. How can Belgians tolerate this ?

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francois December 16, 2008 - 6:51 am

because its a part of our history. I do agree, it was cruel and inhumane; but you still have to acknowledge him as the builder of the belgian empire. Without him this country would have never evolved like it has, and that is why he is still recognized around the country today. Set that aside and of course he was one of the worst human beings to walk the earth.

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Ernst March 11, 2009 - 3:49 pm

Francois, please let me correct your account.

First of all, Leopold II is NOT 'recognized around the country today'. There are no Belgians who would honestly dispute the fact that his exploitive reign led to the death of millions of people.

Second, what do you mean by 'without him this country would have never evolved like it has'? Indeed, he funded a handful of prestige projects in Brussels, Oostende and Tervuren, but none of his wealth did flow back to ordinary Belgians (either Flemings or Walloons), who still had to endure working days or 12 hours or more, either in mines, on the fields or in factories.

The reluctance to discuss the matter of Leopold II statues has got more to do with sheer political cowardice (after all, he is related to the current King of Belgium, which makes it a thorny isssue) than with any kind of positive appreciation, let's be clear about that.

But this statue should be removed asap, particularly at a time when even Spain is removing its Franco statues and that Portugal is giving new names to streets named after Salazar. The presence of Leopold II statues in Belgium remains an insult to Belgians and Congolese alike.

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Frank Vugts October 17, 2010 - 10:47 am

I quess that every country did some cruelty actions in the past. We did in The Netherlands and so every country today in Europe has his own [bad] history. It's a pitty that you cannot go back in time to solve this matters. In that time we where not so sophisticated as we do nowadays. For the future we all have to exclude this type of actions.

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Macanon April 6, 2012 - 8:40 pm

Fuck you all ! bunch of fackers. Fuck you Belgians ! You should be ashamed to have the statue of this greedy, assassin mounted in his horse line a big hero. And you cla that with out him your country will not be what it is now? A place that became what it is to the price of blood , pain, sweat and the lives and suffering if millions of people!!!!!!! You fucker !! Take the statue down and do some justice for all the pain and dispair that you killer king did!!

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alexander March 31, 2013 - 6:18 pm

Macanon, first of all "fuck you belgians" is a nationalistic attitude witch led to many massacre like this so saying things like this make you as bad as them
second of all: I do not defend Leopold but almost every westernized country in the world in that time did things like this, witch was back then very acceptable

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Ari June 18, 2013 - 6:58 pm

If this was a statue of Hitler none of you racists would be rushing to his defense. And for those of you saying "We can never let this happen again!1!!11" and "well back in those days genocide was okay," racial genocide is happening right now, all over the world. We are no less ignorant or racist than we were in Leopold's time, and to believe that we are denies the horrifying murders of innocent Afghans, Iraqis, Sudanese, Palestinians, and so on. Imperialism is not something to be overlooked.

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