Monday, August 17, 2009

Leopold II











Rubber plantation workers, punished for failing to meet quotas by having their hands cut off, Belgian Congo Free State, 1905, photo from Mark Twain’s King Leopold’s Soliloquy.
Wiki: “The baskets of severed hands, set down at the feet of the European post commanders, became the symbol of the Congo Free State. … The collection of hands became an end in itself. Force Publique soldiers brought them to the stations in place of rubber; they even went out to harvest them instead of rubber… They became a sort of currency. They came to be used to make up for shortfalls in rubber quotas, to replace… the people who were demanded for the forced labour gangs; and the Force Publique soldiers were paid their bonuses on the basis of how many hands they collected.”

1 comment:

  1. eToro is the #1 forex trading platform for novice and professional traders.

    ReplyDelete