Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Today in 1935

Today - seventy-two years ago, Queen Astrid of the Belgians was killed in an auto accident in Switzerland. She was popular, even in Holland - my father collected Astrid memorial postage stamps, unfortunately destroyed when his house was bombed during the 1939-45 war.

To commemorate this event and her short life, the BRMB has posted some old photos.

Wow, I bet there is a story behind the photo above, on the right, of Astrid and Leopold during a 1933 trip to the Belgian Congo. Fascinating, when you consider how the Belgians raped Africa and you see this kind of paternalistic, colonial (1930s) view of Belgium over the Congolese. These kinds of souvenir photos of the rulers with the local indigenous people are typical. We know what happened to Astrid, Leopold, and the Congo. But what did the future hold for the six children in this photograph? What were their stories? They have names, but remain nameless.

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