1885: A Newspaper Etching of the Berlin Conference.

Photo: An original newspaper etching c1885 of the Berlin Conference.

The Berlin Conference 1884-1885 marked
the climax of European competition for territory in Africa, a process commonly known as the Scramble for Africa.

It was a bid spearheaded by Kaiser Wilhelm of Prussia and Chancellor Otto von Bismarck to catch up with other colonial leaders in their race to profit from Africa’s resources.

Recently, you may have heard about the new museum, the Humboldt Forum, in Germany located in the reconstructed Berlin Palace . The museum has recently made headlines because they will be returning the stolen Benin Bronzes in their possession, looted during the “British Punitive expedition” in 1897.

It’s interesting to note that the forum is located just a few streets away from where this etching was made 135 years ago – and where Europe’s leaders convened to carve Africa into pieces and colonise it.

The Humboldt Forum building , is the old Berlin Palace, where Kaiser Wilhelm II lived off the proceeds of what his predecessor Kaiser Wilhelm had secured….. Africa’s riches.

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