BMGN: Low Countries Historical Review (Jan 2007)

Het Lumumba-onderzoek

  • E. Gerard

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 122, no. 3
pp. 401 – 410


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The Lumumba inquiryIn his reply, E. Gerard, one of the experts of the parliamentary inquiry committee, comments on four aspects dealt with in the reviews of the Lumumba affair. One should distinguish between the judgment of the committee and the experts’ report as to their respective nature. The experts want their conclusions, which are the result of historical research, to be part of an ongoing scientific debate. When carrying out their research they focussed on the professional standards of their metier, not the considerations of the raison d’état. By conducting a careful and thorough analysis of written and oral sources, they tried to bridge the gap between fact and fiction to lay a solid foundation for assessing the events around this controversial case. They put forward the concept of “moral responsibility’ to make it clear that the Belgian government, although not actually an accomplice in a murder plot, cannot be exempted from any responsibility in the developments that led to the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. In this way, they try to escape the deadlock created by a structural approach towards history.