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    Leon Kengo

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    (Leon Lubicz)
    May 22, 1935 —

    If you looked at the map of Africa before 1960, it was peppered with unfamiliar, strange compound names that echoed of colonial times that now seem long passed. Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. French Equatorial Africa. And right there, smack in the middle, Belgian Congo. There were no* Jews in the Belgian Congo.

    In 1960, much of Africa won its independence, and the Belgian Congo became the Republic of the Congo... not to be confused with its neighbor, the Republic of the Congo... Ummm... Well, that one was called Congo-Brazzaville and this one, Congo-Kinshasa. There were no* Jews in Congo-Kinshasa.

    In 1964, Congo-Kinshasa became the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There was a coup d'etat a year later, the name stayed, but in 1971 it became Zaire. There were no* Jews in Zaire.

    In 1997, following a revolution, the government was overthrown, and Zaire was renamed back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo... Not to be confused with the Republic of the Congo, which somehow kept its name through the years. There are no* Jews in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    *Fine, there is at least one Jew. Leon Kengo Wa Dondo, born Leon Lubicz in the Belgian Congo, son of a Polish Jew, three-time Prime Minister of Zaire, current President of the Senate. President of the Senate of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, that is.

    Verdict: Borderline Jew.

    September 25, 2012

    See Also

    Natan Gamedze

    Richard Kandt

    Sophie Okonedo

    Dominique Ouattara

    Rudolf Slatin
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