Hammarskjold & Lumumba

EPISODE 1.4: THE ASSASSINATIONS OF DAG HAMMARSKJOLD AND PATRICE LUMUMBA

 

In this episode, we look at two men, from very different backgrounds, whose lives intersected in the crisis that engulfed the newly independent country of the Congo.

Patrice Lumumba was charismatic, and he became the face of the African liberation movement. He helped to lead his homeland from an exploited Belgian colony to an independent republic. But his dream of a free and prosperous Congo was dashed upon the rocks of foreign economic interests, local political rivalries, and ruthless Cold War scheming. Lumumba was murdered by his Congolese foes - but just who ordered and witnessed his execution?

Cool, distant, and a deep thinker, Dag Hammarskjold, the second ever Secretary-General of the United Nations, was described as the most brilliant diplomat of his generation. He took over the UN in the midst of the Cold War. As global tensions rose, Hammarskjold sought to strengthen the UN as a force for peace and dialogue. This vision was put to the test in the Congo Crisis. His effort to bring about a lasting settlement cost him his life. Killed in a plane crash, rumors swirled - then and now - about what happened. Was he murdered? And if so, by whom?