Haile Selassie I 1892-1975
Haile Selassie was born Tafari
Makonnen. He was Ethiopia's emperor from 1930 to 1974.
Why not until his death?
People revolted, a military government
took over and put him under house arrest. Officially, Haile Selassie
died of natural causes. Unofficially, he was murdered.
Tafari Makonnen became Haile
Selassie I upon his coronation on November 2, 1930. It was his
baptismal name and means Might of the Holy Trinity.
Actually, on his letterbox it read
His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie I,
Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah,
Elect of God, and King of Kings of Ethiopia
In October 1935, Italian dictator
Mussolini equipped his troops
with plenty of poison gas in their knapsacks and told them to invade Ethiopia. On May 5, 1936,
Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa fell to the Italians, who declared it their capital of
Italian East Africa, or
Africa Orientale Italiana, if you speak Mussolini.
Haile Selassie, himself also slightly gassed,
went into exile. First he stayed at a hotel in London, then he bought a home in
Although horrified, the rest of the world, i.e. the League
of Nations, didn't come to the rescue. On the
contrary. Business was still on with Mussolini and he received all
the oil shipments he asked for.
When the League of Nations held a
conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Haile Selassie took the
opportunity to personally deliver his appeal to the League on June
his speech on International Morality, which also became
known as the Funeral Oration of the League of Nations. While delivering his
speech, Italian journalists screamed
profanities from the gallery and booed Haile Selassie off the rostrum.
With the help of the
British, Addis Ababa was recaptured in 1941.
And in 1946, the United Nations
took the place of the ineffective League of Nations.