Slavery routes – a short history of human trafficking (2/4) | DW Documentary

DW Documentary – Apr 4, 2020

How did Africa become a hub for the trade in human beings? Part 2 of this four-part documentary series begins as the Middle Ages comes to an end and Portuguese conquerors head for Africa in search of riches. At the end of the Middle Ages, European powers realized that the African continent harbored a seemingly inexhaustible wealth of resources. The Portuguese were among the first to set out to conquer the continent. They went in search of gold, but they came back with hundreds of thousands of captives to sell as slaves in Europe. From the coasts of Africa, the Conquistadores sailed on to Brazil, where they established a trading center. There, the Portuguese set up the first colonies that were populated exclusively by slaves. On the island of São Tomé, off of Gabon, they found their most lucrative commodity: sugar cane, and the sugar plantation became the blueprint for the profitable exploitation of the New World.

NOTA BENE:  For reasons that were never explained to the public this excellent 4 part series from DW, entitled: “Slavery routes – a short history of human trafficking,” has now been removed from public viewing on YouTube.  The 4 parts were located as of April 2020 at these YouTube addresses:

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:

As of August 2021, however, each of these addresses is marked with the message:


No explanation was offered for this change, and it is not clear whether this was a change in availability instituted by DW or by YouTube.  In any case, click here for related videos on similar topics from DW.

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