Explorer and colonial governor
In the late 1800s, a European known as Emin Pasha became the object of a much-publicized rescue operation in Africa. During this time, the European powers were deeply involved in Africa. Emin, a provincial governor in the Egyptian colony of SUDAN, had been stranded by a religious war.
Born Eduard Schnitzer in what is now Poland, Emin received a medical degree from the University of Berlin in 1864. He worked in Turkey and Albania, adopted a Turkish name, and is believed to have become a Muslim. By 1876 Emin was in EGYPT, where he became the physician of British general Charles George GORDON, the governor of Sudan. Two years later Gordon appointed Emin governor of the province of Equatoria, as southern Sudan was then known.
A holy war against Sudan by Muslim rebels called Mahdists left Emin Pasha cut off in his headquarters on Lake Albert in the African interior. He appealed to the outside world for aid, and in 1889 the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition, led by the famous explorer Henry Morton STANLEY, reached Equatoria. Emin, who had never made it clear whether he wanted to be rescued or simply needed fresh supplies, was reluctant to leave his stronghold. Finally, however, he and Stanley led a group of about 1,500 men, women, and children to the African coast of present-day Tanzania. Emin refused to accompany his “rescuers” back to Europe. Instead he joined a German expedition and returned to the interior. Several years later he was murdered by slave traffickers. (See also Mahdi, al-.)