The name Democratic Republic of the Congo was adopted in 1997. The land was formerly, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-Léopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa, and Zaire. In most Harry Turtledove works, the DR Congo is still the Belgian Congo.
The Belgian Congo was Belgium's only colony prior to the Great War. Following the conquest of Belgium by Germany, the Congo became another one of Germany's African colonies. Though the Belgians had been cruel in their oppression of the native Congolese, the Germans were worse.