The Most Evil Dictators of All Time (in Order of Kill Count)
Some people make horrible decisions, others are bad presidents, a few are bloodthirsty, many are extremists, and the below folks are a roll call for the worst perpetrators of our time.
- •Mao Zedong (49-79 million deaths)A Chinese revolutionary, political theorist, and communist leader who led the People's Republic of China. His social programs the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution were two of the most ill fated and poorly named government initiatives in history. His policies and political purges from 1949 to 1976 caused the deaths of 49-78 million people.
- •Jozef Stalin (23 million deaths)The first Secretary of the Communist Party from 1922-1954. After Lenin's death in 1924 he became the leader of the Soviet Union. Stalin didn't take long in launching a new economic program that stunted food production so badly it cased massive famine across the nation. In Ukraine this dark period is know as Holodomor. In the 1930s he launched the Great Purge (aka the Great Terror). It was a campaign to kill all who opposed him.
- •Adolf Hitler (17 million deaths)The leader of the Nazi Party, and absolute dictator of Germany from 1934 to 1945, he gained support by promoting German nationalism and anti-semitic values. The man was power hungry, hated Jews, and wanted hegemony of Europe. His Nazi forces in World War II were responsible for the murder of as many as 17 million civilians, an estimated 6 million of whom were Jews, and 1.5 million Romanis.
- •Leopold II of Belgium (2-15 million deaths)As the King of the Belgians, and a true believer in colonialism, he went rogue creating a company that seemingly did good called the "International African Society." He used that organization to travel to Congo, laid claim to a region 14 times the size of Belgium, and made 14 countries agree (USA included) that he was free to rule it with his own private militia. He then forced the indigenous people into forced labor, and abused his workers grievously.
- •Hideki Tojo (5 million deaths)The general of the Imperial Japanese Army, he assumed the position of Prime Minister and Army Minister concurrently — and then added Home Minister, Foreign Minister, Education Minister, and Commerce Minister to his roster for good measure. He waged unprovoked wars against China, USA, Netherlands, and France. And his version of homeland security was approving eugenic measures that made a distinction between pure blood and mixed blood Japanese families.
- •Ismail Enver Pasha (2.5 million deaths)He began his career as a Turkish military officer, and rose to power in the Balkan Wars as well as World War I. His crushing loss at the battle of Sarikamish needed a scapegoat, and that's when he decide to blame Armenians — thus beginning what later would be known as the "Armenian Genocide." The word genocide literally was coined here for the first time to describe the mass killings of some 1.2 million Armenians. He's also responsible for the death of 830K Greeks and 500K Assyrians.
- •Pol Pot (1.7 million deaths)He was the leader of the communist movement in Cambodia, and attempted to "cleanse" the country resulting in the death of an estimated 1.7 to 2.5 million people. His policies around agrarian collectivization (force bourgeois folks to work in the country and vice versa) went terribly awry starving millions. Beyond that he gave them little medical care and executed those who dissented. All told it took out nearly 1/5 of the entire Cambodian population.
- •Kim Il Sung (1.6 million deaths)Before Kim Jong-Il was his murderous father Kim Il Sung who (surprise) led North Korea in a terrible direction. Even though he was relatively unpopular amongst his own people he made them believe the USA was the problem. He had large scale purges, and created prison camps across the country to contain those against him.
- •Mengitsu Haile Mariam (400k-1.5 million deaths)He rose to power by smothering the previous ruler, Haile Selassie, even though he later denied it. As president of Ethiopia and colonel of "The Derg," the communist militia, Mengitsu systematically killed those against him in the "Red Terror" campaign.
- •Yakubu Gowon (1.1 million deaths)He caused the death of 1 million civilians on the wrong side of a blockade caused by a war of secession in Nigeria and 100K soldiers. The source of unrest in the region was related to oil being found in the Niger delta.