Kim Jon Il & the deadliest, most ruthless dictators of all time! These war criminals have commit some of the craziest atrocities in human history. The crimes of these violent leaders include murder, corruption, & torture.
10: Benito Mussolini
From 1922 till 1943, Benito Mussolini served as the Prime Minister of Italy. He is also the founder of fascism, a political ideology that places importance on nationalism & totalitarianism, essentially paving the way for a one-party state. By 1925, Mussolini had set up a legal dictatorship in Italy through a series of laws. In doing so, he utilized his secret police to dismantle his political opponents. As the leader of Italy, Mussolini oversaw many war crimes, including genocide & ethnic cleansing. More than 100,000 Libyans were expelled from their homeland in order to allow Italian colonists to settle on their land. Many of these Libyan exiles eventually died in concentration camps. During his reign, other massacres in Greece, Ethiopia, & Yugoslavia also occurred. However, Mussolini would eventually lead Italy to defeat during World War II, a war that many Italians died in.
As an ally of Germany during World War II, Mussolini began to mirror many of Hitler’s policies, namely, stripping all Italian Jews of their citizenship; though he did not deport Jews to concentration camps as Germany had demanded. Nevertheless, Mussolini had a vision of returning Italy to the days of the Roman Empire & wanted to colonize as many countries as he could. As the war turned south & the Italian economy crumbled, he lost support from the people he once controlled. Additionally, his own government turned against him & they convinced King Emmanuel to have him replaced, to which the King agreed.
Mussolini was then arrested on the King’s orders, but was soon rescued by German special troops. Hitler even made plans to arrest the King & other government officials with the intent of restoring all of Mussolini’s powers. For about a year & half, Mussolini led the Italian Social Republic as a puppet for Hitler. That ultimately failed. In 1945, a convoy of Italian Fascist leaders was arrested by Italian Communists, & Mussolini was executed along with many Italian Fascist members on April 28th, 1945. His corpse was left lying on the ground as bystanders threw vegetables & spat on it. The corpse was eventually hung upside-down for the Italian public to view.
9: Vlad the Impaler
As the ruler of Wallachia during part of the mid-15th century, Vlad III gained a reputation for impaling his prisoners. Because of this, he became known as “Vlad the Impaler.” While known as a hero to Romanians & Bulgarians for protecting them, his notability for violence & cruelty quickly spread throughout Europe.
According to a German pamphlet that was published after Vlad’s death, he “roasted children & then fed them to their mothers. He cut off the breasts of women & forced their husbands to eat them. After that, he had them all impaled.”
He was also known to destroy entire villages by burning them to the ground. By some estimations, Vlad was responsible for the deaths of anywhere between 40,000 to 100,000 people. According to legend, he would east while watching his prisoners being impaled.
Vlad’s reputation has transcended the centuries since his death. While he is a folk hero in parts of Eastern Europe, he is still regarded as a villain in other parts of the world. He is even credited with being the inspiration for the fictional vampire, Count Dracula.
8. Kim Jon Il
During his reign as his supreme ruler of North Korea from 1997 to 2011, Kim Jon Il was responsible for starving millions of his own citizens. He also had hundreds of thousands of others arrested, many of whom were sent to labor camps where they either died or are incarcerated until this day.
After the death of his father Kim Jon suk, Kim Jung-il inherited the power over his country. He quickly delivered a false portrayal of his personality by having the state controlled media depict him as kind, passionate leader who was is admired by the entire world. His track record of human rights violations however would suggest a reign of brutality. In 2004, the human rights report released a study that reported over 200,000 people jailed in North Korea as political prisoners. By the accounts of defectors that escaped the country, many of these prisoners are subjected to harsh punishment and physical abuse. Forced labor and even execution are believed to be staples of these prisons.
The reports went on to state that the people of North Korea had no freedom of speech, religion, or press and faced political opposition or educational inequality. The report referred to North Korea as “one of the world’s most repressive governments.” Kim Jon Il is believed to have purposefully created and maintained a famine that killed millions of North Koreans during the 1990s. While North Korea rejects these claims, detailed reports by the United Nations in 2014 outlined what they called “unspeakable atrocities”. For example, North Koreans are constantly monitored by government informers to ensure that they are not dissenting from North Korea’s policies.
Workers also have little to no rights as they are deprived of collective bargaining and often subjected to harsh working conditions, while the women often face discrimination and sexual abuse. Despite claims of religious freedom in the constitution, those who choose to practice religion are persecuted. Among the most mistreated are Christians and Buddhists. It is believed that round 50,000 Christians are currently be held as political prisoners in North Korea.
In 2009, a man was publicly executed for handing out bibles. Buddhists also suffer similair fates, with many practitioners disappearing to labor camps. Other civil liberates such as freedom to assemble, freedom of travel, minority rights, access to food, disability rights, and due process are systematically declined to North Korean citizens. Often times women are forced into prostitution and also forced to abort their babies. Kim Jon Il died in 2011 and his son Kim Jon Un took over. While many had hoped that he would reform the country, their poor record of human rights still exists.
7. Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin was a ruler of Russia from 1911 until his death in 1924. He was a key figure in the 1917’s October Revolution where a faction known as the Bolsheviks overthrew Russia’s government and established a one-party state, thus eliminating Russia’s elected Constituent Assembly. Lenin oversaw victories over the next 5 years as civil war broke out. Crushing all of his opposition during this time, it came to be known as The Red Terror, a series of mass killings carried out by the Bolsheviks ordered by Lenin.
The secret police organization – known as Cheka – repressed, tortured, and killed tens of thousands of people during the civil war. Estimates of the death toll range from 50,000 to 1.5 million. Many more were sent to labor camps and prisons. Lenin made little effort to cover up these killings, as he referred to it as practical implementation of the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” He also used it as a way to prevent any counter-revolutions from taking place by the previous ruling class.While Joseph Stalin came to power after Lenin’s death in 1924, Lenin’s ideologies served as the basis for Russia’s government for nearly 70 years to follow.
6. Nicholas II
Before the October Revolution of 1917 and The Red Terror, Russia was ruled by a Tsar named Nicholas II. Like his Bolshevik successor, he had a reputation for cruelty and oppression. Under his rule, Russia lost its prominent place as a world leader after losing the Russo-Japanese war. Economic and social disarray provided to be his undoing as he was overthrown, imprisoned, and executed by the Bolsheviks. As the Tsar from 1894 til 1917, Nicholas II privately supported many anti-semitic riots since he believed anti-semetism could be useful in unifying Russian people.
He was also responsible for Bloody Sunday, an encounter that left -by some accounts- as many as 4,000 unarmed protesters dead. On January 9th, 1905, demonstrators marched to the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to present a petition to Nicholas. They were fired upon by the imperial guards with deadly brutality. From 1905 to 1906, more than 15,000 peasants and workers were executed, 20,000 others were wounded, and close to 50,000 more were sent into exile. This ultimately led to the October Revolution of 1917 that saw the downfall of the Tsar and the execution of Tsar Nicholas and his family.
5. Mao Zedong
After helping form the Communist Party in China, Mao Zedong led The People’s Republic of China from 1945 until his death in 1976. His contributions to communism and political teachings are known as Maoism. While many people think Mao did a lot to improve China, his critics blame him for the deaths of around 70 million people through starvation, execution, and labor camps. Moa is largely criticized for his censorship of dissidents as well as the abolishment of free elections and state-controlled police, military, and media. Some critics even compare him to other 20th century dictators such as Hitler and Stalin while others find similarities between him and the ancient tyrannical Chinese emperor, Quin Shi Huang.
4. King Leopold II
The second King of Belgium, Leopold II, was responsible for the colonization and exploration of the Congo, where millions of Congolese natives lost their lives. Leopold’s reign lasted 44 years and while he had a rather progressive domestic agenda that saw the growth of urban infrastructure and social progress, his place in history is largely associated with the atrocities he committed in the Congo.
While attempting to obtain a colony for Belgium, King Leopold also set about acquiring one Privately for himself. He setup a private holding company called the international African Society that was meant to act as a philanthropic and scientific organization. However, it was used for Leopold’s own personal gain. The King was able to build an enormous personal Fortune through a systematic process of exploitation of natural resources. He began exporting Ivory, but really set his sights on rubber trade, as demand for rubber was huge in most parts of the world. He extracted these resources through forced labour of the Congolese natives, who were subjected to harsh working conditions that included beatings, mutilations, and sometimes killings.
By most estimates, about 10 million people died as a result of King Leopold’s exploitation. As his own people became aware of his atrocities, public pressure compelled the king to relinquish control of the Congo in 1908. He died a year later in 1909. A book chronicling his atrocities was released in 1998 called “King Leopold’s Ghost”. The book states that all his acquired wealth was used to finance lavish palaces for himself and also suggests that the death toll from his expectations may have been even higher than 10 million.
3. Joseph Stalin
From 1922 until his death in 1953, Joseph Stalin was the leader and dictator of the Soviet Union. As a communist, Stalin instituted a centralized command economy, which also coincided with the Great Purge that took place from 1934 to 1938. During the Great Purge millions of people deemed enemies of the working class were imprisoned and killed. This included party members, government officials, and military personnel that were charged with treason. Nearly every member of Vladmir Lenin’s previous cabinet was executed.
After World War II, Stalin oversaw the deportation of millions of people to Siberia and other parts of Central Asia as he did not trust different ethnicities. More than 20 million people were deported during his reign. nearly half of the resettle population died of disease and malnutrition. Stalin’s policies are also largely blamed from the Soviet Famine of 1932 through 1933 that claimed over 10 million lives. The Soviet Union has also been blamed for engineering the Ukrainian famine, which killed nearly five million people. Some historians beleive Stalin’s regimine could have been as high as 60 million people.
Caligula was the Roman Emperor from 37AD 41AD. His reign is widely remembered for what has been described as cruel, sadistic, perverse, and tyrannical. While he initially ruled as a moderate, he contracted an unknown disease just six months into his reign. But after recovering from the disease in late 37 AD, he began behaving erratically.
Historical sources cite that he would order the death of anyone who upset him, oftentimes ran out of criminals to execute during a circus event and just ordered his guards to send the first 5 rows of spectators into the arena to fight the Lions, causing hundreds of people to be killed by the beasts.
Caligula would often subject is Prisoners 2 horse torture methods. He would allegedly chew on the testicles of male prisoners and often ordered people to be sawed to death. She once was insulted by a man and as punishment, Caligula had the man and his entire family publicly executed.
Caligula also believed himself to be the Divine and therefore plan to move to Egypt, where he would be worshipped as a god. This proved problematic for the Senate since not having an emperor would reduce Rome’s power and political influence. They consequently plotted to have him assassinated. in January of 4180, he was killed by 3 members of the Praetorian Guard, thus ending his four-year Reign and establishing Claudius as the proceeding emperor.
1. Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was the leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945. He was known by his subjects as Führer. Hitler is best known as the architect of the Holocaust, where 6 million Jews and millions of others were killed. The Holocaust lasted from 1941 to 1945 and is considered to be one of the deadliest genocides in human history.
In addition to the Jews who died in the concentration camps, Hitler was responsible for the death of millions of civilians and soldiers during World War II. Many historians contend that World War II was one of the deadliest conflicts in human history.
Hitler’s rise to prominence began in 1919 after joining the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; German for the National Socialist German Workers Party, or better known as the Nazi party. By the early thirties, the Nazi party began gaining power and influence, and won a majority of the Reichstag seat in the 1930 election. By 1933 he was appointed as Chancellor and systematically eliminated his political opponents by any means necessary, including assassinations. Do so allowed Hitler to make the transition from Chancellor to dictator.
Historians agree that Hitler’s regimen and policies are what caused World War II, which left nearly 85 million people dead, civilian and military alike. Much of Eastern Europe, and especially Germany, was left in financial ruin. Of the 85 million deaths, Hitler and the Nazi party or directly blame 48.3 million of them; 19.3 million of which were civilian and 29 million which were soldiers.
As the war neared its end and Germany fell into total chaos, Hitler eluded capture from the Allied Forces by committing suicide. Few people in Germany mourn his passing and today he is widely regarded as one of the most evil men in history.