This somber gallery highlights some of the most murderously evil dictators who have ever walked on the face of the earth. The 20th century suffered through two world wars, dozens of smaller hyper-violent conflicts, and the unfortunate rise to power of severely evil men. Men who’s very existence caused the extinction of hundreds of millions of lives. The death tolls are all approximate, as it is difficult to ascertain the exact numbers of carnage. However, what is not in question is their collective destructive impact on this world.
#10. Mao Zedong / China / Death Toll: 50 Million / (1943-1976)
Mao Zedong was the founding father of the ‘People’s Republic of China’. He was also a brutal leader, responsible for approximately 50 million deaths using systematic human rights abuses, starvation, forced human labor, and political executions.
#9. Hideki Tojo / Japan / Death Toll: 4 Million / (1941-1944)
Hideki Tojo was a general of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA), and was the architect of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. After WW2 he was arrested, charged, convicted, then summarily executed for over 50 war crimes against humanity. A very bad egg.
#8. Ho Chi Minh / Vietnam / Death Toll: 1.7 Million / (1945-1969)
Ho Chi Minh’s ‘Men in Black’ were a 10,000 men strong guerrilla force that operated with the Viet Minh during the Vietnam war. Ironically, he was a learned man with language abilities in French, English, Russian, Cantonese and Mandarin. However, his methods of politically oppression were brutal. His January 1968 ‘Tet offensive’ dealt a huge blow to the United States during Vietnam. During one stretch he was responsible for one execution for every 150 village people, dealing out nearly 100,000 executions. With over 1 million deaths to his credit in total, this was not a good man. Not then, not now.
#7. Kim Il Sung / North Korea / Death Toll: 1.6 Million / (1948-1994)
Kim Il Sung started an almost mythical ‘cult of personality’ in North Korea that exists event to this day, having been passed on to his considerably less than charming son, Kim Jong-il. The methods which his regime used to gain, and retain power were brutal, and exacting. Using politically motivated killings, he caused well over 1 million deaths through guerrilla warfare, summary executions. Not a pretty sight, then or now.
#6. Saddam Hussein / Iraq / Death Toll: 2 Million / (1969-2003)
The fall of Saddam Hussein’s terror regime in Iraq was widely publicized. The United State’s invasion, and eventual overthrow of this regime was controversial in many ways, however, historical hindsight shows the world that it was deserved, methods be damned.
#5. Vladimir Lenin / Soviet Union / Death Toll: 4 Million / (1917-1924)
Vladimir Lenin’s reign of ‘Red Terror’, was an ultra violent campaign that killed millions of people over an 8 year period. His ‘Gulag’ labor camps among the cruelest of all-time.
#4. Benito Mussolini / Italy / Death Toll: 1 Million / (1921-1943)
Benito Mussolini’s character would be considered almost cartoonish if it wasn’t tattooed with abject cruelty. Originally idolized by Adolf Hitler, he later became a fascist lap dog to the Nazi regime during World War 2. His demise was very brutal, and very public.
#3. Idi Amin / Uganda / Death Toll: 1 Million / (1971-1979)
A brutal dictator of legendary cruelty, Idi Amin’s reign of terror in Uganda is historically notable. A regime rife with human rights violations, repression, ethnic persecution, and cleansing rituals, nepotism, and gross political corruption. An ugly man in many ways.
#2. Joseph Stalin / Soviet Union / Death Toll: 50 Million / (1941-1953)
Joseph Stalin’s ‘Gulag’ was as sinister as it was murderous. Although he was part of the victorious ‘Allied’ forces in World War 2, saving the world from Hitler’s vision, he was a vicious leader who the United States worked with only because ‘The enemy of my enemy, is my friend‘. There is no other reason democratic people of goodwill would ever associate with this man and his tyrannical regime. After WW2, the cold war began…
#1. Adolf Hitler / Germany / Death Toll: 20 Million / (1934-1945)
Adolf Hitler was the ring leader of the worst war crime atrocities in the 20th century. The Holocaust. The attempted extermination of the entire race of the Jewish people in Europe. Approximately 6 million Jewish people lost their lives behind his evil, racist vision for the world. Among the fallout of this evil was the eternal shame of the German people.