Worst Dictators of Recent Memory
12. Adolf Hitler, 1889 -1945 (Germany)
Adolf Hitler was born in Austria, in 1889. He was a German politician, and was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, also known as the Nazi Party.
He was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and Führer of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945.
Deaths and mass executions took place in concentration camps. Prisoners were forced, and were used in construction projects. They were subject to torture, starvation and horrific brutalities. Many were used in painful medical experiments.
He initiated fascist policies that led to World War Two, and the deaths of an estimated 11 million people, including the mass murder of an estimated 6 million Jews.
On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. This led Britain and France to declare war on Germany two days later.
By early 1945, Hitler realized that Germany would not win the war. The Soviets had beaten his troops back, and the Allies were advancing into Germany. Hitler was informed of the execution of Benito Mussolini, and fearing to fall into the hands of enemy troops, Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945. Berlin fell on May 2, 1945, and five days later, Germany surrendered to the Allied forces.
11. Joseph Stalin, 1878-1953 (USSR)
Joseph Stalin or Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union. He ruled for more than two decades, which was a nothing short of a reign of terror. However, also helped to modernize Russia. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917, Stalin was appointed general secretary of the party’s Central Committee in 1922.
Anyone in the Soviet Union who showed devotion to any religion was brutally murdered, and their families were often killed, to act as a deterrent.
Stalin had nearly a million of his own people executed. Millions more became victims of forced labor, famine, massacre, deportation (about 2 million were forcibly deported), detention and interrogation.
A quota was established for the number to be executed, and the number to be arrested, in some cases.
The destruction of the kulak class triggered the Ukrainian famine, during which 3 million to 5 million people died of starvation.
He was a psychopath, who modeled himself after Ivan the Terrible.
On March 5, 1953, Joseph Stalin died of a stroke.
10. Ante Pavelic, 1889-1959 (Croatia)
Ante Pavelić, also known as the ‘Butcher of the Balkans’ was the product of the turbulent politics and extreme nationalist passions that gave the Balkans in the inter-war years, the nickname of the “cockpit of Europe.” He was a Croatian fascist dictator who led the Ustaše movement and the Independent State of Croatia, established in parts of occupied Yugoslavia during World War II with the support of both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.
Ante Pavelic shared the ideological and theoretical assumptions that Hitler did.
He killed between 300,000 to 1, 000, 000 people, including 30,000 Jews, about 29,000 Gypsies and between 300,000 to 600,000 Serbs, out of a country of about 2 million people.
He died in Madrid, Spain, from wounds sustained in an assassination attempt, two years earlier.
9. Mao Tse-tung, 1893-1976 (China)
Mao Tse-tung, also transliterated as Mao Zedong. He is also commonly referred to as Chairman Mao. He was the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, which he governed as Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976.
Anyone who got in his way to create a new “socialist” China was done away with by execution, forced famine or imprisonment.
Under his leadership, industries were put under state control, and farmers were organized into collectives. Any opposition was swiftly suppressed.
He saw all intellectuals as threats-probably as the number one enemy.
He is most likely the greatest mass murderer in history. At least, 45 million (60 million by some estimates) people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China within four years. To put that in perspective, the total recorded number of deaths in World War Two was 55 million.
Mao is still the most celebrated and revered figure in the Chinese Communist Party.
8. Kim Il-Sung, 1912-1994 (North Korea)
Kim Il-sung was the supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (aka North Korea), from 1948 until his death in 1994. He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to 1994. He was the genesis of the problem that is North Korea, as we know it today.
Kim Il-Sung’s rule was based on ruthless abuse of human rights, including the frequent use of enforced disappearances, and deadly prison camps to inflict fear and repress any voice challenging his rule.
He established a morbid system that was involved in kidnapping foreigners from South Korea and Japan, and that also ensured hundreds of thousands disappeared into a hidden system of remote gulag work-camps, from which very few returned.
He punished people and handled dissent via public executions and enforced disappearances.
It is estimated that more than 200,000 foreigners were abducted, and their whereabouts remain unknown.
His legacy lives on through his grandson, Kim Jong-Un.
7. Pol Pot 1925-1998 (Cambodia)
On April 4, 1975, Pol Pot led the Communist forces of the Khmer Rouge into the capital in Cambodia. This was the beginning of a vicious four year regime. He aimed to create an agrarian utopia by relocating people into the countryside. Others were put in “special centers” where they were tortured and killed.
Deadly cleansings were carried out throughout Cambodia, to abolish all that was left of the “old society.”
Atrocities were carried out against minorities, Muslims were forced to eat pork, and those that refused were executed.
Doctors, teachers, and other professionals were forced to work in fields to “reeducate” themselves. Anyone thought to be an intellectual of any sort was killed. It was normal for people to be condemned for wearing glasses or for just knowing a foreign language.
About 1.5 million Cambodians were overworked, executed or starved to death in just four years. To put that into perspective, Cambodia had a population of about 8 million people.
In 1978, Vietnam launched a full-scale invasion, in order to end the Khmer Rouge border attacks. In January, 1979, Phnom Penh fell, and Pol Pot was deposed.
He would continue to launch guerilla attacks for the next 17 years, and died of a heart attack in April, 1998.
6. Idi Amin Dada, c.1925-2003 (Uganda)
Idi Amin Dada was the third President of Uganda. He ruled from 1971 to 1979, after overthrowing the government of Milton Obote. He was a very violent dictator. Amin joined the British colonial regiment-the King’s African Rifles in 1946, serving in Kenya and Uganda.
He presided over a very vicious regime in which an estimated 300,000 civilians were massacred. In 1972, he expelled all Indian and Pakistani citizens numbering between 50,000 to 70,000, which resulted in the collapse of the economy seeing manufacturing, agriculture, and commerce came to a halt.
Amin carried out mass executions of the Acholi and Lango-Christian tribes that had been loyal to Obote, therefore he saw them as threats.
His rule of terror came to an end in 1979, when exiles from Uganda and Tazanians, took control of the capital, Kampala.
Idi Amin fled, and lived out the reminder of his life in Saudi Arabia.
5. Saddam Hussein, 1979-2006 (Iraq)
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was a bloody and brutal dictator who kept his country, Iraq at war almost constantly after assuming power in 1979.
He exterminated his people, committed ethnic and sectarian genocide, and also used chemical weapons on citizens. In 1990, Saddam invaded Kuwait with the intention of looting and annexing the oil-rich country. An international coalition was put together by then President George Bush Snr, and Kuwait was freed. Howbeit, he wasn’t removed from power, which was done thirteen years later, by President George Bush Jnr. It is estimated that at least, one million people died due to the vices of Saddam.
4. Kim Jong-il (North Korea 1941-2011)
Kim Jong-il was born on February 16, 1941 in Russia. He was the supreme leader of North Korea from 1994 to 2011. He was the son of Kim Il-sung, and also the father of Kim Jong Un.
Before ascending to power, Kim Jong-Il aspired to be a film producer. As the heir apparent to his father, he orchestrated the kidnapping of a movie director, Shin Sang-ok and his wife, who was an actress. They were a power couple of the movie industry in South Korea.
They were imprisoned for four years, before being released and given the task to revive the movie industry in South Korea. This they did (they made six movies), until they managed to escape when they were sent to a European film festival.
Between 1995 and 2000, the people of North Korea suffered a deadly famine, and it is estimated that anywhere from 600,000 to 2 million North Koreans lost their lives.
In 1983, he tried to assassinate the President of South Korea, Chun Doo Hwan, who didn’t lose his life because he was running late. He also had his agents plant bombs on a Korean Air flight, killing 115 people, t deter people from attending the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
It was also normal for people to be sent to jail, because of purported crime’s their parents committed.
He was the definition of a human right violator in its purest form.
He will be remembered as the brutal overseer of massive and systematic oppression that included a willingness to let his people starve.
Thankfully, he suffered a heart attack in 2011, and his son-who we can’t say is an angel, took over.
3. Muammar Mohammed Gaddafi, c. 1942-2011 (Libya)
Muammar Mohammed Gaddafi was born in Sirte, Libya, sometime around 1942. He seized power in 1969 while King Idris was abroad in Turkey, receiving medical treatment. He ruled as an authoritarian dictator for more than 40years, before being overthrown in 2011.
In 1970, he expelled the remaining Italians from Libya.
He was vocal, in his opposition of Zionism and Israel, thus expelling the Jewish community from Libya.
His government was implicated in the financing of many anti-Western groups around the world. They were implicated in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
A plane carrying 259 passengers blew up near Lockerbie, Scotland. There were no survivors, and an additional 11 people on the ground were killed by falling debris.
Libyan terrorists were also believed to be behind the destruction of a French passenger jet in 1989 that killed all 170 people aboard.
During widespread protests in 2011, gaddafi used aggressive force to try to suppress the people. He had mercenaries and and police shoot at protesters; helicopters were also sent to bombard citizens from the air.
When Tripoli fell to rebel forces in August of 2011, it was seen as a major victory for the opposition, and the beginning of the end of Gaddafi’s rule.
It should also be noted that Libya has been embroiled in one crisis after the other, since his death in 2011.
2. Bashar al-Assad, 1965-present (Syria)
Bashar al-Assad assumed office in July, 2000 after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad who seized power in 1970, and went on to rule for 30 years. Prior to this, Bashar was an Ophthalmologist (a specialization that has to do with the eye), and was said to be shy. How he went from being a reserved doctor to a murdering dictator is anyone’s guess.
Initially, hopes were high that positive reforms would be carried out, leading to a reborn Syria.
In 2013, Assad’s military launched a nerve gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus that ensured hundreds of people lost their lives.
His military has also regularly made use of barrel bombs. These bombs are packed with shrapnel and explosives. The Syrian Network for Human Rights said in a report that the Syrian regime helicopters dropped nearly 13,000 barrel bombs in 2016, killing hundreds of civilians-children included.
The civil war, which start in March 2011 has left 9 million Syrians displaced-almost half of the countries pre-war population, according to Amnesty International.
Conditions are horrible, for those that remain in the country.
Over 400,000 people have lost their lives since civil war broke out.
In 2016, Bashar was found guilty of ‘inhuman’ crimes, gruesome torture and deaths.
The civil war continues till this day.
1. Kim Jong Un (North Korea c. 1982-present)
Kim Jong Un was born on January 8, 1982, 1983 or 1984.
When Kim Jon Il died of a heart attack on December 17, 2011, Kim inherited the worlds fourth –largest military, and had absolute control over North Korea.
He was actually the second son, and was chosen ahead of his brother, Kim Jong Chol, who their father saw as being weak.
Kim was said to be a decent basketball player during his time schooling in Switzerland, and he idolized Michael Jordan.
Despite the fact that Kim had little military experience, he was promoted rapidly, seeing his father faced an uncertain future at the time.
On December 12, 2013, Kim had his uncle, Jang Sung Taek and his family executed, citing reason of him trying to overthrow his government, although the North Korean ambassador to the UK claimed his family was unhurt.
North Korea continues to test ballistic missiles and nuclear devices under his rule,
In February, 2017, Kim’s half-brother, Kim Jong Nam was poisoned in an airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which led to his death.
There was suspicion of the involvement of Kim’s government.
Reports from the press show that human rights violations occur under his leadership. Reports of purges and executions are also difficult to verify, but it is definitely clear that such things occur from time to time.
From executing an ex-girlfriend to killing a deputy of defense with mortars, he seems to be obsessed with retaining power at all cost.
Oh, he has also had people executed for crimes, such as ‘slouching and drinking.’
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