Piero Scaruffi

The worst genocides of the 20th and 21st Centuries

Ze-Dong Mao (China, 1958-61, 1966-69, Tibet 1949-50) 60,000,000
Adolf Hitler (Germany, 1939-1945) 12,000,000
Leopold II of Belgium (Congo, 1886-1908) 8,000,000
Jozef Stalin (USSR, 1932-39) 7,000,000
Hideki Tojo (Japan, 1941-44) 5,000,000
Ismail Enver (Ottoman Turkey, 1915-20) 2,550,000
Pol Pot (Cambodia, 1975-79) 1,700,000
Kim Il Sung (North Korea, 1948-94) 1,600,000
Menghistu (Ethiopia, 1975-78) 1,500,000
Yakubu Gowon (Biafra, 1967-1970) 1,000,000
Leonid Brezhnev (Afghanistan, 1979-1982) 900,000
Jean Kambanda (Rwanda, 1994) 800,000
Saddam Hussein (Iran 1980-1990, Kurdistan 1987-88) 600,000
Tito (Yugoslavia, 1945-1980) 570,000
Suharto/Soeharto (Indonesian communists 1965-66) 500,000
Fumimaro Konoe (Japan, 1937-39) 500,000
Jonas Savimbi (Angola, 1975-2002) 400,000
Mullah Omar – Taliban (Afghanistan, 1986-2001) 400,000
Idi Amin (Uganda, 1969-1979) 300,000
Yahya Khan (Pakistan, 1970-71) 300,000
Ante Pavelic (Croatia, 1941-45) 359,000
Benito Mussolini (Ethiopia, Libya, Yugoslavia, 1934-45) 300,000
Mobutu Sese Seko (Zaire, 1965-97) 250,000
Charles Taylor (Liberia, 1989-1996) 220,000
Foday Sankoh (Sierra Leone, 1991-2000) 200,000
Suharto (Aceh, East Timor, New Guinea, 1975-98) 200,000
Ho Chi Min (Vietnam, 1953-56) 200,000
Michel Micombero (Burundi, 1972) 150,000
Slobodan Milosevic (Yugoslavia, 1992-99) 100,000
Hassan Turabi (Sudan, 1989-1999) 100,000
Syngman Rhee (South Korea, 1948-50) 80,000
Richard Nixon (Vietnam, 1969-1974) 70,000

3 thoughts on “Piero Scaruffi

  1. shinichi Post author

    The worst genocides of the 20th and 21st Centuries

    by Piero Scaruffi


    Here is a tentative list of modern mass murderers and the estimated number of people killed by their orders (excluding enemy armies). In many cases (notably Stalin’s and Mao’s cases) one has to decide how to consider the millions who died indirectly because of their political decisions. The Chinese cultural revolution caused the death of 30 million people (according to the current Chinese government), but many died of hunger and ordinary Chinese (who, unlike us, were there) blame Mao’s wife rather than Mao himself. Stalin is held responsible for the death of millions by Ukrainians, but “only” half a million people were killed by his order. Khomeini sent children to die in the war against Iraq, but it was a war.
    Read the bottom of this page for frequently asked questions on controversial actions such as the atomic bombs, the Iraqi war, etc (that always involve the current superpower and usually the current president of that superpower).


    Mao is widely credited in the West with tens of millions of killings (49-78,000,000) but the sources are generally vague and contradictory. It is particularly difficult to pin down the deaths of the Cultural Revolution on him. Even assuming that the numbers are correct (and living witnesses saw very few people die during those years), Mao certainly started it, but after a few months he had lost control over the events, and there is no evidence whatsoever that he ordered or approved the many killings committed in the name of the Cultural Revolution: they were not carried out by the army or the police but by radicals. Crimes committed by the “red guards” cannot be automatically blamed on him. His wife Jiang Qing is widely despised in China and considered to have exerted an evil influence on those events (and was eventually arrested). In 1968 Mao called for “Big Unity” between the radical and conservative factions that were fighting all over China (not for more blood but for less blood). Before dying he appointed Hua Guofeng, a provincial governor, as his successor bypassing all the senior officials who were responsible for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution indirectly caused starvation, but the number of people who died of that starvation is probably lower than Westerners thought (again, judging from living witnesses) and he can only be considered indirectly responsible for them. A failed policy does not constitute “genocide” (otherwise this list of genociders would be much longer).

  2. shinichi Post author

    Genocide in the 20th Century:
    Stalin’s Forced Famine 1932-33 7,000,000 Deaths

    The History Place


    Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, set in motion events designed to cause a famine in the Ukraine to destroy the people there seeking independence from his rule. As a result, an estimated 7,000,000 persons perished in this farming area, known as the breadbasket of Europe, with the people deprived of the food they had grown with their own hands.

    The Ukrainian independence movement actually predated the Stalin era. Ukraine, which measures about the size of France, had been under the domination of the Imperial Czars of Russia for 200 years. With the collapse of the Czarist rule in March 1917, it seemed the long-awaited opportunity for independence had finally arrived. Optimistic Ukrainians declared their country to be an independent People’s Republic and re-established the ancient capital city of Kiev as the seat of government.

    By the end of 1933, nearly 25 percent of the population of the Ukraine, including three million children, had perished.

  3. shinichi Post author











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