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Genocide

Hitler Was Not The Worst Killer In History

By James Donahue

The very name Adolf Hitler has gone down in contemporary annuals as the most evil human who ever lived. The stigma attached to the man is so terrible after World War II that Hitler’s relatives literally changed the family name and people who knew him, even casually, refused to admit it.

I once met a man who attended school with Hitler when he was growing up in Austria. When he learned that I was a newspaper reporter and interested in writing about his unique experience, he slammed the door in my face.

Hitler was surely among the more evil characters that ever lived. He was responsible for the genocide killings of an estimated six million Jews and millions of others in state-sponsored murders, and he launched the invasions of nations adjoining Germany that helped trigger the greatest and most deadly world wars in human history.

But there have been worse killers over time than Hitler.

One of the other evil characters involved in genocide killings during that same war was Hideki Tojo, the Prime Minister of Japan who conducted the Rape of Nanking, China in 1937 that killed an estimated 350,000 civilians in the worst single massacre of unarmed people in the history of the Twentieth Century. Another 230,000 people perished in Japanese biological and chemical weapons field tests at a Ping Fan research facility. He also was directly responsible for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into the war. All in all, Tojo was believed to have been responsible for at least the deaths of five million people.

But adding all of the mass murders committed under Hitler and Tojo doesn’t begin to compare to the estimated 60 million people who perished under the iron thumb of Russia’s Joseph Stalin. Because Stalin became an ally of the great war against Germany, Japan and Italy during World War II, historians tend to have overlooked just how malicious this Communist dictator was during his years of rule. What was worse, Stalin committed these crimes mostly against his own people during a series of political repression and persecution movements remembered as The Great Purge.

And if you want to find an even more brutal killer than Stalin, we need look no further than Chairman Mao, who founded the People’s Republic of China and during his 27 years in power was responsible for nearly 64 million deaths of Chinese people. During his Great Leap Forward in 1958, Mao caused 30 million farmers and peasants to starve to death in the largest known famine in world history. Another estimated 30 million Chinese died during Mao’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1969. The people were imprisoned, tortured, murdered, or just went "missing."

Americans also have done their share of killing over the years. Some historians estimate that the genocide of the indigenous people in North America from the time Columbus first stepped foot on the Caribbean Islands until the last tribal American Indian war was fought in the 1800s, totaled as high as 100 million people.

President Truman’s order to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the final days of World War II is estimated to have caused the unnecessary killings of over 200,000 Japanese civilians. It is only recently told that the Japanese were attempting to surrender before the bombings and that the bombings were purely an act of genocide.

President George W. Bush’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan following the 9-11 attacks in 2001 have caused the still uncounted deaths of over 600,000 Iraqi people, a yet untold number of civilians in Afghanistan, and another 35,000 civilians in neighboring Pakistan.

The Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, were estimated to have murdered up to 1.7 million Cambodians in purges between 1975 and 1979.

The brutal killing of at least 800,000 Rwandans in 1994 was among various brutal acts of genocide of African people that have occurred within recent years.

The Armenian Genocide brought about the deliberate and systematic destruction of an estimated 1.5 million people after World War I.

The list goes on and on. Genocide has been more common in this world than most people would like to believe.

So why has Hitler been marked as the most evil killer of all time? Is it because he targeted the Jews? The Jewish "Holocaust" is still marked as one of the worst acts of genocide ever. While it was truly terrible, when all of the facts are known, it wasn’t the worst.