Everyone is well aware of the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler. And many will be familiar that under Joseph Stalin’s stern leadership, the number of those killed from starvation and murder ranges from 10 to 60 million.
Unfortunately, they aren’t the only ones who have taken history and left a nasty stain in its pages. Here is a list of eight lesser known psychos in history.
King of Belgium from 1865 to 1909, Leopold II is best known for creating the Congo Free State project, which led to the demise of at least three million Congolese people.
Funded by the government, the project was instituted to extract rubber and ivory from the Congo region of central Africa. Unfortunately, this endeavor required forced labor on the part of the Congolese, with Leopold calling the shots via his own army, the Force Publique.
The atrocities committed under his regime involved enslaving the native population, torture, maiming and slaughter. Today, Leopold’s legacy lives on, as contemporary Congolese leaders forge on with policies of legalized robbery, which is enforced by an army that continues to serve as a coercive, armed force against an unarmed population.
Born to a farming family in 1925, Pol Pot became the leader of the Khmer Rouge party and Prime Minister of Cambodia from 1976 to 1979. He had held the position in a de facto role since mid-1975, but after coming into proper power, imposed a fierce agrarian policy that led to the demise of 25 per cent of the Cambodian population.
Pol Pot formed a Communist peasant farming society, where all of Cambodia’s cities were forcibly vacated, and the two million residents were forced to live and work in the countryside. The citizens were forced into slave labor – work began from 4am and lasted until 10pm, overlooked by Khmer Rouge soldiers.
Aside from slave labor, the citizens had to endure malnutrition (workers were permitted one 180-gram tin of rice every two days), poor medical care and executions if there was any infraction. Worst of all, the Khmer Rouge committed mass executions and burials in “Killing Fields”, carried out using hammers, axe handles, spades or sharpened bamboo sticks:
His regime came to an end in when the Vietnamese army invaded Cambodia and drove out Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge Party. It is estimated that two million people died under his regime. Pot died of a heart attack before he could be tried in court for the events of 1975 to 1979.