The worst genocides of the 20th and 21st Centuries
by Piero Scaruffi
TM, ®, Copyright © 2009 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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.
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).
I welcome feedback if i forgot anything or posted
the wrong data, but please always provide reliable
sources: webpages are gossips, not sources (and the worst one is
Wikipedia, edited by anonymous people).
Reliable sources are books written by professional historians who spent decades
researching the event.
An impressive number of readers don't seem to know what "20th century" means
and keep sending me emails about the Atlantic slave trade, the Native Americans,
the Irish famine, etc.
Wars and Casualties of the 20th and 21st Century.
For a list of casualties in wars, see this page.
|Mao Ze-Dong (China, 1958-61 and 1966-69, Tibet 1949-50)||49-78,000,000|
|Adolf Hitler (Germany, 1939-1945)||12,000,000 (concentration camps and civilians deliberately killed in WWII plus 3 million Russian POWs left to die)|
|Leopold II of Belgium (Congo, 1886-1908)||8,000,000|
|Jozef Stalin (USSR, 1932-39)||7,000,000 (the gulags plus the purges plus Ukraine's famine)|
|Hideki Tojo (Japan, 1941-44)||5,000,000 (civilians in WWII)|
|Ismail Enver (Ottoman Turkey, 1915-20)||1,200,000 Armenians (1915) + 350,000 Greek Pontians and 480,000 Anatolian Greeks (1916-22) + 500,000 Assyrians (1915-20) |
|Pol Pot (Cambodia, 1975-79)||1,700,000|
|Kim Il Sung (North Korea, 1948-94)||1.6 million (purges and concentration camps)|
|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 and 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? (Chinese civilians)|
|Jonas Savimbi - but disputed by recent studies (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 (Bangladesh) |
|Ante Pavelic (Croatia, 1941-45)|| 359,000 (30,000 Jews, 29,000 Gipsies, 300,000 Serbs) |
|Benito Mussolini (Ethiopia, 1936; Libya, 1934-45; Yugoslavia, WWII)||300,000|
|Mobutu Sese Seko (Zaire, 1965-97)||?|
|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 (various massacres of civilians)|
|Richard Nixon (Vietnam, 1969-1974)||70,000 (Vietnamese and Cambodian civilians)|
|Efrain Rios Montt - but disputed by recent studies (Guatemala, 1982-83)||70,000|
|Papa Doc Duvalier (Haiti, 1957-71)||60,000|
|Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic, 1930-61)||50,000|
|Bashir Assad (Syria, 2012-13)||50,000|
|Francisco Macias Nguema (Equatorial Guinea, 1969-79) ||50,000|
|Hissene Habre (Chad, 1982-1990)||40,000|
|Chiang Kai-shek (Taiwan, 1947)||30,000 (popular uprising)|
|Vladimir Ilich Lenin (USSR, 1917-20)||30,000 (dissidents executed)|
|Francisco Franco (Spain)||30,000 (dissidents executed after the civil war)|
|Fidel Castro (Cuba, 1959-1999)||30,000|
|Lyndon Johnson (Vietnam, 1963-1968)||30,000|
|Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez (El Salvador, 1932)||30,000|
|Hafez Al-Assad (Syria, 1980-2000)||25,000|
|Khomeini (Iran, 1979-89)||20,000|
|Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe, 1982-87, Ndebele minority)||20,000|
|Rafael Videla (Argentina, 1976-83)||13,000|
|Guy Mollet (France, 1956-1957)||10,000 (war in Algeria)|
|Harold McMillans (Britain, 1952-56, Kenya's Mau-Mau rebellion) ||10,000 |
|Jean-Bedel Bokassa (Centrafrica, 1966-79) ||?|
|Paul Koroma (Sierra Leone, 1997) ||6,000|
|Osama Bin Laden (worldwide, 1993-2001)||3,500|
|Augusto Pinochet (Chile, 1973)||3,000|
- Israel Charny (1988) Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review
- Stephane Courtois: Black Book on Communism (1995)
- Micheal Clodfelter: Warfare and Armed Conflicts (1992)
- Gil Elliot: Twentieth Century Book of the Dead (1972)
- Gaston Bouthoul and Reue Carrere: A List of the 366 Major Armed Conflicts of the period 1740-1974, Peace Research (1978)
- Rudolph Rummel: Death by Government - Genocide and Mass Murder (1994)
- Rudolph Rummel: Statistics of Democide (1997)
- James Payne: "A History of Force" (2004)
- Matt White's website
- Matt White: "The Great Big Book of Horrible Things" (2011)
- Daniel Goldhagen: "Worse Than War" (2009)
- Ben Kiernan: Blood and Soil - A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur (2007)
- Ben Valentino: Final Solutions - Mass Killing and Genocide in the 20th Century (2004)
- Several general textbooks of 20th century history