The world in many ways has seen disaster. Wars, genocides, revolts, massacres, famines, and so on. However, the true evil lies in the creators of these inhumane activities. Rulers who advocated crime to a degree that nobody else could comprehend. Their preference wreaked havoc on humankind and everything that comes with it. In this post, I will share with the nine wickedest rulers who will ever live on earth:
1. Attila the Hun
From 434 until his death in March 453, Attila, 406-453, sometimes called Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns. He was also the chief in Central and Eastern Europe of a tribal empire composed of Huns, Ostrogoths, Alans, and Bulgars, among others. He was one of the most hated rivals of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires throughout his rule. He crossed the Danube twice and plundered the Balkans, but Constantinople could not be taken. In 441, an invasion of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire followed his failed campaign in Persia, the success of which emboldened Attila to invade the West. He also sought to conquer Roman Gaul (modern France), crossed the Rhine in 451 and marched to Aurelianum (Orléans) before being stopped at the Battle of the Plains of Catalonia.
Afterwards, he invaded Italy, crippling the northern provinces, but he was unable to conquer Rome. He was preparing further campaigns against the Romans, but in 453 he died. His close adviser, Ardaric of the Gepids, led a Germanic rebellion against Hunnic rule after the death of Attila, after which the Hunnic empire rapidly collapsed.
2. Idi Amin
The President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979 was Idi Amin Dada, whose violence and disrespect for the rule of law resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, plunging the country into anarchy and poverty. In Buganda, Idi Amin was born to parents who came from northwestern Uganda. He got no formal education and from a young age sought a career in the military. By becoming the heavyweight boxing champion of Uganda, a title he held from 1951 to 1960, Amin gained the attention and respect of his superiors. While in power, Amin named most of the positions in his first cabinet to be well-qualified administrators, but he paid little heed to their advice. Amin depended on the assistance of soldiers he recruited from the northwest corner of Uganda to manage the army.
The massacres of large numbers of Langi and Acholi troops who were accused of being loyal to Obote were ordered in his first year as President Amin. After Israel and Britain rebuffed Amin's requests for major increases in military aid, he expelled all Israeli advisors in 1972 and turned to the Arab Republic of Libya, which gave him immediate support. In doing so, in the Middle East war, Amin became the first black African leader to renounce relations with Israel's Jewish state and side with Islamic nations instead. Amin subsequently made several anti-Semitic comments, including praising German dictator Adolf Hitler for murdering Jews during the Second World War. Amin invaded Tanzania to cover up an army mutiny in southwestern Uganda, occupying a strip of Tanzanian territory north of the Kagera River in late 1978. The Tanzanian government mobilized its army rapidly and pushed the Ugandan soldiers out. Then, accompanied by a small contingent of Ugandan anti-Amin rebels, in early 1979, the Tanzanian army invaded Uganda. By April, they had fought for Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and overthrew the government of Amin.
Amin fled to Libya, where he was given asylum, but was forced to leave at the end of 1979 after an altercation between his security guards and the Libyan police. Then, in Saudi Arabia, he accepted asylum, settling in Jiddah. In early 1989, he made a known attempt to return to Uganda, reaching Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), where he was recognized and forced to return to Saudi Arabia. For Uganda, Amin's rule had many enduring negative effects: it resulted in low respect for human life and personal safety, systemic corruption, and disruption of economic development and distribution.
Amin's fourth wife, Nalongo Madina, announced on 19 July 2003 that he was in a coma and near death from kidney failure at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She pleaded with Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan President, to allow him, for the rest of his life, to return to Uganda. "answer for his sins the moment he was brought back" answer the moment he was brought back for his sins. Ultimately, Amin's family agreed to cut life support, and Amin died on 16 August 2003 at the hospital in Jeddah. He was buried in a plain grave in Ruwais Cemetery in Jeddah, without any fanfare. After the death of Amin, David Owen announced that he had suggested the assassination of Amin during his time as British Foreign Secretary (1977 to 1979). He defended this, saying, "I'm not ashamed of considering it, because his regime goes down in the scale of Pol Pot as one of the worst of all African regimes"
It's been 41 years after a joint group of Tanzanian troops and Ugandan exiles overthrew former President Idi Amin Dada on April 11, 1979. But fresh memories still evoke eight eventful years of Amin at the helm of state power, prominent among them being the public glimpses into the private life of Amin, a flamboyant man-about-town, who sired children with different wives for more than half a century. But not much about the specific number of his children is unwrapped. Although official figures placed the number at between 42 and 45, members of the family say they have almost 60 children. It is thought that a quarter of these children live in Uganda, while most live abroad, mainly in the United Kingdom (UK), France, and Canada. It is said that Amin married at least six women, three of whom he was divorced from. In 1966, he got married to his first and second wives, Malyamu and Kay. He married another in 1967, Nora, and Nalongo Madina again in 1972. But as an erratic man, he was, on Radio Uganda on March 26, 1974, Amin made a public announcement that he had divorced Malyamu, Nora, and Kay after they allegedly threw a party without the knowledge of a showy man.
3. Than Shwe
Senior General Than Shwe of Burma holds the third spot in our list of the world's most evil rulers ever seen. Since 1992, he has been the ruler of Burma's military junta. Shwe came to power and soon after, when he banned rescue and relief organisations from reaching cyclone victims, he revealed what a sick man he was to the international community in the aftermath of Nargis.
4. Augusto José Ramón
Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte, 25 November 1915-10 December 2006, was a Chilean Army General, politician and right-wing dictator who governed Chile from 1973 to 1990, first as chief of the Chilean Military Junta from 1973 to 1981, then as self-proclaimed President of the Republic by the junta in 1974 and as de facto dictator of Chile, then as de jure President of the Republic from 1981 to 1990.
Although Hitler spent most of his time away from the front lines (with some claims that his memories of his time on the field were usually exaggerated), he was present in several major battles and was wounded in the Battle of the Somme. He won the Iron Cross First Class and the Black Wound Badge and was decorated for bravery. Due to the fall of the war effort, Hitler became embittered. The experience confirmed his ardent German patriotism, and the surrender of Germany in 1918 shocked him. Like other German nationalists, he purportedly claimed that civilian leaders and Marxists had deceived the German army. The Treaty of Versailles, especially the demilitarization of the Rhineland and the demand that Germany take responsibility for the start of the war, was degrading. Hitler returned to Munich after World War I and started to work for the German military. He tracked the activities of the German Workers' Party (DAP) as an intelligence officer and accepted many of the anti-Semitic, nationalist, and anti-Marxist ideas of the founder of the party, Anton Drexler.
In September 1919, Hitler joined the DAP, which changed its name to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) — often abbreviated to Nazi.
The Nazi party banner was personally designed by Hitler, seizing the swastika emblem and positioning it on a red backdrop in a white circle. His vitriolic remarks against the Versailles Treaty, rival politicians, Marxists and Jews quickly gained popularity. Hitler succeeded Drexler as the chairman of the Nazi party in 1921. The fervid beer-hall speeches of Hitler started to draw frequent audiences. Early followers included army captain Ernst Rohm, the leader of the Sturmabteilung (SA) Nazi paramilitary group, which protected meetings and targeted political opponents regularly. Hitler and the SA stormed a public meeting with Bavarian Prime Minister Gustav Kahr in a large beer hall in Munich on November 8, 1923. The national revolution had begun, Hitler proclaimed, and declared the establishment of a new government. The coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch failed, after a brief struggle that led to many deaths. Arrested and tried for high treason, Hitler was sentenced to nine months in jail.
5. Maximilien Robespierre
He was the architect of the Revolution of France. He advocated better lives for the people of France as a younger king. But soon, his fascination with guillotining (beheading at the end with a computer with a giant knife blade) started. His reign of terror was a well-known part of history, killing more than 40,000 people in 10 months, and believing that murder was still better than forgiveness. He ordered the Vendée assault, killing over 100,000 men. To him, ironically, Robespierre was guillotined without trial, too.
6. Tomás de Torquemada
The Dominican friar, Tomás de Torquemada, was the first Grand Inquisitor in Spain. In the late 15th century, his homogenized religious beliefs led to the expulsion from Spain of thousands of Muslims and Jews. He initially entered the San Pablo Dominican monastery as the nephew of a noted theologian, Juan de Torquemada.
In 1452, in Segovia, Torquemada became the prior of Santa Cruz and proceeded for 22 years to hold the office. He became acquainted with Queen Isabella I during his tenure and soon became her confessor and advisor. He was persuaded that Spain's social and religious life was hindered by the presence of Islamic converts and Jewish converts. As a result, he became a supporter of the Decree of the Alhambra, which led to the Jews being expelled from Spain in 1492. His final years were marked by widespread complaints that led to the hiring of assistant inquisitors by Pope Alexander VI. After spending fifteen years as the grand inquisitor of Spain, Torquemada died in 1498.
7. Leopold II of Belgium
Leopold II, King of the Belgians, was born in 1835, as the rulers of his country are generally called. In 1865, upon the death of his father, who was the first king of a young country, he took the throne. Monarchs were then increasingly losing power to elected parliaments in much of western Europe, and so Leopold did not leave a big mark on Belgian internal politics. Yet he had a major impact overseas. He was eager to acquire a colony, shrewd, ruthless, ambitious, and openly dissatisfied with being the king of such a small nation. He made a series of failed attempts to purchase or lease colonies in different parts of the world after learning how Spain and Holland had acquired great colonial wealth. When Europe quickly started to conquer almost all of Africa in the 1870s, he saw his opportunity. The Belgian government was not involved in colonies, but it was no problem for the king.
Leopold employed Henry Morton Stanley, the British adventurer, and Stanley worked as the king's man in Africa for five years, beginning in 1879. Stanley effectively staked out the vast territory now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the center of the continent, and coerced or tricked hundreds of African chiefs into signing their land to Leopold. Then the king, using these treaties as ammunition, succeeded in persuading the United States first, and then the major nations of Europe, to accept this vast area as his own. In 1885, he christened the État Indèpendant du Congo, or, as it was called in English, the Congo Free State, as his new possession. One-thirteenth of the African continent's land area and more than seventy-six times the size of Belgium, it was the only one-man-owned colony in the world.
The primary product that Leopold was after was ivory at the beginning of his colonial rule, much valued in Europe for the way it could be carved into jewelry, statuettes, piano keys, and even false teeth. In his great book, Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad unforgettably depicted the greed and brutality of the race for Congo ivory (1902). In 1890, Conrad was a steamboat officer on the Congo River. However, the Congo quickly became seriously impacted by something that occurred in Europe: the invention of the inflatable bicycle tyre. By the early 1890s, this, rapidly followed by the invention of the car, produced a massive global rubber boom. Wild rubber vines flourished in the rain forest of Leopold's Congo, and he converted most of the male population of the territory into forced labor to harvest them.
A private army of some nineteen thousand troops, black conscripts under white officers, was maintained by the King. The troops came to the village after village for some twenty years, keeping the women hostage to make the men go to the forest and collect a monthly quota of wild rubber. As rubber prices rose, for weeks out of the month, men were compelled to do this. The consequences for the king were enormous profits and a human tragedy for the Congolese. Massive numbers of male forced laborers, while women hostages were starving, were worked to death. And there were few people left to plant and harvest food and to hunt and fish, with women in custody and men transformed into forced laborers. Moreover, tens of thousands perished in unsuccessful rebellions. The forced labor regime had escaped hundreds of thousands, but they had nowhere to go but remote rainforest areas where there was little food and shelter. Famine raged, the birthrate plummeted, and millions who would otherwise have survived were killed by disease.
The best demographic figures indicate that the population of the Congo has been reduced by 50 percent, from about 20 million people in 1880 to about 10 million in 1920, for all these reasons. It was also estimated by the Belgian colonial authorities at the time, including the official Commission for the Safety of the Natives, that the population had declined by half. Only in the early 1920s did the forced labor system begin to moderate, as officials realized that, without changes, they would soon have no labor force left. At least an estimated $1.1 billion in early-twenty-first-century Congo dollars was received by Leopold II, much of it in rubber earnings. He spent it on palaces and monuments in Belgium, on his teenage mistress' dresses, and on his large range of assets on the French Riviera. In 1908, foreign demonstrations forced him to turn the Congo over to Belgium, but he was able to obtain additional payments for this from the Belgian government. He passed away the following year, unpopular at home, but with his fortune intact.
8. Adolf Hitler
From 1933 to 1945, Adolf Hitler was chancellor of Germany, serving for much of his time in power as tyrant and leader of the Nazi Party, or National Socialist German Workers Party.
World War II was precipitated by Hitler's fascist policies and contributed to the genocide known as the Holocaust, resulting in the deaths of some six million Jews and another five million noncombatants. Hitler was the fourth of six children, born to Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl. Hitler often clashed as a child with his emotionally harsh father, who also did not approve of the later involvement of his son in fine art as a profession. Hitler became withdrawn and introverted after the death of his younger brother, Edmund, in 1900. Hitler displayed an early interest in German nationalism, rejecting the authority of Austria-Hungary. The driving force of Hitler's life will become this nationalism. Hitler's father died abruptly in 1903. Two years later, her son was allowed to drop out of school by Hitler's mother. Hitler moved to Vienna following her death in December 1907 and worked as a casual laborer and watercolor painter. He applied twice to the Academy of Fine Arts and was both times declined.
He lived in homeless shelters, losing money outside of an orphan's allowance and funds from selling postcards. Later, Hitler referred to these years as the period when his anti-Semitism was first cultivated, although there is some dispute regarding this account. Hitler moved to Munich in 1913. He applied to serve in the German army at the start of World War I. In August 1914, he was admitted, though he was still an Austrian resident. In early 1972, Augusto Pinochet rose through the ranks of the Chilean Army to become the General Chief of Staff before being designated by President Salvador Allende as its Commander-in-Chief on 23 August 1973. On 11 September 1973, with the help of the U.S., Pinochet seized power in Chile in a coup d'état that overthrew the constitutionally elected Unidad Popular government of Allende and ended civilian rule.
In December 1974, by joint decree, the ruling military junta elected Pinochet Supreme Head of the country, but without the help of Air Force General Gustavo Leigh, one of the instigators of the coup. Pinochet persecuted liberals, communists, and political opponents during his rise to power, leading to the killings of 1,200 to 3,200 people, the internment of as many as 80,000 individuals, and the torture of tens of thousands. The number of executions and forced disappearances is 3,095, according to the Chilean government.
At the behest of the Pinochet government, Operation Condor was established in late November 1975, his 60th birthday. Pinochet's military government introduced economic liberalization, including currency stabilization, abolished tariff rights for local industry, outlawed trade unions, and privatized social security and hundreds of state-owned companies, under the influence of the free market-oriented 'Chicago Boys.' Some of the government assets were sold to politically related buyers, including Pinochet's own son-in-law, below the market price. The regime used entertainment censorship as a way to reward the regime's supporters and punish critics. These policies have generated high economic growth, but critics argue that economic disparity has risen significantly and attribute these policies to the disastrous impact of the monetary crisis of 1982 on the Chilean economy.
Chile was Latin America's best-performing economy for much of the 1990s, but the legacy of Pinochet's reforms appears to be in question. Via hundreds of bank accounts secretly kept abroad and a fortune in real estate, his fortune grew considerably during his years in office. Later, for embezzlement, tax fraud, and potential fees imposed on arms sales, he was charged. Through a divisive 1980 plebiscite, which approved a new constitution drafted by a government-appointed committee, Pinochet's 17-year reign was given a legal structure. In the 1988 plebiscite, 56% voted against the continuity of Pinochet as president, leading to democratic presidential and Congressional elections. After stepping down in 1990, Pinochet continued to serve as the Chilean Army's Commander-in-Chief until 10 March 1998, when, in compliance with his 1980 Constitution, he retired and became a senator for life. However, Pinochet was detained on a visit to London on 10 October 1998 under an international arrest warrant in connection with various abuses of human rights. After a court battle, he was released for ill-health reasons and returned to Chile on 3 March 2000.
Juan Guzmán Tapia, a Chilean judge, ruled in 2004 that Pinochet was medically fit to stand trial and held him under house arrest. Around 300 criminal charges were still pending against him in Chile at the time of his death on 10 December 2006 for numerous human rights abuses during his 17-year rule and tax evasion and embezzlement during and after his rule. He was also accused of having amassed at least US$28 million corruptly.
9. Khorloogiin Choibalsan
Khorloogiin Choibalsan, February 8, 1895- January 26, 1952, from the 1930s until his death in 1952, was the leader of Mongolia (Mongolian People's Republic) and Marshal (General Supreme Commander) of the Mongolian People's Army.
His rule marked the first and last time that a person had complete political power in modern Mongolian history. In the late 1930s, Choibalsan oversaw Soviet-ordered purges, sometimes referred to as the Joseph Stalin of Mongolia, that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 Mongolians. Most of the victims were Buddhist clergy, intellectuals, political activists, ethnic Buryats and Kazakhs, and others considered as "enemies of the revolution." His extreme persecution of the Buddhist monks of Mongolia resulted in the near eradication of a clergy community of over 100,000 monks (13% of the population); by 2000, there were only 200-300 monks in Mongolia, although most of them remained in Mongolia.
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