The world has seen tragedy in many forms. Wars, genocides, riots, killings, famines and what not. The real evil however lies within the architects of these inhuman practices. Rulers who advocated crime to a level no one else could fathom. Their decision wreaked havoc on humanity and all that comes with it.
in this article, I will be sharing with 9 most wicked rulers to ever live on earth:
1. Attila the Hun
Attila, 406–453, frequently called Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in March 453. He was also the leader of a tribal empire consisting of Huns, Ostrogoths, Alans and Bulgars , among others, in Central and Eastern Europe.
During his reign, he was one of the most feared enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. He crossed the Danube twice and plundered the Balkans , but was unable to take Constantinople. His unsuccessful campaign in Persia was followed in 441 by an invasion of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, the success of which emboldened Attila to invade the West. He also attempted to conquer Roman Gaul (modern France), crossing the Rhine in 451 and marching as far as Aurelianum ( Orléans) before being stopped in the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains.
He subsequently invaded Italy, devastating the northern provinces, but was unable to take Rome. He planned for further campaigns against the Romans, but died in 453. After Attila's death, his close adviser, Ardaric of the Gepids, led a Germanic revolt against Hunnic rule, after which the Hunnic Empire quickly collapsed.
2. Idi Amin
Idi Amin Dada was the president of Uganda, 1971-1979, whose brutality and disregard for the rule of law led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and plunged the country into chaos and poverty.
Idi Amin was born in Buganda to parents who came from northwestern Uganda. He received little formal education and pursued a career in the army from a young age . Amin gained the attention and admiration of his superiors by becoming the heavyweight boxing champion of Uganda, a title he held from 1951 to 1960. Once in power, Amin appointed well-qualified administrators to most of the positions in his first cabinet, but he paid no attention to their advice. To control the army, Amin relied on the support of soldiers he had recruited from the northwest corner of Uganda.
In his first year as president Amin ordered massacres of large numbers of Langi and Acholi troops who were suspected of being loyal to Obote. After Amin's demands for large increases in military assistance were rebuffed by Israel and Britain, he expelled all Israeli advisers in 1972 and turned to the Arab Republic of Libya, which gave him immediate support. In doing so, Amin became the first black African leader to renounce ties with the Jewish state of Israel and side instead with Islamic nations in the Middle East conflict over. Subsequently, Amin made a number of anti-Semitic declarations, including praising German dictator Adolf Hitler for killing Jewish people during World War II. To cover up an army mutiny in southwestern Uganda, Amin invaded Tanzania, seizing a strip of Tanzanian territory north of the Kagera River in late 1978. The Tanzanian government swiftly mobilized its army and forced out the Ugandan soldiers. Then, accompanied by a small contingent of anti-Amin Ugandan rebels, the Tanzanian army invaded Uganda in early 1979. By April they had fought their way to Kampala, the Ugandan capital, and overthrown Amin's government.
Amin fled to Libya where he was offered asylum, but after an altercation between his security guards and the Libyan police, he was forced to leave at the end of 1979. He then accepted asylum in Saudi Arabia, settling in Jiddah. He made one known attempt to return to Uganda, in early 1989, getting as far as Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), where he was identified and forced to return to Saudi Arabia. Amin's rule had many lasting negative consequences for Uganda: It led to low regard for human life and personal security, widespread corruption, and the disruption of economic production and distribution.
On 19 July 2003, Amin's fourth wife, Nalongo Madina, reported that he was in a coma and near death at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from kidney failure. She pleaded with the Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, to allow him to return to Uganda for the remainder of his life. Museveni replied that Amin would have to "answer for his sins the moment he was brought back". Amin's family eventually decided to disconnect life support, and Amin consequently died at the hospital in Jeddah on 16 August 2003. He was buried in Ruwais Cemetery in Jeddah in a simple grave, without any fanfare.
After Amin's death, David Owen revealed that during his term as the British Foreign Secretary (1977 to 1979), he had proposed having Amin assassinated . He has defended this, arguing: "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 is 41 years since former president Idi Amin Dada was overthrown by a combined force of Tanzania soldiers and Ugandan exiles on April 11, 1979.
But eight eventful years of Amin at the helm of State power still invoke fresh memories, prominent among them being the public glimpses into the private life of Amin, a flamboyant man-about-town, who sired more than half a century kids, with different wives.
But not much is unwrapped about the exact number of his children. While official figures put the number at between 42 and 45, family members say they number nearly 60 children.
A quarter of these children are thought to be living in Uganda, while majority live abroad, mostly in the United Kingdom (UK), France and Canada.
Amin is said to have married at least six women, three of whom he divorced. He married his first and second wives, Malyamu and Kay, in 1966.
In 1967, he married another –Nora, and again Nalongo Madina in 1972.
But the unpredictable man he was, Amin made a public announcement on Radio Uganda on March 26, 1974, that he had divorced Malyamu, Nora, and Kay after they reportedly threw a party without showy man’s knowledge.
3. Than Shwe
Burma’s senior general Than Shwe holds the 3rd position in our list of most evil rulers the world has ever seen. He has been the ruler of Burma’s military junta since 1992. Shwe came to power and soon after showed what a sick man he was to the international community in the aftermath of Nargis when he prohibited rescue and aid groups from reaching cyclone victims.
4. Augusto José Ramón
Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte, 25 November 1915 – 10 December 2006, was a Chilean Army General , politician and a right-wing dictator who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, first as the leader of the Military Junta of Chile from 1973 to 1981, being self-declared President of the Republic by the junta in 1974 and becoming the de facto dictator of Chile, and after from 1981 to 1990 as de jure President after a new Constitution , who confirmed him in the office, was approved by a referendum in 1980.
Augusto Pinochet rose through the ranks of the Chilean Army to become General Chief of Staff in early 1972 before being appointed its Commander-in-Chief on 23 August 1973 by President Salvador Allende. On 11 September 1973, Pinochet seized power in Chile in a coup d'état , with the support of the U.S., that toppled Allende's democratically elected Unidad Popular government and ended civilian rule.
In December 1974, the ruling military junta appointed Pinochet Supreme Head of the nation by joint decree, although without the support of one of the coup's instigators, Air Force General Gustavo Leigh . After his rise to power, Pinochet persecuted leftists, socialists, and political critics, resulting in the executions of from 1,200 to 3,200 people, the internment of as many as 80,000 people , and the torture of tens of thousands. According to the Chilean government, the number of executions and forced disappearances was 3,095.
Operation Condor was founded at the behest of the Pinochet regime in late November 1975, his 60th birthday.
Under the influence of the free market-oriented " Chicago Boys ," Pinochet's military government implemented economic liberalization, including currency stabilization, removed tariff protections for local industry, banned trade unions, and privatized social security and hundreds of state-owned enterprises. Some of the government properties were sold below market price to politically connected buyers, including Pinochet's own son-in-law. The regime used censorship of entertainment as a way to reward supporters of the regime and punish opponents. These policies produced high economic growth, but critics state that economic inequality dramatically increased and attribute the devastating effects of the 1982 monetary crisis on the Chilean economy to these policies.
For most of the 1990s, Chile was the best-performing economy in Latin America, though the legacy of Pinochet's reforms continues to be in dispute. His fortune grew considerably during his years in power through dozens of bank accounts secretly held abroad and a fortune in real estate. He was later prosecuted for embezzlement, tax fraud, and for possible commissions levied on arms deals.
Pinochet's 17-year rule was given a legal framework through a controversial 1980 plebiscite , which approved a new constitution drafted by a government-appointed commission. In a 1988 plebiscite , 56% voted against Pinochet's continuing as president, which led to democratic elections for the presidency and Congress. After stepping down in 1990, Pinochet continued to serve as Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army until 10 March 1998, when he retired and became a senator-for-life in accordance with his 1980 Constitution . However, Pinochet was arrested under an international arrest warrant on a visit to London on 10 October 1998 in connection with numerous human rights violations . Following a legal battle, he was released on grounds of ill-health and returned to Chile on 3 March 2000.
In 2004, Chilean Judge Juan Guzmán Tapia ruled that Pinochet was medically fit to stand trial and placed him under house arrest. By the time of his death on 10 December 2006, about 300 criminal charges were still pending against him in Chile for numerous human rights violations during his 17-year rule and tax evasion and embezzlement during and after his rule. He was also accused of having corruptly amassed at least US$28 million.
5. Maximilien Robespierre
He was the architect of the French Revolution. As a younger leader, he advocated better life for the people of France. But soon, his obsession with guillotining (beheading using a machine with a huge knife blade at the end) began. His reign of terror has been a famous part of history, he killed over 40,000 people within 10 months and believed that killing was always better than forgiving. He ordered an attack on Vendée, killing over 100,000 men. Ironically for him, Robespierre was also guillotined without trial.
6. Tomás de Torquemada
Tomás de Torquemada was a Dominican friar and the first grand inquisitor in Spain. His homogenizing religious practices led to the expulsion of thousands of Muslims and Jews from Spain in the late 15th century. The nephew of a noted theologian, Juan de Torquemada, he initially joined the San Pablo Dominican monastery.
In 1452, Torquemada became the prior of Santa Cruz at Segovia and went on to hold the office for 22 years. During his tenure, he became familiar with Queen Isabella I and soon became her confessor and adviser. He was convinced that the existence of Islamic converts and Jewish converts would hinder the social and religious life of Spain. As a result, he became a supporter of the Alhambra Decree that resulted in banishment of the Jews from Spain in 1492. His final years were marked by widespread complaints which led Pope Alexander VI to employ assistant inquisitors. Torquemada died in 1498, after spending fifteen years as Spain's grand inquisitor.
7. Leopold II of Belgium
Leopold II, King of the Belgians—as his country's rulers have traditionally been known—was born in 1835. He took the throne in 1865, on the death of his father, who had been the young nation's first king. In most of western Europe, monarchs were then rapidly losing power to elected parliaments, and so Leopold did not leave a great mark on Belgium's internal politics. But he left an enormous impact overseas.
Shrewd, ruthless, ambitious, and openly frustrated with being king of such a small country, he was eager to acquire a colony. After studying how Spain and Holland had won great colonial wealth, he made a string of unsuccessful attempts to buy or lease colonies in various parts of the world. In the 1870s, as Europe rapidly began conquering almost all of Africa, he saw his chance. The Belgian government was not interested in colonies, but for the king that posed no problem.
Leopold hired the British explorer Henry Morton Stanley, and for five years, starting in 1879, Stanley served as the king's man in Africa. Essentially Stanley staked out the vast territory in the center of the continent today known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, and threatened or tricked hundreds of African chiefs into signing their land over to Leopold. Then, using these treaties as ammunition, the king managed to persuade first the United States, and then the major nations of Europe, to recognize this huge region as his own. In 1885 he christened his new possession the État Indèpendant du Congo, or, as it was known in English, the Congo Free State. One-thirteenth the land area of the African continent and more than seventy-six times the size of Belgium, it was the world's only colony owned by one man.
At the beginning of his colonial rule the main commodity Leopold was after was ivory—much valued in Europe for the way it could be carved into jewelry, statuettes, piano keys, and even false teeth. Joseph Conrad unforgettably portrayed the greed and cruelty of the race for Congo ivory in his great novella Heart of Darkness (1902). Conrad had been a steamboat officer on the Congo River in 1890.
Soon, however, the Congo was profoundly affected by something that happened in Europe: the invention of the inflatable bicycle tire. This, followed quickly by the invention of the automobile, created a huge worldwide rubber boom by the early 1890s. Wild rubber vines grew throughout the rain forest of Leopold's Congo, and to gather it he turned much of the territory's male population into forced labor.
The king maintained a private army of some nineteen thousand soldiers, black conscripts under white officers. For some twenty years, troops came into village after village, and held the women hostage in order to make the men go into the forest and gather a monthly quota of wild rubber. As rubber prices soared, men were forced to do this for weeks out of each month. The results were immense profits for the king and a human disaster for the Congolese. Huge numbers of male forced laborers were worked to death while women hostages starved. And with women in custody and men turned into forced laborers, there were few people left to plant and harvest food and to hunt and fish. In addition, tens of thousands died in unsuccessful rebellions. Hundreds of thousands fled the forced labor regime, but they had nowhere to go but remote rain forest areas where there was little food and shelter. Famine raged, the birthrate dropped, and disease killed millions who would otherwise have survived.
From all these causes, the best demographic estimates suggest that the population of the Congo was slashed by 50 percent, from roughly 20 million people in 1880 to roughly 10 million in 1920. Belgian colonial authorities at the time, including the official Commission for the Protection of the Natives, also estimated that the population had dropped by half. The forced labor regime began to moderate only in the early 1920s, when officials realized that, without changes, they would soon have no labor force left.
Leopold II earned, at minimum, an estimated $1.1 billion in early-twenty-first-century dollars from the Congo, most of it in rubber profits. This he spent on palaces and monuments in Belgium, on clothes for his teenaged mistress, and on his vast array of properties on the French Riviera. International protests forced him to turn the Congo over to Belgium in 1908, but he managed to extract additional payments from the Belgian government for doing so. He died, unpopular at home but with his fortune intact, the following year.
8. Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, serving as dictator and leader of the Nazi Party, or National Socialist German Workers Party, for the bulk of his time in power.
Hitler’s fascist policies precipitated World War II and led to the genocide known as the Holocaust, which resulted in the deaths of some six million Jews and another five million noncombatants.
The fourth of six children, Hitler was born to Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl. As a child, Hitler clashed frequently with his emotionally harsh father, who also didn't approve of his son's later interest in fine art as a career.
Following the death of his younger brother, Edmund, in 1900, Hitler became detached and introverted.
Hitler showed an early interest in German nationalism, rejecting the authority of Austria-Hungary. This nationalism would become the motivating force of Hitler's life.
In 1903, Hitler’s father died suddenly. Two years later, Hitler's mother allowed her son to drop out of school. After her death in December 1907, Hitler moved to Vienna and worked as a casual laborer and watercolor painter. He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts twice and was rejected both times.
Lacking money outside of an orphan's pension and funds from selling postcards, he stayed in homeless shelters. Hitler later pointed to these years as the time when he first cultivated his anti-Semitism, though there is some debate about this account.
In 1913, Hitler relocated to Munich. At the outbreak of World War I, he applied to serve in the German army. He was accepted in August 1914, though he was still an Austrian citizen.
Although Hitler spent much of his time away from the front lines (with some reports that his recollections of his time on the field were generally exaggerated), he was present at a number of significant battles and was wounded at the Battle of the Somme. He was decorated for bravery, receiving the Iron Cross First Class and the Black Wound Badge.
Hitler became embittered over the collapse of the war effort. The experience reinforced his passionate German patriotism, and he was shocked by Germany's surrender in 1918. Like other German nationalists, he purportedly believed that the German army had been betrayed by civilian leaders and Marxists.
He found the Treaty of Versailles degrading, particularly the demilitarization of the Rhineland and the stipulation that Germany accepts responsibility for starting the war.
After World War I, Hitler returned to Munich and continued to work for the German military. As an intelligence officer, he monitored the activities of the German Workers’ Party (DAP) and adopted many of the anti-Semitic, nationalist and anti-Marxist ideas of party founder Anton Drexler.
In September 1919, Hitler joined the DAP, which changed its name to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) — often abbreviated to Nazi.
Hitler personally designed the Nazi party banner, appropriating the swastika symbol and placing it in a white circle on a red background. He soon gained notoriety for his vitriolic speeches against the Treaty of Versailles, rival politicians, Marxists and Jews. In 1921, Hitler replaced Drexler as the Nazi party chairman.
Hitler's fervid beer-hall speeches began attracting regular audiences. Early followers included army captain Ernst Rohm, the head of the Nazi paramilitary organization the Sturmabteilung (SA), which protected meetings and frequently attacked political opponents.
On November 8, 1923, Hitler and the SA stormed a public meeting featuring Bavarian prime minister Gustav Kahr at a large beer hall in Munich. Hitler announced that the national revolution had begun and declared the formation of a new government.
After a short struggle that led to several deaths, the coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch failed. Hitler was arrested and tried for high treason and sentenced to nine months in prison.
9. Khorloogiin Choibalsan
Khorloogiin Choibalsan, February 8, 1895 – January 26, 1952, was the leader of Mongolia (Mongolian People's Republic) and Marshal (general chief commander) of the Mongolian People's Army from the 1930s until his death in 1952. His rule marked the first and last time in modern Mongolian history that an individual had complete political power. Sometimes referred to as the Joseph Stalin of Mongolia, Choibalsan oversaw Soviet-ordered purges in the late 1930s that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 Mongolians. Most of the victims were Buddhist clergy, intelligentsia, political dissidents, ethnic Buryats and Kazakhs and others perceived as "enemies of the revolution." His intense persecution of Mongolia's Buddhist monks resulted in the near-eradication of a clergy class that had numbered over 100,000 monks (13% of the population); by 2000, only 200-300 monks live in Mongolia, though a majority of the population continue to identify as Buddhist.
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