They say that it takes compassion for humanity, love for country; and a strong pursuit of justice and mercy to become a strong and respected leader. However, every once in a while there are politicians that decide to do things their own way (much to the dismay of the masses). These cold-blooded dictators do not care for the value of life as much as they do achieving their selfish motives of domination, power, and immortality.
1. Mao Zedong
Famous for being one of the communist leaders of the Republic of China beginning around World War II, Mao Zedong was a ruler who thirsted for power. In his first five years, he killed about 4 to 6 million by indiscriminately sentencing them to death. His policies also starved about 20 million and on top of that he had numerous enemies of the state executed.
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2. Adolf Hitler
To most people Adolf Hitler does not need much of an introduction as he was famous for being the leader of the Nazis – a German party that was responsible for the deaths of over 17 million people including 6 million Jews and after leading the entire world into war as well as committing numerous war crimes he certainly deserves a spot on this list.
- Leopold II
As a colonial leader of Belgium, Leopold II was famous for essentially enslaving and killing nearly 15 million Congolese under the guise of his Congo Free State. Other European powers had granted him the territory in order to improve the lives of its inhabitants. Instead he used them for his own personal gain and committed some of the worst atrocities in history.
- Josef Stalin
Josef Stalin became the leader of Soviet Union after Lenin died in 1924, and launched government programs that would make the country more progressive. His attempt to move to the new economy, however, led to the starvation of nearly 10 million people. With many intellectuals and activists not in favor of his leadership, Stalin also launched the “Great Purge”, killing every person who opposed him and his ideals.
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5. Hideki Tojo
When he was assigned to be general in the Imperial Japanese Army, Hideki Tojo was not content with his position so he also assumed the position of Prime Minister, Army Minister, Home Minister, Foreign Minister, Education Minister, and Commerce Minister…talk about a lot of responsibility. He also made ties with the Nazis hoping that he would rise to power alongside Hitler. Due to his relentless acts of attacking other Asian countries, he was directly responsible for the deaths of over 5 million individuals.
6. Yahya Khan
General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan was very active during the Second World War and became the third President of Pakistan. As expected, he instituted martial law and ruthlessly led a war against Eastern Pakistan. His policies left millions dead.
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7. Pol Pot
Being the communist leader of Cambodia, Pol Pot had envisioned a country that would be equal by any means. So he thought of sending city people to the farms and the farm people to the city. As expected, he did not get the results he wanted so he then resorted to punishing people and depriving them of their right to education, medication, and nutrition. He even executed about 2.5 million who were not following his ideals.
8. Omar al-Bashir
As President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir was the ruler that negotiated the end of the Sudanese Civil War by giving in to what the Sudan People’s Liberation Army was requesting. Although what he did was considered fair and noble, the agreement directly led to wars in Darfur that claimed the lives of about 400,000 people due to violence and starvation.
9. Ismail Enver Pasha
Of the many dictators that have killed in the quest for power, perhaps Ismail Enver Pasha was one of the most unique. He was the leader of the Young Turk Revolution and became more powerful as he led the Ottoman Empire in World War I and the Balkan Wars. But despite his experience on the battlefield, he was still very bad at leading an army as he lost battle after battle. What’s even worse is that he killed over 1.5 million Armenians and over 1 million people of other races just to compensate for his shameful loss in Sarikamish.
10. Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein was a well-known leader that instigated numerous conflicts in his lifetime. He instituted mass genocide against the Kurds, Shabaks, Assyrians, Mandeans and other ethnic groups who rebelled against his leadership and fought several wars against Iran and Kuwait, with the death toll climbing to about 2 million in total.