8 Historical Figures who were as crazy as Adolf Hitler

Hitler has successfully made his way as a symbol of tyranny and illogical totalitarianism, but very few people know that he was not the worse among the lot. There are a number of other mad men and mass murderers in history.

Following is the list of 8 historical rulers who were as mad as Hitler and even more of a lunatic.

  1. Urban II


Nowadays a pope is associated with creation of harmony and divine spiritualism that is a based on peace and love preached by Jesus Christ. But like many other things, historically Popes in the past have been found influencing politics and causing  wars.

One such figure was Urban II, who orchestrated the most deadly religious conflict in the history of religion. . Taking the control in 1088, Urban II had to constantly compete with his rivals. Urban II started a war warmongering campaign to start a war in the Middle East. He used influence and propaganda to amass a massive Army that ended up mercilessly slaughtering 200,000 ,Muslims and Christians alike, in and around the Holy Land. This started a 200 years long war between Muslims and Christians known in the history as ‘The Crusades’.

  1. Pol Pot


In his 22 years of rule over Cambodia as a leader of Khmer Rogue Pol Pot had reportedly killed between 1 to 3 million Cambodians. This might seem low compared to others on this list, but if you consider that this constitutes almost 25% of Cambodia’s population, these numbers do seem pretty high.

Pol Pot banned any education, religion and finance under his rule. Any educators or educated people he could find were executed, since he thought that education and religion are the cause of the all the ill of the society, and that he wanted to make Cambodia a pure state. He constructed a policy to move people out of the cities and send them to countryside, where they were forced to work on farms. Pol Pot’s policies not only killed scores of his people with starvation and disease, he successfully isolated Cambodia from rest of the world and shattered the economy to its core.

  1. Robert Mugabe


Undoubtedly the ‘poster boy’ of 20th century corruption and manipulation, Robert Mugabe destroyed Zimbabwe economically and morally during his long reign. His hunger for power and money resulted in a large number of people drowning in poverty and deprivation. Land grabbing, destroying homes, violation of human rights, killing opponents, persecuting homosexuals are some of the crimes from a long list of atrocities Mugabe committed in Zimbabwe.

It is estimated that a third of Zimbabwe population was killed by Mugabe; a massive 6 million human beings.

  1. The Kim dynasty


At the heights of tyranny, manipulation and corruption the ‘Kim dynasty’ have enjoyed power over North Korea for almost 70 years now. Few things never change, every ruler in the Kim dynasty was worse then his predecessor. The tyranny started when Kim Il Sung took to throne after successfully killing 2.8 million people during the Korean war. Under the disguise of progress and restoring country’s pride, the ‘first Kim’ (some people get confuse between the Kims so it is sometime convenient to refer to them as that) killed scores of his fellow countrymen. His son Kim Jung il, the ‘second Kim’ managed to slaughter more then 3 million Koreans including his opposition, party members and some of his family relatives as well. In the 90’s under Kim Jung il 3.5 million people died due to a famine created by the policies of Kim Jung il. He successfully manipulated the situation and blamed US and other western countries for the killing. The current leader ‘Kim Jung Un’ is following in the footsteps of the other Kims by adopting the same iron fist ideology. Recently he killed his uncle with a huge anti aircraft gun, suspecting that he was conspiring against him.

  1. Hong Xiuquan


The story of Hong is the textbook case of how a single traumatic incident could transform someone forever. Hong Xiuquan had very humble beginnings and grew up as a very bright young man. He was regarded as most respected provincial scholar in North China in 19th century. But after failing an Imperial exam he went through a nervous breakdown and started claiming that he was the son of God, the younger brother of Jesus Christ. He started a rebellion against Buddhism, Confucianism, and mainstream Christianity. He fought a number of battles with groups of various religious and political affiliations. After winning a decisive battle in 1853 he started ruling the city of Nanjing. He established his own rules and laws in the city. During his rule a large number of people were killed, some merely because they did not agree with Hong’s doctrine. He banned polygamy while keeping scores of concubines for himself and controlled his subject by fear and death.

  1. Josef Stalin


In our imaginary class of most ruthless, bloodthirsty tyrants, Stalin sits next to Adolf Hitler. Undoubtedly, Hitler massacred scores of Jewish and non-Germans around Europe, but most of Stalin’s’ victims were his own countrymen, people he ruled over. Starting from 20’s all the way to 50’s, Josef Stalin ruled soviet Union with an iron fist. For a brief period of time during the WWII Stalin sided with Europe but for a major chunk of his rule he stood against west. Stalin kick started the cold War with west that lasted almost half a century. During his reign Stalin had massacred from 10 to 30 million Russians. He carried out a purge multiple times against any opposition to keep the power over Russia. The highlight of Stalin’s atrocities is ‘Hunger Extermination’; an artificial famine that resulted in 8 million deaths in Ukraine alone.

  1. Mao Zedong


Known to the world as ‘Chairman Mao’, Mao Zedong ruled People’s Republic of China from 1949 to 1976. Mao took to reign after winning the Chinese Civil War and vowed to bring China to the World stage as a developed nation. His first step toward his goal was the wide scale encouragement of economic growth and increase in population. He was succeeded in achieving both, but a t very high ‘human’ cost.

In the first three years of his ambitious plan that he dubbed as ‘The Great Leap Forward’ in 1958 an estimated 45 million died due to famine and starvation. Mao’s policies also contributed heavily in encouraging an unstable society from within. The instigation of one child law alone caused the death and abandonment of an estimated 100 million infant girls, since most of the Chinese wanted boys as their only kid, the What Culture reports.

  1. Genghis Khan


The opinion about Genghis Khan vary in nature and tone a great deal, depending upon who you ask. For most of Asians and Chinese Khan is a cultural hero who brought freedom and prosperity for his people. While for the Iranians and people of the Middle East Khan was the most ruthless murderer world had ever seen. Historically Khan slaughtered a close to 15 million inhabitants of Persian plateau. As compared to Mao’s killing figures these numbers seem a fraction but on percentage scale it was a great chunk of Iranian population. Iran could not get to that level until the middle of the last century. Another rather daunting fact about Khan is that 8% of Chinese men are descendants of Genghis Khan; this means 0.5% of World’s population has Genghis Khan’s blood in their veins.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE