Top 10 Most Horrific Genocides In History


The term “genocide” is one of those controversial terms that can lead to all kinds of problems. The problem is that the term has been so politicized, and frequently used to attack leaders or countries that one dislikes, that it has come to mean different things to different people. For instance, the term has frequently been used to describe what white settlers did to the Native Americans over the last few centuries, when much of the indigenous population of the United States was wiped out. However, the overwhelming majority of those deaths were due to smallpox being inadvertently introduced into a native population that lacked the biological means to resist it which, while devastating, was not a genocide as it was not done intentionally.

For something to qualify as genocide, it has to be a deliberate, calculated decision by a particular ethnic or religious group, leader, or a government to exterminate, or otherwise destroy, a specific group of people for religious, cultural, racial, or political reasons. This can be done either through direct action (murder) or through indirect means (deportation or starvation). Using this general definition, then, what were the most horrific acts of genocide committed throughout history? It will always be something of an exercise in subjectivity to determine which were the worst, as how does one go about measuring such a thing? Is it a matter of sheer number of victims? Duration? Political ramifications? Nevertheless, here is my attempt to list the ten largest, most horrific, or best-known genocides in human history.

10. Genocides of the Amalekites and Midianites

Image result for battle of gideon against the midianites

Lest anyone imagine that genocide is a uniquely modern phenomena, it should be known that it was not only condoned, but even supposedly ordered by, God Himself against two of ancient Israel’s arch-enemies, the Amalekites and the Midianites—at least according to the Old Testament. While extremely localized, and probably resulting in the deaths of no more than a few tens of thousands of people over a number of decades, it does testify to the fact that the desire of one group to exterminate another for any number of reasons has been around as long as civilization itself. The only difference is that, today, humanity possesses the technology required to carry it out on a truly massive scale.

9. North Korea (1945-present)

Image result for north korean genocide

How many people have died inside the “worker’s paradise” will probably never been known with anything approaching certainty, but the fact is that Pyongyang has been at war with its own people since “The Great Leader”, Kim Il-Sung, first assumed power in 1945. Certainly several million peasants have died of starvation since the mid-1990s, with aid and human rights groups charging that North Korea has systematically and deliberately prevented food aid from reaching the areas most devastated by food shortages. And of course, this doesn’t include the nearly one million people—including women and children accused of the most superficial “crimes”—who have died in North Korea’s political prison camps over the last 65 years. Were it not being propped up by its lone ally, China, it would have likely imploded long ago. As it is, it remains a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode.

8. Expulsion of Ethnic Germans after World War II (1945)

Image result for ethnic german expulsion 1945

Many scholars consider this more of a population transfer, rather than a true genocide. However, the forced displacement of some 14 million ethnic Germans and allied Slavs from Soviet Russia, from occupied areas of Eastern and Central Europe in the aftermath of World War II, has to go down as something pretty close to genocide, especially when one considers that between half a million and two million of them didn’t survive the journey. While most of these deaths were from famine and disease, many German civilians were also executed outright, or sent to internment and labor camps by the Soviets—especially those known to or suspected to have had Nazi associations. What makes it genocidal in nature was that only Germans were targeted, and that the brutal policy of forced relocation was ordered by Stalin himself, specifically as a means of retribution.

7. Partition of India (1947)

Image result for partition of India

This is one of the few genocides in history that was not politically motivated nor orchestrated by any government, but rather occurred spontaneously. All of it was the result of the partition of Great Britain’s largest and most important colony, India, in 1947. The powers-that-be decided to partition the massive state into Hindu and Muslim sections (creating modern-day India and Pakistan respectively), a decision which left millions of Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs on the wrong side of the newly-formed border. This resulted in millions being uprooted from their homes and being forced to walk hundreds of miles to their new homes; during this great exodus, however (which affected upwards of 14 million people), escalating violence broke out between the various religious factions, leading to up to one million deaths (most of it centered around the densely populated Punjab region).

In effect, many Muslims were killed by Sikh and Hindu mobs, while many Sikhs and Hindus suffered at the hands of Muslim mobs in Pakistan. It’s difficult to label this a true act of genocide, however, as it was not specifically instigated by either the Pakistani or Indian governments. However, their inability to stop what was basically a spontaneous outburst of brutality on both sides contributed greatly to the carnage. This event specifically stands out as being one of the few genocides to be almost entirely religion-based, and to be engaged by several religions simultaneously.

6. The Rwandan Massacre (1994)

Photographs of Genocide Victims - Genocide Memorial Centre - Kigali - Rwanda

Photographs of Genocide Victims – Genocide Memorial Centre – Kigali – Rwanda

While we like to imagine that genocides are generally politically motivated, Rwanda is an example in which it was mostly the result of tribal differences. The short-lived killing spree, which left between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people dead, was the culmination of longstanding ethnic competition and tensions between the minority Tutsi. It seems that the Tutsi had controlled the country for centuries, lording their position of power over the majority Hutus, until they were overthrown in a 1962 Hutu rebellion. Tensions remained high after that and eventually erupted into full-blown war when, in April of 1994, Hutu President Habyarimana died under mysterious conditions in a plane crash. This elicited bloody reprisals by Hutus against their Tutsi neighbors in retaliation.

While not specifically orchestrated by the Hutu-led government, scholars maintain that the spontaneous, and violent, reaction to the assassination was encouraged by the Rwandan armed forces and largely carried out by Hutu militias, with the full knowledge and blessing of the government, making it directly culpable. Also responsible for the massacre was the unwillingness of the UN, or other western powers, to take decisive action early on. The UN even went so far as to evacuate what few troops it had in the country, to prevent harm from befalling them! President Bill Clinton has since admitted that his lack of timely action in Rwanda remains the greatest mistake of his Presidency. How different things might have been, had only the world had the backbone to have done something.

5. The Armenian Genocide (1915-1923)

Armenians defending the walls of Van in the spring of 1915. Scanned from the Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia Article on the Defense of Van (vol. 11, p. 273)

Armenians defending the walls of Van in the spring of 1915. Scanned from the Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia Article on the Defense of Van (vol. 11, p. 273)

While they are loathe to discuss it today, the Ottoman Turks, under the leadership of War Minister Enver Pasha (1881-1922), may have conducted the first large-scale, organized genocide of the 20th century. During and immediately after the First World War, Turkey killed, deported, and starved to death as many as 1.8 million Armenians, along with hundreds of thousands of other non-Turks. The Ottomans may have also been the first to introduce the concept of the concentration camp, though most of these camps were short-lived.

Modern Turks generally refuse to acknowledge what happened to have been genocide, considering it simply a mass deportation of people who had allied themselves with the Russians (a nation Turkey was at war with at the time), and who largely died from exhaustion or neglect during forced marches. Most genocide scholars, however, consider it to have been an orchestrated effort at exterminating an unwanted ethnic group that had lived within the borders of the crumbling Ottoman Empire for centuries. Not surprisingly, it remains a touchy subject among modern Turks to this day, not to mention angry Armenians with guitars.

4. The Killing Fields of Cambodia (1975-1978)

When the Khmer Rouge overthrew the government of Cambodia in 1975, and established a Communist “utopia” in its place, its first act was to annihilate anyone it deemed to be an “enemy of the state”. This included not only former members of the old regime and military, but journalists, teachers, businessmen, intellectuals, Buddhists, and even people who simply wore glasses!

While the total number of people who died in this short-lived, but grisly, purge will never be known, it is estimated that no fewer than two million people (nearly 20% of Cambodia’s population) died at the hands of the Khmer. Had it not been for a Vietnamese invasion in 1979 that toppled the Khmer and sent them into hiding, the toll would undoubtedly had been higher still. You know you’re bad when your government is overthrown by a fellow Communist regime!

3. The Holocaust (1939-1945)

Polish Jews captured by Germans during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, May 1943

Polish Jews captured by Germans during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, May 1943

No genocide is as well-known, or as carefully documented, as the efforts of  the Nazis to exterminate not only the Jews from continental Europe, but millions of others it deemed “undesirable.” By the time Hitler shot himself in his Berlin bunker in April of 1945, some eleven million people—over half of them Jews—had died, either through mass extermination, deportation, or starvation and overwork in his prison camps. This was all part of a brutal policy that much of the world either refused to believe was happening, or chose to ignore until the first camps were liberated by the Allies in the spring of 1945.

What’s especially interesting in this case is that, unlike Russia and China, Germany had no history of such cruelty beforehand (at least on such a large scale), and was even considered to have been one of the most educated and cultured societies in the world at the time it fell under Hitler’s spell. This should serve as a warning that no country is immune from becoming a killing field under the right circumstances and with the right leader, as millions of Germans had to learn the hard way in World War II.

2. The Stalinist Era in the USSR (1929-1953)

Kulaks being dispossessed.

Kulaks being dispossessed.

While most people imagine Adolf Hitler to have been the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century (the aforementioned Mao Zedong not withstanding), the prize actually goes to Joseph Stalin, the man who turned his entire nation into one massive prison camp and extermination center. How many died under his direct instructions, or merely as a result of his failed agricultural policies, will never be known with certainty, but some estimates put it as high as twenty million. The Soviet elimination of a social class, the Kulaks, and the subsequent killer famine among all Ukrainian peasants, killed at least two million alone, while Stalin’s notorious 1937 Order No. 00447, that called for the mass execution and exile of “socially harmful elements” as “enemies of the people”, decimated the military and intelligentsia of Russia, leaving hundreds of thousands dead, and millions more languishing in Stalin’s massive gulag.

Had he not had the good manners to die in 1953 before he could institute another purge of Jews and other “enemies of the State,” the numbers of death would have swelled even more. Curiously—and despite all of this—the man was much admired by people who lived outside of Russia during this time, and the always-smiling and benevolent-looking “Uncle Joe” even made it onto the cover of Time magazine no fewer than eleven times.

1. The Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution in China (1949-1976)

Birth rate and death rate in China 1950-2014

Birth rate and death rate in China 1950-2014

While it’s almost impossible to determine precisely how many people died at the hands of the Communists when they came to power in 1949 and in the decades that followed, estimates range anywhere from 45 to 70 million people, depending on whom you ask. While some of these occurred when Communist forces finally vanquished the Nationalist Army of Chang Kai-Shek, most of them took place later and came largely in two main waves; the first was during the “Great Leap Forward”, when China’s leader Mao Zedong’s attempt at agricultural modernization and social engineering led to mass starvation between 1958 and 1961, and the death of many former land owners. While not a specific effort to eradicate a population, what made it genocidal in nature was the fact that Mao continued his policies long after they were obviously proven to be disastrous, thereby dooming millions of peasants to starvation.

The second great genocide was a result of what was called the “Cultural Revolution” of 1966 to 1976—a bloody purge of “anti-government elements” that left millions dead or languishing in prison camps throughout China. It was only upon the death of Mao that the worst of the killings ended, though the brutal crushing of the Tienanmen Square protesters in 1989 demonstrated that Beijing’s violent tendencies did not entirely die with the man.

Other Noteworthy Examples: The Destruction of Carthage during the Third Punic War (146 BCE) is often considered the first historically recorded genocide in history; The forced repatriation of the Cherokee Indians from Florida in 1830 resulted in the death of some 4,000 Indians out of 17,000 who made the trip during the famous Trail of Tears incident; Genghis Khan’s Mongol horsemen of the 13th century were well-known genocidal killers, known for wiping out entire nations in their quest to expand their empire; German General Lothar von Trotha wiped out some 100,000 native tribesmen in Southwest Africa (modern Namibia) between 1904 and 1907 in what is often considered the first organized state genocide; and Saddam Hussein’s efforts at exterminating the Kurds during the 1980’s, which included using chemical agents against Kurdish towns.

Jeff Danelek is a Denver, Colorado author who writes on many subjects having to do with history, politics, the paranormal, spirituality and religion. To see more of his stuff, visit his website at

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  1. I buy into “genocide” for the Germans expelled at the end of World War 2 for two reasons:

    1) they were expelled for being German, which fits the criteria for genocide: “the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group” (Wikipedia again), and

    2) this definition has nothing to say about whether the ethnic, racial, religious, or national group in question deserved to die, in your opinion or anybody else’s.

    They were Germans, and Stalin, among others, was happy to assist in the extermination of a huge number of Germans at the end of WW2, because they were the evil, hated Germans. All groups that are treated thus are the evil, hated fill in your blank here. This is genocide.

    • I thought that genocide means “killing” not “expulsion”. The deaths were mostly the result of starvation and diseases.

      Mayby it is a kind of genocide. But it should be #800 not #8.

  2. Yeah, if number 8th are Germans maybe you should put there also extermination of Persians at Thermopiles? These blood-thirsty Spartans killed so many of them there… In comparison to whole world population, or regular army size in these time it was a real genocide…

  3. So where is Palestinian genocide by the Israeli? After WWII simply stating an opinion about Israeli crimes makes you “Antisemitic”. This is insane. Israel has been murdering Palestinian civilians, most of them children, in a daily basis for tor than a half century.

  4. “unlike Russia and China, Germany had no history of such cruelty beforehand”

    That’s not true. Germans committed similar acts of genocide in their African colonies during the nineteenth centuries.

  5. How can you not mention the Genocide on the Native Americans??? That’s typical US (better: not all US citizens, of course, but the typical stupid white christian rednecks that love their guns…), always busy pointing their fingers on others but systematically hushing up their own countless crimes. How the US treated the Native Americans was the inspiration for Hitler, btw.

    And making a Top 10 of Genocides is quite tasteless I think.

    • If you read the first two paragraphs, you will see that there is a clear explanation of why the treatment of the Indians at the hands of Euro-American immigrants was not included in this list. To begin with, although the arrival of Europeans in North America may have resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of Indians, most of those deaths were the result of the accidental introduction of European diseases to which Indians had no resistance.

      Of course, there were cases of diseases being introduced intentionally, such as the British purposefully giving the Ottowa people Smallpox infected blankets during Pontiac’s rebellion. However, no one at the time could have possibly anticipated how rapidly those diseases would spread, or how devastating they would be.

      Aside from disease, the next largest culprit in the deaths of all those tens of millions of Indians was also not overt violence, but was instead the result of starvation resulting from the mass expropriation of Indian land by the governments of Canada and the United States of America.

      A key distinction is that the massive numbers of white settlers who displaced the Indians and settled on Indian lands didn’t do so purposefully in order to purposefully kill the Indians through starvation. To the contrary, they did so merely in order create better lives for themselves. The mass starvation of the Indians was just an unfortunate byproduct of it, and not an intentional result thereof.

      Of course, this shouldn’t be interpreted as suggesting that every single white man, or white woman for that matter, who emigrated to the Americas and moved west, was innocent. Right from the start there were certain white people [Christopher Columbus being a notable example] who saw genocide and slavery as being the only suitable means of dealing with indigenous peoples.

      [Interestingly, from what I’ve read, Columbus and his men were all quite hated back in Spain as well. While the Spanish crown expended massive amounts of money, and massive numbers of Spanish soldiers died, in the reconquista of Spanish lands which had been seized by the Islamic caliphate in the middle ages, Columbus embezzled massive amounts of money, spent it on himself, and was also horrifically cruel to the Spanish peasants.]

      Despite a popular misconception, people in Europe had known since the time of the ancient Greeks that the earth was round, and approximately what its circumference was. However, after the fall of the Byzantine empire to the Ottoman Turks, Europe was cut off from its previously lucrative trade routes to East Asia.

      At the time, most scholars in Europe knew the approximate size of the earth, and knew that East Asia was too far away from Europe to get to by sailing west. However, Columbus did his own calculation of the size of the earth, and dramatically miscalculated. He thought the earth was much smaller than it really was, and that it would therefore be possible to get to Asia by sailing around the opposite side of the world.

      Now, the Spanish monarchy hated Columbus because he was so corrupt, and so when he presented his plan to the king and queen of Spain, they saw it as a convenient way to get rid of him. [They didn’t actually expect Columbus to survive the journey.]

      So, they gave Columbus three of the smallest ships they could find, gave him a crew of thieves, murderers and rapists from the local jail [people they also never wanted to see again] and sent them on what was, as far as I know, the longest voyage in history at that time, [and yes, I’ve heard about the voyages of the eunuch admiral Zheng He].

      At the time, nobody in Spain knew that the Americas even existed. Essentially, Columbus and his men were a motley crew of worthless criminals who were crammed onto boats and sent out to sea in the hope that they would never return. They were thieves, murderers and rapists back in Europe, and when they arrived in the Americas, they continued to be thieves, murderers and rapists.

      Later, when other people in Spain realized that what Columbus had discovered was an entirely new world, and when they heard about all of the terrible thing which Columbus did there, Columbus was banished from the Spanish colonies in the Americas.

      The early period of European colonization of the Americas was largely characterized by people like Columbus enslaving and mass-murdering American Indians entirely to satisfy their own greed. However, if you read the actual historical accounts written by white settles during the period of westward expansion, most do not express the sort of seething, genocidal hatred which typically characterizes events such as the Nazi holocaust or the Rwandan genocide.

      In many of the original historical accounts written by European settles, [for instance: the Little House series] the writers express a certain amount of sympathy for the plight of the American Indians, and a certain amount of regret that the westward expansion of Euro-American civilization was causing so much suffering on the part of the indigenous people.

      In fact, from what I have read, it would appear that throughout the eighteen-hundreds it was primarily the white women, rather than the white men, who regularly advocated the mass-murder of the Indians. [Tell that to a typical feminist!] Nonetheless, the overall attitude of the white man toward the Indian during that period appears to have been primarily a combination of regret and stoicism, rather than of true hatred.

      Unfortunately, even though the vast majority of white settlers who migrated westward did not do so specifically in order to cause suffering to indigenous people, the continuous westward expansion of white settlers did nonetheless cause terrible suffering, largely due to starvation resulting from the expropriation of Indian lands, on the part of indigenous people.

      Unfortunately, this widespread starvation and suffering often led to immense hatred, on the part of the Indian, toward the white settlers. This frequently led to acts of horrific violence on the part of the Indians, toward the white settlers. Among such acts of violence were things such as the indiscriminate killing of white settlers, the mutilation of the genitals of the white settlers after they had been killed, the cutting open of the bellies of pregnant white women, the removal of their unborn children, the nailing of those unborn children to trees, and countless similar things.

      It is important to note that the Indian nations as a whole did not only do these things to white settlers. They had been subjecting one-another to similar atrocities since time immemorial, and they also subjected countless African-Americans, both slave and free, to the same sort of cruelty. [Many Indian nations practiced the enslavement of African-Americans as well.]

      Unfortunately, this widespread retaliatory violence on the part of American Indians toward white settlers continuously fed hatred and resentment on the part of white settlers toward American Indians, which probably would not have existed otherwise.

      Unfortunately, this hatred and resentment on the part of white settlers toward American Indians further led to sporadic killings of American Indians by settlers, militiamen, and after the illegal creation of the United States Army during the American civil war, by federal soldiers as well. Although most of these settlers, soldiers and militiamen were white men, some of them were also freed black men who either had joined the US army or a state militia, or else migrated westward to escape racial prejudice.

      Unfortunately, the frequent and barbaric violence perpetrated by American Indians upon white settlers perpetually fueled an ever deeper and deeper, and ever more and more bitter, hatred of American Indians by many white men and women, which was compounded in each successive generation by the continued violence.

      The vast majority of deaths of American Indians during the period of westward expansion were not the result of any concerted effort on the part of the white man to exterminate the Indians, but were merely an unintended consequence of the accidental introduction of European diseases, and of the perpetual theft of Indian lands.

      However, in the later half of the nineteenth century and throughout most of the twentieth century, the aforementioned hatred of American Indians, fueled by the aforementioned retaliatory violence, on the part of American Indians, toward white men and women, gave rise to numerous policies which were explicitly genocidal toward the Indians.

      Among these were practices such as the mass killings of herds of American bison [not “buffalo”] in order to purposefully reduce the populations of the Sioux tribes through starvation; the offering, by the US postal service, of bounties on the scalps of Indian children; the utterly appalling abuses [murder, rape and torture, forced lobotomies, electroshock therapy, surgical sterilizations, forced abortions and other medical experiments, and countless other atrocities] perpetrated upon indigenous children in the residential schools in the US and Canada during the twentieth century [I think Australia might have done the same things to their indigenous children, but I would have to look it up to be sure.]; and the involuntary surgical sterilizations of numerous Indian women during the nineteen-sixties and nineteen-seventies. [That’s right, the NINETEEN-sixties and NINETEEN-seventies!]

      Here’s a question for you:

      What do the American abortion industry, the Catholic sex-abuse scandal, and racism toward American Indians, all have in common?

      The answer:

      The American abortion industry started out as a way to prevent American Indian teenage girls from giving birth after they were raped [real rape, not phony statutory rape] and impregnated by Christian priests in the residential schools, in an attempt to cover up the abuses which were occurring there. Remember that next time someone tells you that abortion is about a woman’s “right to chose”!

      In summary, although the vast majority of deaths of American Indians due to European colonization of the Americas were not the result of any concerted effort on the part of the white man to exterminate the Indians, but were instead merely an unfortunate byproduct of the aforementioned colonization, the conflict between the Indian and the white man did eventually give rise to numerous individual acts on the part of white men and women which were explicitly genocidal towards American Indians.

      Furthermore, although none of those individual genocidal acts may have occurred on anywhere near the scale of something such as the Nazi holocaust, the cruelty and callousness with which they were perpetrated was in most cases as terrible if not more so than anything which the author listed in this article.

      In particular, although the abuses in the Indian residential school system may not have affected nearly as many people as many of the events listed in this article, in terms of pure hatred and cruelty, I would consider it to be by far the single most despicable act which any civilization has ever committed.

      The victims the residential school system were not dangerous criminals, thieves or murderers. Rather, they were the most innocent of children, totally undeserving of what was done to them. The Indian children did not live separately from their abusers as did the Jews in Auschwitz, Dachau or Treblinka. Rather, they lived in close proximity. Their abusers knew their names and their faces, and yet still they were brutally tortured and killed.

      The torture and murder was not carried out indirectly by cold, unfeeling machines such as the Nazi gas chambers, to spare the abusers the guilt which might arise from seeing their victims’ humanity. Instead, the torture and murder was intimately hands on, and face-to-face. It was not a sudden, uncontrolled outburst of violence such as in Rwanda. Rather, the horrific tortures and killings of Indian children in the residential school system were frighteningly well-planned and well-orchestrated, and continued for decades.

      The perpetual rape, torture and murder was not the fault of only a few evil persons perpetrating such abuses on their own initiative and without the knowledge or sanction of their superiors. On the contrary, the abuses in the residential school system were orchestrated and sanctioned at the absolute highest levels of the governments of the nations in which they occurred.

      Although other individuals have attempted to apologize by proxy for the abuses which were committed, it does not appear that any of the specific individuals responsible for those abuses has ever expressed any remorse therefore. [At least some of the guards at Nazi death camps were sorry for what they did!]

      Lastly, although a small number of the individuals responsible for some of these abuses are currently in the process of being held legally accountable, it is unlikely that the vast majority of persons responsible for those abuses will ever be held accountable for their actions, especially since many of them have long since died.

      For these reasons, I consider the abuses in the Indian residential school system to be overwhelmingly the most vile and despicable act ever perpetrated by any civilization in history.

      • I have to disagree with your comment about the Native American genocide. I’ve had the opportunity to read about the “trail of tears” and many other tricks that the white settlers did to the Native Americans. It was all about greed, they wanted what the Natives had and that’s all there is to it. They forced hundred of Natives to walk over 800 miles from their land to have them settle in an area in which they were not familiar and thats only part of it. They consistently were lied to the Natives saying that if they sign a treaty they will be taken care of. They were also killed if they were Native and another interesting piece of fact was that they were stripped of their culture. I don’t know about you but I think if another society came here and tried to change everything that we are I would have a problem with that. Genocide is a horrible thing to do to any group of people no matter what the situation is.

  6. It is true that most of the deaths of Natives were caused ny disease, but after the small pox epidemic the colonial empires and the US killed natives until 1918 with a death toll of 50 million and the killing cuntinues in Latin America and the Amazon with a death toll in the hundreds of thousands so yes, that is genocide.

    • No it is not 75-90% of the deaths were do to small pox which the Europeans did not intentionally bring over

  7. Surely the atlantic slave trade has to come at the top of this list: sure, it’s hard to quantify how many died or were displaced as a direct or indirect result of slavery, and it doesn’t often figure in this list because it happened over 400years, but it was a type of genocide. Genghis Khan (14th century) probably killed more than Stalin but slightly less than Zedong (40 million). Some maintain that more Native Americans died in the colonisation of north America than in the holocaust. A bit of a dubious list.

    • The bloodiest civilization/nation in history is…. China. few people know that. It had large scale armies, disastrous dynastic turnovers that killed millions, even in ancient and medeval times.

  8. Modern Humans started with the Neanderthal Genocide. Killing is in our DNA!

    ” The universe is hostile. so Impersonal. devour to survive.
    So it is. So it’s always been.”
    (Tool 2006)

  9. What about the 1984 genocide planned by the Indian Government against Sikhs in India. Thousands of Sikhs were killed by organised mobs of Hindus and justice is yet to be served despite annual protests and marches from the Sikh community all around the world.

  10. David Zulak on

    Your initial comment claims that the small pox epidemic that killed such a huge number of Native Americans was “unintentional.” It is unfortunate that you are perpetuating a lie. There are U.S. congressional records clearly promoting and outlining the shipping of infected blankets collected from eastern locations (where Native Americans were dying from an outbreak of small pox) and shipped out west and given to Native Americans there – given under the guise of ‘donations’ or as part of treaty obligations meant to compensate these people for being moved off their traditional lands. Shame on you! Shame! You are a genocide denier.
    “However, the overwhelming majority of those deaths were due to smallpox being inadvertently introduced into a native population that lacked the biological means to resist it which, while devastating, was not a genocide as it was not done intentionally” Another apologist who claims to decry the crimes of others but wants to hide the dirty hands of their own country.

  11. Technocrat on

    How quaint. the slave trade isn’t mentioned once in this list. From 1452 to 1807, European nations carried out an intentional and relentless attempt to subjugate or annihilate all nonwhites/nonchristians IN THE WORLD. But I guess that just doesn’t count, despite resulting in 355 years worth of deaths from abuse, disease, malnutrition, exposure, et al.

  12. I am appalled you said what happened to the native Americans wasn’t a form of genocide. How dare you! what the English did to us with smallpox was intentional. They were doing the same methods of germ warfare in other parts of Europe before coming to America. you are wrong. Not only was small pox purposely introduced but so was yersenia pestis, and tuberculosis. WRONG!!

  13. Your list just a disgrace to those who believe that all life is important, that no one race is superior. What about the slave trade, Congo, Ethiopia etc… What about the original settlers of now America killed by Indians who in turn got killed. What about those Indians!

  14. are you kidding,ya sure those were terrible,despicable atrocities,nothing compares to the genocide of the N American natives,whole nations were destroyed,over one hundred million killed in 400 years,biggest cover up in the history of mankind,historians keep ignoring that fact,why?

  15. I wonder how you failed to include the genocide carried out by Pakistani Soldiers during their occupation of then West Pakistan. Although estimates largly vary, some 300000 to 3 million people were killed by Pakistanis. They also systematically targeted and killed Prominent Intellectuals during the last months of the war in order to ensure that the country is rendered talent less.

  16. Of course you dont even mention the worst genocide in history..which is /should be nr. 1 : the genocide of 120 million native indians in America

  17. The genocide of the native american indian tribes at the hands of the european colonists should have made the top ten list.

    At least the top 15.

  18. Well, america is probably the most long slow killing country on the planet with it’s good “capitalism” e starving and social economic differences. This is, of course, a well researched list. But Japanese Unit 731 was almost worst then nazis itself and north america (united states specific) will always be the number one long lasting killing machine.

  19. The Bangladesh Genocide [at the time, called East Pakistan] by West Pakistani government/military with a body count of 3 million has to be up there.

    What’s even more strange is how this period in history is not very well-known despite being so recent [culminating in the liberation of said country in 1971].

  20. So the author denies that the organized murder and deportation of numerous Native American tribes was a genocide? That’s just… wow… I’m speechless. Now, there are only two possibilities, either he is just plain stupid and ignorant or he is a racist.

  21. Dear “person who runs this site”,
    I would appreciate if you would consider choosing your writers more wisely. The way that Jeff Danalek deals with this topic is inappropriate and I for my part consider his definition of genocide and why it would not apply to Native Americans as quite offensive. Especially if you consider that white supremacists usually use the very same argument to justify the massmurder of the indigenous people!
    I understand that this lists don’t want to be complete, they cannot be. They don’t want to be the most accurate, they cannot be. They just want to be lists of random facts and generate interest. I know this! But this list crossed the line. It reads like an agenda to me, the author seems to really dislike communists. This list just stinks.
    So, for the future: better stick to fun facts like “Top 10 bubblegums” or something like that. But if you really want to deal with delicate topics like genocide, then treat it with dignity and get your facts straight.
    In case you wonder, no, I’m not Native American. And while I maybe cannot even imagine what they must have suffered (and a lot of them still do!) I know this: to play down their tragedy to justify one’s own conscience is a crime of its own.


    That this site refused to list the Native American genocide just goes to show how badly they fail to report the truth.

    • We don’t refuse anything of the kind. The very fact you wrote it in the comments refutes your very statement. In fact, you aren’t the first person to mention it. The author gave his reasons for his inclusions. accepts lists from many writers and sometimes people disagree with those lists. We have no agendas.

      • Shell Harris, I would like to make a rebuttal. The colonists wanted the land that the Native Americans lived on, and they did literally DID ANYTHING THEY COULD TO GET THE LAND. They would give them blankets and supplies with the Smallpox virus in exchange for knives and guns, and then stab them in the back a couple of weeks later. Have you ever heard of the Trail of Tears? Or Wounded Knee? What about King Philips’ War? Each and every time, they killed them and enslaved the survivers. There was this one Native Americn chief who liked the colonists, and as wiling to barter some of their land for supplies. One night, however, a man snuck into his home and killed his family. Does that sound like it was accidental to you?

  23. James in Tosa on

    I guess the victors write the history books & this author cherry picks the genocides from the perspective of an American victor. It’s appalling that Native American genocides aren’t mentioned & I think it’s a lame excuse to say that’s because they weren’t done on purpose. Really? Are you telling me the Trail of Tears….a forced march of Indians from the east coast to Oklahoma wasn’t done on purpose? Women & children dying, drowning as they were forced across rivers wasn’t done on purpose?
    But you did remember to mention the expulsion of ethnic Germans which was a lot milder than the ‘Trail of Tears” And you did remember to mention the famine caused by Joseph Stalin’s collectivization efforts. Wait! Wait! That wasn’t done on purpose either. Stalin didn’t intend for all those peasants to die. He was just trying to get them to produce crops for the cities. So why did the author include that part of Stalin’s killings?
    BTW, why didn’t the author include the transatlantic African slave trade & the labor plantations blacks were thrown on. 100s of thousands of blacks perished because of those efforts. White American slave owners working a person to death on a plantation is no different than Stalin working some peasants to death. But that’s not the case in fantasy land & revisionist history