There have been many tyrannical rulers throughout history. Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, had killed many people during the Great Terror, coolly dispatching with his political opponents and other Russians, and also as a consequence of his economic policies, caused the famine in the Ukraine which claimed many more lives. Approximately 23 million died during his tenure. Indeed, to this day many Russians remain divided on their opinions of whether Stalin was a hero or a villain. On mortality rate alone, Mao Zedong, the leader of The People’s Republic of China was responsible for many more deaths, estimated to be between 49-78 million during his reign. |
However, it is Adolf Hitler who possibly maintains the pedestal as the most infamous of them all. Hitler had made no secret of who was to blame for Germany’s demise during the first world war, detailing this in his book ‘Mein Kampf’, or ‘My Struggle’, which he wrote during his time in prison. In it he set out his political ideology and future plans for Germany, and with his swift rise to power the fate of the Jewish population in Nazi-occupied Europe was sealed.
Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, had successfully managed to demonize Jewish people in the eyes of many Germans, turning them to his way of thinking. Meanwhile, with ‘The Final Solution’, the Nazi’s answer to the Jewish Question, his masterminds began to devise new and more efficient killing methods, and gas chambers were introduced to concentration camps between 1941-42, bringing his plans of erasing this section of the population, and others deemed undesirable, once and for all.
When Allied soldiers arrived at the Nazi concentration camps towards the end of WWII, they were met with scenes of such unimaginable horror, they would bear witness to a genocide on a scale never seen before. Crowds of starving and emaciated people living just feet away from corpses left abandoned, in an act of total disregard for the sanctity of human life. There were tears of joy as their liberators descended on the camps who must have appeared like Gods to many.
Building an empire
Hitler’s tireless quest to find evidence of the Aryan race had peaked his interest in Archaeology, popularized in films such as ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, in which research of Germany’s past was pursued with enthusiasm by his officers to help strengthen nationalism and present Germany as the place where all of civilization began. Space exploration and even time travel were explored, allegedly, such was his determination to establish his global empire.
The events of the Holocaust and WWII now stand alone as arguably the most infamous time in history. Serving as a cautionary tale, safeguard and enduring reminder for future generations, to ensure history does not repeat itself once again.
Christopher is based in the U.K. and is the author and founder of Critical Eye, a website dedicated to debating societal issues, international affairs and other topics.
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