There have been too many heinous crimes committed against humanity over the centuries to name them all. However, particular events stand out even in this sadistic game of top trumps. Here are twenty of the worst atrocities in the history of mankind.
1) The Nanking Massacre (1937)
First on our decrepit list of monstrosities is the Nanking Massacre, or how it is often referred to as: ‘The Rape of Nanking’. Reports of the event suggest a mass rape of unheard of proportions even for wartime, with even rumors of Chinese families being forced to rape each other. Competitions were held between Japanese soldiers to see who could murder one hundred Chinese civilians the fastest with simply a sword. About 300,000 lives were lost.
2) The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945)
On the advent of the successful testing of the Atom Bomb via the Manhattan Project in New Mexico, men had entered into a new era of unfathomable power. On witnessing this incredible event, the Atom Bombs creator Robert Oppenheimer eerily remarked: “Now I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
People’s eyes melted in there sockets at the sight of the explosion, while others remain were forever sprayed onto concrete like shadows. Many historians believe these attacks were partly due in response to Japan’s war crimes across Asia and the attack on Pearl Harbour. A line from the 1946 hit “Atomic Power” puts it best referencing Hiroshima and Nagasaki as Japan “paying for its sins”. Perhaps the worst part about this atrocity is that it may have been avoided. The fate of the world would now forever be a threat by a select few men in suits sat in front of a red button. The effect of the bombing resulted in 90,000–146,000 deaths in Hiroshima and 39,000–80,000 deaths in Nagasaki
3) The Battle of the Somme (1916)
On the 1st July 1916, the middle day of the middle year of The Great War, inside twelve hours of a British offensive, 19,240 British soldiers lay dead within about 25 square miles after being gunned down by the enemy fire.
4) The Holodomor (1932-33)
Holodomor is the Ukrainian word for “killing by hunger.” This is now the appropriate term used to describe Josef Stalin’s man-made famine in Ukraine. Most figures estimate that between 4-5 million Ukrainian’s starved to death during the Holodomor. There were wide reports of cannibalism, and even of people eating their own children.
5) The Holocaust (1939-45)
The Holocaust needs little introduction. Over the course of several years, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party routinely rounded up, enslaved, and exterminated six million Jews via methods as grueling as the gas chambers.
6) 9/11 (2001)
On September 11, 2001, 19 Al-Qaida soldiers hijacked four airplanes and instigated suicide bombings on several US targets. The most dramatic moment was the fall of the Twin Towers in New York. Almost 3000 people died during the attacks and a new shroud of terror inflicted a part of the world so sure of its safety. The event would lead to justification of new military powers for the US presidential office and the invasion of Iraq, which continues to cause casualties today.
7) The Rwandan Genocide (1994)
It is estimated that up to one million of the Tutsi tribe in Rwanda were slaughtered by the rival Hutu majority. This savagery was carried out during the 100-day period from 7 April to mid-July 1994, with machetes as the primary weapon. Tutsi civilians begged UN troops not to leave as they knew their impending fate, helpless to prevent it.
8) Unit 731 (1934-45)
This a world war II (WWII) Japanese research center where up to 250,000 people died from human experimentation. Such experiments included cutting people open alive without anesthesia so certain organs could be removed and the effects studied, amputations just to study blood loss and forced infections.
9) The Great Leap Forward (1958-61)
The Great Leap Forward was an initiative created by Chairman Mao Zedong in order to modernize China. Unfortunately for its citizenry, the measures taken in this program resulted in the death of millions of Chinese peasants at the hands of its supposed liberator and father-figure in the name of progress.