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No matter how historians or fanatics spin certain stories, world leaders who caused the death of over 10 million people in their reign would always be judged by history as not only violent but murderous. Below are 5 of the most vicious and ruthless leaders of all time

Genghis Khan (1206-1227)

Mongol leader Genghis Khan was hailed as a hero by many because he was able to unite the Mongol tribes. He was a gifted strategist and leader which helped him conquer a huge part of China and Central Asia. He was known to be brutal and historians believed that around 40 million people were killed all across Asia and Europe during the Mongol conquests.

King Leopold II of Belgium (1865-1909)

King Leopold II of Belgium was known for the founding and brutal exploitation of the Congo Free State. He enslaved and force Congolese to farm ivory and rubber. Leopold’s harsh and inhumane policies that keep people working nonstop resulted in the death of over 10 million people.

Joseph Stalin (1929-1953)

Joseph Stalin, the infamous dictator of the Soviet Union caused the mass murder of around 40 million people. He instigated a forced famine in Ukraine, set-up force labor camps, and even killed people from his own party.

Adolf Hitler (1933-1945)

German dictator Adolf Hitler will always be included in any list that talks about murders and horrific killings by ruthless leaders. His goal was to create a “master race” which he tried to carry out by terminating Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, and Slavs. Millions of people were sent to concentration camps where they were tortured, worked to death, or gassed to death.  One study by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum suggests that the Nazis may have killed up to 20 million people, several million more than previously believed.

Mao Zedong (1949-1976)

Communist leader and founder of the People’s Republic of China Mao Zedong was hailed by many as a hero for turning China into a world superpower. Evidence suggests, however, that Zedong was the greatest mass murderer in history. Zedong killed over 45 million during China’s “Great Leap Forward” from 1958–1962. Sadly, most of his victims were Chinese.