Are Monsters Real? Unfortunately, Yes.
Little children have been known to ask "Daddy, are monsters real?" And most fathers (and mothers) usually say "Of course not, they're only in the movies and comic books." But there ARE monsters on this earth and many of them lived in the 20th Century. And there are a few around today. "Monsters," you say? Yes, monsters -- HUMAN monsters. Let me name a few:
- Vladimir Lenin
- Josef Stalin
- Adolf Hitler
- Hideki Tojo
- Mao Tse Tung
- Pol Pot
But these are men, you say, human beings. Well, even Godzilla himself didn't kill as many people in the movies as any of these men did in real life. Let's take them one at a time:
Why do I include Lenin in this list? Because if not for him, there probably would not have been a Soviet Union and the millions of people it killed and enslaved. Not to mention the subsequent communist dictatorships that have been responsible for similar horrors. Indeed, there still are some today (North Korea for example). Plus, Lenin begat Stalin, the next “monster” on the list.
One of the BIGGEST monsters on the list - Stalin was probably responsible for as many as, if not more than, Hitler. “Before the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, researchers who attempted to count the number of people killed under Stalin's regime produced estimates ranging from 3 to 60 million.” (“Twentieth Century Atlas - Death Tolls”)
What is there to say here? Eleven million people dead in concentration camps, some six million of them just because they were Jewish. Precipitated World War II, the repercussions of which are still being felt today. He left his own country, Germany, in almost total destruction. Although he was not the ONLY reason World War II started, he was a major factor - there are some estimates that 55,000,000 people died in that war.
Why is Tojo here? He was the prime minister of Japan and led that country into World War II and was directly responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor. As a general he ordered attacks on northern China in 1937 and, subsequently, Japanese troops committed unspeakable atrocities against the Chinese people including the “Rape of Nanking.” Tojo was hanged in 1948 for war crimes.
Here is another one of what I call “the big three” - Stalin, Hitler, and Mao Tse Tung (variant - Mao Zedong). Aside from the persecutions and executions he ordered, the “Great Leap Forward” resulted in the deaths of as many as 20 million Chinese because of famine. Then there was the “Cultural Revolution” resulting in the destruction of much of China’s cultural heritage, imprisonment of large numbers of Chinese and hundreds of thousands of deaths, perhaps millions. His "Great Leap Forward" was anything but!
This guy may be the worst of the monsters of the twentieth century, at least in terms of the proportions of his crimes. “The combined effects of forced labor, malnutrition, poor medical care, and executions resulted in the deaths of approximately 21 percent of the Cambodian population. In all, an estimated 1.7 to 2.5 million people (out of a population of slightly over 8 million) died as a result of the policies of his three-year premiership.” (Wikipedia) Twenty-one percent!
Kim il Sung
Added by “popular demand!” Kim Il Sung, the “Great Leader” of North Korea and its first Prime Minister and President (read “dictator.”) A Communist since 1931, he was responsible for the deaths of some 1.6 million people between purges and concen-tration camps. Probably made the decision to invade South Korea and precipitate the Korean War. His two descendants, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Un, are no better.
I suppose I could have added a few more, including Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, the Assad regime in Syria (father and son), Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, and any number of tinpot dictators in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. There are more than a few leaders in the Middle East (as well as the leaders of terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah) that could qualify as well. Going back in history, you have Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Caligula, Nero, and many a European king and emperor.
Yes, any of these people are far scarier than anything Hollywood has come up with and attest to our unfortunate history of man's inhumanity to man. Anyone want to add to the list?