When you have influence a large group of people, you can use that power for good or bad. The following leaders took control of political institutions to instill fear, commit genocides, and silence opponents. Their actions have led to some of the darkest pages of world history books, and their names continue to evoke images of cruelty and grief. Read on to discover who these politicians were, what they did to the world, and why history should learn from their heinous practices.
Pot was the leader of the infamous Khmer Rouge, Cambodia’s communist movement, from 1963 until 1997. Under his rule, the country was converted into a one-party communist state. He carried out the Cambodian genocide, which resulted in the deaths of 1.5 to 2 million citizens.
That shocking figure represented approximately a quarter of Cambodia’s population. Seeking to create an agrarian socialist society, the dictator restricted progressive thought, religion, and any activity perceived as a threat to his Marxist ideology. In that sense, he destroyed monasteries and murdered thousands of Buddhist monks.