When we think of the evil atrocities that have been committed against humanity, one person is frequently called the most evil to ever live, Hitler. But why is his name the only one synonymous with evil? When you kill more than 10 million Africans or Native Americans why are you not symbolized as evil?
Europe has a long history of colonialism, imperialism, slavery and genocide and Hitler wasn’t alone with his vile acts against humanity.
Here is a list of European Colonialists other than Hitler, who have managed to exterminate groups of people, all for the sake of land, greed and wealth:
King Leopold II of Belgium
Leopold of Belgium amassed a huge personal fortune by exploiting the Congo, initially by the harvesting of ivory and rubber by the Congolese people. One of his most heinous acts was in forcing villages to meet quotas on ivory collection; if the villagers didn’t meet their numbers, their hands were cut off.
His regime was responsible for the effective enslavement of the native population, beatings, widespread killing and frequent mutilations that led to the deaths of an estimated 15 million Congolese.
This became one of the most infamous international scandals of the early 20th century.
British General Sir Evelyn Baring
Kenya has rich and fertile agricultural land and in 1895, the Europeans wanted it. Under the lead of British Gen. Sir Evelyn Baring, war was declared on the people of Kenya. Baring imposed a death penalty on anyone who administered the so-called Mau Mau oath – an oath of the Kenyan people that gave them courage to fight for their land and their freedom.
To keep control of land that wasn’t theirs, the British executed, tortured or maimed 90,000 Kenyans during the crackdown, and 160,000 more were detained in appalling conditions, according to the Kenya Human Rights Commission.
Francisco Pizarro was a notoriously evil, illiterate Spanish conquistador who conquered Peru. In only 15 years, he and his followers killed thousands of indigenous people, wiped out the ruling Inca monarchy and enslaved all remaining survivors of the empire.
He excelled in torture, he was known for burning the eyes of natives to get their gold. These acts were committed in pursuit of power, gold and religious imperialism.
Few men have changed the course of history in such a vile and evil manner than Pizarro.
George Augustus Robinson
Before the British colonized the Australian state of Tasmania in 1803, there were an estimated 15,000 people living on the land.
By 1833, the population was cut down to only 200 survivors. George Augustus Robinson, sponsored by Lt. Gov. George Arthur, had coerced the remaining 200 surviving Aboriginal Tasmanians to surrender themselves with assurances that they would be protected, provided for and eventually have their lands returned to them.
These “assurances” were, in fact, lies. Robinson made promises to play on the survivors desperate hopes for reunification with lost family and community members. These survivors were removed from their lands to Flinders Island, where they eventually all died off.
Hernán Cortés was peacefully received by Emperor Montezuma, a sophisticated leader born of Aztec royalty, in Tenochtitlan.
Shortly after Cortés took Montezuma captive and demanded a huge ransom in gold. Cortes besieged the Aztec Empire and sacked the city, renaming it Mexico City. Cortes secured the city and subjected the indigenous population to great cruelty and hardship, as well as introducing foreign diseases that decimated the remaining survivors.
In the end, an estimated 120,000 to 240,000 Aztec people were killed. Cortes began the first phase of Spanish colonization of the Americas.
According to Claude Ribbe, who specialized in the history of colonialism in the Caribbean, Napoleon was the man who, for the first time in history, “asked himself rationally the question how to eliminate, in as short a time as possible, and with a minimum of cost and personnel, a maximum of people described as scientifically inferior”.
French Caribbean colony in Haiti around the 1800s was the world’s richest colony, a slave-powered export factory which produced almost two-thirds of the world’s coffee and almost half its sugar. Enslaved Africans were lashed and beaten to work and forced to wear tin muzzles to prevent them from eating the sugar cane. If the slaves were fractious, they were roasted over slow fires, or filled with gunpowder and blown to pieces. He further commanded the killing of as many Blacks in Haiti as possible, to be replaced by new, more docile enslaved Africans.
In 1802, a vast program of ethnic cleansing was put in place. Napoleon banned interracial marriages and ordered that all white women who’d had any sort of relationship with a Black or mulatto (person of mixed race) be shipped to France.
The year 1492 marks when Christopher Columbus invaded the Western hemisphere and began 500 years of continuous indigenous genocide resulting in the holocaust of 95 % of all indigenous people there.
Upon landing in Hispaniola and despite describing the indigenous people as peaceful and friendly in his journal, Columbus quickly implemented policies of slavery, extermination and extortion for the purposes of stealing the land and the wealth. Columbus laid down the foundation of mass genocide that in the years to follow, Spanish Conquistadors Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro would follow.