Most disturbing historical facts you know of?

Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#11
Rape of Nanking, certainly.

There is a pretty good film, ', who was known as ;"The good Nazi OF Nanking" or Jus t"The Good Man of Nanking" he was a nazi businessman based in Nanking. He set up a safe zone' in Nanking, and is credited with saving the lives of around 200, 000 Chinese.

John Rabe (released in the United Kingdom as City of War: The Story of John Rabe) is a 2009 German-Chinese-French biopictorial film directed by Florian Gallenberger and starring Ulrich Tukur, Daniel Brühl and Steve Buscemi.

It focuses upon the experiences of John Rabe, a German businessman who used his Nazi Party membership to create a protective International Safety Zone in Nanking, China, helping to save over 200,000 Chinese from the Nanking Massacre in late 1937 and early 1938. The massacre and its associated atrocities were committed subsequent to the Battle of Nanking by the invading Imperial Japanese Army after they defeated the Chinese Nationalist forces defending the city during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

John Rabe (film) - Wikipedia

Well before that, the entire Catholic vs Protestant thing in Europe, with persecution and judicial and ex judicial murder on both sides. It's saddening to realise that murder and wars wars using religious bigotry have never actually stopped. Right now it's some fanatic Muslims. There is no doubt in my mind that if their issues are ever sorted out, a fresh lot will start somewhere else . Possibly in the US in its final days of empire ,which I suspect may be some time this century.


Perhaps the most graphic example was The St Bartholomew's Day Massacre in 1572, France. This event marked the beginning of the French Wars Of Religion.

St. Bartholomew's Day massacre (French: Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy) in 1572 was a targeted group of assassinations and a wave of Catholic mob violence, directed against the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants) during the French Wars of Religion. Traditionally believed to have been instigated by Queen Catherine de' Medici, the mother of King Charles IX, the massacre took place a few days after the wedding day (18 August) of the king's sister Margaret to the Protestant Henry III of Navarre (the future Henry IV of France). Many of the most wealthy and prominent Huguenots had gathered in largely Catholic Paris to attend the wedding.

St. Bartholomew's Day massacre - Wikipedia
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Jan 2019
198
Montreal, QC
#12
The massacre of Glencoe is very disturbing. Even listening to ballads about it today - especially the rendition by The Corries - still tears at your heart. Women, men, and children being butchered in their beds in the middle of the night, all because they still supported the king over the water. Of course, there was clan politics and those were very much contingent on English politics, but it's still a very big part of the Jacobite legacy.
 
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Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#15
The brutality of the Kymer Rouge, killing possibly as many as 3 million out of a population of 8 million.

Of course, I should have thought of that. Just behind the Holocaust as the greatest crime the 20th century.

A bit more more recently, there was the Rwandan genocide, with a death toll of between 500,000 and 1 million.

Biggest body count, arguably Genghis Khan and the Mongols. Genghis Khan slaughtered so many people that he effected the climate in some areas of slaughter, for the better...

It's impossible tp know how many people were killed by the Mongols. The last estimate I read claims up to 40 million, or 10% of the world population at that time
 
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Aug 2009
5,184
Londinium
#16
Biggest body count, arguably Genghis Khan and the Mongols. Genghis Khan slaughtered so many people that he effected the climate in some areas of slaughter, for the better...

It's impossible tp know how many people were killed by the Mongols. The last estimate I read claims up to 40 million, or 10% of the world population at that time
As well as the terror tactics and ruthlessness manner of dealing with any and all opposition, the Mongols were truly the greatest brutes ever. Personally, I'm happy they turned to Chinese civ first as I hope this softened their edges somewhat!
 
Aug 2012
1,518
#18
The crimes of Josef Mengele spring to mind. I was horrified to read how the poor souls he experimented on thought they would be treated better than the other prisoners when he selected them, made all the worse by the veneer he adopted as a grandfatherly figure, giving the children sweets and whatnot. Just an evil, sick man, and it is galling to think he escaped justice.
 
May 2011
13,734
Navan, Ireland
#19
Recently read the book below and it was horrifying



Now I have read a great deal about WWII and the Holocaust but I found the actions of theses
'ordinary men' horrifying.

As the book title suggest it wasn't an elite unit made up of fanatics--read a book about the Dirlwanger Brigade and I did not find it horrifying at all since the unit was largely made up of the 'scum of the earth' -- but this unit were just middle aged policemen nothing exceptional at all about them and they took part in some horrific actions.
 
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