Brutal Century

One of the fundamental, inescapable tenets of war is death. Once you move aside all the discussions of equipment, politics, tactics, causes, etc. that is what you are left with. I thought it might be interesting to share some figures compiled by Professor P.J. Rummel, professor of political science at University of Hawaii:

In the 20th century - 50 million dead from international and civil wars. 170 million citizens were murdered by their own governments.

Total - 220 million killed. Some of the top leaders in organized or systematic murder:

Soviet Union, 1917-1987 62 million

People's Republic of China, 1949-1987 35 million

Nazi Germany, 1933-1945, 21 million Jews, Serbs, Slavs, Poles, Romani, Czechs, Ukrainians, et al and those deemed "physical or mental misfits."

Turkey 1909-1918, 2 million

Cambodia, Khmer Rouge - 2 million

Pakistan - 1.5 million

Yugoslavia under Tito - 1.5 million

Mexico, 1900-1920 1 million

Prior to the 20th century, from the time of Christian Crusades and including events such as slavery of Africans, witch hunts, etc. etc. Professor Rummel calculates 133 million deaths.

Why did the 20th century get so much worse? Two reasons: Centralized power of governments and expanding technology. In the 19th century and earlier, governments were generally smaller, authority dispersed among different towns, provinces, etc.

The local authority, religious leaders, etc. may have held as much or more sway over the local populace than the central government or monarch, who was viewed as an obscure, distant figure. Slow communications and travel kept it that way. Could a Hitler, Stalin or Mao have engineered the murder of millions in previous centuries? Thousands and tens of thousands, yes (such events occurred) but millions, no.

Hitler built upon the unification of German states that developed over the course of time due to Bismarck and others. Had he stepped directly onto the scene in the mid-19th century he would have faced a number of quasi-independent German states that would not have all unified behind him.

The lesson from history: A government where all power is centralized and has extensive technological resources at its disposal is a dangerous government.

The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking

by Mitch on March 4, 2013 0 Comments


THIRTEEN years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe.

What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.

The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.

The figure is so staggering that even fellow Holocaust scholars had to make sure they had heard it correctly when the lead researchers previewed their findings at an academic forum in late January at the German Historical Institute in Washington.

“The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought,” Hartmut Berghoff, director of the institute, said in an interview after ...

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Book Review: Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich.

by Mitch on September 10, 2012 0 Comments

Robert Gerwarth. Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011. 336 pp. $35.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-300-11575-8.

Reviewed by Chris Mauriello (Salem State University)
Published on H-Genocide (September, 2012)
Commissioned by Elisa G. von Joeden-Forgey

Hannah Arendt famously characterized the behavior of Adolph Eichmann, one of the main architects of the Nazi Final Solution, with the phrase “the banality of evil.” In 1963, Arendt was attempting to recast our understanding of how rather ordinary men could implement the Holocaust through the incremental polices of a faceless, efficient bureaucracy. Since then, scholarship on Nazi perpetrators has given us a more complex picture of their behavior within the bureaucracy, though the idea that they were essentially ordinary and even banal is still generally assumed. After reading Robert Gerwarth’s excellent biography of Eichmann’s boss, Reinhard Heydrich, however, the concept of the banality of evil does not ...

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by Mitch on September 9, 2012 0 Comments

Hungarian Jews being separated upon arrival at Birkenau

The last phase of the Final Solution occurred in Hungary between 15 May and 9 July 1944. During these months, the Germans deported 437,402 Jews to the death camps. The number of Jews in Hungary at the time of the deportations numbered some 762,000, with an additional 100,000 converts to Christianity, who were considered Jews according to Nazi racial criteria.


Although integrated into the social and cultural life of Hungary, Jews became targets of anti-Semitism after World War I when they were associated with the short-lived communist dictatorship of Bela Kun in 1919. Following the war, Hungary suffered territorial losses that were accompanied by severe economic hardships. Under these circumstances Admiral Miklos Horthy became the regent of Hungary in 1920. In the decades that followed, anti-Semitism was legitimized by the Horthy regime. During the 1930s, Hungary and Nazi Germany ...

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Gustav Wagner

by Mitch on August 24, 2012 1 Comment

 Franz Stangl; Gustav Wagner; Guards in Sobibor


Gustav Wagner was an SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant) from Vienna, Austria that was the deputy commander of Sobibor extermination camp in German-occupied Poland. During the war, Wagner became known as “The Beast” and “Wolf” for his extreme brutality. He was a mass murderer. In May 1940, Wagner first participated in the Third Reich’s Action T4 euthanasia program. Action T4 was the name for the Nazis law in which physicians killed thousands of people who were “judged incurably sick, by critical medical examination.” In March of 1942, Wagner was sent to the Sobibor extermination camp and positioned under Franz Stangl. Similar to Josef Mengele in Auschwitz, it was Wagner’s job to decide which Jewish people would be used as slave laborers and which would be killed.

Jewish survivors have described Gustav Wagner as a sadist. At Sobibor, he would regularly beat inmates to ...

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Ludolf von Alvensleben

by Mitch on August 24, 2012 0 Comments

Ludolf von Alvensleben was a Nazi who held the rank of SS-Gruppenführer and Major General of the Police. He had the nickname of “Bubi” (Little Boy). During World War II, Alvensleben presided over the mass executions of Polish citizens in Pomeranian Voivodeship and other adjacent areas. He was responsible for the Valley of Death, which is a site in northern Poland where the mass graves of 5,000-6,600 Poles were found. Alvensleben ordered the mass murders in Piaśnica, which were a set of executions carried out by the Nazis between the fall of 1939 and spring of 1940 in the Darzlubska Wilderness near Wejherowo.

In April 1945, Alvensleben was captured by the British and placed in the internment camp at Neuengamme, but he escaped. After a short stay in Schochwitz, he fled with his family to Argentina in early 1946. He was protected by the government of Juan Domingo ...

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Auschwitz Part I

by Mitch on August 22, 2012 0 Comments

Auschwitz was founded as a German concentration camp in southwestern occupied Poland, about 60 kilometers west of the city of Krakow. Before the war the compound, located near the town of Oswiecim, served as a Polish artillery base. On 27 April 1940 the German army transferred the compound to the SS Inspectorate of Concentration Camps. Later this inspectorate was incorporated into the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office without change of function.


At first Auschwitz was to become a transit center (termed a “quarantine” center) for 10,000 hostile Poles who were to be sent on to Germany as forced laborers. Before long that purpose was reformulated to make the site an ordinary concentration camp. The original buildings were one- and two-story red brick structures that could not hold a sizable inmate population. Accordingly a second floor was added to the low buildings, and new houses were erected. Each of ...

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Auschwitz Part II

by Mitch on August 22, 2012 0 Comments


The SS physicians, headed by Eduard Wirths, who was stationed in Auschwitz because of a heart ailment, performed a variety of tasks. One was the quarantining during the typhus epidemic of almost all uniformed and civilian personnel from July 1942 to April 1943. Temporary quarantines were also imposed on incoming transports if typhus was suspected. Another activity was the selection of people at the ramp and in the sick bays, separating those who were to live from those who were to die. These decisions were made rapidly, with just a glance at an individual. A third was the utilization, mostly of healthy inmates, for medical experiments ranging from the testing by Dr. Hellmuth Vetter of anti-typhus medication, prepared by the pharmaceutical division of I. G. Farben, to sterilization techniques developed by Dr. Carl Clauberg, to studies of twins and dwarfs by Dr. Josef Mengele. Over the years the experiments ...

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Israeli archaeologist digs into Sobibor death camp in search of Nazi killing machines

by Mitch on August 22, 2012 0 Comments

Young people from Israel's Dror School at the site of the former German Nazi death camp of Sobibor, in eastern Poland, on Aug. 21, 2012. Photo by AP

Yoram Haimi's biggest breakthrough yet: mapping of what the Germans called the Himmelfahrsstrasse, or the 'Road to Heaven,' a path upon which the inmates were marched naked into the gas chambers.

When Israeli archaeologist Yoram Haimi decided to investigate his family's unknown Holocaust history, he turned to the skill he knew best: He began to dig.

After learning that two of his uncles were murdered in the infamous Sobibor death camp, he embarked on a landmark excavation project that is shining new light on the workings of one of the most notorious Nazi killing machines, including pinpointing the location of the gas chambers where hundreds of thousands were killed.

Sobibor, in eastern Poland, marks perhaps the most vivid example ...

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On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Beyond Testimony.

by Mitch on August 21, 2012 0 Comments

Henry Greenspan. On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Beyond Testimony. Second Edition. St. Paul: Paragon House, 2010. xvi + 316 pp. $19.95 (paper), ISBN 978-1-55778-877-1.

Reviewed by Rachel N. Baum (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Published on H-Judaic (August, 2012)
Commissioned by Jason Kalman

Rethinking Holocaust Testimony: A New Approach to Survivor Accounts

One cannot--or should not--study the words of Holocaust survivors without engaging with the work of Henry Greenspan. Greenspan is one of the most important scholars of what is elsewhere called “Holocaust testimony,” although after reading Greenspan’s book, one can no longer use the term without reflection. On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Beyond Testimony is the second, expanded edition of Greenspan’s seminal 1998 work, On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Recounting and Life History. The new edition expands and deepens the original work, and the new subtitle reflects the book’s more direct confrontation with the dominant paradigms and texts ...

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Roots of the Holocaust

by Mitch on August 3, 2012 0 Comments

Arthur de Gobineau

Several historical trends came together in the early twentieth century to make the Holocaust possible: extreme nationalism, industrialism, antisemitism, racism, Social Darwinism, totalitarianism, and the nature of modern war. This section begins with a broad survey of developments in modern Europe up to 1933 with emphasis on the situation in Germany. It then focuses more closely on the history of the Jews, Gypsies, and the handicapped in order to understand what made them targets of prejudice. It concludes with an exploration of the prejudice itself. Throughout this section a central question is whether the Holocaust is better thought of as a culmination of European and German history or as a monstrous aberration.



Nationalism was the single most powerful idea at work in Europe in nineteenth and early twentieth century Europe. From the French Revolution on, liberal political movements broke down the sovereignty ...

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77.6 billion people born, 969 million people killed - Everyone Ever in the world is a visual representation of the number of people who have lived vs people who have died in wars, massacres and genocides in recorded history.

About Organized Hell

The organized hell mankind managed to create especially mid-twentieth century. Both Nazi and Soviet are prime subjects.

This website does not support any 'isms or 'ists! It is solely for educational purposes.

Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children, and to your children's children.

Source: Deuteronomy 4:9

The Holocaust has assumed the role of universal symbol for all evil because it presents the most extreme form of genocide, because it contains elements that are without precedent, because that tragedy was a Jewish one and because the Jews – although they are neither better nor worse than others and although their sufferings were neither greater nor lesser than those of others – represent one of the sources of modern civilization.

(Yehuda Bauer, 2001: 270)

In the brilliant award-winning BBC2 film Conspiracy, Martin Luther, the Under Secretary of State (played by Kevin McNally), asks SS-General Reinhard Heydrich (in a chilling performance by Kenneth Branagh) if the Jews have a hell. "They do now," Heydrich smirks. "We provide it."

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