I recently read a book, called Death by Government by R.J. Rummel that is at times shocking, and at times mind-numbing in the horror it depicts. I debated about whether or not to select out some of the violent excerpts but then I realized that this isn’t horror fiction that is just inappropriate and coming from some crazed imagination. These things really happened. To real people. If it is too shocking or inappropriate to display in a public forum then the greater the need for it to be known because these things happened. To real people.
I don’t really have commentary for the below like I normally try to do. The accounts speak for themselves and I don’t know what to say about these really. What words do I have that can even compare to the pain that was felt. I don’t even know if I feel okay attempting to comment on the tormented and agonized spirits that these fellow humans did to other brothers. So I won’t write much. I’ve bolded the countries responsible for each quote and you’ll notice that no single country is the primary victim or aggressor. Power is a worldwide issue that affects all peoples across all times.
Below are the worst 10 accounts of human actions I have ever read or even imagined. Even with the little empathy I nourish, attempting to empathize with the individuals here is a horrifying experience in and of itself. But one I would suggest trying; if and only if to solidify the determination in your heart to do what you can to never aid or participate in such actions – directly or indirectly.
Pg 118 – Nazi
Within four minutes everybody in the gas chamber was dead. The gas was now allowed to escape, and after about a half-hour the doors were opened. The bodies were found in tower-like heaps, some in sitting or half-sitting position under the doors. The corpses were pink in color, with green spots. Some had foam on their lips; others bled through the nose.
Pg 124 – Excerpt from the newspaper China Forum during 1927-1927
The Terror extended to every village, town, city and industrial district. The gates of towns and cities were closed and soldiers turned loose on the population. The soldiers looted, raped, left the streets littered with corpses and the wells clogged with the bodies of outraged girls and women.
Pg 149 – Japan
[O]ne Japanese doctor viciously beat the coolies he examined for cholera, whether they had the disease or not (it made no sense that he struck them). The Western prisoners looked on in shock at this inhuman behavior, but a Japanese physician explained lightly to the Europeans that “coolies are subhuman and not worthy of consideration.”
Pg 168 – Cambodia Under the Khmer Rouge
According to one participant, his forces “would move into villages, kill the men and women who had not already fled, and then engage in individual tests of strength which consisted of grasping infants by the legs and pulling them apart.”
Pg 187 – Cambodia Under the Khmer Rouge
Monks were defrocked; many were simply executed. … one estimate is that out of 40,000 to 60,000 monks only 800 to 1,000 survived to carry on their religion.
Pg 223 – American Ambassador Morgenthau in Turkey
“He did not tell me who carried off the prize in this gruesome competition [for the best torture], but common reputation throughout Armenia gave a per-eminent infamy to Djevdet Bey … who had invented what was perhaps the masterpiece [torture] of all – that of nailing horseshoes to the feet of his Armenian victims.”
Pg 309 – Poland’s Ethnic Cleansing
By flashing torches the victims were selected and raped on the spot. There were terrible cries …. Women and girls were also taken away and never seen again. These mean acts were repeated night after night. There was no sanitation and soon diseases started. There was no food for the first three days, and very little afterwards. The women had been ordered to bring their house keys along with them; they were taken away and given to Czechs for looting the houses. Within two days 40 babies had died in their mothers’ arms in the barracks. The women were kept there for many weeks and the number of deaths increased. Babies died every day, up to 15 a day.
Pg 324 – Pakistan
There was one kind of atrocity that seems unique to the Pakistani army and should be mentioned. According to Newsweek, an army major in the village of Haluaghat announced to assembled Bengalis that blood was needed for wounded soldiers and he requested donors. Apparently those that volunteered donated blood alright – all of it until they died.
Pg 343 – Yugoslavia
Other torments existed for the adults, befitting their age. Among many was the woman who was about to give birth to a child. The Ustashi played the role of mid-wife, as well as that of the executioner, thrusting the knife into the mother’s womb, they extracted the child and put a cat in its place.
Pg 387 – Mexico
In February 1908 one boatload of Yucatán bound Yaquis committed mas suicide to avoid being sold into slavery. Colonel Francisco B. Cruz, in charge of the shipment, reported: “Those Indians wanted to cheat us out of our commission money and so they threw their children into the sea and jumped in after them. We lowered boats but it was no use; they all went down before we got to them.”
This post is a continuation of a long series of commentary on quotes pulled from Death By Government by R.J. Rummel. The book itself is a real and horrific tome of how Power kills absolutely. Despite the negative outlook of some of the commentary, I do recommend reading it. Here are some quick links to posts related to this book: Short review of the book itself, all the quotes in one place, and a list of other commentary.