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Mass killings under Communist regimes

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Title: Mass killings under Communist regimes  
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Subject: The Holocaust, Between Shades of Gray, Memorial to the People Killed by Bolsheviks, Communist states, John Alan Coey
Collection: Communism, Communist Repression, Communist States, Genocides
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Mass killings under Communist regimes

Mass killings occurred under some Communist regimes during the twentieth century with an estimated death toll numbering between 85 and 100 million.[1] Scholarship focuses on the causes of mass killings in single societies, though some claims of common causes for mass killings have been made. Some higher estimates of mass killings include not only mass murders or executions that took place during the elimination of political opponents, civil wars, terror campaigns, and land reforms, but also lives lost due to war, famine, disease, and exhaustion in labor camps. There are scholars who believe that government policies and mistakes in management contributed to these calamities, and, based on that conclusion combine all these deaths under the categories "mass killings", democide, politicide, "classicide", or loosely defined genocide. According to these scholars, the total death toll of the mass killings defined in this way amounts to many tens of millions; however, the validity of this approach is questioned by other scholars. As of 2011, academic consensus has not been achieved on causes of large scale killings by states, including by states governed by communists. In particular, the number of comparative studies suggesting causes is limited. The highest death tolls that have been documented in communist states occurred in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, in the People's Republic of China under Mao Zedong, and in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. The estimates of the number of non-combatants killed by these three regimes alone range from a low of 21 million to a high of 70 million.[2] There have also been killings on a smaller scale in North Korea, Vietnam, and some Eastern European and African countries.


  • Terminology 1
  • Proposed causes 2
    • Ideology 2.1
    • Crisis conditions 2.2
    • Other claims 2.3
      • Influence of national cultures 2.3.1
      • Secular values 2.3.2
      • Personal responsibility 2.3.3
  • Comparison to other mass killings 3
  • States where mass killings have occurred 4
    • Soviet Union 4.1
      • Red Terror 4.1.1
      • Great Purge (Yezhovshchina) 4.1.2
        • National operations of the NKVD
        • Great purge in Mongolia
      • Soviet killings during World War II 4.1.3
    • People's Republic of China 4.2
      • Land reform and the suppression of counterrevolutionaries 4.2.1
      • The Great Leap Forward 4.2.2
      • The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution 4.2.3
    • Cambodia (Democratic Kampuchea) 4.3
    • Others 4.4
      • Bulgaria 4.4.1
      • East Germany 4.4.2
      • Romania 4.4.3
      • Democratic People's Republic of Korea 4.4.4
      • Democratic Republic of Vietnam 4.4.5
      • People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 4.4.6
      • Hungary 4.4.7
  • Controversies 5
    • Democratic Republic of Afghanistan 5.1
    • Soviet famine of 1932–1933 5.2
    • Mass deportations of ethnic minorities 5.3
    • Tibet 5.4
    • Inclusion of famine as killing 5.5
  • Notable executioners 6
  • Legal prosecution for genocide and genocide denial 7
  • See also 8
  • Footnotes 9
  • Bibliography 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12


Communist regimes "Communist regimes" refers to those countries who declared themselves to be socialist states under the Marxist-Leninist, Stalinist, or Maoist definition (in other words, "communist states") at some point in their history.

Scholars use several different terms to describe the intentional killing of large numbers of noncombatants.[3][4] The following have been used to describe killing by Communist governments:

  • Genocide — under the Genocide Convention, the crime of genocide does not apply to the mass killing of political and social groups. Protection of political groups was eliminated from the UN resolution after a second vote, because many states, including Stalin's USSR,[5] anticipated that clause to apply unneeded limitations to their right to suppress internal disturbances.[6]
  • Politicide — the term "politicide" is used to describe the killing of political or economic groups that would otherwise be covered by the Genocide Convention.[7] Manus I. Midlarsky uses the term "politicide" to describe an arc of mass killings from the western parts of the Soviet Union to China and Cambodia.[8] In his book The killing trap: genocide in the twentieth century Midlarsky raises similarities between the killings of Stalin and Pol Pot.[9]
  • DemocideR. J. Rummel coined the term "democide", which includes genocide, politicide, and mass murder.[10] Helen Fein has termed the mass state killings in the Soviet Union and Cambodia as "genocide and democide."[11] Frank Wayman and Atsushi Tago have shown the significance of terminology in that, depending on the use of democide (generalised state-sponsored killing) or politicide (eliminating groups who are politically opposed) as the criterion for inclusion in a data-set, statistical analyses seeking to establish a connection between mass killings can produce very different results, including the significance or otherwise of regime type.[12]
  • Crime against humanity — Jacques Semelin and Michael Mann[13] believe that "crime against humanity" is more appropriate than "genocide" or "politicide" when speaking of violence by Communist regimes.[14]
  • Classicide — Michael Mann has proposed the term "classicide" to mean the "intended mass killing of entire social classes".[15]
  • Terror — Stephen Wheatcroft notes that, in the case of the Soviet Union, terms such as "the terror", "the purges", and "repression" (the latter mostly in common Russian) colloquially refer to the same events and he believes the most neutral terms are "repression" and "mass killings".[4]
  • Mass killing — this term has been defined by Benjamin Valentino as "the intentional killing of a massive number of noncombatants", where a "massive number" is defined as at least 50,000 intentional deaths over the course of five years or less.[16] He applies this definition to the cases of Stalin's USSR, the PRC under Mao, and Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, while admitting that mass killings on a smaller scale also appear to have been carried out by regimes in North Korea, Vietnam, Eastern Europe, and Africa.[17]
Red Holocaust − still small pile of stones, commemorating the victims of communism, as such the first memorial in Germany (Jimmy Fell, 2011)

Proposed causes


Theories, such as those of R. J. Rummel, that propose communism as a significant causative factor in mass killings have attracted scholarly dispute;[23] this article does not discuss academic acceptance of such theories.

Klas-Göran Karlsson writes that "Ideologies are systems of ideas, which cannot commit crimes independently. However, individuals, collectives and states that have defined themselves as communist have committed crimes in the name of communist ideology, or without naming communism as the direct source of motivation for their crimes."[24]

According to Rudolph Joseph Rummel, the killings done by communist regimes can be explained with the marriage between absolute power and an absolutist ideology – Marxism.[25]

"Of all religions, secular and otherwise," Rummel positions Marxism as "by far the bloodiest – bloodier than the Catholic Inquisition, the various Catholic crusades, and the Thirty Years War between Catholics and Protestants. In practice, Marxism has meant bloody terrorism, deadly purges, lethal prison camps and murderous forced labor, fatal deportations, man-made famines, extrajudicial executions and fraudulent show trials, outright mass murder and genocide."[26] He writes that in practice the Marxists saw the construction of their utopia as "a war on poverty, exploitation, imperialism and inequality – and, as in a real war, noncombatants would unfortunately get caught in the battle. There would be necessary enemy casualties: the clergy, bourgeoisie, capitalists, 'wreckers', intellectuals, counterrevolutionaries, rightists, tyrants, the rich and landlords. As in a war, millions might die, but these deaths would be justified by the end, as in the defeat of Hitler in World War II. To the ruling Marxists, the goal of a communist utopia was enough to justify all the deaths."[26]

In his book Red Holocaust, Steven Rosefielde argues that communism's internal contradictions "caused to be killed" approximately 60 million people and perhaps tens of millions more, and that this "Red Holocaust" – the peacetime mass killings and other related crimes against humanity perpetrated by Communist leaders such as Joseph Stalin, Kim Il Sung, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh and Pol Pot—should be the centerpiece of any net assessment of communism. He states that the aforementioned leaders are "collectively guilty of holocaust-scale felonious homicides."[27]

Robert Conquest stressed that Stalin's purges were not contrary to the principles of Leninism, but rather a natural consequence of the system established by Vladimir Lenin, who personally ordered the killing of local groups of class enemy hostages.[28] Alexander Yakovlev, architect of perestroika and glasnost and later head of the Presidential Commission for the Victims of Political Repression, elaborates on this point, stating that "The truth is that in punitive operations Stalin did not think up anything that was not there under Lenin: executions, hostage taking, concentration camps, and all the rest."[29] Historian Robert Gellately concurs, saying: "To put it another way, Stalin initiated very little that Lenin had not already introduced or previewed."[30] Said Lenin to his colleagues in the Bolshevik government: "If we are not ready to shoot a saboteur and White Guardist, what sort of revolution is that?"[31]

Anne Applebaum asserts that, "without exception, the Leninist belief in the one-party state was and is characteristic of every communist regime," and "the Bolshevik use of violence was repeated in every Communist revolution." Phrases said by Lenin and Cheka founder Felix Dzerzhinsky were deployed all over the world. She notes that as late as 1976, Mengistu Haile Mariam unleashed a "Red Terror" in Ethiopia.[32]

In The Lost Literature of Socialism, literary historian Friedrich Engels and others show that "the Marxist theory of history required and demanded genocide for reasons implicit in its claim that feudalism, which in advanced nations was already giving place to capitalism, must in its turn be superseded by socialism. Entire nations would be left behind after a workers' revolution, feudal remnants in a socialist age, and since they could not advance two steps at a time, they would have to be killed. They were racial trash, as Engels called them, and fit only for the dung-heap of history."[33] Watson's claims have been criticised by Robert Grant for "dubious evidence", arguing that "what Marx and Engels are calling for is ... at the very least a kind of cultural genocide; but it is not obvious, at least from Watson's citations, that actual mass killing, rather than (to use their phraseology) mere 'absorption' or 'assimilation', is in question."[34]

Daniel Goldhagen,[35] Richard Pipes,[36] and John N. Gray[37] have written about theories regarding the role of communism in books for a popular audience.

Crisis conditions

Eric D. Weitz says that the mass killing in communist states are a natural consequence of the failure of the rule of law, seen commonly during periods of social upheaval in the 20th century. For both communist and non-communist mass killings, "genocides occurred at moments of extreme social crisis, often generated by the very policies of the regimes."[38] They are not inevitable but are political decisions.[38]

Stephen Hicks of Rockford College ascribes the violence characteristic of twentieth-century socialist rule to these collectivist regimes' abandonment of protections of civil rights and rejection of the values of civil society. Hicks writes that whereas "in practice every liberal capitalist country has a solid record for being humane, for by and large respecting rights and freedoms, and for making it possible for people to put together fruitful and meaningful lives", in socialism "practice has time and again proved itself more brutal than the worst dictatorships prior to the twentieth century. Each socialist regime has collapsed into dictatorship and begun killing people on a huge scale."[39]

The Black Book of Communism, a set of academic essays on mass killings under Communist regimes, details "'crimes, terror, and repression' from Russia in 1917 to Afghanistan in 1989".[40][41] Courtois claims an association between communism and criminality—"Communist regimes ... turned mass crime into a full-blown system of government"[42]—and says that this criminality lies at the level of ideology rather than state practice.[43]

Benjamin Valentino writes that mass killings strategies are chosen by Communists to economically dispossess large numbers of people.[44] "Social transformations of this speed and magnitude have been associated with mass killing for two primary reasons. First, the massive social dislocations produced by such changes have often led to economic collapse, epidemics, and, most important, widespread famines. ... The second reason that communist regimes bent on the radical transformation of society have been linked to mass killing is that the revolutionary changes they have pursued have clashed inexorably with the fundamental interests of large segments of their populations. Few people have proved willing to accept such far-reaching sacrifices without intense levels of coersion."[45]

Michael Mann writes: "The greatest Communist death rates were not intended but resulted from gigantic policy mistakes worsened by factionalism, and also somewhat by callous or revengeful views of the victims."[46]

According to Jacques Semelin, "communist systems emerging in the twentieth century ended up destroying their own populations, not because they planned to annihilate them as such, but because they aimed to restructure the 'social body' from top to bottom, even if that meant purging it and recarving it to suit their new Promethean political imaginaire."[47]

Other claims

Influence of national cultures

Martin Malia called Russian exceptionalism and the War Experience general reasons for barbarity.[48]

Secular values

Some proponents of traditional ethical standards and religious faith argue that the killings were at least partly the result of a weakening of faith and the unleashing of the radical values of the European Enlightenment upon the modern world. Observing this kind of trend in critical scholarship, the University of Oklahoma political scientist Allen D. Hertzke zooms in on the ideas of British Catholic writer and historian Paul Johnson and writes that

Personal responsibility

The Russian and world history scholar John M. Thompson describes the system of terror developed during Stalin's time as "puzzling"; surveying Russian history, he posits the height of the killings in the Soviet Union in the 1930s as a function of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's personality – specifically contending that

Historian Helen Rappaport describes Nikolay Yezhov, the bureaucrat in charge of the NKVD during the Great Purge, as a physically diminutive figure of "limited intelligence" and "narrow political understanding.... Like other instigators of mass murder throughout history, [he] compensated for his lack of physical stature with a pathological cruelty and the use of brute terror."[51]

Comparison to other mass killings

Daniel Goldhagen argues that 20th century Communist regimes "have killed more people than any other regime type."[52] Other scholars in the fields of Communist studies and genocide studies, such as Steven Rosefielde, Benjamin Valentino, and R.J. Rummel, have come to similar conclusions.[2][26][53] Rosefielde states that it is possible the "Red Holocaust" killed more non-combatants than "Ha Shoah" and "Japan's Asian holocaust" combined, and "was at least as heinous, given the singularity of Hitler's genocide." Rosefielde also notes that "while it is fashionable to mitigate the Red Holocaust by observing that capitalism killed millions of colonials in the twentieth century, primarily through man-made famines, no inventory of such felonious negligent homicides comes close to the Red Holocaust total."[53]

States where mass killings have occurred

Soviet Union

Sign for the Memorial about Repression in USSR at Lubyanka Square. The memorial was erected by the human rights group Memorial in the USSR in 1990 in remembrance of the more than 40,000 innocent people shot in Moscow during the "years of terror".

After the Soviet Union dissolved, evidence from the Soviet archives became available, containing official records of the execution of approximately 800,000 prisoners under Stalin for either political or criminal offenses, around 1.7 million deaths in the Gulags and some 390,000 deaths during kulak forced resettlement – for a total of about 3 million officially recorded victims in these categories.[54]

Estimates on the number of deaths brought about by Stalin's rule are hotly debated by scholars in the field of Soviet and communist studies.[55][56] The published results vary depending on the time when the estimate was made, on the criteria and methods used for the estimates, and sources available for estimates. Some historians attempt to make separate estimates for different periods of the Soviet history, with casualties for the Stalinist period varying from 8 to 61 million.[57][58][59] Several scholars, among them Stalin biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore, former Politburo member Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev and the director of Yale's "Annals of Communism" series Jonathan Brent, put the death toll at about 20 million.[60][61][62][63][64][65][66] Robert Conquest, in the latest revision (2007) of his book The Great Terror, estimates that while exact numbers will never be certain, the communist leaders of the USSR were responsible for no fewer than 15 million deaths.[67]

According to Stephen G. Wheatcroft, Stalin's regime can be charged with causing the "purposive deaths" of about a million people, although the number of deaths caused by the regime's "criminal neglect" and "ruthlessness" was considerably higher, and perhaps exceed Hitler's.[4] Wheatcroft excludes all famine deaths as "purposive deaths," and claims those that do qualify fit more closely the category of "execution" rather than "murder."[4] However, some of the actions of Stalin's regime, not only those during the Holodomor but also Dekulakization and targeted campaigns against particular ethnic groups, can be considered as genocide, [68] [69] at least in its loose definition.[70]

Genocide scholar Adam Jones claims that "there is very little in the record of human experience to match the violence unleashed between 1917, when the Bolsheviks took power, and 1953, when Joseph Stalin died and the Soviet Union moved to adopt a more restrained and largely non-murderous domestic policy." He notes the exceptions being the Khmer Rouge (in relative terms) and Mao's rule in China (in absolute terms).[71]

Red Terror

During the Russian Civil War, both sides unleashed terror campaigns (the Red and White Terrors). The Red Terror culminated in the summary execution of tens of thousands of "enemies of the people" by the political police, the Cheka.[72][73][74][75] Many victims were 'bourgeois hostages' rounded up and held in readiness for summary execution in reprisal for any alleged counter-revolutionary provocation.[76] Many were put to death during and after the suppression of revolts, such as the Kronstadt rebellion and the Tambov Rebellion. Professor Donald Rayfield claims that "the repression that followed the rebellions in Kronstadt and Tambov alone resulted in tens of thousands of executions."[77] A large number of Orthodox clergymen were also killed.[78][79]

The policy of decossackization amounted to an attempt by Soviet leaders to "eliminate, exterminate, and deport the population of a whole territory," according to Nicolas Werth.[80] In the early months of 1919, some 10,000 to 12,000 Cossacks were executed[81][82] and many more deported after their villages were razed to the ground.[83]

Great Purge (Yezhovshchina)

Stalin's attempts to solidify his position as leader of the Soviet Union lead to an escalation in detentions and executions of various people, climaxing in 1937–38 (a period sometimes referred to as the "Yezhovshchina," or Yezhov era), and continuing until Stalin's death in 1953. Around 700,000 of these were executed by a gunshot to the back of the head,[84] others perished from beatings and torture while in "investigative custody"[85] and in the Gulag due to starvation, disease, exposure and overwork.[86]

Arrests were typically made citing counter-revolutionary laws, which included failure to report treasonous actions and, in an amendment added in 1937, failing to fulfill one's appointed duties. In the cases investigated by the State Security Department of the NKVD (GUGB NKVD) October 1936 – November 1938, at least 1,710,000 people were arrested and 724,000 people executed.[87]

Vynnytsa, Ukraine, June 1943. Mass graves dating from 1937–38 opened up and hundreds of bodies exhumed for identification by family members.[88]

Regarding the persecution of clergy, Michael Ellman has stated that "...the 1937–38 terror against the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church and of other religions (Binner & Junge 2004) might also qualify as genocide".[70] Citing church documents, Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev has estimated that over 100,000 priests, monks and nuns were executed during this time.[89]

Former "kulaks" and their families made up the majority of victims, with 669,929 people arrested and 376,202 executed.[90]

National operations of the NKVD

In 1930s, the

  • The Global Museum on Communism

External links

  • Barron, John; Paul, Anthony (1977). Murder of A Gentle Land, The Untold Story of Communist Genocide in Cambodia. Reader's Digest Press. p. 240.  
  • Deker, Nikolai; Institute for the study of the U.S.S.R. Munich (1958). Genocide in the USSR: studies in group destruction. Scarecrow Press. 
  • Lanning, Michael Lee, Cragg, Dan. Inside the VC and the NVA: the real story of North Vietnam's armed forces. 1st edition. Texas A & M University Press August 15, 2008. ISBN 978-1-60344-059-2.
  • Sarup, Kamala (September 5, 2005). "Communist Genocide In Cambodia". Genocide Watch. Retrieved September 30, 2009. 
  • Weiss-Wendt, Anton (December 2005). """Hostage of Politics Raphael Lemkin on "Soviet Genocide. Journal of Genocide Research (7(4)): 551–559. 

Further reading

  • Conquest, Robert. (2007). The Great Terror: A Reassessment, 40th Anniversary Edition. [?]: Oxford University Press.
  • Courtois, Stéphane ed.. (1999). The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. trans. Jonathan Murphy and Mark Kramer; consulting ed. Mark Kramer. [?]: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-07608-7. Google Books.
  • Courtois, Stéphane. (1999). "Introduction: the crimes of communism" in The Black Book of Communism. pp. 1–32.
  • Dikötter, Frank (2010).  
  • Orlando Figes. A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891 — 1924. Penguin Books, 1997 ISBN 0-19-822862-7.
  • Robert Gellately. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe. Knopf, 2007 ISBN 1-4000-4005-1.
  • Jones, Adam. (2010). Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction (2nd ed.) [?]: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-48619-X. Google Books.
  • MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao's Last Revolution. Harvard University Press, 2006.
  • Mann, Michael. (2005). The Dark Side of Democracy: explaining ethnic cleansing. [?]: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-53854-8, ISBN 978-0-521-53854-1.
  • Midlarsky, Manus. (2005). The killing trap: genocide in the twentieth century. [?]: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-81545-1. Google Books.
  • Montefiore, Simon Sebag (2005). Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar.  
  • Parrish, Michael (1996). The Lesser Terror: Soviet state security, 1939–1953.  
  • Pipes, Richard (2001). Communism: A History.  
  • Rummel, Rudolph. (1997). Death by Government [?]: Transaction Publishers. ISBN 1-56000-927-6. Author provides limited online access to a 1994 edition.
  • Semelin, Jacques. (2009). Purify and Destroy: the political uses of massacre and genocide. Trans. Cynthia Schoch. CERI Series in Comparative Politics and International Studies, Series ed. Christophe Jaffrelot. [?]: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-14283-8, ISBN 978-0-231-14283-0.
  • Short, Philip (2001). Mao: A Life. Owl Books. p. 631.  
  • Valentino, Benjamin A (2005). Final solutions: mass killing and genocide in the twentieth century. Cornell University Press. pp. 91–151.  


  1. ^ Courtois (1999) "Introduction" p. X: USSR: 20 million deaths; China: 65 million deaths; Vietnam: 1 million deaths; North Korea: 2 million deaths; Cambodia: 2 million deaths; Eastern Europe: 1 million deaths; Latin America: 150,000 deaths; Africa: 1.7 million deaths; Afghanistan: 1.5 million deaths; the international Communist movement and Communist parties not in power: about 10,000 deaths.
  2. ^ a b c Final solutionsValentino (2005) p. 91.
  3. ^ Final solutionsValentino (2005) p. 9: "Mass killing and Genocide. No generally accepted terminology exists to describe the intentional killing of large numbers of noncombatants."
  4. ^ a b c d Stephen Wheatcroft. The Scale and Nature of German and Soviet Repression and Mass Killings, 1930–45. Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 48, No. 8 (Dec. 1996), pp. 1319–1353
  5. ^ GenocideJones (2010) p. 137.
  6. ^ Beth van Schaack. The Crime of Political Genocide: Repairing the Genocide Convention's Blind Spot. The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 106, No. 7 (May 1997), pp. 2259–2291
  7. ^ Harff, Barbara (1988). "Toward Empirical Theory of Genocides and Politicides: Identification and Measurement of Cases since 1945" 32. pp. 359–371. 
  8. ^ Killing trapMidlarsky (2005) p. 310: "Indeed, an arc of Communist politicide can be traced from the western portions of the Soviet Union to China and on to Cambodia."
  9. ^ Killing trapMidlarsky (2005) p.321.
  10. ^ Totten, Samuel (2008). Dictionary of Genocide: A-L. Greenwood. p. 106.  
  11. ^  
  12. ^ a b Wayman, FW; Tago, A (2009). "Explaining the onset of mass killing, 1949–87". Journal of Peace Research Online: 1–17. 
  13. ^ Purify and DestroySemelin (2009) p. 344.
  14. ^ Purify and DestroySemelin (2009) p. 318.
  15. ^ Dark Side of DemocracyMann (2005) p. 17.
  16. ^ Benjamin Valentino, Paul Huth, Dylan Bach-Lindsay, (2004), "Draining the Sea: mass killing and guerrilla warfare," International Organization 58,2 (375–407): p. 387.
  17. ^ Final solutionsValentino (2005) p. 91
  18. ^ Congress (US), (1993), (HR3000)Friendship Act p. 15, s. 905a1.
  19. ^ Rauch, Jonathan (December 2003). "The Forgotten Millions: Communism is the deadliest fantasy in human history (but does anyone care?)". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  20. ^ Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, (n.d.), "History of Communism," online: Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, §"A Moral Blind Spot".
  21. ^ Red HolocaustRosefielde (2009)
  22. ^  
  23. ^ Harff, Barbara (Summer 1996). "Death by Government". The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (MIT Press Journals). 
  24. ^ Karlsson, Klas-Göran; Schoenhals, Michael (2008). Crimes against humanity under communist regimes – Research review. Forum for Living History. p. 111.  
  25. ^ Totten, Samuel; Steven L. Jacobs (2002). Pioneers of genocide studies. Transaction Publishers. p. 168.  
  26. ^ a b c Rummel, RJ (December 15, 2004). "The killing machine that is Marxism".  
  27. ^ Red HolocaustRosefielde (2009) pp. 1, 7.
  28. ^ Great TerrorConquest (2007) p. xxiii.
  29. ^ Century of ViolenceYakovlev (2002) p. 20.
  30. ^ Ray, Barry (2007). "FSU professor's 'Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler' sheds new light on three of the 20th century's bloodiest rulers".  
  31. ^ Fitzpatrick, Sheila (2008). The Russian Revolution.  
  32. ^  
  33. ^ Watson, George (1998). The Lost Literature of Socialism. Lutterworth press. p. 77.  
  34. ^ Grant, Robert (November 1999). "Review: The Lost Literature of Socialism". The Review of English Studies (New Series) 50 (200): 557–559. 
  35. ^ Worse than WarGoldhagen (2009) p. 206.
  36. ^ CommunismPipes (2001) p. 147.
  37. ^ Gray, John (1990). "Totalitarianism, civil society and reform". In Ellen Frankel Paul. Totalitarianism at the crossroads. Transaction Publisher. p. 116.  
  38. ^ a b Weitz, Eric D. (2003). A century of genocide: utopias of race and nation. Princeton University Press. pp. 251–252.  
  39. ^ Hicks, Stephen R. C. (2009). Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault. Scholarly Publishing. pp. 87–88.  
  40. ^ Courtois (1999) "Introduction" p. x.
  41. ^ Courtois, Stéphane (1999). "Conclusion: Why?". In Courtois, Stéphane; Kramer, Mark. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Harvard University Press. pp. 727–758.   at p. 727.
  42. ^ Courtois (1999) "Introduction" p. 4.
  43. ^ Courtois (1999) "Introduction" p. 2.
  44. ^ Final solutionsValentino (2005) pp. 34–37.
  45. ^ Final solutionsValentino (2005) pp. 93–94.
  46. ^ Dark Side of DemocracyMann (2005) p. 351.
  47. ^ Purify and Destroy'Semelin (2009) ' p. 331.
  48. ^ Martin Malia "Foreword: Uses of Atrocity" in The Black Book pp. xvii–xviii.
  49. ^ Hertzke, Allen D. (2006). Freeing God's Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights. Freeing God's Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield). p. 24.  
  50. ^ Thompson, John H. (2008). Russia and the Soviet Union: An Historical Introduction from the Kievan State to the Present (6 ed.). New Haven, Connecticut: Westview Press. pp. 254–255.  
  51. ^ Rappaport, Helen (1999). Joseph Stalin: A Biographical Companion. Santa Barbara, California: ABL-CLIO. pp. 82–83.  
  52. ^ Worse than WarGoldhagen (2009) p. 54: " the past century communist regimes, led and inspired by the Soviet Union and China, have killed more people than any other regime type."
  53. ^ a b Red HolocaustRosefielde (2009) pp. 225–226.
  54. ^ Stephen G. Wheatcroft, "Victims of Stalinism and the Soviet Secret Police: The Comparability and Reliability of the Archival Data. Not the Last Word", Source: Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Mar. 1999), pp. 315–345, gives the following numbers: During 1921–53, the number of sentences was (political convictions): sentences, 4,060,306; death penalties, 799,473; camps and prisons, 2,634397; exile, 413,512; other, 215,942. In addition, during 1937–52 there were 14,269,753 non-political sentences, among them 34,228 death penalties, 2,066,637 sentences for 0–1 year, 4,362,973 for 2–5 years, 1,611,293 for 6–10 years, and 286,795 for more than 10 years. Other sentences were non-custodial.
  55. ^ John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr. In Denial: Historians, Communism, and Espionage. Encounter Books, 2003. ISBN 1-893554-72-4. pp. 14–27
  56. ^ John Keep. Recent Writing on Stalin's Gulag: An Overview. 1997
  57. ^ Courtois, Stéphane; Kramer, Mark (1999). Livre Noir Du Communisme: Crimes, Terreur, Répression. Harvard University Press. p. 4.  
  58. ^ Nove, Alec. Victims of Stalinism: How Many?, in Stalinist Terror: New Perspectives (edited by J. Arch Getty and Roberta T. Manning), Cambridge University Press, 1993. pp. 260-274. ISBN 0-521-44670-8.
  59. ^  
  60. ^ Court of the Red TsarMontefiore (2005) p. 649: "Perhaps 20 million had been killed; 28 million deported, of whom 18 million had slaved in the Gulags."
  61. ^  
  62. ^ Century of ViolenceYakovlev (2002) p. 234: "My own many years and experience in the rehabilitation of victims of political terror allow me to assert that the number of people in the USSR who were killed for political motives or who died in prisons and camps during the entire period of Soviet power totaled 20 to 25 million. And unquestionably one must add those who died of famine—more than 5.5 million during the civil war and more than 5 million during the 1930s."
  63. ^ Lenin, Stalin, and HitlerGellately (2007) p. 584: "More recent estimations of the Soviet-on-Soviet killing have been more 'modest' and range between ten and twenty million."
  64. ^ Courtois (1999) "Introduction" p. 4: "U.S.S.R.: 20 million deaths."
  65. ^ Jonathan Brent, Inside the Stalin Archives: Discovering the New Russia. Atlas & Co., 2008 (ISBN 0-9777433-3-0) Introduction online (PDF file): "Estimations on the number of Stalin's victims over his twenty-five year reign, from 1928 to 1953, vary widely, but 20 million is now considered the minimum."
  66. ^ Red HolocaustRosefielde (2009) p. 17: "We now know as well beyond a reasonable doubt that there were more than 13 million Red Holocaust victims 1929–53, and this figure could rise above 20 million."
  67. ^ Great TerrorConquest (2007) p. xvi: "Exact numbers may never be known with complete certainty, but the total of deaths caused by the whole range of Soviet regime's terrors can hardly be lower than some fifteen million."
  68. ^  
  69. ^ Anne Applebaum. The Worst of the Madness The New York Review of Books, November 11, 2010.
  70. ^ a b c d e f g h Michael Ellman, Stalin and the Soviet Famine of 1932–33 Revisited Europe-Asia Studies, Routledge. Vol. 59, No. 4, June 2007, 663–693. PDF file
  71. ^ GenocideJones (2010) p. 124.
  72. ^ Sergei Petrovich Melgunov, The Red Terror in Russia, Hyperion Pr (1975), ISBN 0-88355-187-X. ;
    See also: S. Melgunoff (1927) "The Record of the Red Terror" Current History unknown volume and edition (pp. 198–205) at unknown page.
  73. ^ Lincoln, W. Bruce, Red Victory: A History of the Russian Civil War (1999) Da Capo Press.pp. 383–385 ISBN 0-306-80909-5.
  74. ^ Leggett, George (1987). The Cheka: Lenin's Political Police.  
  75. ^ A People's TragedyFiges (1997) p. 647.
  76. ^ A People's TragedyFiges (1997) p. 643.
  77. ^ Donald Rayfield. Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him. Random House, 2004. ISBN 0-375-50632-2. p. 85
  78. ^ Century of ViolenceYakovlev (2002) p. 156.
  79. ^ Richard Pipes. Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime. Vintage Books, 1994 ISBN 0-679-76184-5. pg 356
  80. ^ Nicolas Werth "A State against its People: violence, repression, and terror in the Soviet Union" in The Black Book p. 98.
  81. ^ Peter Holquist. "Conduct merciless mass terror": decossackization on the Don, 1919"
  82. ^ A People's TragedyFiges (1997) p. 660.
  83. ^ Lenin, Stalin, and HitlerGellately (2007) pp. 70–71.
  84. ^ Barry McLoughlin (2002) "Mass Operations of the NKVD, 1937–1938: a survey." in Stalin's Terror: High Politics and Mass Repression in the Soviet Union eds. Barry McLoughlin, Kevin McDermott [?]: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 141. ISBN 1-4039-0119-8.
  85. ^ Lenin, Stalin, and HitlerGellately (2007) p. 256.
  86. ^ Ellman, Michael (2002). "Soviet Repression Statistics: Some Comments". Europea-Asia Studies 34 (7): 1151–1172. The best estimate that can currently be made of the number of repression deaths in 1937–38 is the range 950,000–1.2 million, i.e., about a million. This estimate should be used by historians, teachers, and journalists concerned with twentieth century Russian—and world—history 
  87. ^ "Great Terror": Brief ChronologyN.G. Okhotin, A.B. Roginsky Memorial, 2007
  88. ^ The Black BookCourtois (1999) photographic insert following p. 202.
  89. ^ Century of ViolenceYakovlev (2002) p. 165;
    See also: CommunismPipes (2001) p. 66.
  90. ^ Orlando Figes. The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia. Metropolitan Books, 2007. ISBN 0-08050-7461-9, page 240
  91. ^ a b Court of the Red TsarMontefiore (2005) p. 229.
  92. ^ Hiroaki Kuromiya, The Voices of the Dead: Stalin's Great Terror in the 1930s. Yale University Press, December 24, 2007. ISBN 0-300-12389-2. p. 2
  93. ^ a b , London 2002, pp. 155–168Historical Injustice and Democratic Transition in Eastern Asia and Northern Europe, in: Thirty thousand bulletsChristopher Kaplonski,
  94. ^ Twentieth Century Atlas – Death Tolls
  95. ^ Interview with Tomasz Strzembosz: Die verschwiegene Kollaboration Transodra, 23. Dezember 2001, p. 2 (German)
  96. ^ Jan T. Gross. Revolution From Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia. Princeton University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-691-09603-1. pp. 181–182
  97. ^ Paul, Allen. Katyn: Stalin's Massacre and the Seeds of Polish Resurrection. Naval Institute Press, 1996. ISBN 1-55750-670-1. p. 155
  98. ^ Fischer, Benjamin B., "The Katyn Controversy: Stalin's Killing Field". "Studies in Intelligence", Winter 1999–2000. Retrieved on December 10, 2005.
  99. ^ Lesser TerrorParrish (1996) pp. 324, 325.
  100. ^ Court of the Red TsarMontefiore (2005) pp. 197–198, 332, 334.
  101. ^ "Polish experts lower nation's WWII death toll". AFP/Expatica. July 30, 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2009. 
  102. ^ Wojciech Materski and Tomasz Szarota. Polska 1939–1945. Straty osobowe i ofiary represji pod dwiema okupacjami.Institute of National Remembrance(IPN) Warszawa 2009 ISBN 978-83-7629-067-6.
  103. ^ Court of the Red TsarMontefiore (2005) p. 334
  104. ^ Lenin, Stalin, and HitlerGellately (2007) p. 391.
  105. ^ MaoShort (2001) p. 631;
    Chang, Jung and Halliday, Jon. Mao: The Unknown Story'.' Jonathan Cape, London, 2005. ISBN 0-224-07126-2. p. 3
    Rummel, R. J.
    China’s Bloody Century: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900 Transaction Publishers, 1991. ISBN 0-88738-417-X. p. 205: In light of recent evidence, Rummel has increased Mao's democide toll to 77 million.
  106. ^ Fenby, Jonathan. Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850 to the Present. Ecco, 2008. ISBN 0-06-166116-3. p. 351 "Mao’s responsibility for the extinction of anywhere from 40 to 70 million lives brands him as a mass killer greater than Hitler or Stalin, his indifference to the suffering and the loss of humans breathtaking."
  107. ^ a b Rummel, Rudolph J. (2007). China's bloody century: genocide and mass murder since 1900. Transaction Publishers. p. 223.  
  108. ^ a b Worse than WarGoldhagen (2009) p. 344.
  109. ^ MaoShort (2001) pp. 436–437.
  110. ^ Steven W. Mosher. China Misperceived: American Illusions and Chinese Reality. Basic Books, 1992. ISBN 0-465-09813-4. pp 72, 73
  111. ^ Yang Kuisong. Reconsidering the Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries The China Quarterly, 193, March 2008, pp.102–121. PDF file.
  112. ^ a b Final solutionsValentino (2005) p. 128.
  113. ^ Dikötter, Frank. Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62. Walker & Company, 2010. pp. x, xi. ISBN 0-8027-7768-6.
  114. ^ a b Frank Dikötter, Mao’s Great Famine, Key Arguments
  115. ^ Issac Stone Fish. Greeting Misery With Violence. Newsweek. September 26, 2010.
  116. ^ Mao's Last RevolutionMacFarquhar and Schoenhals (2006) p. 262.
  117. ^ Mao's Last RevolutionMacFarquhar and Schoenhals (2006) p. 125.
  118. ^ The Chinese Cultural Revolution: Remembering Mao's Victims by Andreas Lorenz in Beijing, Der Spiegel Online. May 15, 2007
  119. ^ Helen Fein. Revolutionary and Antirevolutionary Genocides: A Comparison of State Murders in Democratic Kampuchea, 1975 to 1979, and in Indonesia, 1965 to 1966. Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Oct. 1993), pp. 796–823
  120. ^ Worse than WarGoldhagen (2009) p. 207.
  121. ^ Theory of the Global State: Globality as Unfinished Revolution by Martin Shaw, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp 141, ISBN 978-0-521-59730-2.
  122. ^ Chandler, David. The Killing Fields. At The Digital Archive Of Cambodian Holocaust Survivors. [1]
  123. ^ Peace Pledge Union Information – Talking about genocides – Cambodia 1975 – the genocide.
  124. ^ a b Sharp, Bruce (April 1, 2005). "Counting Hell: The Death Toll of the Khmer Rouge Regime in Cambodia". Retrieved July 5, 2006. 
  125. ^ The CGP, 1994–2008 Cambodian Genocide Program, Yale University
  126. ^ Red HolocaustRosefielde (2009) pp. 120–121.
  127. ^ a b Doyle, Kevin. Putting the Khmer Rouge on Trial, Time, July 26, 2007
  128. ^ MacKinnon, Ian Crisis talks to save Khmer Rouge trial, The Guardian, March 7, 2007
  129. ^ The Khmer Rouge Trial Task Forc, Royal Cambodian Government
  130. ^ a b Staff, Senior Khmer Rouge leader charged, BBC September 19, 2007
  131. ^ Khmer Rouge torturer describes killing babies by 'smashing them into trees' Mail Online, June 9, 2009
  132. ^ Berger, Arthur Asa (January 31, 1987). Television in society. Transaction Publishers. p. 262.  
  133. ^ GenocideJones (2010) pp. 215–216.
  134. ^ Kimenyi, Alexandre (June 2001). Anatomy of Genocide: State-sponsored Mass-killings in the Twentieth Century. Edwin Mellen Press. p. 206.  
  135. ^ a b c d Final solutionsValentino (2005) Table 2 found at p. 75.
  136. ^ Final solutionsValentino (2005) p. 75.
  137. ^ Шарланов, Диню. История на комунизма в Булгария: Комунизирането на Булгариия. Сиела, 2009. ISBN 978-954-28-0543-4.
  138. ^ Hanna Arendt Center in Sofia, with Dinyu Sharlanov and Venelin I. Ganev. Crimes Committed by the Communist Regime in Bulgaria. Country report. "Crimes of the Communist Regimes" Conference. February 24–26, 2010, Prague.
  139. ^ Rummel, R.J. (1997), Statistics Of North Korean Democide: Estimates, Calculations, And Sources, Statistics of Democide, Transaction.
  140. ^ Omestad, Thomas, "Gulag Nation", U.S. News & World Report, June 23, 2003.
  141. ^ Black Book of Communism, pg. 564.
  142. ^ Spoorenberg, Thomas and Schwekendiek, Daniel (2012). "Demographic Changes in North Korea: 1993–2008", Population and Development Review, 38(1), pp. 133-158.
  143. ^ Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland, and Amartya Sen (2009), Famine in North Korea, Columbia University Press, p.209.
  144. ^ Rosefielde, Stephen (2009), Red Holocaust, Routledge, p. 109.
  145. ^ Rosefielde, Stephen (2009), Red Holocaust, Routledge, pp. 228, 243.
  146. ^ a b c Red HolocaustRosefielde (2009) p. 110.
  147. ^ a b c Jean-Louis Margolin "Vietnam and Laos: the impasse of war communism" in The Black Book pp. 568–569.
  148. ^ a b The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, pg 457
  149. ^ US admits helping Mengistu escape BBC, December 22, 1999
  150. ^ Talk of the Devil: Encounters with Seven Dictators by Riccardo Orizio, pg 151
  151. ^ Yves Santamaria "Afrocommunism: Ethiopia, Angola, and Mozambique" in The Black Book p. 692.
  152. ^ Guilty of genocide: the leader who unleashed a 'Red Terror' on Africa by Jonathan Clayton, The Times Online, December 13, 2006
  153. ^ Final solutionsValentino (2005) p. 219.
  154. ^ Kaplan, Robert D., Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan, New York, Vintage Departures, (2001), p.115
  155. ^ Kabul's prison of death BBC, February 27, 2006
  156. ^ Joseph Collins. Soviet Policy toward Afghanistan. Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, Vol. 36, No. 4, Soviet Foreign Policy. (1987), pp. 198–210
  157. ^ Final solutionsValentino (2005) pp. 91–151.
  158. ^ M. Hassan Kakar Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion and the Afghan Response, 1979–1982 University of California press © 1995 The Regents of the University of California.
  159. ^ In pictures: Afghan mass grave BBC, July 5, 2007
  160. ^ a b Dr. David Marples, The great famine debate goes on..., ExpressNews (University of Alberta), originally published in Edmonton Journal, November 30, 2005
  161. ^ a b Stanislav Kulchytsky, "Holodomor of 1932–1933 as genocide: the gaps in the proof", Den, February 17, 2007, in Russian, in Ukrainian
  162. ^ С. Уиткрофт (Stephen G. Wheatcroft), "О демографических свидетельствах трагедии советской деревни в 1931—1933 гг." (On demographic evidence of the tragedy of the Soviet village in 1931–1933), "Трагедия советской деревни: Коллективизация и раскулачивание 1927–1939 гг.: Документы и материалы. Том 3. Конец 1930–1933 гг.", Российская политическая энциклопедия, 2001, ISBN 5-8243-0225-1, с. 885, Приложение № 2
  163. ^ 'Stalinism' was a collective responsibility – Kremlin papers, The News in Brief, University of Melbourne, June 19, 1998, Vol 7 No 22
  164. ^ "Ukraine – The famine of 1932–33". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved June 26, 2008. 
  165. ^ R.W. Davies and S.G. Wheatcroft, (2004) The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia, volume 5. The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture, 1931-1933 Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 401. For a review, see "Davies & Wheatcroft, 2004" ( 
  166. ^ Ellman, Michael (September 2005). "The Role of Leadership Perceptions and of Intent in the Soviet Famine of 1931–1934" ( 
  167. ^ Amstutz, Mark R. (January 28, 2005). International ethics: concepts, theories, and cases in global politics (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 96.  
  168. ^ Peter Finn, Aftermath of a Soviet Famine, The Washington Post, April 27, 2008, "There are no exact figures on how many died. Modern historians place the number between 2.5 million and 3.5 million. Yushchenko and others have said at least 10 million were killed."
  169. ^ Yaroslav Bilinsky (1999). "Was the Ukrainian Famine of 1932–1933 Genocide?". Journal of Genocide Research 1 (2): 147–156.  
  170. ^ Stanislav Kulchytsky, "Holodomor-33: Why and how?", Zerkalo Nedeli, November 25 – December 1, 2006, in Russian, in Ukrainian.
  171. ^ Final solutionsValentino (2005) p. 99.
  172. ^ Snyder, Timothy. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. Basic Books, 2010. ISBN 0-465-00239-0. p. vii
  173. ^ Jan Maksymiuk, "Ukraine: Parliament Recognizes Soviet-Era Famine As Genocide", RFE/RL, November 29, 2006
  174. ^ 19 (according to Ukrainian BBC: "Латвія визнала Голодомор ґеноцидом"), 16 (according to Korrespondent, Russian edition: "После продолжительных дебатов Сейм Латвии признал Голодомор геноцидом украинцев"), "more than 10" (according to Korrespondent, Ukrainian edition: "Латвія визнала Голодомор 1932–33 рр. геноцидом українців")
  175. ^
  176. ^ a b Yanukovych reverses Ukraine's position on Holodomor famine, RIA Novosti, April 27, 2010
  177. ^ PACE finds Stalin regime guilty of Holodomor, does not recognize it as genocide. RIA Novosti, April 28, 2010.
  178. ^ Boobbyer, Phillip (2000), The Stalin Era, Routledge, ISBN 0-7679-0056-1, p. 130
  179. ^ In one estimate, based on a report by Lavrenti Beria to Stalin, 150,000 of 478,479 deported Ingush and Chechen people (or 31.3 percent) died within the first four years of the resettlement. See: Kleveman, Lutz. The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia. Jackson, Tenn.: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003. ISBN 0-87113-906-5. Another scholar puts the number of deaths at 22.7 percent: Extrapolating from NKVD records, 113,000 Ingush and Chechens died (3,000 before deportation, 10,000 during deportation, and 100,000 after resettlement) in the first three years of the resettlement out of 496,460 total deportees. See: Naimark, Norman M. Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-674-00994-0. A third source says a quarter of the 650,000 deported Chechens, Ingush, Karachais and Kalmyks died within four years of resettlement. See: Mawdsley, Evan. The Stalin Years: The Soviet Union 1929–1953. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-7190-6377-9. However, estimates of the number of deportees sometimes varies widely. Two scholars estimated the number of Chechen and Ingush deportees at 700,000, which would have the percentage estimates of deaths. See: Fischer, Ruth and Leggett, John C. Stalin and German Communism: A Study in the Origins of the State Party. Edison, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2006. ISBN 0-87855-822-5.
  180. ^ Conquest, Robert. The Nation Killers. New York: Macmillan, 1970. ISBN 0-333-10575-3.
  181. ^ Samuel Totten, William S. Parsons, Israel W. Charny. Century of Genocide: Eyewitness Accounts and Critical Views. Garland, 1997 ISBN 0-8153-2353-0. p. 120
  182. ^ a b Jean-Louis Margolin "China: a long march into night" in The Black Book pp. 545–546.
  183. ^ GenocideJones (2010) pp. 95–96.
  184. ^ Milne, Seumas (September 12, 2002). "The battle for history". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  185. ^ Final solutionsValentino (2005) p. 93–94.
  186. ^ Worse than WarGoldhagen (2009) pp. 29–30.
  187. ^ Court of the Red TsarMontefiore (2005) pp. 197–8, 334.
  188. ^ Lesser TerrorParrish (1996) p. 324.
  189. ^ "BBC, "Mengistu found guilty of genocide," 12 December 2006". BBC News. December 12, 2006. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  190. ^ Backgrounders: Ethiopian Dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam Human Rights Watch, 1999
  191. ^ Tsegaye Tadesse. Verdict due for Ethiopia's ex-dictator Mengistu Reuters, 2006
  192. ^ Court Sentences Mengistu to Death BBC, May 26, 2008.
  193. ^ Barbara Harff, "Recognizing Genocides and Politicides", in Genocide Watch 27 (Helen Fein ed., 1992) pp.37,38
  194. ^ "Expanding Holocaust Denial and Legislation". 
  195. ^ Polish government statement: Senate pays tribute to Katyn victims – 3/31/2005
  196. ^ Russia Says Katyn Executions Not Genocide
  197. ^ Memorial calls on Medvedev to denounce Katyn as crime against humanity
  198. ^ Ellen Barry. Russia: Stalin Called Responsible for Katyn Killings. The New York Times, November 26, 2010.
  199. ^ Entisen presidentin serkkua syytetään neuvostoajan kyydityksistä – Baltic Guide
  200. ^ Estonian charged with Communist genocide International Herald Tribune, August 23, 2007
  201. ^ "Estonian war figure laid to rest". BBC News. April 2, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  202. ^ Sentence reduced for former Khmer Rouge prison chief. The Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2010


See also

On July 26, 2010, Kang Kek Iew (aka Comrade Duch), director of the S-21 prison camp in Democratic Kampuchea where more than 14,000 people were tortured and then murdered (mostly at nearby Choeung Ek), was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 35 years. His sentence was reduced to 19 years in part because he had been behind bars for 11 years.[202]

In August 2007, Arnold Meri, an Estonian Red Army veteran and cousin of former Estonian president Lennart Meri, faced charges of genocide by Estonian authorities for participating in the deportations of Estonians in Hiiumaa in 1949.[199][200] The trial was halted when Meri died March 27, 2009, at the age of 89. Meri denied the accusation, characterizing them as politically motivated defamation: "I do not consider myself guilty of genocide," he said.[201]

According to the laws of the Czech Republic, the person who publicly denies, puts in doubt, approves or tries to justify Nazi or Communist genocide or other crimes of Nazis or Communists will be punished by prison of 6 months to 3 years.[194] In March 2005, the Polish Sejm unanimously requested Russia to classify the Katyn massacre, the execution of over 21,000 Polish POW's and intellectual leaders by Stalin's NKVD, as a crime of genocide.[195] Alexander Savenkov of the Prosecutor's General Office of the Russian Federation responded: "The version of genocide was examined, and it is my firm conviction that there is absolutely no basis to talk about this in judicial terms."[196] In March 2010, Memorial called upon Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to denounce the massacre as a crime against humanity.[197] On November 26, 2010, the Russian State Duma issued a declaration that archival material “not only unveils the scale of his horrific tragedy but also provides evidence that the Katyn crime was committed on direct orders from Stalin and other Soviet leaders."[198]

Ethiopia's former ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam has been convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by an Ethiopian court for his role in the Red Terror, and the highest ranking surviving member of the Khmer Rouge has been charged with those crimes.[130][189][190][191][192] However, no communist country or governing body has ever been convicted of genocide. Ethiopian law is distinct from the UN and other definitions in that it defines genocide as intent to wipe out political and not just ethnic groups. In this respect it closely resembles the distinction of politicide.[193]

Katyn 1943 exhumation. Photo by International Red Cross delegation.

Legal prosecution for genocide and genocide denial

Major-General Vasili Blokhin, Stalin's chief executioner at Lubyanka prison, personally shot thousands of prisoners and is regarded by some historians as the most prolific executioner in history.[187][188]

Notable executioners

Daniel Goldhagen argues that in some cases, deaths from famine should not be distinguished from mass murder: "Whenever governments have not alleviated famine conditions, political leaders decided not to say no to mass death – in other words, they said yes." He claims that famine was either used or deliberately tolerated by the Soviets, the Germans, the communist Chinese, the British in Kenya, the Hausa against the Ibo in Nigeria, Khmer Rouge, communist North Koreans, Ethiopeans in Eritrea, Zimbabwe against regions of political opposition, and Political Islamists in southern Sudan and Darfur.[186]

Benjamin Valentino writes that, "Although not all the deaths due to famine in these cases were intentional, communist leaders directed the worst effects of famine against their suspected enemies and used hunger as a weapon to force millions of people to conform to the directives of the state."[185]

The journalist and author Seumas Milne has questioned whether deaths from famine should be considered equivalent to state killings, since the demographic data used to estimate famine deaths may not be reliable. He argues that, if they are to be, then Britain would have to be considered responsible for as many as 30 million deaths in India from famine during the 19th century, and he laments that there has been "no such comprehensive indictment of the colonial record".[184]

Inclusion of famine as killing

Adam Jones, a Canadian scholar specializing in genocide, notes that after the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Chinese authorized struggle sessions against reactionaries, during which "...communist cadres denounced, tortured, and frequently executed enemies of the people." These sessions resulted in 92,000 deaths out of a population of about 6 million. These deaths, Jones stresses, may be seen not only as a genocide but also as 'eliticide' – "targeting the better educated and leadership oriented elements among the Tibetan population."[183]

According to The Black Book of Communism, the Chinese Communists carried out a cultural genocide against the Tibetans. Jean-Louis Margolin states that the killings were proportionally larger in Tibet than China proper, and that "one can legitimately speak of genocidal massacres because of the numbers involved."[182] According to the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration, "Tibetans were not only shot, but also were beaten to death, crucified, burned alive, drowned, mutilated, starved, strangled, hanged, boiled alive, buried alive, drawn and quartered, and beheaded."[182]


The Soviet government during Joseph Stalin's rule conducted a series of deportations on an enormous scale that significantly affected the ethnic map of the USSR. Deportations took place under extremely harsh conditions, often in cattle carriages, with hundreds of thousands of deportees dying en route.[178] Some experts estimate that the number of deaths from the deportations could be as high as one in three in certain cases.[179][180] Regarding the fate of the Crimean Tatars, Amir Weiner of Stanford University writes that the policy could be classified as "ethnic cleansing". In the book Century of Genocide, Lyman H Legters writes "We cannot properly speak of a completed genocide, only of a process that was genocidal in its potentiality."[181]

Mass deportations of ethnic minorities

Ukraine under Yuschenko's administration (2004–2010) has tried to make the world recognize the famine as a genocide,[173] a move which was supported by a number of foreign governments.[174] The Russian government has vehemently rejected the idea, accusing Yuschenko of politicization of the tragedy, outright propaganda, and fabrication of documents.[175] In 2010, Ukrainian president Yanukovich reversed Yuschenko's policies on Holodomor and, currently, both Ukraine and Russia consider the Holodomor a common tragedy of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples, caused by "Stalin's totalitarian regime", rather than a deliberate act of genocide that targeted ethnic Ukrainians.[176] In a draft resolution, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe declared the famine was caused by the "cruel and deliberate actions and policies of the Soviet regime" and was responsible for the deaths of "millions of innocent people" in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Russia. Relative to its population, Kazakhstan is believed to have been the most adversely affected.[176][177] Regarding the Kazakh case, Michael Ellman states that it "seems to be an example of ‘negligent genocide’ which falls outside the scope of the UN Convention (Schabas 2000, pp. 226 – 228)."[70]

Some scholars have argued that the Stalinist policies that caused the famine may have been designed as an attack on the rise of Ukrainian nationalism,[167] and thus may fall under the legal definition of genocide (see Holodomor genocide question).[160][161][168][169][170] Economist Michael Ellman argues that the actions of the Soviet regime from 1930–34 constitutes "a series of crimes against humanity."[70] Benjamin Valentino notes that "there is strong evidence that Soviet authorities used hunger as a weapon to crush peasant resistance to collectivization" and that "deaths associated with these kinds of policies meet the criteria for mass killing."[171] Timothy Snyder, Professor of History at Yale University, asserts that in 1933 "Joseph Stalin was deliberately starving Ukraine" through a "heartless campaign of requisitions that began Europe's era of mass killing."[172]

Within the Soviet Union, forced changes in agricultural policies (collectivization) and droughts caused the Soviet famine of 1932–1933.[160][161][162][163] The famine was most severe in the Ukrainian SSR, where it is often referenced as the Holodomor. A significant portion of the famine victims (3–3.5 million) were Ukrainians while the total number of victims in the Soviet Union is estimated to be 6 – 8 millions.[164][165][166]

Soviet famine of 1932–1933

Although it is frequently considered as an example of communist genocide, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan represents a borderline case, according to Frank Wayman and Atsushi Tago.[12] Prior to the Soviet invasion, the PDPA executed between 10,000 and 27,000 people, mostly at Pul-e-Charkhi prison.[153][154][155] After the invasion in 1979, the Soviets installed the puppet government of Babrak Karmal, but it was never clearly stabilized as a communist regime and was in a constant state of war. By 1987, about 80% of the country's territory was permanently controlled by neither the pro-Communist government (and supporting Soviet troops) nor by the armed opposition. To tip the balance, the Soviet Union used a tactic that was a combination of "scorched earth" policy and "migratory genocide": by systematically burning the crops and destroying villages in rebel provinces, as well as by reprisal bombing of entire villages suspected of harbouring or supporting the resistance, the Soviets tried to force the local population to move to the Soviet controlled territory, thereby depriving the armed opposition of their support.[156] By the time the Soviets withdrew in 1988, 1 to 1.5 million people had been killed, mostly Afghan civilians, and one-third of Afghanistan's population had been displaced.[157] M. Hassan Kakar argued that "the Afghans are among the latest victims of genocide by a superpower."[158] Mass graves of executed prisoners have been exhumed dating back to the Soviet era.[159]

Democratic Republic of Afghanistan


During the period of the short lived Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919 the Lenin Boys committed crimes against the political opponents. After World War II, the communist State Protection Authority maintained concentration camps and committed mass genocides.


Amnesty International estimates that a total of half a million people were killed during the Red Terror of 1977 and 1978.[148][149][150] During the terror groups of people were herded into churches that were then burned down, and women were subjected to systematic rape by soldiers.[151] The Save the Children Fund reported that the victims of the Red Terror included not only adults, but 1,000 or more children, mostly aged between eleven and thirteen, whose corpses were left in the streets of Addis Ababa.[148] Mengistu Haile Mariam himself is alleged to have killed political opponents with his bare hands.[152]

People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

In the early 1950s, the Communist government in North Vietnam launched a land reform program, which, according to Steven Rosefielde, was "aimed at exterminating class enemies."[146] Victims were chosen in an arbitrary manner, following a quota of four to five percent.[147] Torture was used on a wide scale, so much so that by 1954 Ho Chi Minh became concerned, and had it banned.[147] It is estimated that some 50,000[147] to 172,000[146] people perished in the campaigns against wealthy farmers and landowners. Rosefielde discusses much higher estimates that range from 200,000 to 900,000, which includes summary executions of National People's Party members.[146]

Democratic Republic of Vietnam

According to R.J. Rummel, forced labor, executions, and concentration camps were responsible for over one million deaths in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from 1948 to 1987;[139] others have estimated 400,000 deaths in concentration camps alone.[140] Pierre Rigoulot estimates 100,000 executions, 1.5 million deaths through concentration camps and slave labor, 500,000 deaths from famine, and 1.3 million killed in the Korean war.[141] Estimates based on the most recent North Korean census suggest that 240,000 to 420,000 people died as a result of the 1990s famine and that there were 600,000 to 850,000 excess deaths in North Korea from 1993 to 2008.[142] The famine, which claimed as many as one million lives, has been described as the result of the economic policies of the North Korean government,[143] and as deliberate "terror-starvation".[144] In 2009, Steven Rosefielde stated that the Red Holocaust "still persists in North Korea" as Kim Jong Il "refuses to abandon mass killing."[145]

Democratic People's Republic of Korea

According to Valentino, between 60,000 and 300,000 people may have been killed in Romania beginning in 1945 as part of agricultural collectivization and political repression.[135]


According to Valentino, between 80,000 and 100,000 people may have been killed in East Germany beginning in 1945 as part of political repression by the Soviet Union.[135]

East Germany

According to Benjamin Valentino, available evidence suggests that between 50,000 and 100,000 people may have been killed in Bulgaria beginning in 1944 as part of agricultural collectivization and political repression, although there is insufficient documentation to make a definitive judgement.[135] Dinyu Sharlanov, in his book History of Communism in Bulgaria, accounts for about 31,000 people killed under the regime between 1944 and 1989.[137][138]


According to Benjamin Valentino, most regimes that described themselves as Communist did not commit mass killings.[2] However, some mass killings may have occurred in some Eastern European countries, although insufficient documentary evidence makes it impossible to make a definitive judgement about the scale, intentionality and the causes of those events.[136]

Mass killings have also occurred in Vietnam,[132] North Korea[133] and Romania.[134] It has been suggested that there may also have been other mass killings (on a smaller scale) in communist states such as Bulgaria and East Germany, although lack of documentation prevents definitive judgement about the scale of these events and the motives of the perpetrators.[135]


Infants were fatally smashed against the Chankiri Tree (Killing Tree) at Choeung Ek, Cambodia.[131]

In 1997 the Cambodian Government asked the United Nations assistance in setting up a genocide tribunal.[127][128][129] The investigating judges were presented with the names of five possible suspects by the prosecution on July 18, 2007.[127] On September 19, 2007 Nuon Chea, second in command of the Khmer Rouge and its most senior surviving member, was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity, but not charged with genocide. He will face Cambodian and foreign judges at the special genocide tribunal.[130]

Steven Rosefielde claims that Democratic Kampuchea was the deadliest of all communist regimes on a per capita basis, primarily because it "lacked a viable productive core" and "failed to set boundaries on mass murder."[126]

Researcher Craig Etcheson of the Documentation Center of Cambodia suggests that the death toll was between 2 and 2.5 million, with a "most likely" figure of 2.2 million. After 5 years of researching some 20,000 grave sites, he concludes that "these mass graves contain the remains of 1,112,829 victims of execution."[124]

Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge) experienced serious hardships due to the effects of war and disrupted economic activity. According to Michael Vickery, 740,800 people in Cambodia in a population of about 7 million died due to disease, overwork, and political repression.[124] Other estimates suggest approximately 1.7 million and it is described by the Yale University Cambodian Genocide Program as "one of the worst human tragedies of the last century."[125]

The Killing Fields were a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime, during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979, immediately after the end of the Vietnam War. At least 200,000 people were executed by the Khmer Rouge,[122] while estimates of the total number of deaths resulting from Khmer Rouge policies, including disease and starvation, range from 1.4 to 2.2 million out of a population of around 7 million.[123]

Helen Fein, a genocide scholar, notes that, although Cambodian leaders declared adherence to an exotic version of agrarian communist doctrine, the xenophobic ideology of the Khmer Rouge regime resembles more a phenomenon of national socialism, or fascism.[119] Daniel Goldhagen explains that the Khmer Rouge were xenophobic because they believed the Khmer were "the one authentic people capable of building true communism."[120] Sociologist Martin Shaw described the Cambodian genocide as "the purest genocide of the Cold War era".[121]

Skulls of victims of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.

Cambodia (Democratic Kampuchea)

Sinologists Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals estimate that between 750,000 and 1.5 million people were killed in the violence of the Cultural Revolution, in rural China alone.[116] Mao's Red Guards were given carte blanche to abuse and kill the revolution's enemies.[117] For example, in August 1966, over 100 teachers were murdered by their students in western Beijing alone.[118]

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

Benjamin Valentino says that the Great Leap Forward was a cause of the Great Chinese Famine and that the worst effects of the famine were steered towards the regime's enemies.[112] Those labeled as "black elements" (religious leaders, rightists, rich peasants, etc.) in any earlier campaign died in the greatest numbers, as they were given the lowest priority in the allocation of food.[112] In Mao's Great Famine, historian Frank Dikötter writes that "coercion, terror, and systematic violence were the very foundation of the Great Leap Forward" and it "motivated one of the most deadly mass killings of human history."[113] His research in local and provincial Chinese archives indicates the death toll was at least 45 million, and that "In most cases the party knew very well that it was starving its own people to death."[114] In a secret meeting at Shanghai in 1959, Mao issued the order to procure one third of all grain from the countryside. He said: “When there is not enough to eat people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.”[114] Dikötter estimates that at least 2.5 million people were summarily killed or tortured to death during this period.[115]

The Great Leap Forward

The suppression of counterrevolutionaries targeted mainly former Kuomintang officials and intellectuals suspected of disloyalty.[110] At least 712,000 people were executed, 1,290,000 were imprisoned in labor camps and 1,200,000 were "subject to control at various times."[111]

The first large-scale killings under Mao took place during land reform and the counterrevolutionary campaign. In official study materials published in 1948, Mao envisaged that "one-tenth of the peasants" (or about 50,000,000) "would have to be destroyed" to facilitate agrarian reform.[108] Actual numbers killed in land reform are believed to have been lower, but at least one million.[107][109]

Land reform and the suppression of counterrevolutionaries

The Chinese Communist Party came to power in China in 1949, when Chinese communist revolution ended a long and bloody civil war between communists and nationalists. There is a general consensus among historians that after Mao Zedong seized power, his policies and political purges caused directly or indirectly the deaths of tens of millions of people.[105][106] Based on the Soviets' experience, Mao considered violence necessary to achieve an ideal society derived from Marxism and planned and executed violence on a grand scale.[107][108]

People's Republic of China

Executions were also carried out after the annexation of the Baltic states.[103] And during the initial phases of Operation Barbarossa, the NKVD and attached units of the Red Army massacred prisoners and political opponents by the tens of thousands before fleeing from the advancing Axis forces.[104]

Plaque on the building of Government of Estonia, Toompea, commemorating government members killed by communist terror

The most notorious killings occurred in the spring of 1940, when the NKVD executed some 21,857 Polish POWs and intellectual leaders in what has become known as the Katyn massacre.[98][99][100] According to the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, 150,000 Polish citizens perished due to Soviet repression during the war.[101][102]

In September 1939, following the Soviet invasion of Poland, NKVD task forces started removing "Soviet-hostile elements" from the conquered territories.[95] The NKVD systematically practiced torture, which often resulted in death.[96][97]

Victims of Soviet NKVD in Lviv, June 1941.

Soviet killings during World War II

In the summer and autumn of 1937, Joseph Stalin sent NKVD agents to the Mongolian People's Republic and engineered a Mongolian Great Terror[92] in which some 22,000[93] and 35,000[94] people were executed. Around 18,000 victims were Buddhist lamas.[93]

Great purge in Mongolia

[70] there is as yet no authoritative ruling on the legal characterisation of these events.[91],Montefiore or "a mini-genocide" according to [70] Although these operation might well constitute genocide as defined by the UN convention,[70]

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