*Peasant background, joined a monastery but
did not last long
*He travelled around as a 'Faith Healer' and
claimed to possess special powers that enabled
him to heal the sick, surviving off the donations
*He was also known to make money in
the gypsy art of Fortune Telling and the Tarot of
the people he had 'cured'
* Rasputin was an unkempt, but
* Tall with a dark beard and
spellbinding eyes, he used his
natural charisma and deep quiet
voice in an almost vaudeville
manner when presenting himself.
* He soon took his 'show' to St
Petersburg and made a name for
himself as something of a mystic.
* It wasn't long before he caught the
eye of more powerful people
amongst the Russian aristocracy.
* While in St Petersburg, Rasputin met the Tsar Nicholas II and his
* Their only son, Alexei, suffered from haemophilia. Physicians were
unable to help Alexei, and the Tsarina became frustrated.
* During a particularly bad bleeding episode the Tsar, looking for
something of a miracle, called upon his wife's newfound friend and
supposed 'faith healer', Rasputin.
* Somehow Rasputin managed to stop Alexei's bleeding; as a result,
he became a hero to the Romanov family and started moving in the
Tsarina's social circles.
* He was said to have great influence over Alexandra and supposedly
manipulated her. This relationship led to resentment on the part of
the Tsarina's husband Nicholas and his powerful and influential
peers in the Russian nobility, but the Tsar was afraid to send
Rasputin away for fear of being blamed for killing Alexei.
* Nicholas went to the front lines during WWI and left his wife
* She was German and so the Russians did not trust her
* Rasputin was her advisor and rumours spread threat they
were having an affair
* Stories of pacts with the Devil and 'magic eyes' that
hypnotised all around, including the Romanovs, most
probably came from the Prime Minister
* The mystic convinced Alexandra further that if he should
leave or die, the Romanov dynasty would end in bloodshed.
* Her fear for her family's lives and her utter trust in Rasputin
pushed the Tsarina into keeping him by her side.
* When he initially arrived in St Petersburg, Rasputin built up
quite a band of followers within the Russian Orthodox
* However, as rumours began to circulate about the various
(and numerous) women that Rasputin was seducing, including
many in the palace, these supporters began to turn on him
and attempted to banish him.
* One by one, these opponents began to disappear, possibly by
order of the Tsarina.
* While the Russian populace began to believe that Rasputin
had some form of hypnotic control over the Tsar and Tsarina,
the Tsar himself was being pushed close to insanity by the
constant rumours about Rasputin and his wife.
* Aristocrats arranged a plot of kill Rasputin to save the monarchy
* Prince Felix offered Rasputin pastries which contained lethal amounts of cyanide. He
declined, but eventually indulged himself.
* This poison was supposed to have an immediate effect, but Rasputin was showing no
signs of dying. Growing impatient, one of the assassins took a pistol and shot him.
* The murderers, under the impression he was dead, went to celebrate.
* About an hour later, Prince Felix returned to see the body. He shook Rasputin, and while
he was still warm, there were no signs of life.
* As Felix went to leave, however, Rasputin rose to his feet and went about strangling the
* Freeing himself, Felix rushed to tell the others that the mad monk was still alive.
* Rasputin ran across the courtyard, yelling 'Felix, Felix, I'll tell everything to the Tsarina.'
* A conspirator shot him in the back and again in the head.
* Rasputin crawled on the ground, and his assailant struck him with a blow to the head.
* By this time, Felix, thoroughly shaken, took a dumbbell and bludgeoned Rasputin.
* They then bound him and threw him into the Neva River. There he would remain for
three days until the Tsar returned and Rasputin's body was taken from under the ice.
* The Tsar was outraged and exiled Prince Felix and the conspirators, but it was to be one
of his last actions as ruler of Russia.
* Some say that the legend surrounding Rasputin and his death is
fabricated and not an accurate description of the truth.
* Although his body was found to have multiple stabs and shots, there
is still a certain doubt about the authenticity of the accounts.
* Conclusive evidence found water in Rasputin's lungs, showing that he
actually drowned: despite being shot three times, bludgeoned and
poisoned, it was the waters that killed him.
* Whatever the case, the legend remained strong and was aided by the
fact that the Romanov family and the long line of Tsar's ended not
long after Rasputin's death, just as the 'Mad Monk' had foreseen.
* Rasputin was a womanizer, trickster, and corrupted the Russian
* Some say his involvement is what helped the people distrust the
Romanovs and helped pushed them towards Revolution.
* An attempt by Khmer Rouge leader Pol
Pot to form a Communist peasant farming
society resulted in the deaths of 25
percent of the country's population from
starvation, overwork and executions.
* From 1975-1979 over 2mil people were
* Pol Pot studied in Paris but failed out of school due to a
fascination with Marxism
* By 1962, Pol Pot had become leader of the Cambodian
Communist Party and was forced to flee into the jungle to
escape the wrath of the Prince
* In the jungle, Pol Pot formed an armed resistance movement
that became known as the Khmer Rouge (Red Cambodians)
and waged a guerrilla war against Sihanouk's government.
* Due to the Vietnam War and an American led coup there was
instability in Cambodia
* This resulted in economic and military destabilization in
Cambodia and a surge of popular support for Pol Pot
* Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army, consisting of teenage peasant guerrillas,
marched into Phnom Penh and on April 17, 1975 seized control of
* Once in power, Pol Pot began a radical experiment to create an
agrarian utopia inspired in part by Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution
which he had witnessed first-hand during a visit to Communist China.
* Mao's "Great Leap Forward" economic program included forced
evacuations of Chinese cities and the purging of "class enemies." Pol
Pot would now attempt his own "Super Great Leap Forward" in
Cambodia, which he renamed the Democratic Republic of
* He began by declaring, "This is Year Zero," and that society was about
to be "purified." Capitalism, Western culture, city life, religion, and
all foreign influences were to be extinguished in favor of an extreme
form of peasant Communism.
* All foreigners were thus expelled, embassies closed, and any
foreign economic or medical assistance was refused.
* The use of foreign languages was banned. Newspapers and
television stations were shut down, radios and bicycles
confiscated, and mail and telephone usage curtailed.
* Money was forbidden. All businesses were shuttered, religion
banned, education halted, health care eliminated, and parental
* Thus Cambodia was sealed off from the outside world.
* All of Cambodia's cities were then forcibly evacuated. At Phnom
Penh, two million inhabitants were evacuated on foot into the
countryside at gunpoint. As many as 20,000 died along the way.
* Millions of Cambodians were now forced into slave labor in Pol Pot's
"killing fields" where they soon began dying from overwork,
malnutrition and disease, on a diet of one tin of rice (180 grams) per
person every two days.
* Workdays in the fields began around 4 a.m. and lasted until 10 p.m.,
with only two rest periods allowed during the 18 hour day, all under
the armed supervision of young Khmer Rouge soldiers eager to kill
anyone for the slightest infraction.
* Starving people were forbidden to eat the fruits and rice they were
harvesting. After the rice crop was harvested, Khmer Rouge trucks
would arrive and confiscate the entire crop.
* Ten to fifteen families lived together with a chairman at the head of
each group. All work decisions were made by the armed supervisors
with no participation from the workers who were told, "Whether you
live or die is not of great significance." Every tenth day was a day of
rest. There were also three days off during the Khmer New Year
* Throughout Cambodia, deadly purges were conducted to
eliminate remnants of the "old society" - the educated, the
wealthy, Buddhist monks, police, doctors, lawyers, teachers,
and former government officials.
* Ex-soldiers were killed along with their wives and children.
Anyone suspected of disloyalty to Pol Pot, including eventually
many Khmer Rouge leaders, was shot or bludgeoned with an
ax. "What is rotten must be removed," a Khmer Rouge slogan
* In the villages, unsupervised gatherings of more than two
persons were forbidden. Young people were taken from their
parents and placed in communals. They were later married in
collective ceremonies involving hundreds of often-unwilling
* Up to 20,000 persons were tortured into giving false confessions at
Tuol Sleng, a school in Phnom Penh which had been converted into
a jail. Elsewhere, suspects were often shot on the spot before any
* Ethnic groups were attacked including the three largest
minorities; the Vietnamese, Chinese, and Cham Muslims, along
with twenty other smaller groups.
* Fifty percent of the estimated 425,000 Chinese living in Cambodia
in 1975 perished. Khmer Rouge also forced Muslims to eat pork
and shot those who refused.
* On December 25, 1978, Vietnam launched a full-scale invasion of
Cambodia seeking to end Khmer Rouge border attacks.
* On January 7, 1979, Phnom Penh fell and Pol Pot was deposed.
The Vietnamese then installed a puppet government consisting of
Khmer Rouge defectors.
* Pol Pot retreated into Thailand with the remnants of his Khmer
Rouge army and began a guerrilla war against a succession of
Cambodian governments lasting over the next 17 years.
* After a series of internal power struggles in the 1990s, he
finally lost control of the Khmer Rouge.
* In April 1998, 73-year-old Pol Pot died of an apparent heart
attack following his arrest, before he could be brought to trial
by an international tribunal for the events of 1975-79.
* In all, an estimated 2,000,000 people were killed.
* The famous Mongol leader who started an
empire that his descendants expanded over
most of Asia
* At the age of 10, he killed one of his halfbrothers in a fight over hunting spoils.
* His reign left behind no tangible artifacts -like architecture or art -- does Khan's role as
champion of diplomacy, religious tolerance
and equal rights for women serve as legacy
* And what of the incredible bloody legends
that surround Genghis Khan?
* Many myths of death follow him that tell of
* Genghis Khan was something of a populist conqueror. He
generally followed a self-imposed rule that those who
surrendered to him were allowed to live.
* Common folk were often spared, while their rulers usually were
put to death. The same fate met anyone else who dared resist.
* Genghis Khan believed the strength of a man was defined by
the children he left behind. He had thousands of women within
his harem, and fathered children with many of them.
* A 2003 study found that as many as 16 million people alive
today -- or about 0.5 percent of the global population -- are
descendants of Khan
* Genghis Khan is said to have once killed 1,748,000 people in a single
* While Khan inarguably killed his fair share of people, it's impossible
that he -- or anyone else -- personally ever took as many lives in such
a short time.
* For Khan to have killed that many people in an hour, he would have
had to take 29,133 lives per minute.
* The death toll refers to the population of the Persian city of Nishapur
where his favourite son-in-law was killed by an arrow.
* Kahn’s daughter was heartbroken and requested that all citizens of
Nishapur be killed.
* Women, children, infants, and even dogs and cats were all
murdered. Worried that some of the inhabitants were wounded but
still alive, Khan's daughter allegedly asked that each Nishapuran be
beheaded, their skulls piled in pyramids. Ten days later, the pyramids
* Kahn would use prisoners as human shields in battle.
* Khan's armies slaughtered more people than was managed by Joseph
Stalin or Adolf Hitler.
* His military campaigns sometimes involved eliminating the entire
* As many as 40 million people were killed.
* On Genghis Khan’s order, he was buried in an unmarked grave at an
unknown location in Mongolia. His funeral escort executed everyone
in their path to conceal the location.
* While he brought law, wealth, civilization, culture, and power to the
Mongolian people; he brought death and destruction to many other
* Despite practicing religious and racial tolerance, and being a builder
of alliances, he was ultimately a brutal despot who murdered millions
of men, women and children.
* Khan of the Huns from 434 until his death in 453.
* He is remembered as the epitome of cruelty and rapacity.
* He plundered and devastated the Eastern and Western Roman
Empire with a ferocity unparalleled in the records of barbarian
invasions and compelling those he overcame to copy his mighty
* He would destroy the surrounding area of an opponent to put
fear in them
* Death toll estimates are between 20-100 million citizens and
* Attila drowned in his own blood on his wedding night.
* Maximilien Robespierre was a leader of the French Revolution
and it was his arguments that caused the revolutionary
government to murder the king without a trial.
* In addition, Robespierre was one of the main driving forces
behind the reign of terror, a 10 month post-revolutionary period
in which mass executions were carried out.
* The Terror took the lives of between 18,500 to 40,000 people,
with 1,900 being killed in the last month.
* Among people who were condemned by the revolutionary
tribunals, about 8 percent were aristocrats, 6 percent clergy, 14
percent middle class, and 70 percent were workers or peasants
accused of hoarding, evading the draft, desertion, rebellion, and
other purported crimes.
* In an act of coincidental justice, Robespierre was guillotined
without a trial in 1794.
* Idi Amin was an army officer and president of Uganda.
* He took power in a military coup in January 1971.
* His rule was characterized by human rights abuses, political
repression, ethnic persecution, extra judicial killings and the
expulsion of Indians from Uganda.
* The number of people killed as a result of his regime is unknown;
estimates range from 80,000 to 500,000.
* On August 4, 1972, Amin issued a decree ordering the expulsion
of the 60,000 Asians who were not Ugandan citizens (most of
them held British passports).
* Amin was eventually overthrown, but until his death, he held
that Uganda needed him and he never expressed remorse for the
abuses of his regime.
* With financial support from the government, Leopold created the
Congo Free State, a private project undertaken to extract rubber
and ivory in the Congo region of central Africa, which relied on
forced labour and resulted in the deaths of approximately 3 million
* The regime of the Congo Free State became one of the more
infamous international scandals of the turn of the century.
* The area of land privately owned by the King was an area 76 times
larger than Belgium, which he was free to rule as a personal
domain through his private army, the Force Publique.
* Leopold’s rubber gatherers tortured, maimed and slaughtered until
at the turn of the century, the conscience of the Western world
forced Brussels to call a halt.