Mao: Greatest Mass Murderer
Chinese leader killed 45M from 1958 to 1962: Historian
By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2010 11:27 AM CDT
A Chinese paramilitary policeman stands guard in front of a portrait of Mao Zedong hanging on Tiananmen Gate.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

(Newser) – Mao Zedong is the greatest mass murderer in history, having coordinated the death of 45 million Chinese peasants from 1958 to 1962, the Independent reports. Historian Frank Dikötter is the first to examine a block of Communist Party archives made available four year ago, and found—despite official whitewashing—that the acts of violence of the Communist authorities during the Great Leap Forward were carefully recorded. "It ranks alongside the gulags and the Holocaust as one of the three greatest events of the 20th century," he says.

The Great Leap was a push to catch up to the economies of the West, but streamlining China's agriculture also involved liquidating a large portion of the rural peasantry, Dikötter found. Archives show a brutal working environment in which all but the strong were banned from the state canteen, effectively starving them out. Minor crimes, even committed by children, could be punishable by death, possibly by being tied up and thrown into a pond.

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Showing 3 of 116 comments
billcrawford
Sep 19, 2010 10:16 PM CDT
"Mao Zedong is the greatest mass murderer in history, having coordinated the death of 45 million Chinese peasants from 1958 to 1962" and we can't take care of 12 million ileagles in 4 decades? all walls that have been built in ernest have worked to a very great degree, it is the old saying, Ya gotta wanna, and then you can! It is our politicians that are destroying this country and they need to be run out on a rail or sent to China to be delt with.
Box1Car
Sep 18, 2010 9:07 PM CDT
When Lincoln was told it would take over 1Billion SLAVES to do the Great Plains states, he saw to it that Congress passed the 1862 Land Grant College Act (its in the dictionary) to ensure the Mechanization of Agriculture by creating A&M Colleges in new western states- then he fought a Civil War to remove slavery At the time, a Civil War raged in China over land reform. In 1862 alone over 20Million Chinese died in their Civil War and at that rate far exceeded Mao's rate of 44Million/4yrs = 11Million per year, not 20Milliion, duh Since SLAVERY won out in China, today we have over 1Billion SLAVES in China, and your labels on your purchase should read "Made in China by Slaves" When there are too many people in a finite space of very limited resources, someone's got to go or everyone dies- its why no one picked up survivors of Titanic Why would they? The resource called a life boat would be overwhelmed- GENOCIDE is a solution to what? To over population. By whom? By whoever decides its a great idea to have multi-birth families, so who are the REAL VILLIANS in history? Those who promote multi-birth families are the REAL Anti-Christs- sorry
Beatlesrule
Sep 18, 2010 8:22 PM CDT
All you idiots out there that think we live in a socialist country, This Is Socialism! Know the difference.