8 Most Horrific Massacres In World History

7. Paris Massacre

  • France

Horrific Massacres
Photo by Cintia Erdens Paiva from Shutterstock

Fifty years before ISIS chose Paris as its target, the city was the scene of another, even more horrific atrocity. This time, it was the Paris police who were responsible. For years, the French public was kept in the dark about the specifics. Even now, the actual number of people that died remains unknown.

France was struggling for the sovereignty of its Algerian colony in 1961. In France, there was a tremendous anti-war sentiment, and on October 17, 1961, a huge peaceful demonstration erupted in the heart of Paris.

Maurice Papon was the head of the Paris police force at the time. Years later, he would stand trial and be found guilty of crimes against humanity performed during WWII.

The police, led by Papon, encircled and assaulted the demonstrators. The demonstrators were beaten to death with clubs and shot before their remains were dumped over bridges into the Seine. In the center of Paris, 200 people were killed by the end of the day. The police told the media the next day that just three individuals had passed away, trying to cover up the massacre.

For years, the police’s version of events dominated the news. It took until the 1990s for the truth to be exposed. Until 2012, the French government did not apologize or acknowledge the tragedy.

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5 thoughts on “8 Most Horrific Massacres In World History”

  1. I don’t believe either the limited scale Russia-Ukraine conflict or a brutal police action in the US could possibly top the Armenian massacre by the Turks!! What about the Hutu massacre by Tutus in Rwanda? The Uighur persecutions by the CCP many of our politicans love taking money from? The rape camps and concentration camps the mostly Muslim Bosnians experienced?
    The Rape of Nanking? Those two of the named actions on your list do not belong in the top five hundred of world’s worst massacres!
    Tamerlane, Genghis Khan, the Crusades, the European wars from Julius Caesar to WWII, the African tribal conflicts, these ALL contained within their parameters incidents of great violence perpetrated on the innocent! I am not even including the actual wars and what atrocities occurred when the soldiers were fighting each other.
    I’m no historian so these are just some of worse atrocities that came to my mind as I went through this list.

  2. BEFORE I READ THE ARTICLE, I WAS SO SURE THAT YOU WOULD HAVE OMITTED THE CARNAGE METED OUT TO NEGROES DURING AMERICAN SLAVERY – AND INDEED I WAS CORRECT –
    THE THOUSANDS OF DEAD BODIES THROWN OVERBOARD DURING THE MIDDLE PASSAGE, THE DAILY AND WEEKLY HANGINGS , THE COUNTLESS YOKINGS WHERE SLAVES WERE PLACED IN VATS AND BOILED TO DEATH ON EACH PLANTATION- I AM SURE YOUR RESPONSE WOULD BE – IT NEVER HAPPENED IN THIS WORLD – OR “IT WAS NOT POLITICAL ” YES IT WAS !!
    WHAT ABOUT THE CARNAGE OF THE HUTUS AND TUTUS AND – IDI AMIN IN UGANDA ? I FORGOT – AFRICA AND AFRICANS ARE NOT PART OF THIS WORLD …

    1. Just anted to add. I guess it is easy to omit the slaughter of thousands of Native Americans and the lynching of black Americans post 1860. Ever heard of thee Trail of Tears and the Tulsa Massacre.
      The U.S. ranks #1.

  3. Christopher Atwood

    Can’t believe you left out the Rape of Nanking in 1937, where Japanese invaders committed unspeakable atrocities on a grand scale, killing millions of Chinese innocents, including just-born and unborn babies, and required family members to have sex with each other as the women were systematically raped and killed. I’d have it in the top three to say the least along with Stalin’s and Hitler’s pogroms.

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