Mass killings. China The greatest massacre ever imputed by the government of one sovereign nation against the government of another is that of 26.3 million Chinese during the regime of Mao Zedong between 1949 and May 1965. This accusation was made by an agency of the USSR government in a radio broadcast on 7 Apr. 1969. The broadcast broke down the figure into four periods: 2.8 million (1949-52); 3.5 million (1953-57); 6.7 million (1958-60); and 13.3 million (1961-May 1965).
The Walker Report published by the US Senate Committee of the Judiciary in July 1971 placed the parameters of the total death toll within China since 1949 between 32.25 and 61.7 million. An estimate of 63.7 million was published by the Figaro magazine of 19-25 Nov. 1978.
In Chinese history of the 13th-17th centuries there were three periods of wholesale massacre. The numbers of victims attributed to these events are assertions rather than reliable estimates. The figures given for the Mongolian invasions of northern China from 1210-19 and from 1311-40 are both on the order of 35 million, while the number of victims of the bandit leader Chang Hsien-chung (c. 1605-47), known as the “Yellow Tiger,” from 1643-47 in the Siechuan province has been put at 40 million.
USSR The total death toll in the Great Purge, or Yezhovshchina, in the USSR from 1936-38 has never been published. Evidence of its magnitude may be found in population statistics, which show a decline in population from before the outbreak of the 1941-45 war. Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn estimated the loss of life from state repression and terrorism from October 1917 to December 1959 under Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev at 66.7 million.
Nazi Germany The most reliable estimate of the number of Jewish victims of the Holocaust or the genocidal “Final Solution” (Endlösung) ordered by Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) in April 1941 and continuing into May 1945 is 5.8 million. At the SS (Schutzstaffel) extermination camp (Vernichtungslager) known as Auschwitz-Birkenau (Oświecim-Brzezinka), near Oświechim (Auschwitz) in southern Poland, a minimum of 920,000 people (Soviet estimate is 4 million) were killed from 14 June 1940 to 18 Jan. 1945. The greatest number killed in a day was 6,000.
Cambodia As a percentage of a nation’s total population the worst genocide appears to have been that in Cambodia (or Kampuchea). According to the Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister, Teng Sary, more than a third of the 8 million Khmers were killed between 17 Apr. 1975 and January 1979. The philosophy of class conflict induced indifference to individual suffering to the point of serving as a warrant for massacre. Under the rule of Saloth Sar, alias Pol Pot, a founding member of the CPK (Communist Party of Kampuchea, formed in September 1960), towns, money and property were abolished and economical execution by bayonet and club was introduced for such offenses as falling asleep during the day, asking too many questions, playing noncommunist music, being old and feeble, being the offspring of an “undesirable” or being too well educated. Deaths at the Tuol Sleng interrogation center reached 582 in a day.
— Guinness Book of Records, 1992 Edition, p. 229