Anti-communist mass killings

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Anti-communist mass killings refer to the political mass murder of communists, alleged communists, or their supporters.


Between 1929 and 1937, an estimated 1.3 million people were killed in anti-communist terror by the Kuomintang (KMT) regime.[1]

Shanghai Massacre[edit]

The Shanghai massacre of 1927, also known as the 12 April Incident, was a large-scale purge of Communists from the Kuomintang in Shanghai, ordered by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek on 12 April 1927, during the Northern Expedition against the warlords.

On 12 April 1927, Chiang carried out purge of Communists from the Kuomintang in Shanghai and began large-scale massacres. Chiang's forces turned machine guns on 100,000 workers taking to streets, massacring more than 5000 people. Throughout April 1927 in Shanghai, more than 12,000 people were killed. The killing in Shanghai drove most of the Communists out of the urban cities and into the rural countryside.[2]


In the southeastern city of Ulsan, hundreds of people were massacred by the South Korean police during the early months of the Korean War between 1950 and 1953. 407 civilians were summarily executed without trial in July and August 1950 alone. On 24 January 2008, the former President of Korea Roh Moo-hyun apologized for the mass killings. (See also the mass killings conducted against prison inmates who were suspected leftists at prisons in other cities such as[3] Busan, Masan, and Jinju.)

Bodo League massacre[edit]

The execution of political prisoners by South Korean Military Police
Main article: Bodo League massacre

The Bodo League Massacre was a massacre that occurred in the summer of 1950 during the Korean War. Estimates of the death toll vary; while police records estimate around 10,000 deaths, the truth commission has said there may be more and according to Prof. Kim Dong-Choon, Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, at least 100,000 people were executed for the suspicion of supporting communism.[4]


Nazi Germany[edit]

German communists, socialists and trade unionists were among the earliest domestic opponents of Nazism[5] and were also among the first to be sent to concentration camps. Hitler claimed that communism was a Jewish ideology which the Nazis termed "Judeo-Bolshevism". Fear of communist agitation was used as justification for the Enabling Act of 1933, the law which gave Hitler his original dictatorial powers. Hermann Göring later testified at the Nuremberg Trials that the Nazis' willingness to repress German communists prompted President Paul von Hindenburg and the German elite to cooperate with the Nazis. The first concentration camp was built at Dachau, in March 1933, to imprison German communists, socialists, trade unionists and others opposed to the Nazis.[6] Communists, social democrats and other political prisoners were forced to wear a red triangle.

Whenever the Nazis occupied a new territory, members of communist, socialist, or anarchist groups were normally to be the first persons detained or executed. Evidence of this is found in Hitler's infamous Commissar Order, in which he ordered the summary execution of all political commissars captured among Soviet soldiers, as well as the execution of all Communist Party members in German held territory.[7][8] Einsatzgruppen carried out these executions in the east.[9]


Killings of 1965–66[edit]

The Indonesian killings of 1965–66 were a violent anti-Communist purge following an abortive coup in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Conventional estimates of the number of people killed by the Indonesian security forces over the course of this period run at between 500,000 and 1,000,000.[10]

The killings started in October 1965 in Jakarta, spread to Central and East Java and later to Bali, and smaller outbreaks occurred in parts of other islands,[11] notably Sumatra. As the Sukarno presidency began to unravel and Suharto began to assert control following the coup attempt, the PKI's upper national leadership was hunted and arrested with some summarily executed; the airforce in particular was a target of the purge. PKI chairman, Dipa Nusantara Aidit, had flown to Central Java in early October, and where the coup attempt had been supported by leftist officers in Yogyakarta, Salatiga, and Semarang.[12] Fellow senior PKI leader, Njoto, was shot around 6 November, Aidit on 22 November, and First Deputy PKI Chairman, M.H. Lukman, was killed shortly after.[13]


White Terror[edit]

Main article: White Terror (Spain)

In Spain, White Terror refers to the atrocities committed by the Nationalist movement during the Spanish Civil War and during Francisco Franco's dictatorship.[14]

Most historians agree that the death toll of the White Terror was higher than that of the Red Terror. While most estimates of the Red Terror range from 38,000[15] to 55,000,[16] most of the estimates of the White Terror range from 150,000[17] to 400,000.[18]

Concrete figures do not exist, as many Communists and Socialists fled Spain after losing the Civil War. Furthermore, the Francoist government destroyed thousands of documents relating to the White Terror[19][20][21] and tried to hide the executions of the Republicans.[22][23] Thousands of victims of the "White Terror" are buried in hundreds of unmarked common graves, more than 600 in Andalusia alone.[24] The largest common grave is that at San Rafael cemetery on the outskirts of Malaga (with perhaps more than 4,000 bodies).[25] The Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Historica or ARMH)[26] says that the number of disappeared is over 35,000.[27]


About 3,008 suspected communists[28] were killed by Thai forces in Phatthalung Province between 1972–75 in the Red Drum killings.[29] The army, police, and Volunteer Defence Forces were implicated in the massacre,[30] and it has been described as "only part of a pattern of widespread abuse of power by the army and enforcement agencies".[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rummel, R.J. China's Bloody Century. Transaction Publishers. New Brunswick, NJ. 1991. p.94.
  2. ^ ''Shanghai'' By Bradley Mayhew. Google Books. ISBN 978-1-74059-308-3. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Hardy, Bert. "Political prisoners waiting for being loaded in trucks transferring them to their execution sites, Sept. 1, 1950". Picture Post. 
  4. ^ "Khiem and Kim Sung-soo: Crime, Concealment and South Korea". Japan Focus. Retrieved 11 August 2008. [dead link]
  5. ^ Non-Jewish Resistance, Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.
  6. ^ "Horrors of Auschwitz", Newsquest Media Group Newspapers, 27 January 2005
  7. ^ "The war that time forgot", The Guardian, 5 October 1999
  8. ^ Commissar Order
  9. ^ Peter Hitchens, The Gathering Storm, 9 April 2008
  10. ^ Friend (2003), p. 113.
  11. ^ Cribb (1990), p. 3.
  12. ^ Vickers (2005), p. 157.
  13. ^ Ricklefs (1991), p. 288; Vickers (2005), p. 157
  14. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain; The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939 (Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 2006), pp.89–94.
  15. ^ Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain; The Spanish Civil War 1936–1939. Penguin Books. 2006. London. p.87
  16. ^ Thomas, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Penguin Books. London. 2001. p.900
  17. ^ Casanova, Julían; Espinosa, Francisco; Mir, Conxita; Moreno Gómez, Francisco. Morir, matar, sobrevivir. La violencia en la dictadura de Franco. Editorial Crítica. Barcelona. 2002. p.8
  18. ^ Richards, Michael. A Time of Silence: Civil War and the Culture of Repression in Franco's Spain, 1936-1945. Cambridge University Press. 1998. p.11
  19. ^ Preston, Paul. The Spanish Civil War. Reaction, revolution & revenge. Harper Perennial. 2006. London. p.316
  20. ^ Espinosa, Francisco. La justicia de Queipo. Editorial Crítica. 2006. Barcelona. p.4
  21. ^ Espinosa, Francisco. Contra el olvido. Historia y memoria de la guerra civil. Editorial Crítica. 2006. Barcelona. p.131
  22. ^ Fontana, Josep, ed. España bajo el franquismo. Editorial Crítica. 1986. Barcelona. p.22
  23. ^ Espinosa, Francisco. La justicia de Queipo. Editorial Crítica. 2006. Barcelona. pp.172–173
  24. ^ Moreno Gómez, Francisco. 1936: el genocidio franquista en Córdoba. Editorial Crítica. Barcelona. 2008. p.11
  25. ^ The Olive Press
  26. ^ [1] "Opening Franco's Graves", by Mike Elkin Archaeology Volume 59 Number 5, September/October 2006. Archaeological Institute of America
  27. ^ Silva, Emilio. Las fosas de Franco. Crónica de un desagravio. Ediciones Temas de Hoy. 2006. Madrid. p. 110
  28. ^ "The Red Drum massacres of 30 years ago". Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  29. ^ Kim, Sung Chull; Ganesan, Narayanan (2013). State Violence in East Asia. University Press of Kentucky. p. 1. ISBN 9780813136790. 
  30. ^ Summary of World Broadcasts: Far East, Part 3. Monitoring Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. 1976. 
  31. ^ Kim, Sung Chull; Ganesan, Narayanan (2013). State Violence in East Asia. University Press of Kentucky. p. 259. ISBN 9780813136790.