Dictators, madmen, terrorists - most have toppled nations and killed many people, caused inexplicable horror, and destroyed countless families. And yet some notorious historical figures had their own families. They had children to dote upon and pets to scratch behind the ears. It's fascinating to imagine how these people could wreak so much global chaos, and then cradle their young sons or smile adoringly at their spouse.
Was it easy for these notorious figures to reconcile their indefensible actions with familial affections? Did they ever have to defend their decisions to their loved ones? Or did these infamous men treat their families like the people they scorned? Ivan the Terrible did - he allegedly killed his son in a fit of rage. But what about other dictators? Were they aggressive at home?
It's difficult to determine the family dynamics, but pictures of these destructive men enjoying family life offer some information. Maybe in certain ways, they were similar to normal parents or dog dads, or perhaps they scarred their descendants for life.
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party. He was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and Führer of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As effective dictator of Nazi Germany, Hitler was at the centre of WWII in Europe, and the Holocaust. Hitler was a decorated veteran of WWI. He joined the German Workers' Party in 1919, and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923, he attempted a coup in Munich to seize power. The failed coup resulted in Hitler's imprisonment, during which time he wrote his autobiography and political manifesto Mein Kampf. ...more on Wikipediasee more on Adolf Hitler
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of al-Qaeda, the militant organization that claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks on the United States, along with numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets. He was a Saudi Arabian, a member of the wealthy bin Laden family, and an ethnic Yemeni Kindite. Bin Laden was born to the family of billionaire Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden in Saudi Arabia. He studied at university in the country until 1979, when he joined mujahideen forces in Pakistan fighting against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. He helped to fund the mujahideen by funneling arms, money and fighters from the Arab world into ...more on Wikipediasee more on Osama bin Laden
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician, journalist, and leader of the National Fascist Party, ruling the country as Prime Minister from 1922 until his ousting in 1943. He ruled constitutionally until 1925, when he dropped all pretense of democracy and set up a legal dictatorship. Known as Il Duce, Mussolini was one of the key figures in the creation of fascism. In 1912 Mussolini was the leading member of the National Directorate of the Italian Socialist Party. Prior to 1914 he was a keen supporter of the Socialist International, starting the series of meetings in Switzerland that organised the communist revolutions and insurrections that swept through Europe from 1917. ...more on Wikipediasee more on Benito Mussolini
Joseph Stalin or Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until 1953. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917, Stalin was appointed general secretary of the party's Central Committee in 1922. He subsequently managed to consolidate power following the 1924 Vladimir Lenin through suppressing Lenin's criticisms and expanding the functions of his role, all the while eliminating any opposition. He remained general secretary until the post was abolished in 1952, concurrently serving as the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1941 onward. ...more on Wikipediasee more on Joseph Stalin