Adolf Hitler was named as history’s number one villain
Adolf Hitler – Mini Biography (TV-14; 4:54) Adolf Hitler was leader of the Nazi Party and became Chancellor of Germany in 1933. As leader of the Third Reich, he invaded Poland, which started World War II. He orchestrated the Holocaust, which resulted in the death of 6 million Jews.
Born in Austria in 1889, Adolf Hitler rose to power in German politics as leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, also known as the Nazi Party. Hitler was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and served as dictator from 1934 to 1945. His policies precipitated World War II and the Holocaust. Hitler committed suicide with wife Eva Braun on April 30, 1945, in his Berlin bunker.
Osama Bin Laden was named number 2 on the villains
Osama bin Laden – Global Terrorist (TV-14; 2:56) Though Americans consider the September 11 attacks orchestrated by Osama bin Laden to be one of the most tragic days in history, radical Islamists view it as a victory against an oppressive foe.
Osama bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1957. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, bin Laden joined the Afghan resistance. After the Soviet withdrawal, bin Laden formed the al-Qaeda network which carried out global strikes against Western interests, culminating in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. On May 2, 2011, President Barack Obama announced that bin Laden had been killed in a terrorist compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Saddam Hussein was named number 3 on the villains list
Saddam Hussein – Mini Biography (TV-14; 3:33) Saddam Hussein was the president of Iraq for 24 years beginning in 1979. As leader of the Iraq he suppressed minorities and fought a war with Iran. He was captured by American forces during their invasion of Iraq in 2003 and executed.
Born on April 28, 1937, in Tikrit, Iraq, Saddam Hussein was a secularist who rose through the Baath political party to assume a dictatorial presidency. Under his rule, segments of the populace enjoyed the benefits of oil wealth, while those in opposition faced torture and execution. After military conflicts with U.S.-led armed forces, Hussein was captured in 2003. He was later executed.
George W. Bush – Mini Biography (TV-14; 2:55) Explore the controversies surrounding President George W. Bush, including his privileged youth, his hotly-contested election, and his responses to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, in this mini biography.
Born in July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut, George W. Bush was the 43rd president of the United States. He narrowly won the Electoral College vote in 2000, in one of the closest and most controversial elections in American history. Bush led the United States’ response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and initiated the Iraq War. Before his presidency, Bush was a businessman and served as governor of Texas.
Joseph Stalin – The Secret Police (TV-14; 1:42) As dictator of the Soviet Union, Stalin exerted full state control over the Russian people. Citizens were encouraged to accuse and turn-in each other.
Born on December 18, 1879, in Gori, Georgia, Joseph Stalin rose to power as General Secretary of the Communist Party, becoming a Soviet dictator upon Vladimir Lenin’s death. Stalin forced rapid industrialization and the collectivization of agricultural land, resulting in millions dying from famine while others were sent to camps. His Red Army helped defeat Nazi Germany during WWII.
Mao Tse Tung – Leader, Killer, Icon (TV-PG; 0:59) Mao Tse Tung ruled a quarter of the world’s population for twenty five years and made China one of the most powerful countries in the world. But behind the scenes he was responsible for the deaths of millions of Chinese people.
Born on December 26, 1893, in Shaoshan, Hunan Province, China, Mao Tse-tung served as chairman of the People’s Republic of China from 1949 to 1959, and led the Chinese Communist Party from 1935 until his death. Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” and the Cultural Revolution were ill-conceived and had disastrous consequences, but many of his goals, including stressing China’s self-reliance, were generally laudable.
Vladimir Lenin – Full Episode (TV-14; 43:53) A full Biography episode on the life of Russian philosopher, Vladimir Lenin.”
Vladimir Lenin founded the Russian Communist Party, led the Bolshevik Revolution and was the architect of the Soviet state. He was the posthumous source of “Leninism,” the doctrine codified and conjoined with Marx’s works by Lenin’s successors to form Marxism-Leninism, which became the Communist worldview. He has been regarded as the greatest revolutionary leader and thinker since Marx.
Genghis Khan – Mini Biography (TV-14; 1:53) Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire and raided most of Eurasia. He developed the most advanced professional army ever seen in Asia. He was known as “the Great Khan.”
Genghis Khan was born “Temujin” in Mongolia around 1162. He married at age 16, but had many wives during his lifetime. At 20, he began building a large army with the intent to destroy individual tribes in Northeast Asia and unite them under his rule. He was successful; the Mongol Empire was the largest empire in the world before the British Empire, and lasted well after his own death in 1227.
Saladin (1138-1193) leader of Muslim tribes during period of the Crusades. He is widely revered as the ideal of a Warrior-King – fierce in battle and generous to his enemies. He united the Muslim territories and succeeded in driving out the crusaders from the Holy city of Jerusalem.
Life of Saladin
saladinSaladin was born (1138) to a Kurdish family in Tikrit (Now part of northern Iraq). in 1171, he gained control over Egypt and then later Syria. Based in Damascus, Saladin united the disparate Muslim regions into a unified force. He was strict and ruthless in maintaining power. He used tremendous military and political skill to remain the unquestioned leader of the Arabs. By, 1177, Saladin had built up an army capable of taking on the crusaders.
The crusaders had controlled Jerusalem for many years. Its sack and murder of all inhabitants remained a painful memory for Muslims. To make matters worse, the current Christian occupiers of Jerusalem (under Raynald of Chatillon) would frequently harass Muslim pilgrims on the way to Mecca and Medina.
Thus in 1187, Saladin bought his massive army to the gates of Jerusalem and at the battle of Hattin, his army destroyed the Christian army enabling him to retake the city. However, Saladin did allow the survivors of the city to flee to ships taking them out of the holy land.
Saladin and Richard The Lionheart
The retaking of Jerusalem by Saladin, gave Richard the Lionheart a reason to start a new crusade. Richard the Lionheart arrived in the Holy Land in 1191 and defeated Saladin in the opening skirmishes. However, Richard was unable to retake Jerusalem and eventually returned to Europe without succeeding. Richard never met Saladin, though, through dealing with Saladin’s brother, Richard came to respect and admire Saladin. He recognised his honour, courage and chivalry. Saladin also was generous in his respect of Richard the Lionheart.
Although Saladin was a devout Sunni Muslim who re conquered Jerusalem for the Arabs, his name was held in wide regard throughout Europe – a rare occurrence for a Muslim in the medieval ages.
Qin Shi Huang (or Shi Huangdi) was the First Emperor of a unified China, who ruled from 246 BCE to 210 BCE. In his 35-year reign, he managed to create magnificent and enormous construction projects. He also caused both incredible cultural and intellectual growth, and much destruction within China.
Whether he should be remembered more for his creations or his tyranny is a matter of dispute, but everyone agrees that Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, was one of the most important rulers in Chinese history.
Interesting Facts about Emperor Qin
He was obsessed with trying to live forever. He had his best scientists work on finding an elixir of immortality that would enable him to never die.
Emperor Qin had thought his family would rule China for thousands of years. However, the empire collapsed only three years after his death.
Some documents indicate that he was the son of a lowly merchant and not the son of the King of Qin.
When he first became King of Qin, there were many assassination attempts on his life. Perhaps this is what made him so obsessed with living forever.