Displaced Communities

displaced by Hitler & Stalin; 95%+)

(over 200,000 expelled, imprisoned, displaced, emigrated; 98.5% total)

VOLGA GERMANS (over 400,000 expelled by Soviets to Kazakhstan)

DUTCH GERMANS (3,691 expelled,
15% of German population)

(100-200,000 expelled after WWI)

(over 3,000,000 expelled
and displaced; 95% total)

(over 100,000 expelled, over
300,000 displaced; 88% of total)

(over 700,000 or 91.5% displaced by Hitler, USSR, & emigration)

US Internment of German-Americans, Japanese, & Italians
(10,906+ interned & blacklisted) NEW!

(over 5,000,000 expelled and displaced, nearly 100%) COMING SOON

(nearly 1,000,000 to Germany and Kazakhstan) COMING SOON

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comparative genocide AND ETHNIC CLEANSING table

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Disclaimers: this table is NOT in any way intended to either undermine the sufferings of other ethnic groups nor to imply that the tragedy and arguable "genocide" against the German expellees was 'worse' or more significant. So too, it must be acknowledged that every "genocide" is barraged with intense historiographic and cultural debate. One faction will vociferously demand recognition of what they consider a "genocide" (such as the Ukrainians), whilst the other faction (the Russians) will refuse to acknowledge any complicity. Even the word '"genocide"' is a subject of tremendous debate (see our article). Keep in mind that the numbers and statistics of every "genocide" are highly disputed and subject to drastically ranged estimates. One source may claim one "genocide" affected three million, whilst another will include over fifteen.



German starvation of Namibian tribes 1904-7- estimates range 30-80% of Herero and Namaqua tribes [1]


Irish Potato Famine 1845-53- many consider it a "genocide" caused by the British. 4-6,000,000, more than half of Ireland's population starved and emigrated [2].


Armenian "Genocide" by Ottoman Empire 1916-23- Turkey officially denies it (as does Azerbaijan), Armenians claim expulsion and murder of 1-2,000,000. Almost half of the Armenian race in Asia sent into diaspora. Calculations difficult due to uncertainty of how many died due to famine, infirmity, or direct murder.


"Genocide" against Greek by Ottoman Empire 1916-23- Turkey denies it, Greece, Cyprus, and the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) claim as many as several hundred thousand killed and label it a "genocide" [3].


Starvation of Ukrainians during Soviet collectivization- Russians deny it, Ukrainians claim from 3-20,000,000.


Russian Extinction of Siberian & "Small Peoples"- much like Native Americans, most of the native peoples of Siberia and northern Manchuria went extinct during Russian expansion to the East - see here


Russian Imperial Attack in Circassians/Adyghe - Chechen, Caucasian, Avar, and Circassian activists have accused the Russian Empire of having carrying out genocide and scorched earth warfare against Muslim tribes in the northern Caucasus during the Russo-Circassian Wars from 1753-1864 and the Murid War of 1830-59. Despite heavy resistance, much of the population was massacred to stamp out the resistance and most Adyghe/Circassians were forced into diaspora (particularly in the Ottoman Empire). See [1] and [2]. Thanks to Rafael Mahdi.


Russian Genocide in Chechnya (1990s-today)- Chechen activists, Islamists, and nationalists often accuse Vladimir Putin of carrying out genocide when much of Chechnya was burnt almost to the ground and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and the Islamist Caucasian Emirate (neither internationally recognised) were sent underground or into diaspora: see here.


Soviet Occupation of the Baltic (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finnic Lands) - during the repeated Soviet occupation of the Baltic States and Finnic-populated regions on the Russo-Finnish border (after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1940, after the Winter and Continuation Wars, and again at the end of WWII after 1944), Moscow is accused of carrying out systematic purges, ethnic cleansings, and forced demographic change. Aside from characteristic purges of suspected dissidents, nationalists, and Nazi collaborators, the Soviets systematically re-engineered cities like Narva to be purged of their indigenous population and replaced with Russian and Ukrainian settlers in order to forcibly integrate Baltic states into Soviet society. Hundreds of thousands of Ingrian, Karelian, and other Finnic minorities were deported to Siberia along with Baltic populations to remove suspected disloyal populations from the border and bolster Soviet control over the region. NATO and most Western states officially consider these timeframes to be "occupation" of sovereign Baltic states. In addition, it should be noted that during the German occupation after 1941, the German government carried out systematic purges of dissidents, communists, nationalists, and Jews and Roma in Baltic States prior to Soviet re-occupation. During each occupation, the local male population was also forcibly conscripted to fuel the German and Soviet war machines. Most of the ethnic German population (Baltic Germans) had already been systematically removed from the Baltic by joint Soviet-German population exchanges (see here).


Qing China's destruction of Dzungar Khanate- following Qing China's obliteration of the semi-nomadic Dzungar people of Central Asia in the 1700s, it is argued that most of the Oirat/Qirat population was massacred, died from disease, or was ethnically cleansed out of the region to make way for Chinese (Han) expansion. Remnants of the population went went into what is now Kalmykia in Russia, where they merged with the local population to become the only Buddhist-majority region of Europe.


Swahili/Tanganyikan Attack on Arabs in Zanzibar- prior to the unification of Tanganyika with Zanzibar and the following civil war there, most of the Arab population was either expelled or killed, leaving it majority Swahili African today.


Spanish & American Extinction of Native Americans & First Nations of Canada- estimates vary, but as much as 70% of the entire Native American population may have been wiped out within 200 years of Columbus' landing. It is up for debate whether it is appropriate to label this 'genocide' as the main cause of death was disease.


Soviet starvation of Kazakhs, Cossacks, Meshketian Turks, Chechens, & Tatars- during collectivization, as many as 40% of the entire Kazakh population died by 1940 [4], and 25-50% of the Chechen Ingush populations died due to malnourishment. Over half of all Tatars starved to death [5].


Burman Exclusion of Rohingya Muslims (Myanmar)- the Buddhist Burman-dominated military junta of Myanmar has been accused of systematically marginalizing Rohingya Muslims with violence, discrimination, and even anti-miscegenation laws as Rohingya are considered neither citizens of Bangladesh nor Myanmar. It is alleged by human rights groups that Burmese politics are increasingly dominated by Buddhist Nationalism and prominent opponents of the so-called "Islamisation" of Myanmar like Aishin Wirathu, to the exclusion of Muslim minorities.


Indonesian massacres of Chinese minorities- it is alleged by human rights groups that the Indonesian military dictatorship of Suharto singled out the Chinese minority of Indonesia in his assault on communist revolts brewing in the country from the 1960s onward. As many as 500,000+ total may have been killed in this process. This number, however, often includes Javanese and other non-Chinese.


Indonesian massacres in East Timor/Timor Leste- following the Indonesian occupation of (formerly Portuguese) East Timor from 75-99, it is alleged that the Indonesian military carried out systematic torture, rape, and murder of the Tetum and other tribes in order to stamp out the communist sympathies of the growing FRETILIN movement.


Christians vs Muslims in Central African Republic- both the Muslim-dominant Seleka movement (which seized power over the government in 2013) and the Christian-majority Anti-Balaka are accused of mutual genocide during the continuing civil war there.


'African Holocaust' or Ma'afa- African-American nationalists and academics have raised the question of whether the Atlantic Slave Trade of Africans constituted genocide. It is up for debate whether this label is appropriate as the nature of slave-driven economics necessitates that most slaves remain alive, rather than exterminated (as is the case of genocide).


Islamic State Attack on Yazidi Kurds, Mandaeans, Chaldeans- the Islamic State's systematic targeting, massacre, and alleged sexual enslavement of Yazidi Kurdish and Christian minorities after 2012 in Syria and Iraq has been referred to as genocide widely in the American and British press


Jewish Holocaust (Shoah)- including both systematic death camp killings and intense ethnic cleansings by Germans, Lithuanians, Estonians, Latvians, Austrians, Ukrainians, Poles, Croats, Bosniaks, Vichy France, Hungarians, and Romanians, the most corroborated total is at least 5,500,000. Over 1,000,000 killed through forced labour and gassing at Auschwitz-Birkenau alone, with at least 2 million shot by the Einsatzgruppen and local volunteers on the Eastern Front. By most counts the single most organised and extensive case of genocide in modern history.


German genocide in Poland- many consider the Nazi General Government's rule in Poland during from 1939-1945, and the death of ~10-20% of Poland's population, to be "genocide".

Ethnic cleansing of Hungarians by Czechoslovakia- numbers vary. Between 25 and 150,000 civilians expelled from Slovakia to Hungary at the same time as 3,000,000 Germans were expelled. Unknown death tolls.

Ethnic cleansing of Slovaks by Hungary- numbers vary. Anywhere from 15-75,000 Slovaks expelled in a population exchange with Czechoslovakia, while anywhere from 25 to 150,000 Hungarians were expelled to Hungary. Most scholars agree that the removal of Hungarians was compulsory (an ethnic cleansing), while the removal of Slovaks was largely voluntary.

Galician Ukrainians and Poles from 1920-1945- estimates vary. Mostly considered inter-ethnic fighting, but others have emphasized the ethnicity-based violence as a "genocide." Ranges from 10 to even 80,000 [6].


Bulgarian "genocide" of Greeks, Jews, & Serbs in Macedonia- so far unrecognized and disputed. Axis Bulgaria rounded up over 10,000 Jews and forced them into makeshift concentration camps, with uncertain deaths [7].


Croatian Nazi "genocide" against Serbs, Gypsies, & Jews- over 70,000 Jews, Gypsies, Communists, and Serbs killed in concentration camps by Croats in Jasenovac alone [8]. Total number killed by Croatia may be 1 million.


Soviet-German transfers of Baltic Germans- ~150,000 forcibly relocated by the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement between Hitler and Stalin in 1939. German civilians targeted after Soviet conquest of the Baltic for deportation, massacre, and expulsion (see our essay for sources). Relatively few deaths but a complete removal, so more appropriately called an ethnic cleansing.


Soviet deportation of all German civilians in USSR- nearly all of 1,084,828 expelled, over 300,000 may have died during the expulsions, or 30% total (see our essay for sources). Relatively few deaths but a complete removal, so more appropriately called an ethnic cleansing.


Soviet deportation of all Volga Germans- over 400,000 expelled, half may have died (see our essay for sources). Relatively few deaths but a complete removal, so more appropriately called an ethnic cleansing.


Polish and Soviet forced march of Germans- over 5,000,000 Germans expelled, with a debated number dying in transit from starvation, hypothermia, disease, and murder (see our essay for sources). The largest death toll among expelled German populations, although debates rage as to whether Poles or occupying Soviet troops are to blame.


Yugoslav imprisonment of Germans & Croats- at least 200,000 (the entire German population) gaoled, executed, or displaced, and subjected to forced labour in what many scholars call 'concentration camps' (see our essay for sources). Compared to other campaigns against Germans, an unusually high death rate. However, the Yugoslav Germans are unique because they were not murdered en masse, nor expelled at all, but imprisoned for several years (with a very high death rate) until most voluntarily emigrated or were expelled.


Czechoslovak forced march of Germans and Hungarians- over 3,000,000 expelled and displaced. As many as 100,000 may have starved to death or were executed (see our essay for sources). Relatively few deaths but a complete removal, so more appropriately called an ethnic cleansing.


Expulsion of Hungary's Germans- over 100,000 directly expelled, 300,000 displaced, 88% loss (see our essay for sources). Relatively few deaths but a complete removal, so more appropriately called an ethnic cleansing.


Deportation of Romania's Germans- 200,000 displaced by Hitler's population transfer, 75,000 deported for forced labour by Soviet Union (at least 15% dead), over 300,000 lost through relegated mass emigration (see our essay for sources). Relatively few deaths but a complete removal, so more appropriately called an ethnic cleansing. However, this term is largely inappropriate because most emigration was "voluntary," albeit under severe cultural discrimination.


Australian whites against Aboriginals- controversial. Some consider it only relocation/resettlement. Others describe the intentional murder and movement of 10-50,000 natives [9]. Primarily from disease, most of the indigenous population died out within 100 years. The native population of Tasmania largely ceased to exist by 1900.


India-Pakistan Bangladesh Conflict 1947-71- some consider the movement of millions of Muslims from India to West and East Pakistan (Bangladesh) to be a forced march and a "genocide". During the Bengali independence war between Pakistan and India, Muslims, Hindus, Pakistanis, and Bengalis engaged in mutual wars for independence. R. J. Rummel cites millions [10]. As much of the emigration was voluntary (albeit under immense pressure and discrimination), it is difficult to label this as ethnic cleansing. This is further complicated by the fact that over 100,000,000 Muslims remain in India and tens of thousands of Hindus in Pakistan, therefore indicating that neither India nor Pakistan intended to remove (or eradicate) the entire Muslim or Hindu populations, respectively.


Rwanda/Burundi "genocide" between Hutus & Tutsis- estimates range drastically from 500,000-1,000,000. Compared with other possible genocides, the violent campaigns organised by the Hutus may be one of the most authentic cases of "genocide" of the twentieth century. The Hutu Power movement, particularly the Interhamwe militias, directly advocated the extinction of all Tutsis in the style of a "genocide", including through in some cases the systematic rape and spread of HIV/AIDS to eradicate the Tutsi populations and mixed families.


Cambodian Killing Fields- controversial. While nearly 30% of the Cambodian population died during Khmer Rouge rule in the 1970s under Pol Pot (Saloth Sar), much of the death rate can be blamed on mismanagement, corruption, and abuse of power. Despite the large death toll, the term "genocide" may be inappropriate since it is technically impossible to commit "genocide" against one's own ethnic group. However, the regime disproportionately targeted ethnic Cham and Vietnamese communities in the country, which raises questions that "genocide" may have been carried out not against Cambodians, but ethnic minorities.


"Genocide" of Azeris by Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh- highly controversial. Turks and Azeris emphasize that Armenians deserve no restitution for the Armenian "genocide" from Turkey because of their murder of as many as ten thousand Turkic Muslims in Azerbaijan [11]. Armenians claim the opposite, insisting that it is a civil war.


Assyrian "Genocide" by Ottoman Turks- like the Armenians, anywhere from 200,000-600,000 Assyrian Christians in contemporary Iraq, Syria, and Turkey may have been killed along with the Armenians in the final days of the Ottoman Empire during World War II. Unlike the Armenian case, the Assyrian "genocide" has gathered relatively little recognition.


Hindu "genocide" of Buddhists in Sri Lanka after 1970- as many as 70-100,000 civilians slain by Tamil Hindu militias, especially the Tigers of Tamil Eelam [12]. But Tamil nationalists insist that the Buddhist Sinhala majority are guilty of systematic massacre and war crimes on Tamil civilians.


Pakistani "genocide" vs Bengali Nationalists- during Pakistan's resistance to East Pakistan's/Bangladesh's war of independence, the Bengali government has accused the Pakistani military (as well as Islamic militants in Bangladesh) of complicity in genocide and mass rape. War crimes trials have now emerged in quick succession after 2014.


Yugoslav Wars- extremely debated. Serbs deride the contumacy and revolt of the Croats and Bosniaks. Others insist that the Serbs committed mass rape and "genocide" of tens or even hundreds of thousands of non-Serbs, and 8-10,000 Muslims in Srbrenica alone [13]. War crimes were carried out by all parties, including Croatian nationalists, Bosnian Croats, Bosniak Muslims, and Bosnian Serbs.


Darfur war- extremely difficult to identify and ascertain statistics because of the wide array of tribes and religions involved in massive killings in the western regions of Sudan that make it difficult to portray a phenomenon of one race slaughtering another. Sudan dismisses it, although dictator Omar al-Bashir has an international warrant out for his arrest on war crimes. Human rights groups claim as high as millions are dead or displaced.



Sources used (note: sources greatly dispute estimated dead, so the above table includes ranges from many sources)

[1] 'Sturm über Südwest'. Der Hereroaufstand von 1904. Bernhard & Graefe-Verlag, Koblenz 1989.

[2] http://irishfaminememorial.org/events/2002_shirley_fitzgerald.htm

[3] http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.CHAP5.HTM

[4] Olivier Roy, The New Central Asia: Creation of Nations (London: IB Tauris Publishers, 2008), 88.

[5] Burleigh, Michael. The Third Reich: A New History. Hill and Wang, 2001. Page 748.

[6] Niall Ferguson. The War of the World. New York: Penguin Press, 2006. Page 455.

[7] Glenny, Misha. The Balkans. New York: Penguin Group, 1999. Page 506-509.

[8] http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/articles/2007/01/08/reportage-01

[9] http://www.theage.com.au/news/robert-manne/the-cruelty-of-denial/2006/09/08/1157222325367.html

[10] http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.CHAP8.HTM

[11] De Waal, Thomas. Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War. New York: NYU Press, 2003.

[12] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2405347.stm

[13] http://www.potocarimc.ba/memorijalni_eng/favorite.htm