A lot of world leaders who had gone down the dictatorial route had been elevated to such heights where we often no longer think of them as regular human beings but more of distanced, tyrannical despots. Dictators, however, are apparently no different from your average joe. Body count aside, these famous overlords are as human as you or I – each with their own unique traits and quirks. Here then are some little-known facts about some of the more famous dictators:
Image via BBC
The supreme leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler is one of the more widely known dictators. Credited for starting the Second World War by ordering the invasion of Poland, Adolf Hitler caused the deaths of over 50 million people. Hitler is clearly no laughing matter, but here are some things we picked up on the infamous dictator:
- Hitler never took off his coat – even when he felt warm. Which is weird, but may have something to do with the next bit:
- Hitler never allowed anyone to see him naked.
- Hitler is a big circus fan – but mainly for the idea of performers risking their lives for his entertainment. The fact that circus performers are underpaid gets him giddy as well.
- Hitler is a huge film buff. He’s been reported to watch a movie in his private theater almost every night, and is a big fan of comedies – even the ones with Jewish comedians.
- Hitler’s Nazi rallying cry of ‘Sieg Heil’ was patterned after American cheerleaders’ yells.
Image via Jewish Virtual Library
The infamous leader of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong (or Mao Tse-Tung) was a Chinese Communist Leader who ruled from 1949 until his death in 1976. A figure respected by communist groups the world over, Mao was criticized for the deaths of millions of Chinese under his rule.
Image via Wikipedia
A figure of mixed opinions, Mao was a great figurehead whose image and works are used by many to this day. Here are some bits of info not many know about him though:
- Mao did not brush his teeth, instead rinsing his mouth with tea leaves as was common practice among his countrymen at the time.
- Mao was a bit of a smoker in his day – even to the point of refusing his doctor’s advice to cut back, playfully responding that smoking is a form of deep-breathing exercise.
Image via Chinese Posters
- In what may be considered as one of the more epic acts of trolling ever, Mao, tired of the Russians’ bullying, greeted Khrushchev in one of their scheduled meetings in robes and slippers and asked him to join him in the pool knowing that the Russian couldn’t swim. Khrushchev had to wear water rings for the meeting.
Image via Son Dakika
Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from the time of his father’s death in 1994 until his own death in 2011, Kim Jong-Il has one of the more ‘colorful’ records, particularly due to some of his own more boisterous claims. Here’s some of the more interesting bits about the ‘Dear Leader’:
- Kim Jong-Il loved waterslides. Satellite imagery of one of Kim Jong-Il’s estates show that the Communist dictator had some fun-looking waterslides built into his home.
- Kim Jong-Il drank over $700k worth of cognac a year.
- He was also a big fan of movies. So much so that he had a pair of South Korean directors kidnapped…to create a Godzilla remake. Checkout the Japanese trailer below:
Image via Swiss Guns
President of Iraq from 1979 to 2003, Saddam Hussein is credited for the death of 5 million people through war and genocide. He was removed from his position during the War in Iraq led by the United States. Here’re some fun facts about the mustachioed leader:
- Another movie fan, Saddam’s favorite film was ‘The Godfather’.
- Saddam Hussein in 1980 received the key to Detroit, thus making him an honorary citizen.
- Saddam Hussein is also a novelist in his own right, having written two novels: “Zabibah and the King” and “The Fortified Castle”. Saddam wrote them under the pen name “He Who Wrote It.”.