War Criminals

When Peter von Hagenbach was executed in the 15th century, he became the first person to have been convicted at an “international" war crimes trial. Major Connaught, a Royalist who was hanged for his part in the massacre of villagers in a church in the mid 17th century is another example of a war criminal. Even though war crimes have been happening from the past several centuries, such crimes were perpetuated at an unprecedented level during the World War II. One of the most feared Nazi leaders, Adolf Eichmann was a war criminal held responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews during the war. Josef Mengele, also known as Auschwitz’s “Angel of Death”, was notorious for the brutal human experiments he conducted on prisoners-of-war. While a majority of war criminals are males, women like Ilse Koch, Dorothea Binz, and Irma Grese have proven that some females also display unspeakable brutality during war time. More recently, former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević was brought to trial for alleged war crimes but died before the trial could be concluded. Former Liberian President Charles G. Taylor and Omar al-Bashir, current head of state of Sudan are also regarded as war criminals. This section provides you information about the life and crimes of notorious war criminals from all over the globe.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Rank the Most Wicked War Criminals

 1 Adolf Eichmann

Otto Adolf Eichmann
4
Famous As: One of the Main Organizers of the Holocaust
Birthdate: March 19, 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: May 31, 1962
Adolf Eichmann was a Nazi lieutenant colonel and one of the chief organizers of the Holocaust, that involved mass deportation and murder of Jews. In 1962, Eichmann was captured by the Mossad in Argentina and was then taken to Israel. He was eventually tried and hanged for crimes against humanity.

 2 Josef Mengele

Josef Mengele
7
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: March 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: February 7, 1979

Known as Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele was the chief doctor of Auschwitz concentration camp and was responsible for killing thousands of Jews as well as torturing the prisoners mercilessly and conducting inhuman experiments on them. These included injecting them with chemicals and stitching twin children together. Despite his horrible crimes, the infamous Nazi doctor could never be captured.

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 3 John Demjanjuk

John Demjanjuk
3
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: April 3, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Ukrainian, American
Died: March 17, 2012
John Demjanjuk was a Trawniki man and a Nazi concentration camp guard at Sobibor, Majdanek, and Flossenbürg. He was part of a highly publicized trial that convicted him for committing atrocities as the infamous Treblinka guard “Ivan the Terrible.” However, lack of any strong evidence suggested he had been misidentified

 4 Reinhard Heydrich

Reinhard Heydrich
3
Famous As: Nazi Official
Birthdate: March 7, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: June 4, 1942

Reinhard Heydrich was a Nazi police officer and a high-ranking SS. Heydrich is widely regarded as one of the main architects of the Holocaust, a World War II genocide that killed some six million Jews. Described by Adolf Hitler as the man with the iron heart, Heydrich is regarded as the darkest figure of the Nazi era by many historians.

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 5 Klaus Barbie

Klaus Barbie
2
Famous As: Nazi Leader
Birthdate: October 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: German
Died: 1991 AD

Klaus Barbie was a Gestapo and SS official during the Nazi era. Dubbed the Butcher of Lyon, Barbie was known for having tortured prisoners of the Gestapo while stationed in Lyon, France. It is also believed that he played a major role in the execution of Che Guevara. Barbie's life and work inspired the 2007 documentary film My Enemy's Enemy.

 6 Martin Bormann

Martin Bormann
1
Famous As: Private Secretary of Adolf Hitler
Birthdate: June 17, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: May 2, 1945

Martin Bormann was a Nazi Party official. Bormann headed the Nazi Party Chancellery, and gained immense power after he was accepted into Adolf Hitler's inner circle. In 1935, he became Hitler's personal secretary and served as the minister of the Nazi Party after Hitler's suicide in 1945.

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 7 Hideki Tojo

Hideki Tojo
0
Famous As: 27th Prime Minister of Japan
Birthdate: December 30, 1884
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Japanese
Died: December 23, 1948

Hideki Tojo headed the Imperial Japanese Army and was the Japanese minister of war, apart from being Japan’s prime minister from 1941 to 1944. His tenure witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor. After Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers, Tojo was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death.

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 8 Slobodan Milosevic

Slobodan Milosevic
3
Famous As: Former President of Serbia & the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Birthdate: August 20, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Serbian
Died: March 11, 2006

Slobodan Milosević was a Serbian political leader who served as the President of Serbia from 1989 to 1997 and of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. He pursued Serbian nationalist policies, which resulted in the breakup of the socialist Yugoslav federation. Milosevic was charged with war crimes in connection to the Bosnian War, the Croatian War, and the Kosovo War, and died in custody.

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 9 Ernst Röhm

Ernst Röhm
2
Famous As: Nazi War Criminal
Birthdate: November 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: German
Died: July 1, 1934

Regarded by Hitler as a potential rival, Röhm was murdered at the Führer’s order. Ernst Röhm was a prominent German military officer and an early member of the Nazi Party. He was wounded thrice in World War I and was briefly imprisoned for his part in the Beer Hall Putsch. 

 10 Rudolf Höss

Rudolf Höss
4
Famous As: Nazi War Criminal
Birthdate: November 25, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: German
Died: April 16, 1947

Rudolf Höss was a German SS officer who was convicted of war crimes after the defeat of Nazi Germany. The longest-serving commandant of the Auschwitz extermination camp, Höss implemented means to accelerate the Final Solution, a Nazi plan for the genocide of Jews. Upon his order, pesticide Zyklon B was used in gas chambers, killing millions of people.

 11 Irma Grese

Irma Grese
1
Famous As: Nazi Guard
Birthdate: October 7, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German
Died: December 13, 1945

Irma Grese, or the Hyena of Auschwitz, served as an SS guard at the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Ravensbrück. She was also the warden of the ladies’ section of the Bergen-Belsen camp and ended up being convicted of torture and murder of prisoners. She was executed at 22.

 12 Mutsuhiro Watanabe

Mutsuhiro Watanabe
3
Famous As: Imperial Japanese Army Corporal
Birthdate: January 18, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Japanese
Died: April 1, 2003

Mutsuhiro Watanabe was an Imperial Japanese Army soldier in World War II. Following Japan’s defeat, he was classified a war criminal for his mistreatment of prisoners of war (POWs) by the US Occupation authorities. However, the US authorities could not capture him. In his later years, he became an insurance salesman and grew wealthy.

 13 Ilse Koch

Ilse Koch
1
Famous As: Nazi Concentration Camp Overseer
Birthdate: September 22, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German
Died: September 1, 1967
Ilse Koch was the wife of Karl-Otto Koch, the Nazi commandant of the Buchenwald and Majdanek concentration camps. Also known as Beast of Buchenwald, The Bitch of Buchenwald, and Butcher Widow, she was tried by the U.S. military for her sadistic abuse of war prisoners. She died of suicide.

 14 Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor
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Famous As: Former President of Liberia
Birthdate: January 28, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Liberian

Charles Taylor is a former Liberian politician who served as the 22nd President of Liberia. As a young man, he was the head of a Libyan-backed rebel group, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, and played a key role in initiating the First Liberian Civil War. He was elected the president after the war in 1997. He resigned in 2003.

 15 Franz von Papen

Franz von Papen
1
Famous As: Former Vice-Chancellor of Germany
Birthdate: October 29, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: German
Died: May 2, 1969

Franz von Papen was a German politician, Prussian nobleman, diplomat, and General Staff officer. From 1933 to 1934, he served under Adolf Hitler as the Vice-Chancellor of Germany. After World War II, Franz von Papen was indicted alongside other war criminals in the Nuremberg trials. However, he was later acquitted of all charges.

 16 William Calley

William Calley
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Famous As: Military Officer
Birthdate: June 8, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 17 Oskar Dirlewanger

Oskar Dirlewanger
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Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: September 26, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German
Died: June 7, 1945
German military officer Oskar Dirlewanger established and led the Nazi SS penal unit Dirlewanger during World War II. He had also participated in World War I and the Spanish Civil War, winning the Iron Cross 2nd Class and 1st Class. He died in Allied custody at the Altshausen prison camp.

 18 Alfred Rosenberg

Alfred Rosenberg
1
Famous As: Nazi Party Ideologue, Author
Birthdate: January 12, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: German
Died: October 16, 1946
Alfred Rosenberg led the NSDAP Office of Foreign Affairs in Nazi Germany. Known for his work The Myth of the Twentieth Century, which explored the Nazi ideology, he was hanged as a war criminal after the Nuremberg trials. He was also one of the proponents of Positive Christianity.

 19 William Joyce

William Joyce
1
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 24, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: German, American
Died: January 3, 1946

American-born fascist politician William Joyce was a Nazi propaganda broadcaster to UK during World War II. He later became a German citizen. As a young man, he joined the British Union of Fascists (BUF) and rose through the ranks to become the BUF's Director of Propaganda. Following the end of World War II, he was arrested for treason and executed.

 20 Ernst Kaltenbrunner

Ernst Kaltenbrunner
1
Famous As: Nazi Leader
Birthdate: October 4, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Austrian
Died: October 16, 1946

Ernst Kaltenbrunner was an SS official who played a major role in the Holocaust during the Nazi era. From 1943 to 1945, Kaltenbrunner served as chief of the Reich Main Security Office, which housed the offices of SD, Kripo, and Gestapo. His most influential period as an SS official coincided with the period during which the genocide of Jews intensified.

 21 Alfred Jodl

Alfred Jodl
1
Famous As: Military Commander, Nazi War Criminal
Birthdate: May 10, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: German
Died: October 16, 1946

Alfred Jodl was a German colonel-general who played an important role throughout World War II by serving as Chief of the Operations Staff of a German Armed Forces High Command called the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. After the war, Jodl was tried at the Nuremberg trials and was found guilty on charges, such as crimes against humanity and war crimes.

 22 Omar al-Bashir

Omar al-Bashir
0
Famous As: Former President of Sudan
Birthdate: January 1, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Sudanese

Omar al-Bashir is a Sudanese politician who served as the seventh president of Sudan. A former military officer, he is the founder of the National Congress Party that remained the dominant political party in the country until 2019. He was deposed in a coup d'état the same year and subsequently arrested and convicted on multiple corruption charges.

 23 Diego Murillo Bejarano

Diego Murillo Bejarano
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Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: February 23, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: Colombian

 24 Hans Frank

Hans Frank
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 23, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: October 16, 1946

Hitler’s legal advisor Hans Frank was made the governor-general of Poland after World War II broke out. Known as the Butcher of Poland for his atrocities against the Jews, he was hanged at the end of the Nuremberg Trials. He penned his autobiography while awaiting his execution.

 25 Albert Kesselring

Albert Kesselring
1
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: November 30, 1885
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: German
Died: July 16, 1960
One of Hitler’s most reliable strategists during World War II, Albert Kesselring was a loyal Luftwaffe general. His exploits include operations in Poland, France, and Britain. Following the Nuremberg trials, he was sentenced to death, but the sentence was later commuted. He was released after being diagnosed with throat cancer. 

 26 Arthur Seyss-Inquart

Arthur Seyss-Inquart
0
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: July 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Austrian, Czech
Died: October 16, 1946

Arthur Seyss-Inquart was an Austrian politician who was part of the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I. A Nazi propagandist, Seyss-Inquart was convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes at the Nuremberg trials and sentenced to death. He was executed on 16 October 1946 in Nuremberg Prison.

 27 Oskar Groening

Oskar Gröning
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Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: June 10, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: March 9, 2018

Oskar Groening was a German SS Unterscharführer at the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was in charge of counting and sorting the money retrieved from the prisoners arriving at the camp. At the end of the war, he surrendered to the British and was transferred to Britain as a prisoner of war. Years later, he was named a war criminal.

 28 Ali Hassan al-Majid

Ali Hassan al-Majid
0
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: November 30, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Iraqi
Died: January 25, 2010

 29 Helmut Oberlander

Helmut Oberlander
0
Famous As: War criminals
Birthdate: February 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German

 30 Willi Herold

Willi Herold
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Famous As: Military personnel
Birthdate: September 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German
Died: November 14, 1946

 31 Doc Scurlock

Doc Scurlock
0
Famous As: Cowboy
Birthdate: January 11, 1849
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: July 25, 1929

 32 Karl Brandt

Karl Brandt
0
Famous As: Personal Physician of Adolf Hitler
Birthdate: January 8, 1904
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: German
Died: June 2, 1948

Karl Brandt was a German physician. He served as a Schutzstaffel (SS) officer in Nazi Germany and became Adolf Hitler's personal doctor. He organized and administered the Aktion T4 euthanasia program, in which between 275,000 and 300,000 people were killed in psychiatric hospitals. He was later executed for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

 33 Friedrich Jeckeln

Friedrich Jeckeln
0
Famous As: Officer, Politician, War criminal
Birthdate: February 2, 1895
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German
Died: February 3, 1946

 34 Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach

Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach
0
Famous As: Industrialist
Birthdate: August 13, 1907
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: German
Died: July 30, 1967

 35 Dorothea Binz

Dorothea Binz
0
Famous As: Officer
Birthdate: March 16, 1920
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: May 2, 1947

 36 Jean-Pierre Bemba

Jean-Pierre Bemba
0
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 4, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Congolese

 37 Herta Ehlert

Herta Ehlert
0
Famous As: Camp guard
Birthdate: March 26, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German
Died: April 4, 1997

 38 Hildegard Lächert

Hildegard Lächert
0
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: January 20, 1920
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: German
Died: 1995 AD

 39 Wanda Klaff

Wanda Klaff
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Famous As: Camp guards
Birthdate: March 6, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: July 4, 1946

 40 Mokhtar Belmokhtar

Mokhtar Belmokhtar
0
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: June 1, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Algerian

 41 Hans von Salmuth

Hans von Salmuth
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Famous As: Military General
Birthdate: November 11, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: German
Died: January 1, 1962

 42 Hermann Pister

Hermann Pister
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Famous As: German officer
Birthdate: February 21, 1885
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: September 28, 1948

 43 Friedrich Flick

Friedrich Flick
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Famous As: Industrialist
Birthdate: July 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: German
Died: July 20, 1972

 44 Greta Bösel

Greta Bösel
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Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: May 9, 1908
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: German
Died: May 3, 1947

 45 Mirambo

Mirambo
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Famous As: Warlord
Birthdate: 1840 AD
Nationality: Tanzanian
Died: 1884 AD

 46 Emma Zimmer

Emma Zimmer
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Famous As: Overseer
Birthdate: August 14, 1888
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: German
Died: September 20, 1948

 47 Hilde Liesewitz

Hilde Liesewitz
1
Famous As: Schutzstaffel Guard
Birthdate: January 31, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German
See Also