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.
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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 Josef Mengele

Josef Mengele
56
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: March 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bavaria, Germany
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.

 2 Hideki Tojo

Hideki Tojo
15
Famous As: 27th Prime Minister of Japan
Birthdate: December 30, 1884
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kōjimachi, Tokyo, Japan
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.

 3 Adolf Eichmann

Adolf Eichmann
54
Famous As: Nazi SS Officer
Birthdate: March 19, 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Solingen, Germany
Died: June 1, 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.
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 4 Irma Grese

Irma Grese
14
Famous As: Nazi Guard
Birthdate: October 7, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Feldberger Seenlandschaft, Germany
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.

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 5 Omar al-Bashir

Omar al-Bashir
9
Famous As: Former President of Sudan
Birthdate: January 1, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hosh Bannaga, Sudan

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.

 6 Mutsuhiro Watanabe

Mutsuhiro Watanabe
15
Famous As: Imperial Japanese Army Corporal
Birthdate: January 18, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Japan
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.

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 7 Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor
5
Famous As: President of Liberia (1997-2003)
Birthdate: January 28, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Arthington, Liberia

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.

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 8 Rudolf Höss

Rudolf Höss
12
Famous As: German Nazi Officer
Birthdate: November 25, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Baden-Baden, Germany
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.

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 9 Ilse Koch

Ilse Koch
13
Famous As: Nazi Concentration Camp Overseer, War Criminal
Birthdate: September 22, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
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.

 10 Willi Herold

Willi Herold
4
Famous As: Military personnel
Birthdate: September 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chemnitz, Germany
Died: November 14, 1946

 11 Oskar Dirlewanger

Oskar Dirlewanger
4
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: September 26, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
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.

 12 Albert Kesselring

Albert Kesselring
3
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: November 30, 1885
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marktsteft, Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany
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. 

 13 Hans Frank

Hans Frank
5
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 23, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Karlsruhe, Germany
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.

 14 Oskar Groening

Oskar Groening
7
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: June 10, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nienburg, Lower Saxony, Germany
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.

 15 Klaus Barbie

Klaus Barbie
14
Famous As: Nazi Leader
Birthdate: October 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bad Godesberg
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.

 16 Wilhelm Canaris

Wilhelm Canaris
4
Famous As: Chief of the Abwehr (1935-44)
Birthdate: January 1, 1877
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aplerbeck
Died: April 9, 1945

While Wilhelm Canaris became one of Hitler’s most trusted secret agents, he was actually supplying information to Britain all along. He went down in history as a man who was hanged twice for treason, first as part of torture for a few moments, and then for good.

 17 Doc Scurlock

Doc Scurlock
1
Famous As: Cowboy
Birthdate: January 11, 1849
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tallapoosa County, Alabama, United States
Died: July 25, 1929

 18 William Calley

William Calley
4
Famous As: Military Officer
Birthdate: June 8, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States

 19 Karl Brandt

Karl Brandt
5
Famous As: Personal Physician of Adolf Hitler
Birthdate: January 8, 1904
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mulhouse, France
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. 

 20 Félicien Kabuga

Félicien Kabuga
1
Famous As: Commited genocide in Rwanda
Birthdate: March 1, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Byumba, Rwanda

 21 Paul Blobel

Paul Blobel
0
Famous As: Military leader, Criminal
Birthdate: August 13, 1894
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Potsdam, Germany
Died: June 7, 1951

 22 Kang Kek Iew

Kang Kek Iew
0
Famous As: Former Khmer Rouge leader known for director of the S-21 prison camp, Leader of Santebal
Birthdate: November 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cambodia
Died: September 2, 2020

 23 Helmut Oberlander

Helmut Oberlander
1
Famous As: War criminals
Birthdate: February 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Molotschna, Ukraine

 24 Wanda Klaff

Wanda Klaff
1
Famous As: Camp guards
Birthdate: March 6, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Danzig, Free City of Danzig
Died: July 4, 1946

 25 Martin Gottfried Weiss

Martin Gottfried Weiss
0
Famous As: Military personnel
Birthdate: June 3, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Weiden, Germany
Died: May 29, 1946

 26 Robert Kajuga

Robert Kajuga
0
Famous As: Commited genocide in Rwanda
Birthdate: 1960 AD
Birthplace: Kibungo, Rwanda
Died: February 29, 2007

 27 Fritz Klein

Fritz Klein
1
Famous As: Military physician, War criminal
Birthdate: November 24, 1888
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Codlea, Romania
Died: December 13, 1945

 28 Martin Bormann

Martin Bormann
20
Famous As: Private Secretary of Adolf Hitler
Birthdate: June 17, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wegeleben, Germany
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.

 29 Antonina Makarova

Antonina Makarova
2
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: March 1, 1920
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sychyovsky District, Russia
Died: August 11, 1979

 30 Mokhtar Belmokhtar

Mokhtar Belmokhtar
4
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: June 1, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ghardaïa, Algeria

 31 Herta Ehlert

Herta Ehlert
4
Famous As: Camp guard
Birthdate: March 26, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: April 4, 1997

 32 Alfred Jodl

Alfred Jodl
9
Famous As: Chief of the Operations Staff of the German Armed Forces High Command (1939-1945)
Birthdate: May 10, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
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.

 33 Ernst Röhm

Ernst Röhm
11
Famous As: Nazi War Criminal
Birthdate: November 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
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. 

 34 Hans von Salmuth

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

 35 Joachim von Ribbentrop

Joachim von Ribbentrop
8
Famous As: Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nazi Germany (1938-45)
Birthdate: April 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wesel, Germany
Died: October 16, 1946

German politician Joachim von Ribbentrop was Nazi Germany’s minister of foreign affairs from 1938 to 1945. He let Hitler use his summer house, Schloss Fuschl, for secret Nazi meetings. Ribbentrop was eventually convicted of war crimes and became the first Nuremberg defendant to be hanged to death.

 36 Franz von Papen

Franz von Papen
5
Famous As: Former Vice-Chancellor of Germany
Birthdate: October 29, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Werl, Westphalia, Prussia, Germany
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.

 37 Julius Streicher

Julius Streicher
5
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 12, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dinkelscherben, Germany
Died: October 16, 1946
Julius Streicher went from being an elementary school teacher to establishing the anti-semitic Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer. He led an adulterous life and even spread rumors about his rival party members, which eventually led him to lose all party posts. He was eventually hanged after the Nuremberg trials.

 38 Radovan Karadžić

Radovan Karadžić
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Petnjica, Montenegro

 39 Ernst Kaltenbrunner

Ernst Kaltenbrunner
6
Famous As: Director of the Reich Security Main Office (1943-45)
Birthdate: October 4, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ried im Innkreis, Austria
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.

 40 Reinhard Heydrich

Reinhard Heydrich
33
Famous As: Nazi Official
Birthdate: March 7, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Halle
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.

 41 Amon Goeth

Amon Goeth
14
Famous As: SS Nazi Officer
Birthdate: December 11, 1908
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 13, 1946

Amon Goeth was an Austrian war criminal and SS functionary. During World War II, Goeth served as the commandant of the Płaszów concentration camp operated by the SS. After the war, he was convicted of homicide and was executed by hanging. Amon Goeth was played by Ralph Fiennes in the 1993 epic historical drama film Schindler's List.

 42 John Demjanjuk

John Demjanjuk
23
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: April 3, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dubovi Makharyntsi, Berdychiv uyezd, Kiev Governorate, Ukrainian People's Republic
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

 43 Roman von Ungern-Sternberg

Roman von Ungern-Sternberg
2
Famous As: Anticommunist general in the Russian Civil War and then an independent warlord who intervened in Mongolia against China
Birthdate: January 10, 1886
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: September 15, 1921

Russian baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg gained fame as an anticommunist general during the Russian Civil War. Also known as the Mad Baron for his cruelty toward his enemies, he had converted to Buddhism but retained strains of Christianity in his faith. He was eventually executed by a firing squad.

 44 Diego Murillo Bejarano

Diego Murillo Bejarano
5
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: February 23, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tuluá, Colombia

 45 Friedrich Flick

Friedrich Flick
1
Famous As: Industrialist
Birthdate: July 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Germany
Died: July 20, 1972

 46 Alieu Kosiah

Alieu Kosiah
0
Famous As: Military commander, Criminal
Birthdate: March 3, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ganta, Nimba County, Liberia

 47 Arthur Seyss-Inquart

Arthur Seyss-Inquart
3
Famous As: Chancellor of Austria (1938)
Birthdate: July 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stonařov, Czechia
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.

 48 Hildegard Lächert

Hildegard Lächert
2
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: January 20, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: 1995 AD

 49 Ratko Mladić

Ratko Mladić
6
Famous As: Bosnian Serb convicted war criminal and colonel-general who led the Army of Republika Srpska
Birthdate: March 12, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Božanovići, Independent State of Croatia

 50 Wilhelm Keitel

Wilhelm Keitel
8
Famous As: Chief of the German Armed Forces High Command (1938-45)
Birthdate: September 22, 1882
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bad Gandersheim, Germany
Died: October 16, 1946

Wilhelm Keitel was a German field marshal. As the chief of the Armed Forces High Command, Keitel was Nazi Germany Armed Forces' highest-ranking officer during World War II. Wilhelm Keitel was responsible for the loss of many lives as he signed several criminal orders. After the war, he was indicted as one of the war criminals and sentenced to death.