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Massacres Throughout History

"Massacre" is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "the indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of people (or less commonly of animals); carnage, butchery, slaughter in numbers." It also states that the term is used "in the names of certain massacres of history".

Click here for Wikipedia"s "List of events named massacres." | Click here for Wikipedia's list of "Massacres in the United States."

The word is used by this website to mean multiple murders of a relatively defenseless group of people by a more powerful group in a short period of time. Murders by a single perpetrator are excluded, as are most battles waged during wartime. Click here for monuments related to the Holocaust (Shoah). Click here for monuments related to other genocides.

The graphic shown above is "Massacre in Korea" by Pablo Picasso (1951). It depicts a group of naked women and children being fired at by a group of helmeted but anonymous soldiers. Picasso was inspired by the No Gun Ri Massacre of July 26-29, 1950 (see below).

The following chart lists selected massacres rank ordered by number of deaths. It is a sub-set of this website's Selected List of Human Tragedies (which includes an explanation of color codes used in the Cause column).

Human TragedyDeathsPlaceDateCausePrincipal Memorial
Partition of India.5-1 Million India & Pakistan 1947 Hindus & MuslimsVarious paintings
Rape of Nanking 300,000 Nanjing, China 1937 Dec Imperial Japan Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall
Hama Massacre 10-80,000 Hama, Syria 1982 Feb Syrian Army
Odessa Massacre 25-34,000 Odessa, Ukraine 1941 Oct 22-4 Nazis+Romanians Monument to the victims, Odessa
Babi Yar Massacre 33,771 Kiev, Ukraine 1941 Sep 29-30 Nazi Germany Babi Yar Monument, Kiev
Parsley Massacre (El Corte) 20-30,000 Dominican Republic 1937 Oct Dominican Army
St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre 5-30,000 Paris, France 1572 Aug-Sep Roman Catholic mobs Various paintings
Rumbula Massacre 25,000 Rumbula Forest, Latvia 1941 Nov-Dec Nazi Germany "Soviet Era" Marker, Rumbula
Katyn Forest Massacre 21,768 Near Smolensk, USSR 1940 March Russia National Katyn Memorial, Baltimore, MD
Partition of Palestine (Nakba)13,000+ Israel & Palestine 1948 Zionists
228 Incident 10,000+ Taipei, Taiwan 1947 Feb 28 Koumintang National 228 Memorial Museum, Taipei
Massacre of the Innocents Few-10,000 Bethlehem, Judea Early AD Herod the Great "Massacre of the Innocents" (Rubens c1611)
Srebrenica Massacre 8,000+ Bosnia & Herzegovina 1995 July Serbian Army Genocide Memorial, Potocari
Sabra & Shatila Massacres 700-3,500 South Beirut, Lebanon 1982 Sep 16-8 Phalangists & Israel Martyrs Square of Sabra & Shatila Massacres
Tiananmen Square Massacre 100s-1000s Beijing, China 1989 Jun 4 Govt of China "Goddess of Democracy" (temporary)
Balangiga Retalliation 2-3,000 Balangiga, Samar, Philippines 1901 Aug-Sep US Army Balangiga Bells, Cheyenne, WY (booty)
Kragujevac Massacre 2,796 Kragujevac, Serbia 1941 Oct 21 Nazi Germany October 21 Memorial Park, Kragujevac
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre 379-1,000 Amritsar, India 1919 Apr 13 British Army Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial
Marzabotto Massacre 770 Monte Sole, Italy 1944 Oct Waffen SS Peace School Foundation, Monte Sole
Oradour Massacre 642 Oradour-sur-Glane, France 1944 Jun 10 Waffen SS Centre de la mémoire d'Oradour
Khojali Massacre 613 Khojali, Azerbaijan 1992 Feb 25 Armenian+Russian militaryMemorial in Lankaran
My Lai Massacre 347-504 My Lai, Vietnam 1968 Mar 16 US Army My Lai Peace Park (Madison Quakers)
Fort Mims Massacre 500+ Fort Mims, Alabama, USA 1813 Aug 30 Creek Indians Fort Mims State Hist Site, Tensaw, AL
Paoli Massacre 400+ Paoli, Pennsylvania, USA 1777 Sep 20-1 British Army Granite Monument (1877)
Sand Creek Massacre 400 Kiowa County, CO, USA1864 Nov 29 Colorado Terr Militia Sand Creek Massacre National Hist Site
No Gun Ri Massacre 400? No Gun Ri, South Korea 1950 Jul 26–9 US Army No Gun Ri International Peace Park
Massacre of Pioneers 400 less Great Plains, USA 1842-1859 Plains Indians Massacre Rocks State Park, Idaho
Fort Caroline Massacre Hundreds Jacksonville, Florida, USA 1565 Sep 29 Spanish v. French Fort Caroline National Memorial
Wounded Knee Massacre c.325 Pine Ridge IR, SD, USA 1890 Dec 29 US Army National Historic Landmark
Jedwabne Pogrom 300 plus Jedwabne, Poland 1941 Jul 10 Polish Gentiles Jedwabne Memorial, Poland
Deir Yassin Massacre 300? Near Jerusalem, Israel 1948 Apr 9 Irgun + Stern Group "Deir Yassin Remembered," Geneva, NY
Battle of Little Big Horn 263 Crow Agency, MT, USA 1876 Jun 25-6 USA v. Indians Little Big Horn Battlefield Nat Mon
Fort Pillow Massacre 231 Henning, Tennessee, USA 1864 Apr 4 Confederate Army Fort Pillow State Park
Paris Massacre of Algerians 70-200 Paris, France 1961 Oct 17 French National Police Plaque on Saint-Michel bridge
Protest Massacre 157 Conakry, Guinea 2009 Sep 29 Guinean Army Peaceful transition of power
Colfax Massacre 83-153 Colfax, Louisiana USA 1873 Apr 13 Rioting Whites Liberty Monument, New Orleans, LA
Shelling of Qana 106 UN Compound, Qana, Lebanon 1996 Apr 18 Israel Defense Forces
Gnadenhütten Massacre 96 Gnadenhütten, Ohio, USA 1782 Mar 8 Pennsylvania Militia Gnadenhütten Memorial (1872)
Massacre of Vassy80+ Wassy, Haute-Marne, France 1562 Mar 1 Francis, Duc de GuiseHuguenot Memorial Museum, South Africa
Hadassah Med Convoy Massacre79 Mount Scopus, Israel 1948 Apr 13 Arab forcesMarble memorial near Nashashibi Bend
Jenin Massacre c.75 Refugee Camp, Jenin, Palestine 2002 Apr 1-11 Israel Defense Forces Museum in Old Hijaz Railway building?
Qibya Massacre 69 Qibya, West Bank, Palestine 1953 Oct Israel Defense ForcesMemorial plaque behind Qibya mosque
Hebron Massacre 67 Hebron, West Bank, Palestine 1929 Aug 23-4 Arabs vs. Jews Film "What I Saw in Hebron" (1999)
Gandamak Massacre 64 Gandamak, Afghanistan 1842 Jan 13 UK vs. Insurgents ?
Operation Entebbe58 Entebbe Airport, Uganda1976 Jul 4 Palestinian terroristsEntebbe Memorial, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Kafr Qasim Massacre 49 Kafr Qasim, Israel 1956 Oct 29 Israel Border Police Kafr Qasim Memorial & Museum
Tulsa Race Riot 39 Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA 1921 May 31 Rioting Whites Greenwood Cultural Center
Massacre of Glencoe38 Glencoe, Scotland 1692 Feb 13 Govt troops (Campbells) Glencoe Monument (McDonalds)
Coastal Road Massacre38 Highway 2, Israel 1978 Mar 11 Abu Jihad Charred coach, Egged Museum, Holon
Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre 29 Hebron, West Bank, Palestine 1994 Feb 25 Baruch Goldstein Cave of the Patriarchs (unintentional)
Conestoga Massacre 20 Lancaster County, PA, USA 1763 Dec 14/27 Paxton Boys (mob) "Indian Burial Ground" (no remains)
Ludlow Massacre 20 Ludlow, Colorado, USA 1914 Apr 20 Colorado State Militia Ludlow Monument, Ludlow, CO
Munich Olympics Massacre17 Munich, Germany1972 Sep Black SeptemberTablet at Olympic Stadium
"Bloody Sunday" 14 Londonderry, N. Ireland 1972 Jan 30 British Army Mural by Bogside Artists
Rosewood Massacre 8 Rosewood, Florida, USA 1923 January Rioting Whites Ghost Town & Marker
Haymarket Massacre 7 plus Chicago, Illinois, USA 1886 May 4 Strikers & police Haymarket Martyrs Monument
Valentine Day Massacre 7 Chicago, Illinois, USA 1929 Feb 14 Al Capone's gang Capone Grave, Chicago, IL
Island of Peace Massacre 7 Naharayim, Jordan R., Jordan 1997 Mar 13 Corp. Ahmen Daqamseh Memorial to Victims (Israeli Schoolgirls)
Boston Massacre 5 Boston, Massachusetts, USA 1770 Mar 5 British troops Crispus Attucks Monument, Boston, MA
Kent State Massacre 4 Kent St U, Kent, Ohio, USA 1970 May 4 Ohio National Guard May 4 Memorial, Kent State Univ


June 5, 1872 - Gnadenhütten Monument & Museum, Gnadenhütten, Ohio (USA). 37 foot (11 m) monument, located next to a reconstructed cabin in what was the center of the original village. Inscribed "Here triumphed in death ninety Christian Indians, March 8, 1782." Memorializes victims of the Gnadenhütten Massacre, "the murder of 96 Indians, mostly Delawares, by American troops at an Ohio village during the American Revolution. The Indians, converted peaceful Christians, were under suspicion because of their neutrality in the war. An American officer, David Williamson, and his militia, seeking revenge for Indian raids on frontier settlements, pretended friendship with the Indians, then disarmed them and returned to kill them in cold blood; two scalped boys escaped to relate the slayings.'

January 29, 1879 - Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument, Crow Agency, Montana (USA). "The site was first preserved as a national cemetery on January 29, 1879, and in 1881 a memorial obelisk by Durwood Brandon (left image) was erected on Last Stand Hill over the mass grave of the solidiers of the 7th Calvery." An iron "Spirit Warriors Sculpture" by native artist Colleen Cutschall (right image) honoring the Native Americans was placed next to the old memorial in 2002.

1903 - Wounded Knee Monument, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota (USA). Commemorates the massacre of Wounded Knee on Dec. 29, 1890. "In 1903 a monument was erected at the site of the mass grave by surviving relatives to honor the 'many innocent women and children who knew no wrong' who were killed in the massacre. Today, some family members are still seeking compensation from the US government as heirs of the victims but they have been unsuccessful in receiving any monetary settlement so far."

May 30, 1918 - Ludlow Monument, Ludlow, Colorado (USA). Dedicated on Memorial Day to honor the 20 victims of the "Ludlow massacre" of April 20, 1914. Vandalized in 2003 with the heads and arms of the statue figures cut and removed, but has undergone repair. Maintained by United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). Next to the monument are a cellar door and stairs leading down into the "death pit" where 11 children and two women died when fire broke out in the coal miners' tent city during their battle with the Colorado state militia. Visited by EWL.

1985 - Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, 418 Shuiximen Street, Jiangdongmen, Nanjing (China). Expanded in 1995 and 2005-2007. Now 25,000 square meters. Click here for Wikipedia article. Has "academic cooperation agreement" with Kyoto Museum for World Peace. Whole building resembles a broken sword when seen from the side and a plow when seen from above.
December 12, 2003 - Grand Peace Bell, "Memorial Hall for Compatriots Killed in the Nanjing Massacre," Nanjing, Jiangsu Province (China). Dedicated one day before the 66th anniversary of the Nanjing massacre. December 13, 2003 - Model of the Grand Peace Bell, Kyoto Museum for World Peace, Kyoto (Japan). Presented by the museum in Nanjing. Placed in exhibit on the Jugonen Senso / Fifteen-Year War (1931-1945).

February 28, 1995 - National 228 Monument, Taipei (Taiwan). Result of an international design competition. Stands in the center of the 228 Peace Memorial Park. Dedicated by president Lee Teng-hui who apologized to the victims of the 228 Incident in 1947.
1996 - 228 Peace Memorial Park, Zhongzheng district, Taipei (Taiwan). Former Taihoku Park renamed in 1996. Contains the National Taiwan Museum, the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum, and a number of memorials to victims of the 228 Incident of 1947, including the National 228 Monument.

1998 - My Lai Peace Park, My Lai (Vietnam). A project of the Madison Quakers. Site of the My Lai Massacre by a unit of the US Army on March 16, 1968, of 347–504 unarmed citizens, all of whom were civilians and a majority of whom were women, children (including babies) and elderly people.

September 24, 2003 - "Deir Yassin Remembered," Seneca Lake (western shore), New York, New York (USA). Bronze sculpture of an uprooted olive tree by [political cartoonist] Khalil Bendib. Inscription: "Earth torn roots yearning, Palestine landscape mourning displaced descendants. Randa Hamwi Duwaji. Perpetrated by terrorists of the Irgun and Stern Gang, the massacre of Palestinian men, women, and children at Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948 is arguably the most pivotal event in 20th century Palestinian history. // The massacre symbolizes the Zionist quest to build a Jewish state on land inhabited for centuries by Muslims, Christians, and Jews. It marks the begining of the descruction of over 400 Palestinian villages and the exile of more than 700,000 Palestinians. // Over half the population in the land controlled by Israel is not Jewish. Most of these non-Jews are Palestinians. Yet there are few memorails to mark their history and none to mark the massacre at Deir Yassin, which lies 3 km west of the Old City of Jerusalem and only 1,400 m to the north of Yad Vashem, the most famous of all the Holocaust memorials. The irony is breathtaking. // Khalil Bendib, Sculptor, 2003."

April 9, 1948 - Palestinian Village of Deir Yassin (Israel). Unintentional monument. Scene of the Deir Yassin Massacre. Lower photo is Deir Yassin as seen from Yad Vashem; the village lies in the green trees to the right of the water tower.

2010? - No Gun-Ri International Peace Park, No Gun-Ri (South Korea). "In 2007, the South Korean government announced that it would build a $20 million No Gun Ri History Park in the village by 2009. The following is from a visit on October 7, 2009 (click here for the full account): "Chung Koo Do is the Director of the No Gun-Ri Institute for Peace Studies and is dedicated to ensuring that the memory of the No Gun-Ri massacre is not lost and that justice prevails. He told me that there were over 500 incidents of killing of civilians during the war but No Gun-ri was the only case investigated by a joint South Korean-US government team. After the No Gun-ri investigation the US said it would not look into any other case. [July 26-29] 2010 will be the 60th anniversary of No Gun-Ri. Chung told me his organization is planning to sponsor several important events to commemorate the massacre. He hopes that US soldiers who were involved in the Korean War will come for the events and he particularly hopes that Veterans for Peace in the US will send a delegation to Korea during this time. He asked me to help them make that possible and I told him I would do my best. Chung pointed out with great pride the large area surrounding the No Gun-ri massacre site that will become a peace park. The South Korean government is now building a peace museum, educational facilities, and memorials. The survivors, and their descendants, are determined to keep the memory of No Gun-ri in the forefront of international peace movement efforts." (Click here for an account of a meeting with survivors in the USA on November 10, 1999.)

Please email your comments & questions to geovisual at Thank you.

Return to Peace Monuments main page.