As long as there has been human history, there have been revenge stories. A fact of life that is practically as old as time itself, revenge has come about throughout all parts of history, fueled on by human instinct. While there are any number of chilling stories out there, some events have stuck around longer in the cultural memory. These tales might be confined to the history books but that doesn’t mean that they’re not just as powerful now as they were all those years ago.
- Dachau Concentration Camp
The atrocities of the Second World War were some of the most devastating in history. It was perhaps not a surprise, then, that a group of American soldiers acted as they did when they discovered a Nazi concentration camp. In 1945, an American Infantry liberated the Dachau Concentration Camp in which 35,000 inmates had died during the war. When the soldiers entered the camp that day, however, they found another 2,000 dead bodies stuffed into train cars just off the compound. The find proved to be simply too much for the men to handle. Tracking the SS guards down at the site, the soldiers executed them on the spot. At the same time, they freed the remaining inmates, allowing them to enact their own revenge on the soldiers who were left. While the incident was headlined as murder at the hands of the American soldiers, the documents relating to the event were lost until the year 2000, leaving the men involved unprosecuted.
- The Revenge Of The Blind
Sometimes, revenge is incredibly personal. Take the tale of Enrico Dandolo. The 42nd Doge of Venice, Dandolo was blinded during a trip to the Byzantine Empire in 1171. While the details were never ironed out, people believed that a blow to the head during a drunken fight is what rendered the Doge blind. From that moment on, however, Dandolo held the Byzantine Empire responsible. After a number of years, suffering, he eventually lead the crusaders into the area, aiding with the slaughter of 15,000 Byzantines.
- Post-War Vengeance
World War II was arguably the most trying time in history for people of Jewish religion. After the end of the war, a group of Jewish Holocaust survivors banded together to form the “Nakam”. A revenge-based group, the Nakam was focused on getting vengeance on the remaining Nazi soldiers who had escaped, tracking them across the world. Their biggest coup came in the form of 3,000 poisoned loaves of bread which they planted in an American POW camp. In the end, 2,000 prisoners fell ill from the loaves and 400 died. Despite this, the group remained dissatisfied with their results, claiming it didn’t even touch on the action they wanted to take.
- A Family Affair
In first century Vietnam, a revenge tale went down that has lasted throughout history. Sisters Trung Trac and Trung Nhi lived under the reign of the Chinese government, which ruled their village. When Trac’s husband rebelled against the regime, however, he was killed and Trac was raped as payment. Taking their revenge into their own hands, the sisters gathered an army of 80,000 women to attack the foreign invaders and free the villagers. Of course, it helped that both sisters were masters in the art of kung fu.
- A Country Split In Two
Religion has often been a point of contention in history. In the mid 16th century, it was much the same story and thanks to the actions of one man, religion nearly broke one country apart. King Charles IX of France was a religious man. At the high point of the French War of Religion in 1572, Kind Charles set out to kill the French Calvinist Protestants at the persuasion of his mother. The act sparked a massive surge forward for the Catholic cause and subsequently led to the assassination of more than 10,000 Protestants.