“Unit 731”: 45 Dark Historical Events And Facts That People Don’t Like To Talk About
Given the long history of the world, it’s natural that some stories, facts, and figures are better known than others. At the same time, certain parts of history end up swept under the rug, forgotten, and ignored when they really shouldn’t be.
A Netizen decided to ask the internet for examples of events and facts from history that don’t really get the attention they deserve. People responded with interesting tales, obscure factoids, and bits of the past that some would prefer to forget. So get comfortable as you scroll through, upvote your favorite examples, and be sure to comment your thoughts below.
I’m American, in my early 60’s, but I hadn’t heard of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre until last year. I mean, we bombed black people in our own city! Just horrible. To people who want to whitewash American history, I ask you this - how is it that we are to form a more perfect union if we don’t admit, analyze and correct our mistakes?
The Vatican directly profited off its prior knowledge of the Holocaust by purchasing life insurance companies which served European Jews. After the war, the few people who tried to claim the life insurance were denied unless they could provide full proof of the death. Unsurprisingly, the Nazis did not issue death certificates for the people they murdered so the Vatican kept almost all the money.
This is thoroughly documented in "Gods Bankers".
That and the Vatican was (and likely still is) a major player in money laundering.
The residential schools for Native Americans and all of the horrific atrocities. Literally no one with conscience likes talking about it.
One of the darker reasons the Western Slave trade gets talked about more than the Arab Slave Trade is due to the fact male African slaves were regularly castrated. They didn't breed slaves like the West did, as it was seen as a sign of opulence that you could just buy a new one. No descendants = No one around to speak of the atrocities. Horrifying.
Edit: Also just to add more horror to it, it started 700 years before the Atlantic Slave Trade and the practice still survived up until 1960. Now imagine how many victims and potential generations were wiped out over that length of time.
How the Slave Trade was driven by black africans enslaving and selling other black africans. People are just people, and in large groups people are often utterly horrible to each other.
While known about here in Ireland, a lot of British people don't seem to be aware of the atrocities that were carried out under Oliver Cromwell. Church burning, kids and women being locked up in a burning church and just genocide of Irish people. It's insane that some British people will put him up on a pedestal, regardless of the amount of evilness he had.
We treated German prisoners of war better than we treated interned Japanese Americans.
Gandhi, Mother Theresa, and Coco Chanel were actually awful people yet them (or their brands) are still praised to this day.
I feel like not a ton of people talk about Operation Paperclip, where nazi scientists were snuck into America with fake identities and employed by the US government. Every time I've brought it up, people havent known what it was.
Additionally, the long history of medical experimentation and exploitation of BIPOC in America, and just how deep that s**t goes - ex: the torture of enslaved Black women being at the foundation of the field of gynecology.
That Noah’s Ark story predates Christianity by a thousand years, possible more. And that Dec 25th was a pagan holiday.
EVERY SINGLE royal family in Europe practiced incest at some point. There was so much interconnection between noble families that at a certain point every nobleman in Europe was closely related to all others. Kings and Queens were basically marrying their cousins since the gene pool was so small. No wonder in the end most nobles were deformed, mentally ill/challenged hemophiliacs. They were inbred all the way.
American support in politically destabilising countries across Latin America.
The US eugenics and forced sterilization program that happened until the 70s. It is also trying to make a comeback if the neo-conservative fascists in the US get power again.
Native American tribes like the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Nations owned black slaves and were some of the last slave owners in North America. As they were sovereign nations, the emancipation proclamation didn't affect them, and new treaties needed to be made to stop the enslavement.
The Aztecs were utterly horrific people who did stuff like flay people alive and wear their skins as a form of worship in their religion. When Cortez invaded the reason he was so successful was because the local tribes wanted the Aztec gone THAT BADLY!
Churchill and India are often not seen together in the best of lights and thats putting it lightly.
But when the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre happened, Churchill was the one of the only politicians who stood in defense of the victims.
General Reginald Dyer had ordered his men to fire on an unarmed protest which killed 400 Indians and injured 1000 more. There was a debate in The House of Commons as to what to do with Dyer, as British army personnel were often afforded protections from actions like this and he very nearly got off with it.
Until Churchill, who was Minster of War at the time, stood to give a speech that condemned Dyer. Stating he should have his employment and benefits of it stripped from him and he heavily implied if it was within his power to do so, his punishment would be more severe.
Basically implying he would have been happy to see Dyer hanged.
The Conservative Party was outraged at Churchill for breaking ranks and many of their number said he was a traitor and implied Churchill should be charged with treason. A penalty which carried the sentence of death.
Churchill's speech did work however and while Dyer unfortunately couldn't be charged more severly due to Army regulations blocking such actions. He was stripped of his employment and benefits that came with it. This was one of the first times an event like this had ended up with a higher up receiving accountability in The British Empire.
That historians are just as catty and petty as any other profession.. I'd have to dig to find it, but one of my Masters college classes was about the historian perspective over the eras and how they write history or whatever: and the text book really made historical fact become visible as this "thing" that people really have argued about for all time... fact is broken down to perspective... and personal philosophy plays more a part in history writing than you'd like to think.
That there were human zoos created by the Europeans and the last one was closed in like the 80s or 90s.
I'm a big fan of Franklin Roosevelt and a big World War Two history buff. I think the American accomplishments in logistics and manufacturing were the eighth wonder of the world in the 1940s, and I'm proud of what my country did in the war.
...and then someone brings up the Japanese-American internment camps and I'm like, "Oh, yeah...there was also that."
When the allies liberated Nazi concentration camps, the homosexuals that were 'liberated' were sent right back to the same camps as it was logistically easier than transporting them to an allied prison. This was because homosexuality was still illegal.
Ustashe had torture camp for children operated by the Catholic Church.
Unit 731. At least I don't like talking about it since it's so vile and evil
Not just that it existed, but that most everyone involved walked free, and the whole thing was kept secret by the US government until the 1980s.
Definitely not for the faint of heart if you want to know what went on. It’s pure evil, animalistic, barbaric, and absolutely sick, all in the name of “research”.
Canada had prison camps for German soldiers back in the WWII. They were treated so nicely and with so much trust that many of the POW were given jobs outside of the prison, and they always returned voluntary, even if it took more than one day. Some were even trusted weapons for hunting, in front of the guards. The worst punishment they could receive? When the war ended, they were obligated to return home. Imagine having such "nice life" for so long and then having to return to a home destroyed. Many years later, these former members of the German army decided to return to Canada as tourists or even buying land and starting families and businesses.
I tried really hard to think of something a lot of people might not know about, and I came up with the MOVE bombing.
I live in Philadelphia; I moved here in 2007. And it wasn’t until a few years after that when I moved to west Philly that I’d ever heard of the MOVE bombing. I consider it something people don’t like to talk about, which is why many people have likely never heard of it.
From Wikipedia “Philadelphia police dropped two explosive devices from a helicopter onto the roof of a house occupied by MOVE. The Philadelphia Fire Department allowed the resulting fire to burn out of control, destroying 61 previously evacuated neighboring homes over two city blocks and leaving 250 people homeless. Six adults and five children were killed in the attack, with one adult and one child surviving. “
Patrick B Kennedy - son of John F Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy. Born while JFK was in office and 5 weeks prematurely. He lived only 2 days and is probably one of the biggest reason modern neonatalogy really took off in the United States. Read up on him if you have a chance. It’s good to remember that everyone matters no matter the age.
The Americans don't like when I bring up that the Canadians (I guess they were technically still "British" at this point..) burned down the White House during the War of 1812.
Modern postural yoga-- the type and style predominantly practiced in Western countries-- is about 100 years old. It was invented in India by Indians and is derived mostly from British calisthenics and Swedish gymnastics. It was specifically marketed to affluent Westerners by Indians as a superior form of spiritual and physical exercise. It's working as designed for its target market.
European-Chinese relations in the 19th century.
The opium wars, the partition of parts of china to different European countries, the boxer rebellion, the taiping rebellion, most of the 19th century was china being utterly humiliated by Europe and fragmented which led to utter chaos in the early 20th century.
In China they call it the century of humiliation.
A lot of countries who in the modern day like to wag their finger at how other countries are doing and style themselves as "the best" by various social metrics achieved their current state through war, exploitation and destruction of the environment.
The slavery practice of coverture. And the slave trade of the Ottoman Empire that continued into the 20th century.
That was predominantly done to women and children so........pfft unimportant apparently to the topic of slavery.
Brutality in Australian Aboriginal society pre colonisation
It was not some dreaming utopia, but the abuse of women, assault, murder, tribal rivalries, are all ignored and any discussion will see you labelled a racist.
For example - Paleopathologist Stephen Webb in 1995 published his analysis of 4500 individuals’ bones from mainland Australia going back 50,000 years. (Priceless bone collections at the time were being officially handed over to Aboriginal communities for re-burial, which stopped follow-up studies).[15"> Webb found highly disproportionate rates of injuries and fractures to women’s skulls, with the injuries suggesting deliberate attack and often attacks from behind, perhaps in domestic squabbles. In the tropics, for example, female head-injury frequency was about 20-33%, versus 6.5-26% for males. The most extreme results were on the south coast, from Swanport and Adelaide, with female cranial trauma rates as high as 40-44% -- two to four times the rate of male cranial trauma. In desert and south coast areas, 5-6% of female skulls had three separate head injuries, and 11-12% had two injuries. Web could not rule out women-on-women attacks but thought them less probable.
There's almost no archaeological evidence for the Jewish exodus out of Egypt or their slavery therein. Likewise, there's very little contemporary evidence for the existence of a historical Jesus.
Two of the most defining cultural narratives have scant historical corroboration.
The Philippines were colony of Spain for hundreds of year and when Filipinos were about to win thier independence on their own, Spain sold the Philippines to US then US acted like saviors.
Spaniards were pretty racist to Filipinos that they dont bother teaching them spanish for 300 years of occupation.
US troops setup education camps and thats why Filipinos speak english as a second or third language instead of spanish.
On paper black American men got the vote before white women. In practice, white women got the vote before black men.
That US spy agencies hired Nazis to work as spies during the Cold War.
I learned about this reading a biography of Virginia Hall. It meant that she, as an employee of the CIA, was now working side-by-side with the same men who had tried to disrupt her operations and kill her during WWII. Ms Hall certainly wasn’t the only one put into this extremely dubious and awkward position.
The British made the first large-scale concentration camps (for the second Boer war), and although they didn't deliberately try to kill the occupants they also didn't do much to alleviate the awful conditions - particularly in the camps holding coloured people, where 1 in 6 died.
The vast majority of inmates were women and children - those with male relatives still fighting were given smaller rations as an incentive for their relatives to surrender.
The allies also committed genocide (bengal) and had concentration camps (Kenya).
There has not been any point in American history where all men have had the enforced right to vote. At the time of the Revolution, the right to vote (and it was an enforced right) was solely afforded to white, male property owners - about 6% of the population of the Colonies, ~150,000 men. During Reconstruction, the right to vote was given to all men but, obviously, it wasn’t enforced for black men. It’s also worth noting that, in many states, a widow could vote in the name of her dead husband if he’d been eligible. Fast forward to 1920 and women get it, but it isn’t enforced for black women. In 1963, the Voting Rights Act passed, since which all women have enjoyed the enforced right to vote. However, before and after this, some states require men to be registered with Selective Service (the draft) in order to vote, making it a privilege for these men as opposed to a right.
One of the last known anti-Jewish pogroms in Poland took place in the summer of 1946.
Augustus lost *two whole legions* at Teutoberg. That’s about 20,000 troops, and that’s terrible
Inca empire lasted less than a century, starting in 1434 (around the same time modern printing started), they were conquerors that eliminate other natives for territory, some of this cultures were pretty much erase from history, others did survive and some of their deities and people were adopted by the Incas.
They also had a "tax system", when most of the crops went to the Inca ("The leader" that was seem as the son of the Sun, a demigod basically) and his family, the leftovers were for the population (contrary to the Aztecas, when it was the other way around).
When Spanish conquerors arrive (less than 200 men), they received the help from this other natives against the Incas, as warriors or translators.
Heck, before independence in 1821, many Peruvians were against it, they were forced to become independent from Spain with the combination of argentines, chileans, venezuelans and more.
Switzerland operated a concentration camp for allied POWS during WW2 and treated them massively contradictory to the terms of the Geneva conventions.