Revenge is a concept that is essentially as old as human history. One of the first recorded laws, the Code of Hammurabi, established a human desire to get "an eye for an eye," and even in modern times a form of revenge (or at least retribution) is carried out with the legal system. However, there is something uniquely satisfying about these nine examples of brutal revenge from history.
American Soldiers Freak Out At The Dachau Concentration CampEd Vebell/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Curiously, most people on this list literally got away with murder when they committed their heinous acts of revenge, and the American soldiers who machine-gunned dozens of SS Guards during World War II were no different. The German SS Guards were stationed at the Dachau Concentration Camp, where over 35,000 inmates died during the Holocaust. When the camp was liberated in 1945, American soldiers from the 45th Infantry Division discovered over 2,000 bodies packed into 39 train cars outside of the compound. The discovery, paired with the overwhelming body count within the camp, set the soldiers off.
An Unbearable Body Count Leads To War CrimesHorace Abrahams/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
They tracked down the SS Guards at the site, and executed them with machine guns. The soldiers gave the freed inmates guns and allowed them to torture and kill several SS Guards as well. In the end, some of the SS soldiers were beaten to death with crude objects like hammers and shovels, and a few tormented prisoners actually ripped a guard to shreds with their bare hands. The incident was headline news as the murder committed by the American soldiers was considered a war crime, but they were never persecuted because the documents weren't discovered until the early 2000s.
A Famous Duel: Aaron Burr vs. Alexander HamiltonKean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical "Hamilton," the feud between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr is probably one of the most famous in the world. Both Hamilton and Burr were Fathers of the American Revolution, but weren't big fans of one another. Hamilton had played a huge role in Burr's loss in the presidential election of 1801, and once Burr caught wind that Hamilton was also influencing his race for governor of New York, he challenged Hamilton to a duel. Hamilton responded by putting out a smear campaign against Burr, and things between the two only got worse. They finally met for their fated duel on July 11, 1804, and Hamilton was shot and killed as a result.
A Blind Man Gets Revenge On The Men Who Took His SightWikimedia Commons
Enrico Dandolo, the 42nd Doge of Venice, was blinded during an expedition to the Byzantine Empire in 1171. According to the legend, Dandolo was blinded by the orders of Emperor Manuel Comnenus. Although some historians dispute that fact, claiming a blow to the head during a drunken street brawl probably blinded him, Dandolo had it out for the Byzantine Empire from the moment he lost his sight. Eventually, in 1204, Dandolo lead the Crusaders into Constantinople and helped kill 15,000 Byzantines to establish the Catholic Latin Empire.
The Jewish Avengers Strike After WWIIWikimedia Commons
Shortly after World War II, a group of Jewish Holocaust survivors gathered together to form the "Nakam." The group, which was later dubbed "The Jewish Avengers," focused on getting revenge on Nazi war criminals, who tortured their people during the Holocaust. The group was composed of about 60 people, and their biggest attack was when they poisoned 3,000 loaves of bread that were sent to SS guards in American POW camps. Nearly 2,000 Nazi prisoners fell ill from the poisoned bread, and 400 died. In the end, the Nakam claimed that the act was "nothing compared with what we really wanted to do"—which was poison the water supply and kill 6 million Germans in Berlin, Munich, Nuremberg, and Hamburg.
The Trung Sisters Get Revenge With Kung Fu SkillsTumblr
Trung Trac and Trung Nhi were seemingly simple girls who lived in a first century village in Vietnam. By the time they were young adults, the Chinese ruled the women's village, and when Trac's husband rebelled against the Chinese government, they ordered to have him killed and Trac raped. However, the government didn't realize Trac and her sister were trained in the art of kung fu, and they gathered an army of 80,000 women who attacked the foreign invaders and liberated their village.
King Charles IX Sparks A Religious War In FranceWikimedia Commons
For King Charles IX of France, revenge was a family matter. In the midst of the French Wars of Religion in 1572, King Charles IX fell victim to his persuasive mother and was convinced to assassinate the French Calvinist Protestants, the Huguenots. The Huguenots had abandoned the Roman Catholic Church and founded their own Protestant church, and tension between the two groups had reached an all-time high. The tipping point came when King Charles IX acted on his mother's sinister plot, and had several Huguenot leaders killed. Outrageous violence followed the assassination, and nearly 100,000 Protestants were killed during the war.
The Tall And Terrible Boudicca Takes Rome By Stormheroinesofhistory.wikispaces.com
The tale of Celtic Queen Boudicca and her two daughters couldn't be more ravenous. Boudicca herself is described in Roman records as being "tall and terrible, with a great mass of red hair to her hips…" and when the Roman Empire tried to overthrown her tribe after her husband died, she enacted a plan that put them to shame. Although Boudicca and her daughters were raped and flogged in the streets, they managed to pull together an army and attack a Roman outpost, Camulodunum. When the attack on the city was over, she had killed over 80,000 Romans.
Dante Alighieri's Gets Revenge With The Divine ComedyWikimedia Commons
King Charles IX of France wasn't the only one who had a bone to pick with religious leaders. When the Republic of Florence divided over the rule of Pope Boniface VIII, local politician Dante Alighieri traveled to Rome to preach about how awful the Pope was. The Pope responded by inviting Alighieri to stay as his personal guest at the Vatican, and while Alighieri was there, he had a militia overthrow and execute members of the government who didn't agree with his rule. Essentially, the Pope murdered all of Alighieri's friends, who also believed the Pope was terrible. Additionally, the Pope fined Alighieri for being in Rome and declared he was never allowed to return from the city again. In response (and to the dismay of many 10th grade students) Alighieri wrote the Divine Comedy, where he reserved a space in hell for Pope Boniface VIII.
Pierre Picaud Was The Real Count Of Monte CristoWikimedia Commons
Most people are familiar with the Alexandre Dumas novel "The Count of Monte Cristo," but few people know that the book is loosely based on the real life story of Pierre Picaud. In the early 1800s, Picaud was living large; he had a great job, a home along the French Riviera, and a super hot, wealthy girlfriend. His three closest friends started to become jealous of Picaud's seemingly perfect life, and arranged to have him accused and arrested for being a spy. Picaud was sent to jail, and stayed there for years. However, he became friends with his cellmate, and when his cellmate died, he bestowed upon him a huge sum of money.
The Ultimate Revenge From A Scorned ManThe Frisky
When Picaud finally got out of jail, he started plotting to take each of his old friends down one by one. Over the course of 10 years, each man died mysteriously. The main offender, Loupian, got the worst revenge from Picaud. Picaud convinced Loupian's daughter to marry a criminal, who Picaud promptly got arrested. The affair was so traumatizing for the girl she actually died of shock. Then, Picaud destroyed Loupian's business, had his son arrested, and finally stabbed him to death.