Even Dictators Have a Soft Side
If you find yourself without a Valentine this year, don't despair. Even the most hated men in history eventually found love. Continue reading →
Single people don't have it easy on Valentine's Day. Watching couples pair up enjoying a romantic day together can be a strain for someone struggling with solitude.
If you find yourself without a Valentine this year, don't despair. There's someone out there for everyone. In fact, even the most hated men in history found people who loved them.
Joseph Stalin Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, seen above in a photo from his youth, married twice. His first wife, Ekaterina Svanidze, died before Stalin's rise to power, which would be marked by the deaths of tens of millions of people. At her funeral, Stalin allegedly remarked, "This creature softened my heart of stone. She died and with her died my last warm feelings for humanity."
He must have meant it. His second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, whom Stalin met when she was just a teenager, knew full well that he had a propensity toward violence, which often crept into their relationship.
After she spoke her mind at a public event in 1932 criticizing Stalin's purges and the famine that had gripped the Soviet Union, Stalin unleashed his temper on her, releasing a torrent of verbal abuse. Alliluyeva then committed suicide, her fate made public in 1988.
Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler, the man widely considered to be the most evil in history, had one admirer who went right along with him up until the moment of his death, his girlfriend Eva Braun. The pair met in 1929, when Braun was 17 and Hitler 40, but despite the length of their relationship, Hitler refused to marry. "I am married to the German people and their fate! . . . No, I cannot marry," he reportedly said.
Although little is known historically about Hitler's sex life, he was evidently very concerned with the intimate encounters of his soldiers. In order to combat syphilis ravaging his ranks, Hitler ordered the creation of blow-up dolls called "gynoids" on which his men could act out their fantasies.
Mao Tse-tung Over the course of his life, Mao Tse-tung, the dictator who ushered in China's Communist revolution at a cost of millions of lives, married four times. For a man who's political philosophy was rooted in eliminating excess and decadence, he took more than his fair share of liberties with his love life. After all, his wives weren't the only romantic partners for Mao, as detailed in the memoirs of Mao's private physician.
Mao relied on his women all the more when he fell out of favor with those within the Communist Party. "He craved affection and acclaim," Mao's doctor wrote. "As his disgrace within the party grew, so did his hunger for approval." Mao would recruit young military women to attend dance parties conveniently located next to his bedroom. His wives, particularly his fourth wife Jiang Qing, knew of his philadering, and would only ask for influence in return for her silence.
Pol Pot According to biographer of the late Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot's violent leadership, which presided over the deaths of some 1.7 million people, was largely influenced by a love affair gone sour. Pol Pot had married a woman five years his senior, and she eventually left him for a political adversary.
After the romantic flame of their marriage extinguished, Pol Pot retreated from his life as a mild-mannered teacher, losing faith in romantic love and democracy, and devoting his life to revolution.
Saddam Hussein Like other dictators, former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein had his fair share of wives and mistresses. Clearly eager to share his romantic side with more than just the women in his life, Hussein published a love story set in medieval Iraq.
An instant bestseller in Iraq, Zabibah and the King tells the story of a beautiful commoner married to a cruel husband, who is partial to wild sex, money and violence, a not-too-thinly veiled metaphor for the United States. A mighty king falls for Zabibah, and declares war on her husband. Appropriately, the story ends (spoiler alert!) with all three main characters dead, which is about as happy an ending as a reader might expect from a mass murderer.
Joseph Stalin married twice.
Valentine's Day is not for everyone. Maybe you just broke up with that special jerky someone or perhaps you've grown tired of the dating scene, the hollow pick-up lines and empty promises. We don't blame you. But how to get through those 24 aspartame-sweetened hours on February 14? Apps, that's how. Here are 10 right up your alley.
Being single doesn't mean you have to sit around at home on a Saturday night. There's nothing like a cold one to warm your heart. To determine the best place, download
, available for iPhone, iPad and Android. The price is right (free), and you’ll be able to select bars based on distance or tap selection. The app also provides access to user reviews and ratings. Three cheers for being single.
While you're still sober, download
($.99), which is available for iPhone and iPad. It will send off warnings to stop you from calling that certain someone in your weakened state of mind. You do not want to commit the faux pas of dialing the ex; it never ends well.
If you’re a firm believer that Valentine’s Day isn’t a real holiday and are looking to declare your anti-romantic views, this 99-cent app, available on the iPhone and iPad, could be just for you. It features 42 pieces of audio animosity, such as "I hate these stupid candies; they taste like crap." "Valentine's Day sucks," "I hate you," and "Happy V-D." Ah, the soothing sounds of not giving a darn.
, available for free for the iPhone, iPad and Android, helps you break up in the ever-complicated digital age. It combs through your Facebook profile and discreetly deletes anything that your ex is tagged in.
Your friends keep telling you to "get out there," and "stop wallowing." You're tired of hearing it, but you've run out of excuses. Time to download this app.
(free) is available for the iPhone and iPad, and is here to help you with a list of excuses meant to get you out of almost any situation, including being set up with your mom's cousin's dry cleaner.
Time to get busy...in the kitchen, that is.
, now available for free on the iPhone, iPad and Android, could be your perfect companion. The app offers guidance from your favorite Food Network chefs and thousands of their recipes.
Let's face it. The opposite sex just doesn't understand you. Maybe it's time to flirt with the paranormal.
($.99) is an iPhone app that senses the paranormal activity around you and enlightens you about what messages they are trying to send you. Pssst, I think Casper is trying to get your attention.
Tired of talking to humans?
, a free app available for the iPhone, iPad and Android, features an animated cat that will repeat your phrases back to you in a high-pitched voice. This updated version also gives you the chance to give Talking Tom some style, by accessorizing him with hats, sunglasses and even colored contacts. Surely, Tom is more interactive than some dates you've had.
Who needs love when there are more intriguing things to do with your time -- like binge-playing
, where you can manipulate impossible architecture and guide a silent princess through an enchanted world. For $3.99 and available on the iPhone, iPad or Android, this game has a loyal following. Watch out for those bothersome crow people.
At the end of the day, there's no one more important than you. If you don't believe so, you might need this app.
(free), available on iPhone, iPad and Android, helps inspire positivity by sharing messages like, “I am in control of the situation.”