And yet the face of the perpetrator, Mao Zedong (up to 162 million killed, according to Michael Setter), continues to sneer at us from an array of Chinese
banknotes despite being the most prolific mass murderer in history.
There is precedent of course. The perpetrators of the Spanish conquest of South America – Cortes, Pizarro et al (80 million killed) – were glorified on a range of Spanish banknotes, while Christopher Columbus (5 million) is featured on US dollar bills. Stalin (20 million) did not appear on Russian currency, but is featured on Chinese Soviet Republic notes and Czech coinage.
Some may wonder why the face of Adolf Hitler (11 million) is absent from the Euro. The answer, of course, is that glory belongs to victors – Hitler lost.