There are so many assholes in history. Like, there are the major ones — Hitler, Stalin — of course, but there are also so many others. Crack open any textbook and it’s full of “So-and-so burned down this town” or “Whatshisname invented mustard gas just because he could.” So we’re glad that Above Average is shining a light on some of history’s forgotten assholes. In this inaugural episode, host Siobhan Thomspon tackles Herbert Kitchener, the dude who literally invented concentration camps.
General Kitchener was the commander of British forces during the Boer War, a charming nineteenth century battle between the Brits and the Boers (White South Africans) over who had more right to plunder the mineral wealth of the region. The British took many prisoners, both white and black, and kept them in internment camps. As you can probably guess, these camps were gross, lacked food, and had people piled on top of each other (or, concentrated if you will.)
Over 40,000 people died in these camps. And one of the worst ideas in history was invented. So thanks, Herbert Kitchener. You asshole.