The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression is a 1997 book by Courtois, Paczkowski, Werth and some other European academics documenting a history of political repression by Communist states, including genocides, extrajudicial executions, deportations, killing populations in labor camps and artificially-created famines.
The number of people killed by the Communist governments amounts to more than 94 million. The statistics of victims include deaths through executions, man-made hunger, famine, war, deportations and forced labor. The breakdown of the number of deaths is given as follows:
According to Courtois, the crimes by the Soviet Union included the following:
This and other Communist death tolls have been criticized by some historians and scholars, especially those based on the higher estimates of Rudolph Rummel and Benjamin Valentino, on which the book relies. Any attempt to estimate a total number of killings under Communist regimes depends greatly on definitions, ranging from a low of 10-20 millions to as high as 110 millions.
The criticism of some of the estimates are mostly focused on three aspects, namely that the estimates were based on sparse and incomplete data when significant errors are inevitable; that the figures were skewed to higher possible values; and that those dying at war and victims of civil wars, Holodomor and other famines under Communist regimes should not be counted.
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