Women are the other part of men and vice versa. They complete one another, and definitely, they would be deficient without each other. Right at this point, I believe that you must have heard the saying “There is a woman behind every successful man.” This saying reflects the effects of women on men. I am not saying that a man cannot be successful without a woman, but their influences on a man’s life are undeniable. Of course, a man also affects a woman’s life in many ways. The relationship is mutual. We meet, we get used, we love, we marry, we live happily, and we die — or at least that’s true for some of us. Some women don’t have normal lives as because of their husbands. That’s why we have brought together the stories of 10 women behind the worst men in human history.
1. Jiang King: The Wife of Mao Zedong
Jiang Qing, aka Madame Mao, was born in Shandong, China in 1914. She was an actress, political figure, and a Chinese Communist Revolutionary. In her acting life, she mostly used the name “Lan Ping” as her stage name. She was the fourth wife of Mao Zedong, the revolutionary leader of China. They married in 1949. Jiang Qing also worked as a secretary for Mao Zedong in the office and was the head of the film section of the propaganda department. However, she is mostly known for what she did while working as the Deputy Director of the Central Cultural Revolution Group. During this time, she worked to influence the culture, art, and affairs of states. In other words, she helped spread the communist revolution almost all fields of the social life.(1,2)
2. Eva Braun: The Wife of Adolf Hitler
Eva Braun was the wife of one of the worst men in history, Adolf Hitler. She was born in Munich in 1912. When she met Hitler, she was just 17. Eva was working as an assistant and a model for Hitler’s photographer then. They started seeing each other more often after one of Hitler’s mistresses committed suicide. Her relationship with Hitler wasn’t known by the German people until World War II. They appeared only one time together in public, and that was when she sat near Hitler in the 1936 Winter Olympics.
The most interesting fact about Eva Braun is that she was Hitler’s wife for about 40 hours. You heard right. Just 40 hours after their marriage, they committed suicide together. Eva Braun did so with cyanide and Adolf Hitler with a gun. In fact, this was not Eva’s first attempt to kill herself. She tried twice previously. The first one was with a pistol in 1932, and the second one was with sleeping pills in 1935.(1,2,3)
3. Safia Farkash: The Wife of Muammar Gaddafi
Safia Farkash was the wife of the ousted leader of Libya Muammar Gaddafi. About her origin, there are two different stories. The first one is that she was born in Libya and had been educated to be a nurse. The second one is that she was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and so she had Bosnian and Hungarian origins. It may not be clear what her origin was, but her relationship with Gaddafi was very clear. She was a nurse, and she met Gaddafi when he was hospitalized in 1970. Safia had been married to him for 41 years before the Arab Spring in 2011. She had seven children with Gaddafi and raised two others who were adopted. Currently, she lives in Algeria where she fled as a refugee.(1,2)
4. Amal al-Sadah: The Wife of Osama bin Laden
Amal al-Sadah was the fifth wife of the former leader of Afghanistan and al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden. She was from Yemen. In 1999, when Laden desired to marry for the fifth time, he called one of his followers, a Yemeni sheik, Rashad Mohammed in Kabul and asked for an appropriate candidate. Rashad selected one of his former students, Amal, for this marriage. Amal was 18 while Laden was 44 then. They had a daughter named Safiyah.
As well as being the wife of the terrorist leader, she was a true follower of him. When Osama gave his wives an opportunity to leave Afghanistan, Amal chose to stay with him instead of leaving. According to the US officials, Amal was shot in the leg once when she rushed the Navy Seals. She was in Pakistan custody until the year of 2011. According to one of her relatives, she was a nice person and didn’t have any connection with al-Qaida before her marriage with Laden.(1,2)
5. Nadezhda Alliluyeva: The Wife of Joseph Stalin
Nadezhda Alliluyeva was the wife of former Russian leader Joseph Stalin. She was born in Russia in 1901. Her father was a railway worker. The Alliluyev family helped Stalin and provided him shelter during his exile. Nadezhda Alliluyeva first met Stalin when he stayed at her home after escaping from Siberian exile in 1911. She was just a child then. After the revolution in 1917, she became the personal assistant of Stalin, and they married in 1919. She had two children with Stalin. According to one of her friends, she had some mental problems and sudden mood changes, probably because of a bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder. They often had arguments in their marriage, and in 1932, she killed herself with a gun.(1,2)
6. Sajida Talfah: The Wife of Saddam Hossein
Sajida Talfah was one of the three wives of Saddam Hossein, the former leader of Iraq. She was born in Iraq in 1940. She was also the cousin of Saddam. They married in 1958 and had five children. When still married with Sajida, Saddam arranged another marriage with Samira Shahbandar. Both she and her son, Uday, weren’t happy with this marriage. That’s why Uday killed a man named Kamel Hana Gegeo because he believed it was Kamel who introduced Samira and Saddam. The relationship between Sajida and Saddam was complicated, and due to this situation, the existence of Sajida was unknown to the people of Iraq. But, after rumors about Saddam’s second marriage and family, they appeared in the public in order to give a clear message about their good family life. It is believed that Sajida went to Qatar just before the bombing of Baghdad in 2003.(source)
7. Ko Yong-hui: The Wife of Kim Jong-il
Because North Korea is a closed society, it is not possible to get a lot of information, but still, there are some facts you should know about Ko Yong-hui. She was the wife of the former leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, and the mother of the current leader of the country, Kim Jong-un. She was born in Japan as the daughter of a Japanese mother and a Korean father. Ko and Kim met in 1972, and they had their first child in 1981. It is believed that three years after the birth of their first child, Kim Jong-un was born. It is thought that she had influence over Kim-jon-il on some political issues. She died in Paris in 2004 because of breast cancer. After Kim Jong-il’s death, all records, including her personal information and name, became government secrets.(source)
8. Rachele Mussolini: The Wife of Benito Mussolini
Rachele Mussolini was the second wife of Benito Mussolini, the former Italian leader. She was born in 1890 in Romagna, Italy. She moved in with Mussolini in 1910. Then, they married five years later, just before his first wife, Ida Dalser, gave birth to his son. They had five children. While he was married to her, he had several mistresses too. However, Rachele ignored that situation and them. According to one of his friends, Mussolini was fearful of his wife. She even kicked him out after an argument. She was always with Mussolini during her marriage, but when he and his mistress were captured and executed, she was not there. After World War II, she tried to escape. However, she was captured and arrested by Italian partisans, the ones who killed Mussolini. She loved Mussolini even after his death, and so she asked for his body for a private burial.(1,2)
9. Khieu Ponnary: The Wife of Pol Pot
Khieu Ponnary was the first wife of Pol Pot, aka “Saloth Sar,” the former leader of Cambodia. She was the daughter of a judge, and this brought some privileges to her in the French Colonial era. Khieu got her baccalaureate degree in 1940, and this made her the first Cambodian woman to have this degree. She met Pol Pot in Paris, and they continued to see each other. Even when she was working as a high school teacher, she supported Pol Pot as he was preparing for the revolution.
After Pol Pot came to power, she worked as the Party Secretary for a while. She had mental issues with schizophrenia starting from 1975. She thought the Vietnamese were trying to kill her and Pol Pot. After the Vietnamese invasion, Pol Pot divorced her and arranged a second marriage. She suffered from mental problems until she died in 2003. Her sister and her sister’s husband looked after her until her death.(1,2)
10. Marie Henriette: The Wife of Leopold II of Belgium
Marie Henriette was the first wife of Belgian King Leopold II, also known as the “Butcher of Congo.” When she married Prince Leopold, she was 16, and Leopold was 18. The Belgian king of the time arranged this marriage in order to strengthen the monarchy. However, their marriage didn’t go well, and they became unhappy. As a result, they weren’t living completely together anymore. In 1865, when her husband became king of Belgium, she became the queen. They lost a son in 1869, and then they tried to have another child hoping for a boy, but she gave birth to a daughter. Because of this, they separated their houses completely. She died in Spa, a Belgian town, in 1902. According to Pauline de Metternich, she was energetic and vivacious when she was young, but later, she became quite unhappy in her life.(source)