Let me share with you the view of an individual who not only witnessed World War 2 as it happened, but was also chosen as one of the judges for Axis war criminals. This is what he thought of the trials:
“A sham employment of the legal process for the satisfaction of a thirst for revenge.”
-Justice Radhabinod Pal
, representing India in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East
Justice Pal acknowledged that Japan committed war crimes (he described what the Japanese did in Nanjing as "devilish and fiendish"
), but believed the scope of the trial should be expanded to include all countries, victors or losers, to really bring justice for all. He disagreed with the classification of "Class A War Crime"
which had been created by the Allies just for this trial, and saw it as a cheap way for the victors to dissociate their own colonial crimes from those of Germany and Japan. In his eyes, all colonial invaders, even if they speak English, were equally deserving to put on trial for their crimes.
Justice Pal came from a unique perspective among his peers, he was from a country that had been invaded and colonized by one of the victors of World War 2. In his lifetime Justice Pal had seen unarmed independence protesters (including women and children) fired into with machine guns in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre
.The man who ordered this killing was declared "Savior of India" by imperialist papers.
He had seen Indian soldiers disobey orders to kill their own countrymen in the Qissa Khwani Bazaar massacre, only to be declared traitors to their master's crown and jailed for life (they were released when India gained her independence, but some had already died by then).Armored vehicles were driven into the crowd
He had seen artificially induced famines claim the lives of millions as the foodstuffs of India were shipped to Europe to "fight the war against evil":"Relief will do nothing, for Indians breed like rabbits" -Winston Churchill, on the Bengal Famine
This is the world Justice Pal lived in, and now he was seeing the ones responsible for these crimes upon his homeland shout "WE are the forces of GOOD fighting a war against EVIL!"
On those grounds, Justice Pal cast the sole dissenting verdict in the military tribunal of the far east. He produced a 1,235-page judgment in which he dismissed the legitimacy of the trial as only 'Victor's Justice', while the Allies went untried for their own potential crimes (including the use of the atom bomb).His paper was banned from publication
Knowledge of the Bengal famine was censored, letters were intercepted and destroyed before they could leave the country. The BBC was ordered by their government to never speak of it and they obeyed. There were also things that the 'Good guys' had kept hidden from the public, such as how Allied Military scientists tested mustard gas on Indians
. All done in the name of 'preserve the peace' gained in their war of "Good vs Evil".
Only decades after those who lived it had passed away, after the history of the world has already been molded by the victors to suit their perspective, has this knowledge come to light.
"The foremost victim of World War II was the truth of law."
-Justice Radhabinod Pal**Bonus**
Here's a perspective from a high ranking US officer who fought against Japan in World War 2:
Killing Japanese didn't bother me very much at that time... I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.... Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier.
-General Curtis Le May, on the fire bombing of Tokyo