Imagine watching a World War 2 documentary on Netflix. And you got a glimpse of
the Shoah or the Holocause in lay man terms. You see the gas chambers, the
concentration camps, the Einsatzgruppen (Nazi Death Squads), the trains carrying
dead bodies and the poor condition of people living in the concentration or
extermination camps. It might startle or even disgust you. That is the grim
reality of war, it is not adventurous or glorious as told by the older
generation but in reality it is just death.
The example I gave is an example of the war crimes. By definition it means that
the major warring parties are violating the traditional laws of warfare
International Criminal Court gave the definition in a detailed manner. On
paper, these laws are set up to prevent any major crimes committed against the
civilians or prisoners of war during the time of war. However, the crimes that
are committed like the Holocaust, the Rawadan Geonicide or the crimes committed
during the Yugoslav Wars or the Sri Lankan Civil War are just a slap in the face
to the laws. These war crimes are not ignored by the West and NATO but also by
the UN itself.
So when the international organisations have failed to stop the wars time and
again then why should anyone in the right mind would ever support international
tribunals to stop war crimes. They themselves are ineffective as the said
organisations. And the tribunals and organisations of the international
community are not the only ones at fault. Our human nature plays a huge role in
orchestrating such wars. We talk big about not to repeat the mistakes of the
past but we throw that away and say- Eh, let's go gun blazing again
whole cycle just repeats again. This time we have the physical checks to stop
wars now i.e. nukes instead of the moral ones which will disappear as time stops
The Aftermath of World War II
World War II: Electric Boogaloo is the sequel to the so called The War to End
aka World War I. The War started from 1st September 1939 when Nazi
Germany invaded Poland and ended on 2nd September when the delegates of the
Imperial Japan signed the document of unconditional surrender in the USS
Missouri. There are no actual estimates of the casualties, but according to
the Neill Hollaran's research YouTube Video, it is about 70 million.
say about 50-80 million casualties. If one thing is certain, about 2.5% of
the world population at that time were the casualties and the saddest part of
the war is 60% of the World War II casualties were civilians. Not to mention the
majority of the victims were affected by the Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
Some of the war crimes were committed in China, Korea, South-East Asia, Western
Europe and Eastern Europe.
Some of the notable war crimes were:
- Operation Barbarossa
- Btaan Death March
- The Shoah
- Katyn Massacre
- Malmendy Massacre and so on.
So when the papers of peace were finally signed, there were immediate
consequences of the war.
- The European superpowers i.e. the likes of UK, France, Netherlands,
Belgium and Portugal which were once the juggernauts of the world are now
the pale shadow of what it once was.
- As the power balance has shifted from European Superpowers to the US and
Soviet Union, it brought a new kind of war aka Cold War. It also led to the
creation of the New World Order.
- The cinders of World War II led to the rise of the Decolonisation
movement as the European Superpowers began to wane.
- Creation of International Organisation and Tribunals to stop any sequels
of World War so that it won't lead to complete anhilation.
After Germany surrendered unconditionally on May 7th 1945 (8th May for the
Russians), the Allied Powers wanted to punish the Nazi leadership. Almost the
majority of the upper Nazi echelons have either committed suicide or fled to
sympathising countries like Argentina especially in the case of Adolf Eichman.
The Nazis have done so much damage to lots of ethnic/other groups like the Jews,
Slavs, Catholics, Communists, LGBTQIA+ and disabled. Their war crimes have taken
11 million souls just because in their eyes, they are so called undesirable
people in their Aryan World.
It was decided by the Allied Powersto punish the remaining high ranking Nazi
officials. Those high ranking officials include Hermann Goering, Albert Speer,
Rudolf Hess, R. Ribbentrop, Wilhem Keitel, Alfred Jodl and so on. There were 24
men who were indicted in the Nuremberg Trials, where 10 of them were sentenced
to death and the rest were either imprisoned or acquitted.
However, the trial was not free from criticism.
Those are in follows
Tokyo Trials (The International Military Tribunal of the Far East)
- The phrase history was written by the victors perfectly sums up
the trial because the trials were seen as victors' justice. The allies were
the main victors whereas Germany and her allies were the losers of the
- The allies themselves have committed atrocities against the axis powers.
For starters, the Soviet Red Army have committed mass rape in all of the
countries they've liberated from Poland to Berlin. This account was known
as rape of Europe. The US and UK also dropped bombs on cities which resulted
in deaths of thousands.
- The Nazi Scientists who were involved in the war crimes were given
immunity by both the US and the Soviet Union. In fact they were actually
hired. The US called this Operation Paperclip. One of the Nazi
Scientist Wernher von
Braun who was involved in German V rockets program was hired by NASA for their
Apollo Space Program. The CIA (OSS) themselves extracted those scientists from
Germany and brought them to the US.
When the War against Japan ended officialy on 2nd September 1945, the Second
World War officially ends. So what was left of the allies were to punish the
leaders of the losing nation. Japan's war against the allies started when they
invaded China in 1937 leading to the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Imperial
Japanaese Army committed grave atrocities against the Chinese civilians like the
Nanking Massacre and rape.
Imperial Japan eventually declared war against the US
and her Allies with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbour and East Asians
colonies and islands on December 7th and 8th 1941. The US eventually brought its
might against Japan when the former made the latter sue for peace follwing the
Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria
putting Japan's position in an untenable manner.
After the war, the allies decided to follow the precendent of Nuremberg Trials
and decided to punish the perpetrators of the war. There were 28 Highest Ranking
Japanese upper echelons in both civilian and military lives. 6 of them were
sentenced to death and the rest were imprisoned on limited terms or for life.
Like Nuremberg, the Tokyo Trials were criticised for various reasons:
Legacy of the WW2 Tribunals 
- The controversial Unit 731 scientists were given immunity by the United
States. This is the unit which conducted experiments on civilians and
prisoners of war.
- The US itself has committed war crimes against the Japanese soldiers and
civilians during and after the war. There were lots of report of rape of
Japanese women by the American Gis. The US atomic bombings on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki were controversial as well and it is justification is heavily debated
to this day.
- The US Genreal Douglas MacArthur decided not to put the Emperor of
Japan, Hirohito on trial because he feared it would destabalised Japan in the
time of Cold War. The Japanese Emperor was revered as god by the masses and
removing him would make things harder. So the emperor and his family were
excluded from the trial which is very controversial.
Criticsm of the Tribunals: The Conclusion
Unfortunately for you, History will not see it that way
- Creation of International Criminal Court and International Court of
Justice. These organisations will follow the principles of Geneva and Hague
- The terms:
- Crimes against Peace
- Crimes against Humanity and,
- War Crimes
Became a staple and bastion for the future war related cases.
- Radhabinod Pal, the Indian Judge who took part in the Tokyo Trials was
the only judge who was in support of acquitting the Japanese War Criminals.
His contribution improved the Indo-Japanese Relations post-war. India was one of
the few countries which rejected the San Francisco Treaty of 1951 and signed its
own friendship traty with Japan.
- On December 9th 1948, the UN also created Convention on the Prevention
and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide which will make the perpetrators
stand for trial.
- Darth Maul, Star Wars
The Clone Wars.
In reality the tribunals are just paper tigers, following the end of the Second
World War. As previously said there were many examples of genocides and wars
that the West, NATO, China, Russia and even the UN just shrugged at.
- The Rwanda Genocide which resulted in the deaths of 800,000 civilians
just because of the rivalries of the Tutsi-Hutu ethnic clash. The Hague
began indicting the military leadership for such genocides the but damage
was already done.
- The Sri Lankan Civil War saw some of the worst fighting in South Asia
which continued for 26 years. The conflict killed 100,000 people because the
Tamils and Sinhalese wanted to trade blows against each other, particularly
the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan Government. The UN did little to no help
to settle the conflict and the perpetrators of the war are just enjoying
their lives scott free.
- The Yugoslav Wars which spanned for almost a decade brought a brutal and
heartbreaking break up of the country. The War killed about 140,000 people
and Europe saw some of the worst war crimes since the end of the Second
World War. Slobodan Milesovic who was involved in the Bosnia War, epsecially in the Seige
of Sarajevo was presented before the Hague following his resignation in 2001
after the corruption scandal destroyed his image. He died in 2006 before the
proceedings could take place. Several key people of the war were also charged by
the Hague for their crimes during the war.
- The overlooked Congo wars saw some of the worst examples of war crimes
committed against the civilians and captured combatants. With 5.4 million
souls lost their lives in the conflict, it shows how useless the UN really
is. And even if the UN provided help, it was too little too late.
In the end, I would say that the internation tribunal needs to reform itself so
that they could be efficient in stopping future wars. Although the optimism gets
overshadowed by the current Kashmir Conflict, Israel-Palestine Beef, the Koreas,
the civil wars in Iraq, Yemen and Syria and the onging but not going to last
long War on Terror. It is earnestly hoped that we do not learn the blood and
carnage of the past as General MacArthur said in USS Missouri after World War II
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Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Anish Bachchan
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