Stalin would have had them all shot on sight

“The war crimes trials in Germany and Japan have been criticized by some as having no legal, judicial basis. Many critics making this argument have stated that the Allies would have been better off simply executing the top German and Japanese leaders under military law instead of engaging in an elaborate legal charade. Those who supported the trials, however, believe that they were an important step in the establishment of internationally accepted standards of behavior, and that all future political leaders needed to know that they could be held accountable in an international forum for wartime behavior. Whatever their legality, narrowly defined, the trials were an unprecedented public airing of German and Japanese policies and conduct. In addition, the Axis leaders tried and punished were given a kind of due process their victims never enjoyed.” – The World War II Desk Reference, Douglas Brinkley and Michael E. Haskew, eds.

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