On September 2, 1945, World War Two finally drew to a close. At the UNWCC, however, things were just getting started. Over the next three years, the commission would assist in some 30,000 cases. In conjunction with tribunals such as the Nuremberg Trials, they were able to achieve justice for many war crimes committed by the Axis powers.
Nonetheless, not everyone was happy with the work being done by the UNWCC. There were in fact some powerful factions who sought to downplay the Axis’ crimes for their own political gain. For example, some experts believe that there were figures within the U.S. State Department who were actively working against Herbert Pell, the UNWCC’s U.S. envoy.
Then in the late 1940s the political climate changed again. With the Cold War looming on the horizon, many within the U.S. government sought an alliance with West Germany. And in order to help relations between the two nations, the UNWCC was shut down.