The Tokyo War Crimes Trial, U.Va.

The Tokyo War Crimes Trial

Digital Collection

Tavenner at lectern giving final summation during Tokyo War Crimes Trials

Tavenner gives the final summation in the Prosecution's case against the Japanese defendants. Some quotes include: "They planned to extend their domination and control . . . These defendants were not mere automatons, they were not replaceable cogwheels in a machine, they were not playthings of fate caught in a maelstrom of destiny from which there was no extrication. These men were the brains of an empire, they were the leaders of the nation's destiny . . . They made their choice, for this choice they must bear the guilt." He also compares the accused to the defendants at Nuremberg saying they "were not the dregs of society and the underworld" as were the German accused. Instead, "these people were supposed to be the elite of the nation, honest and trustworthy. They voluntarily elected to follow the path of war." Upon conclusion, Sir William Webb dismisses the court until judgment has been decided. Shows judges, lawyers, defendants and audience leaving the courtroom.