Justice and Revenge Post WW2

Before reading chapter 7 of Mazower’s Dark Continent, I always thought everything was perfectly harmonious after World War 2 in Europe. However, I was most certainly wrong in my preconceptions. It turns that after World War 2, there were millions of displaced people in Europe. Furthermore, there was a “popular demand for revenge” (Mazower 230) among Europeans against collaborators of fascism. These collaborators would often be executed in very violent manners. Can revenge in this manner ever be morally legitimate? I mean certainly causing wanton harm to anyone is morally inappropriate. But what about the fascist collaborators that helped the Nazis seek out Jewish people? The Nazi soldiers who conducted mass exterminations? The very basic principle of Justice stipulates that people get what they deserve, just action; in other words fairness. I wonder, can revenge ever be the same as justice? Is revenge ever morally legitimate?

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