On hatred dressed as justice

Robert Badinter persuaded France to abolish the guillotine

Hatred was never so frightening as when it wore the mask of justice. Badinter had seen enough of hatred to know that; all men of his generation had. And he always mistrusted the mob. As a teenager, he had watched two armed men drag a shorn, half-naked girl through the streets because she was a “fille à Boches”—“a girl of the Germans”.