Gottfried Sieben (1856 – 1918, Austrian)

WARNING – In 1909, using the pseudonym of Archibald Smith, the Austrian book illustrator Gottfried Sieben painted “Balkangreuel” (Balkan Horror), a series of twelve lithographs showing Turkish soldiers in the act of gang-raping and killing women. The images are highly raw and explicit, but they also have  an historical value.













19 responses to “Gottfried Sieben (1856 – 1918, Austrian)

  1. Razul Darkwood

    That’s why we, the Bulgarians never really forgave to Turkey. We know that those people are not the ones who did the rapes. It was their great great grand fathers, still maybe many of us want to hear that they truly are sorry for that happened. We don’t want to be enemies I have friends that have Turkish origin. They are really nice and polite people and I respect them from the bottom of my heart. Still many Bulgarians are not tolerant like me and see them as our mortal enemies. Even so some think that Turkey may try to get some of our lands after they become part of the EU. I want to trust that this won’t happen as much as I try to berry the hatchet I still cannot trust them because even that I know good Turkish people when I ask them will you stand against us if Turkey wage war on Bulgaria all of them say yes. I know its hard to betray your homeland but you live here not there… That was one really unpleasant discussion that I had with a friend of mine with Turkish origin. I admire their patriotism but lets not forget that no matter how civilized we can be underneath our skin lies what our fathers and their fathers and their fathers fathers had done.

    Thank you, to those that understand.

    • What horrible today over 140 years later that Turkey as a country fails to publicly apologize to its neighbors for its atrocities in the Balkans. In an inflight magazine of Turkish Airlines I read an article about Turkey taking over Constantinopol to establish law and fairness among three continents. What a joke and how arrogant. That time set a dark stage in the Balkans for 5 centuries of backwardness, torture and utter genocite, which will remain not forgotten and not forgiven for more time to come. Turkey should acknowledge its horrible history and apologize and then take steps to become a civilized country. People are people and Turks as individuals may not be all villains. I have Turkish friends, but their country rests on its past that is not to be forgotten.

    • The audacity of white Europeans. Think they know what it’s like to be deeply wronged. Nobody’s in the past 2,000 years has raped, plundered, and brutalized the world more than Europe. Nobody. Not even Attila the Hun. And yes, those in Turkey count. Arabs are technically white, too.

      • Turks aren’t Arabs. Please take your own ignorance and entitlement somewhere else. This is not a competition about who ‘suffered the most’ and also lumping imperial powers with peoples who were most of the time under a foreign boot is stupid. Europe, and white people are not a homogeneous group of oppressors, just like not all black people are one thing, and Asian another. Most Balkan countries had nothing to do with the suffering on other continents, just like most of Eastern Europe, which mostly had to deal with empires such as the Austrian,Russian or Ottoman persecuted them, banned their national expression, burned their cities in wars with other big countries and killed or exiled thousands of people. So yeah. What colonialism did is awful, but colonialism wasn’t just in Africa, Asia and the Americas.

    • Instead of writings shits just look to the 6,7,8,9,10! All of them Bulgarian! (maybe 9 is Greek or Albanian)

  2. Pepo Ramesses

    Hello I would love to share with you to talk
    . Excuse me first that there was any error in grammar or in the written alphabet for words, I’m still learn English.
    I am a young Egyptian, my parents and my grandparents from Upper Egypt, my roots go back to the indigenous people of Egypt, “the ancient Egyptians”
    I have suffered from my Ottoman occupation and those committed massacres and pogroms and Aatsabat and killed and tortured, and taking land from my grandparents and sisters g and also they Bakhadd craftsmen and engineers Egyptians to the capital of the empire to work exclusively on the construction and Taced buildings and palaces for them. Discernible farmers and the good of their fields to recruit Jabra in the Ottoman army of occupation.
    When Read what they did AQIM Balkan massacres and all that I feel sorry for you and for Godoy and sisters and all the Egyptians and also when I remember all the massacres committed by the Ottoman army in Girenna in Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and the destruction of their country and pillage and rape their women and and many genocides, for example, the genocide of Armenians and Assyrians and raped the women and then slaughtered and sexual abuse of children and left them in the woods until they die .. and here is today’s Turkey, which repeats what she was doing the Ottoman Empire in the Levant and here is the state subsidizes Islamic in Iraq and the Levant Isis and all of you hear in the news or Look at Google on what to do in the round of Islamic Syria and Iraq of killing and torture of all that is non-Muslim various kinds of torture and murder. Turkey and is now waiting for their chance until the intervention of the European Union attempts to even begin to exert control and influence over Albelkln land and land that was one day in the past occupied by the Ottoman Empire in either diplomat and disputes over the ownership of the land or, for example, waiting for a big war or conflict going on in the region and do not forget that they now have a strong army and extended its control by force and destruction as they did their ancestors veterans. People are people, and genes are genes. Turks are now evolving to the Ottomans in Egypt like we say … extend the race for the seventh and grandfather .. This means that the genes of the parents and grandparents are the genes of the parents and the children and their thoughts almost identical between the generations continue to do so into the seventh generation of children. Turks are the new forms of the Ottomans. Does not rejoice including show people you manifestations of urbanization because he remains the heart of the hatred you, but what about them .. pink on the previous response, which he used to say that if he had, for example, a war between Bulgaria and Turkey unjustly Vsaagaf Turkish people with Bulgarians tell his beloved brother you are very kind-hearted, on the contrary arise .. what do u think you and your friend Thrtmh the first to attack you. See Syria as an example. Because it is what you do u think your friend opting first for his religion and patriotism then to the genetic roots of Turkish and will not mention friendship and not something else maybe my words does not apply to all people, but I think 95% of them.

    • Razul Darkwood

      I agree with you.

    • Sen bize laf edeceğine kendi ülkene bak
      Türkiye mi daha medeni Mısır mı?
      Arkadaşımın biri Mısır’a gitti , Kahire’nin sokakları çöp dolu, trafik berbat , kimse kimseye saygı duymuyor dedi. siz Mısırlılar daha medeniyet nedir bilmiyorsunuz ama burada ahkâm kesiyorsun , önce sen kendi ülkeni düzelt sonra Türkiye hakkında konuş

  3. Pepo Ramesses

    Thank you for your response . Repair some of the mistakes that I was able to see it in my reply and this excuse was that after Ir understandable words or incorrect .. Link in the following reply

  4. Well, everybody knows about turkish atrocities in the past, the whole world knows about the armenian genocide. Only the Turks do not acknowldege these historical facts. That makes me think that in the bottom of their heart Turks are still violent barbarians. And that they do not deserve to enter in the European Union.

    • America (USA) has acknowledged some of the atrocities committed by its (“our” but not “my”) troops not only on vanquished nations’ women and girls but upon “liberated” countries’ such as France, and upon Italy after the Fascists were overthrown and Italy joined the Allies against the Nazi Germans. South Vietnamese women and girls were raped and forced into prostitution (raped) despite South Vietnam being the ally the US was there to assist.
      I am not referring to individual acts of rape, which has gone on throughout the ages but to organized rapine by groups of US and allied troops just short of official activities.
      Virtually every nation is guilty of committing atrocities generation after generation. The sons avenge their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts. Then the women who bear the brunt of the revenge (did they do the raping???) have husbands, sons, grandsons, brothers, nephews who “must” avenge them upon the women and girls of the other sons. On and on.

  5. sedat sıvış

    see everybody mirror :))

  6. Most reviews have nothing to do with the illustrations above! They reflect a terrible period of 5 centuries of violence, atrocities, murders, robberies over the Balkan peoples, and in part the Bulgarians! Whole settlements are flattened with the ground, and the population is slaughtered! The purpose of the illustrations is to show what is the war or violent conquest of territories,for women and the defenseless population!

  7. All great points and thoughts. I am Native American Indian and will not go into the sorrow of our People and Mother Earth. The only two cents I want to say is that “Mankind” is the fault. No matter what God you pray to or not.

    • You’re 100 percent correct. Its human nature to blame and also nature itself. All life is competitive, plants, animals, fish, incects, etc etc. There is always one thats going to want to lead and/ or take over. Been happening for thousands of year and will keep on happening for thousands more. You cannot blame a race, nationality, religion, country, ideology or political party, they all have committed the most horrible evils on the planet. Its the nature of life, everyone needs to know this and everyone needs to be prepared for it at all times.

    • Well, I am Bulgarian and am extremely interested into our common history. We shouldn’t talk only about what the Ottoman Empire did. During the Balkan Wars every country’s elite was fighting for more territorial gains. And there were atrocities made by Bulgarians in Rodops, Ottomans in Trace, Greeks as well… The fight was for assimilation of the newly added territories. Unfortunately now we are accusing everyone but not ourselves, there is huge lack of self-reflection. Hope for brighter future for the Balkans, because we saw very recently what we are capable of during the war in Yugoslavia…

  8. Why you wrote”Turkish” when 6,7,8, 10 are Bulgarian and 9 is Greek/Albanian? Like wtf?

  9. Some very interesting comments here. What surprises me is that some of the pictures show Bulgarian or Greek or Albanian troops rather than Turkish or Ottoman, according to some commentators. (When I first saw them and read about Sieben, I got the impression that they were always Turks – or Ottomans. But sure enough the uniforms are different.)
    I’m unfamiliar with the historical background to the series. But when I look up “Balkan Wars” I get 1912-1913, while these engravings were published in 1909. I suppose there may have been smaller conflicts prior to what became known as the Balkan Wars. Perhaps Sieben was not much interested in historical accuracy.
    What’s really remarkable about “Balkangreuel” is how Sieben managed to combine atrocity with pornography. Besides using vicious stereotypes of these soldiers – whatever their ethnicity – he clearly meant to titillate the viewer with the violence of these atrocities. This is obscene in itself, quite apart from their pornographic aspect. (And I’m not against pornography or erotic art on principle; too much depends on the details.)
    Sieben was an illustrator of some skill, but most of his work tended toward light humor, or to an eroticism much more discreet than Balkangreuel (for which he used a pseudonym, probably concerned about his reputation among decent folks). Kitschy stuff, basically. (The drawing style of Balkangreuel makes the women resemble the Gibson Girls of Charles Dana Gibson, a contemporary, very pretty and fashionable.)

    • Razul Darkwood

      Gou have a point there, though the there are ottoman uniforms on around half of them. Regarding the years, most of the Balkans fell under ottoman rule after the bizantian empire fell by the rifles of the ottoman empire so we were under their rule for a long time. Most of the pictures depict not their army as much as their militia. Thats maybe the reason why things don’t add up for you. I’m no historian, but I know that those things happen, their rejected offspring live in their gethos to this day. I tried to be friendly with them once and they robbed me so I guess for once our racism against them was well urned. On other hand I had many Turkish colleagues in college and they are respectable people. Still I try to be open minded and try not to blame others for the mistakes of their ansestry, but more and more people try to act like their heritage is something soo great. Its not if you don’t learn from it and honour it the right way. That’s my personal opinion though. 🙂

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