Pictures cut

How large can the original picture be?” – asks Studiolum. And this question can mean much more in connection with the assassination of Sarajevo than one would think. Because pictures can be not only cut, but also cut together or cut apart, as well as provided with whatever caption you like.

Under the pretext of the above mentioned post I present two books on the attempt of Sarajevo where the pictures are not only cut, but also cut together, and the omissions are also absolutely characteristic.


The book of Ferdinand May, The Black Hand”, published in the 1970s in the excellent Hungarian translation of the great poet Dezső Tandori, is a veritable working-class action novel, which also borrows elements and illustrations from the book at the right side, O. Treyvaud’s Tragedy in Sarajevo (1934). The structure of the two works are completely identical: they describe the recruitment of the assailant Princip and his companions, their way to Sarajevo, and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand from step to step. Ferdinand May also completes the story with combative German Social Democrats, Serbian military officers and Russian diplomats. Some side-stories taken from Brehm’s How it all began and Emil Ludwig’s The July of ’14 can be also recognized in the plot.

Already the cover is iconic

A shortage right at the beginning. Both books start in the “Golden Sturgeon” restaurant in Belgrade, but only the French book shows it to us in picture.

The Golden Sturgeon restaurant in Belgrade / A young Muslim woman

Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević recruits the future assailants in the Golden Sturgeon. The German book starts with him its illustrations which are identical to the French source.

Colonel Dragutin Dimitriević, or by other name Apis / This is where the conspirators crossed the border of Serbia and Bosnia

Colonel Dragutin Dimitriević

As you can see, the German book settles the border crossing with the bridge. The French one is more talkative.

The Friends of France hotel in Sabać. / Oh, these roads!

Crossing the stream on two robinia trunks.  / The traveler’s home

Hallo, Dušan! (The Isaković island in the background) / Twenty meters later on Austrian territory…

Milan Kula’s farm / Crossing the potok (stream)

This is also Európe – a Bosnian little town under Austrian rule / This is where the two men of the “Black Hand” passed the night

In Janja the muezzin announces the third prayer hour / Bosnian peasants in Janja

Sarajevo’s Muslim quarter recalls Asia, or more precisely the centuries of Ottoman oppression

A Bosnian village / Sarajevo, the Turkish quarter

Finally we come to a point where the German book includes an interesting picture which is missing from the other one. The arrival of Franz Ferdinand and his wife is an important picture, as in many book the picture following it features as the “last” photo on the heir to the throne. (Incidentally, in Vienna you can view all the relics of the fateful journey, including the bloody suit, too.)

The heir to the throne arrives at the railway station of Sarajevo. To the right, the hated Governor Potiorek

Certainly not the last photo on the heir to the throne

A contemporary photo of the bazaar of Sarajevo

The bazaar of Sarajevo and the grand mosque

Muslims on the market of Sarajevo / The Bridge of Goats in Sarajevo)

The town hall in Sarajevo / Entrance of the Franz Joseph street seen from the Latin bridge. Princip was standing at the right side of the building which now houses offices.

And we have come to one of the most important pictures.

Five minutes before the attempt: the Archduke and his wife start on their fateful way

Two minutes before the attempt: the Archduke and the duchess leave the town hall

The German book also includes another picture which has fallen out of the collective consciousness, although the Wiener Bilder published a cut version of it already on 5 July 1914.

The same picture from another point of view: behind the wheel, the driver Šojka

Moreover a third photo can be also found here, with an important detail: Count Harrach is already standing on the edge of the car, in order to protect the princely couple.


A few seconds before the attempt. We cannot see Count Harrach on the edge of the car / Princip’s revolver was fired on this corner

Four seconds before the attempt. The driver, Ljoka is just about to turn at the corner to drive along the Franz Joseph Street. The cross marks the place where Princip was standing.

Notice that in contrast to the caption there is a third person standing at the edge of the car. And it is also interesting why the apparently large photo was cut in the German book, which is closed with the familiar iconic photo (also published in the Wiener Bilder):

The best known photo: Princip dragged away by gendarmes and secret policemen

And finally the French book with a similarly well known icon and a less known photo:

Princip, after his arrest / Čabrinović in a photo studio

4 comentarios:

SR dijo...

Fascinating !

MOCKBA dijo...

The "edge of the car" is known as running board, at least in the US. And Hôtel de Ville may be the same as Mairie? (main building of the city government aka Town Hall)

SR dijo...

Hôtel de Ville is the building of a Mairie — the Town Hall.

Tamas Deak dijo...

Thanks for the updates :) the article will be corrected.