Blood revenge

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Demonstration by the Albanian non-governmental organization Mjaft! against blood revenge. Enough of blood revenge is written on the banner

The blood feud or vendetta (synonym) is a principle for the atonement of crime in the killings or other defamation by killings avenged be. It represents the ultima ratio of conflict resolution within the feud .

Here, the victim's family often punishes the perpetrator and his / her family with the intention of restoring the allegedly lost family honor. Under family is in many places not only to understand the biological relationship, but also a clan or a criminal gang. An outcast for whom his clan would not practice blood revenge is defenseless in this system.

In southern Italy , blood revenge is known as the "vendetta". In remote regions of northern Albania , the Kanun (local customary regulation) regulates blood revenge.

Archaic roots

The blood feud is an essential element of many archaic common law orders around the world. Theoretically, the principle of talion applies here : It instructs the victim or his representative to repay the perpetrator “like with like” or atone for his offense (“Like you for me, so I for you”). The blood revenge's code of honor also requires not paying back “one more”. The conflict was supposed to end with the death of the murderer. It is not uncommon for both families to meet with an arbitrator or a judge to clarify the procedure. However, there have also been reports of blood revenge that spans many years and even generations.

In the tradition of different peoples, however, the punishment is often worse than the previous crime. The blood revenge can lead to long, bloody arguments if, since the punished family usually takes revenge for the punishment, the other family in turn takes revenge for it.

The first permission for blood revenge with restrictions can already be found in various Babylonian collections of laws (approx. 2000 BC) such as the Codex Hammurapi and the Codex Eschnunna (approx. 3000 BC)

Text example from the Codex Hammurapi :

"§196 If a citizen destroys an eye of a (other) citizen, one should destroy his eye."

For palace members, however, no metaphor is chosen, but a precise price is set:

"§198 If he destroys an eye of a palace member or breaks a bone of a palace member, he should pay a mine of silver."

The Bible passage Lev 24:20  EU should be read from the same point of view :

“Break for break, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The harm that [someone] has done to a person is to be done to him. "(Cf. also Ex 21 : 24-25  EU )

In the New Testament this law of retribution is clearly rejected by Jesus :

“You have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth . But I say to you: Do not resist anyone who wants you wrong, but if someone hits you on the right cheek, then turn the other towards him too. "( Mt 5,38f  EU )

In the Koran , blood vengeance is regulated in the Qisās trial .

Occurrence in modern times

The modern occurrence of blood feuds is not tied to specific areas. In the Balkans, in Greece, in Crete and in Mani (Peloponnese), in Albania and in some countries of former Yugoslavia such as in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in the Sandžak region and in Montenegro , in central areas (areas around Ankara, Sereflikochisar, Aksaray) and eastern parts of Turkey ( kan davası : "blood dispute") and among certain peoples of the North Caucasus such as the Chechens and Ossetians , blood vengeance is still practiced in part today. The Somali clan system in Northeast Africa also contains elements of blood revenge.

Vendetta is the Italian term for blood revenge. It is the variant of the Talion that occurs in southern Italy , for example in Sicily , Calabria and Sardinia (as Vindicau ). In French Corsica , too , this term is synonymous with blood revenge, which was documented well into the 19th century.

In Albania, blood revenge is known as Gjakmarrja . In the 1990s, northern Albania in particular hit the headlines for blood revenge and honor killings . Most of the time, the perpetrators no longer adhere to the detailed provisions of the verbally handed down customary law Kanun , which, among other things, regulated blood revenge. The National Reconciliation Committee and other mediators try to mediate between families. Between 2004 and 2006, only one or two blood revenge murders per year were recorded in the northern Albanian, most affected area of Qark Shkodra , but the official figures must be questioned. As before, many people - especially children who are not threatened by blood revenge after Kanun - have been hiding in their houses for years because they are only protected there. Many others fled abroad. According to the Albanian Army Colonel Xhavit Shala, the number of these families “in the blood” was around 2500 in 2001. The cases are spread all over the country , also due to internal migration .

Blood revenge and constitutional legislation are not compatible. In the countries affected, some people are threatened with blood revenge, even though they have been sentenced to penalties by the ordinary courts. Migrants from areas where blood revenge occurs sometimes also bring their idea of ​​a sense of honor with them, so that various cases of blood revenge have also occurred in Western Europe. Western courts usually judge this vigilante justice as murder or manslaughter.

On July 1, 2002, a plane crash occurred near Überlingen due to several unfortunate factors . The air traffic controller on duty at the time, Peter Nielsen , was stabbed to death on February 24, 2004 by Vitaly Kalojew , who lost his wife and children in the accident. Kaloyev did not call this murder a blood revenge, but merely a punishment for the air traffic controller. However, after his imprisonment in his native North Ossetia, he was celebrated as the hero of the blood revenge. Today he is Deputy Minister of Construction in North Ossetia.

The rido is a blood feud between family clans , especially in Mindanao , Philippines . This stipulates that blood revenge is committed against a person who has violated the honor of a family or murdered a member of a family. One example is the massacre in Maguindanao in 2009 , which was featured internationally in the media .

Between 1930 and 2005, 1,266 cases of Rido were documented, in which over 5,500 people were killed. The four provinces with the highest number of Rido cases are Lanao del Sur with 377, Maguindanao with 218, Lanao del Norte with 164 and Sulu with 145 cases, which make up 71% of all known cases in this context. In the years 2002 to 2004, the number of offenses increased by 50%. 64% of the cases remained unsolved.

Poetry and novels


  • Jonas Grutzpalk: Blood Feud and Modernity. Max Weber's and Émile Durkheim's Theory. In: Journal of Classical Sociology , 2, 2002, pp. 115-134; ( Memento from July 19, 2011 in the Internet Archive ; PDF; 176 kB).
  • Karl Kaser: Family and Relatives in the Balkans. Analysis of a sinking culture . Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-205-98345-9 ; Individual cases (Međugorje): p. 230 ff.
  • Péter Krasztev: The Price of Amnesia. Interpretations of Vendetta in Albania. In: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture. 1, 2002, issue 2, pp. 33-63.
  • Klementin Mile: Gjakmarrja: Mes Kanunit dhe Shtetit (The Blood Feud: Between Kanun and State). Albanian Institute for International Studies, Tirana 2007.
  • The Torah in Jewish interpretation Ex 20.19-21.36 Literary selection: p. 249, ISBN 978-3-579-05493-3 (Volume II).
  • AM: Caucasian civilization . In: The Gazebo . Issue 29, 1867, pp. 459–461 ( full text [ Wikisource ] - illustrated).

Web links

Wiktionary: Blood feud  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Blood feud from Ralf / Friederike Stolleis (eds.): Kleines Islam-Lexikon. History - everyday life - culture. Beck, Munich 2001; License issue: Federal Agency for Civic Education , Bonn 2002.
  2. The Kanun is alive. In: ORF Ö1. Retrieved April 2, 2018 (Report on the blood revenge in Albania).
  3. Christopher. H. Boehm: Blood Revenge. The Enactment and Management of Conflict in Montenegro and Other Tribal Societies. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia 1984.
  4. Mikhail Pavlov: Customs of the peoples of Russia: The Ossetians. (No longer available online.) In: Radio Voice of Russia. December 2, 2010, archived from the original on December 8, 2015 ; accessed on December 2, 2015 .
  5. a b c Weltbilder: "Albania: Tradition of blood revenge unbroken". In: NDR . August 21, 2013, accessed December 2, 2015 .
  6. Klementin Mile / Albanian Institute for International Studies: Gjakmarrja: Mes Kanunit dhe Shtetit , Tirana 2007 - based on information from the police of Qark Shkodra.
  7. a b Thomas Fuster: Albania's children locked out of life . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . No. 133 , June 12, 2010, p. 9 .
  8. Data and facts on blood revenge in Albania . In: Albanian notebooks . No. 2 , 2003, p. 6 f ( [PDF; accessed on November 19, 2015] scan of the issue; quoted from the weekly supplement “Reportazh” of the daily newspaper Gazeta Shqiptare of February 11, 2003).
  9. ^ Werner Sarstedt : The rule of law as a task . Ed .: Gisela Sarstedt, Werner Hamm. de Gruyter, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-11-011058-X ( - reading sample).
  10. Peter Forstmoser , Walter R. Schluep : Introduction to the law . Stämpfli, Bern 1992, ISBN 3-7272-0868-6 (§6 N. 135).
  11. Eno Trimçev (Ed.): The Blood Feud: Between Kanun and State . Albanian Institute for International Studies, Tirana 2007.
  12. Franziska Harnisch, Anja Bruhn: Honor killings as mutated blood revenge . In: Jonas Grutzpalk (Ed.): Contributions to a comparative sociology of the police . Universitätsverlag Potsdam, Potsdam 2009, ISBN 978-3-940793-74-4 , p. 33–54 ( ).
  13. Frank Krause: 10 years in Überlingen: “It's raining corpses,” it says on the radio. In: Stuttgarter Nachrichten. June 30, 2012, accessed July 1, 2012 .
  14. ^ "Rido" in Maguindanao. ( Memento from September 8, 2012 in the web archive ) In: Philippine Star
  15. Wilfredo Magno Torres III: Rido: clan feuding and conflict management in Mindanao , ISBN 978-971-92445-2-3 (PDF)