Saturday, June 28, 2014

Heir to Austrian Throne Assassinated -- June 28, 2014

100 years ago today, Serbian nationalists assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to throne of Austria-Hungary, in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.  They also unintentionally murdered his wife Duchess Sophie.  Serbia and Serbian were often rendered as Servia and Servian in English.  The assassin's name is usually spelled as Gavrilo Princip. I believe the "magazine revolver" was a semi-automatic Browning.  This event was one of the triggers of the First World War.  From the 29-June-1914 New York Tribune.




Francis Ferdinand, Nephew of Emperor

Francis Joseph, Killed in Bosnian Capital

an Hour After Warding Off

Bomb Which Injures Score.


Volley from Revolver Hits Archduke and Duchess of

Hohenburg as They Are Driving Together in Automobile

in Town of Sarajevo -- New Heir, Charles

Joseph, 27 Years Old.

Sarajevo, Bosnia, June 28. -- The Archduke Francis Ferdinand. heir to the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary, and his morganatic wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot to death to-day in the main street of this, the Bosnian capital. Bullets from a magazine revolver in the hands of an eighteen-year-old youth riddled the heir apparent and his wife, and thus completed the grim task a madman had unsuccessfully attempted only a few hours before by hurling a bomb at the royal automobile.

Another terrible chapter has thus been written into the tragic and romantic history of the House of Hapsburg. and to-night the aged Emperor lies prostrated by the news in his summer place at Ischl.

The flying bullets struck Francis Ferdinand full in the face.  One tore its way into the Duchess's body. Another pierced the great artery in her throat. As the blood gushed from her neck she fell senseless across her husband's knees.

An instant later he. too, sank to the floor of the car in a heap.  Both were rushed with all speed to the palace. But no help was of avail. They died a few moments after they arrived.

The assassination had been carefully planned. It was while the heir to the Austrian throne and the woman he had loved so well were on their way to the town hall that Nedeljo Gabrinovics, a journeyman printer, slung a smoking bomb at the royal automobile. It was while they were returning from the hall, perhaps an hour later, that Gavrio Prinzip, a high school student, stood at the corner of the Rudolfstrasse and poured his fusillade into the helpless couple. Again, an unexploded bomb was found a few yards away from the scene of death. It had been flung in a corner by another madman after he had learned of the success of Prinzip's attack.


After the bomb exploded the Archduke and the Duchess proceeded to the City Hall. The automobiles were fleet and the news had not yet filtered through the crowd in waiting. Indeed, there had hardly been time to telephone. So the burgomaster was astonished when he met his royal guests at the door to have his customary address of greeting interrupted by the snapping words of Francis Ferdinand:

"Herr burgomaster, we come to pay you a visit and bombs are thrown at us. It is an insult!"

Then his princely dignity overcame his indignation, and he paused and said:

"Now you may speak." .

After the ceremonies the Archduke and his wife announced that they would visit the wounded members of their suite in the hospitals on their way to the palace. They set out in their car, this time protected by a cordon of police. They drove rapidly down the Franz Josefstrasse and were nearing the Rudolfstrasse when Prinzip, a pale faced boy -- indeed, a mere stripling, but with all the zeal of a fanatic shining in his countenance -- popped out of the front rank of the crowd like a seed from an orange. No one seemed exactly to realize what he meant to do. It was as real and as unreal as a moving picture.


Just as the automobile slowed up on the turn into the Franz Josefstrasse the boy raised his arm from his side. The sunlight struck on the dull steel of the magazine revolver and soldiers leaped to grab the youth, but before they reached him he had accomplished his deed. It was with extreme difficulty that he was rescued from the infuriated crowd.

The first attack was filled with all the dramatic intensity and suddenness with which the successful and unsuccessful attempts on the lives of European monarchs have been attended. Sarajevo was en fête to welcome Francis Ferdinand and his wife. It was a triumphal procession. Flags fluttered in the soft wind and garlands hung from the windows. A great throng of picturesquely clothed peasants pushed and shoved against the detachment of soldiers that held them good naturedly in check at the railway station where the couple were expected.


There was no especial military preparation, however, as the heir to the throne had always been regarded as so popular that no particular precautions were necessary. In fact, the general feeling that he would without doubt in the near future succeed to the throne through the death of his uncle had clothed him with a sort of affection that seemed to protect him.  With his wife and staff he came from the train to the automobile, and as the crowd cheered the royal procession started for the City Hall along the flag decorated road. A short three hundred feet from the station Gabrinovics leaped from the shelter of the Girls' High School and dashed the bomb at the automobile.  Francis Ferdinand showed splendid courage. He threw one arm to protect his wife, and with the other he warded off the bomb. It fell directly beneath the following car, and the flash of flame that blinded the eyes of the crowd and the great ball of smoke that hid the two cars from view struck terror to the hearts of the onlookers.

But as the smoke lifted the crowd saw the Archduke standing upright in the car and gazing at the automobile behind.  The Duchess remained still in her seat, her face tense, but full of courage. Francis Ferdinand leaped from his car and ran to the assistance of Count von Boos-Waldeck and Colonel Merizzo, two of his staff, who had been struck by slivers of iron and were bleeding in the face and hands. Some score of bystanders, several women and children among them, were injured by the flying fragments, and the Duchess personally sent members of the royal staff in automobiles to take the wounded to hospitals.

The crowd was in a panic, which, however, was soon checked for Gabrinovics was fleeing from the police and soldiery.  He dashed through the crowd, shuttling in and out, as hundreds, of hands clutched at his clothes and tore them from him and blows fell upon his head and shoulders. Rifle bullets crackled after him as he leaped for the bank of the River Miljachka.

He plunged beneath the surface, but a crowd of half a thousand people were on the embankment in a second, so it seemed.  The water was literally swarming with men, and soldiers standing with their guns at full aim forbore to fire, so that the printer might be taken alive. He was pulled half drowned from the river, but was almost lynched. Lieutenants had to threaten to fire into the crowd before it could be pushed back sufficiently to hurry the man to prison. 

Both Prinzip and Gabrinovics are Serbs and natives of the annexed province of Herzegovina. When put through examination by the police they gloried in their exploits. Prinzip, who has studied for a time at' Belgrade and who has been much concerned in Socialistic activities, said in a braggart manner :

"I'm a nationalist. For years I've been yearning to kill a ruler or a prince." He added that the presence of the Duchess in the car caused him to hesitate, but only for a moment.

"Then my nerve returned and I fired," he boasted.

He denied absolutely that he had accomplices, and Gabrinovics stoutly asserted that he. too, had planned with no one. He told the police he had obtained his bomb from a Belgrade anarchist whose name he did not know. Cynicism marked his attitude throughout the police inquiry. He was "coldly indifferent" to whatever happened. he said. He is twenty-one years old.

Until word comes from the Emperor the bodies of his dead will lie in state at the palace here, pending removal to Vienna for the solemn masses and their final rest in the Hapsburg vault of the great Capuchin Church in Vienna.

The only word to describe Sarajevo's of mind is "consternation." The town is wild with grief and horror. A state of terror possesses the people.  They seem to fancy that some dire fate will visit them because their town was the scene of such an awful crime, a tragedy that has rocked Europe. 

Mourning is everywhere, Black banners and black streamers literally cover the public buildings, and even in the tiny, winding back streets the peasants have hung black flags from their windows. The president of the town hurried to send a message to the Emperor, assuring his majesty in the most humble terms conceivable of the people's unalterable devotion to the head of the great House of Hapsburg.

Weeping women stand with dumb men, in great crowds, particularly where the bomb exploded and the fatal shots were fired. About them are silent reminders, for the bomb was filled with nails and lead filings, and the flying fragments left their marks on garden doors and windows, even piercing iron shutters. Three pistol bullets are embedded in the wall of the girls' High School. Anti-Servian demonstrations began to-night. The crowds knelt in the street and sang the national anthem.

It is said that after the attempt with the bomb the Duchess tried to dissuade the Archduke from venturing in the motor car again. To allay her fears M. Potiorek, Governor of Bosnia., said:
'"It's all over now. We have not more than one murderer in Sarajevo," whereupon the Archduke decided to go on.

At a meeting of the provincial Diet tonight the president of the chamber expressed Bosnia's profound sorrow and indignation over the outrage and paid a glowing tribute to the Archduke and the Duchess.

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