Saturday, June 28, 2014

100th anniversary of Franz Ferdinand's assassination

Austria Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated on June 28, 1914, along with his wife Sophie, by the young Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914)

This put in motion a chain of events that led to the First World War.

The PBS Newshour features 8 things you didn’t know about Franz Ferdinand by Talia Mendich 06/27/2014.

They also feature Michael Mosettig's ‘The shots heard round the world’ 100 years ago 06/27/2014 which reminds us what would happen in the process of what has gone down in history as the July Crisis:

... within a month, across Europe, the armies of the empires of Austria-Hungary, Russia, Germany, France, and Britain were at war. The Ottoman Empire would join the side of the Central Powers soon after. Only the British and French empires survived, though greatly weakened. Global power would pass to the United States, which refused to wield it for another two decades, until another war enveloped the world. Sarajevo would be battered in yet another Balkan war in the 1990s that saw the dismemberment of the post-World War I Yugoslav federation. A bridge where the assassin was standing, now renamed Latin Bridge, was known during the Yugoslav years as Princip Bridge.
No everyone looks on Franz Ferdinand's death as a regrettable thing, apparently: Carol Williams, Bosnian Serbs erect statue to nationalist who ignited World War I Los Angeles Times 06/27/2014.

Adelheid Wölfl looks at how the assassin, Gavrilo Princip, has become the subject of varying interpretations in Der Attentäter, der zum Promi wurde Der Standard 28.06.2014

I've posted this 1977 documentary by John Kenneth Galbraith before, The Age of Uncertainty Episode 5 Lenin and The Great Ungluing:

The Lenin in the title refers of course to the Bolshevik Revolution, one of the major outcomes of the First World War. One not contemplated by the leaders who initiated the war. From the companion volume of the same title and year:

People of the World War II generation, my generation, will always think of their conflict as the great modern watershed of change. Hitler was defeated, fascism destroyed. For the great colonial empires just discussed, it was either the end or the beginning of the end. The nuclear age arrived. ...

We should be allowed our vanity, our personal rendezvous with history. But we should know that, in social terms, a far more decisive change came with World War I. It was then that political and social systems, centuries in the building, came apart - sometimes in a matter of weeks. And others were permanently transformed. It was in World War I that the age-old certainties were lost. Until then aristocrats and capitalists felt secure in their position, and even socialists felt certain in their faith. It was never to be so again. The Age of Uncertainty began. World War II continued, enlarged and affirmed this change. In social terms World War II was the last battle of World War I. [my emphasis]
Here is a 2004 German documentary on the First World War, Der Untergang des alten Europa - 1. Weltkrieg, which includes the transition to what would become known as the Weimar Republic in Germany and to democracy in Austria:

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