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I have been learning about World War I, when (according to one historian) "global politics came unhinged." 

Mine is not an historical interest, more to discover how we got in such difficulties as we are today...the economic-political governance I trusted to do this work as honorably as I did my own life's work, well, they let us down...so now all I can do is try to participate...

* * *

But this was heart-rending; the last words of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, as he was bleeding out from a severed jugular, and his wife was collapsing, her head in his lap, mortally wounded also. Ironically, Sophie was usually not allowed to ride alongside her husband, as her blood was not quite as "royal" as his...but it was their anniversary, and she just told everybody that now she was riding with her husband.

Here is a photo of Gavrilo Princip; you can see how ill he is, in just a matter of weeks he himself was dead from tuberculosis. It is thought that several of the assassins held back that day, because they did not want to chance harming a woman. Princip himself never intended to harm her, but his arm was jostled. And, in the court when the Archduke's last words were read, Princip wept openly.


2 Answers


Gavrilo Princip and his friends didn't know what will happen after an assassination. They wanted to destroy the Habsburg rule and to unify with Serbia and Montenegro. They were young and obsessed by nationalism and liberal ideas. They read many books by nationalists, anarchists, liberals, socialists. 

Virginia Kninjanin

Kninjanin, I did not realize that Montenegro was such an important consideration! 

One historian I listened to, himself Australian, compared that day June 28 to Dallas in 1963, when US President Kennedy was assassinated.


Yes, I remember reading of those words, uttered when Franz Ferdinand did not realize that he himself was mortally wounded. :(

Virginia TheOtherTink

Tink, I was assuming the archduke DID realize he was mortally wounded? His throat filling with blood, coming from his mouth...

You are a student of history, did someone follow up and when he actually came to know? 

The tape I heard was quite heart-rending...one is just going along as I was, learning absorbing as much as you can, and then suddenly you are faced with the human aspect of history, a father desperately wanting that his children not lose their mother...and then the tears of Princip, upon hearing those last words...

Rooster TheOtherTink

@Virginia: "What is the good of your speeches?  I come to Sarajevo on a visit, and I get bombs thrown at me.  It is outrageous!"

Archduke Franz Ferdinand interrupting the Mayor's welcome speech at Sarajevo's city hall, 28 June 1914.
Virginia TheOtherTink

Oh, Rooster...so sad...

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink

Well, Virginia, according to the witness who heard Franz Ferdinand's last words  (Count Harrach), he said of his wounds several times, "It's nothing."

" Franz Ferdinand sagt mit leiser Stimme: "Sopherl, Sopherl, sterbe nicht, bleibe am Leben für unsere Kinder." Er selbst sagt auf die Frage des neben ihm sitzenden Graf Harrach, ob er Schmerzen habe, mehrmals: "Es ist nichts." "

Franz Ferdinand says in a quiet voice, "Sophiekins, Sophiekins, don't die, stay alive for our children." He himself says several times, on the question of Count Harrach, who is sitting next to him, as to whether he is in pain, "It's nothing."


Virginia TheOtherTink

That's a good source I believe O'Tink...wasn't Count Harrach the one who was his bodyguard, and recorded the archduke's words to Sophie? I read that Count Harrach wrote them in a letter to his wife, and that letter got saved and then sold at auction and (sigh) now commands HUGE price...:dizzy:

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink

Virginia, here is a WW1 documentary that I wasn't aware of.  I only have watched the first installment, but it was EXCELLENT.

Virginia TheOtherTink

ima take a look, Tink!