Saturday, August 30, 2014


Bosnia

Bosnia Marks 100th Anniversary Of Franz Ferdinand's Assassination

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, leave Sarajevo City Hall on June 28, 1914, shortly before they were killed (picture provided by JU Sarajevo Museum).
Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, leave Sarajevo City Hall on June 28, 1914, shortly before they were killed (picture provided by JU Sarajevo Museum).

Bosnia-Herzegovina is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the event that triggered World War I.

On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, were shot dead in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb.

With Bosnia's Muslims, Serbs, and Croats still deeply divided over the legacy of that day, separate commemorations are being held to mark the occasion.

The anniversary will be marked in central Sarajevo with a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic that will be attended by Austrian President Heinz Fischer.

Leaders of Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs -- who consider Princip a heroic freedom fighter for Slavs -- are boycotting the concert.

On June 27, a 2-meter bronze statue honoring Princip was unveiled in east Sarajevo, where the majority of residents are Serbs.

Milorad Dodik, the president of Bosnia's Serbian Republika Srpska entity, said Bosnia's peoples "are still divided," and they "think and work differently" about the Sarajevo assassination.

Dodik also said, "We are proud of our history, our fight for freedom and of everything out ancestors have done for us to defend our [national] identity."

WATCH: Gavrilo Princip was convicted of treason and murder but could not be sentenced to death because he was believed to be under the minimum age of 20. He was given a 20-year sentence and imprisoned in a fortress near Prague, but his life did not outlast the end of the war. 

World War I: Gavrilo Princip's Final Daysi
X
June 26, 2014
On June 28, 1914, Bosnian Serb revolutionary Gavrilo Princip assassinated the heir to Austria-Hungary's throne in Sarajevo. The death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand set in motion events that led to the start of World War I one month later. Princip was convicted of treason and murder but could not be sentenced to death because he was believed to be under the minimum age of 20. He was given a 20-year sentence and imprisoned in a fortress near Prague, but his life did not outlast the end of the war. A historian describes the assassin's torturous years there.

Meanwhile, Clemens Hellsberg, the president of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, said with its performance in Sarajevo later on June 28, the orchestra will be delivering a message of peace.

Sarajevo Mayor Ivo Komsic said those who refused to take part in the ceremonies "demonstrated not their attitude toward the past but toward the future of this region."

The Vienna Philharmonic will perform in the newly restored National Library, which was destroyed in 1992 by Bosnian Serbs forces during the Bosnian war.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic will be attending ceremonies in the eastern city of Visegrad.

 

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, and B92

Most Popular