Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Eastern Europe chapter Bosnia has to say about the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand:
“Franz Ferdinand’s Assassination Spot
On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Habsburg throne of Austro-Hungary, was shot dead by 18-year-old Gavrilo Princip. This assassination, which would ultimately be the fuse that detonated WWI, happened by an odd series of coincidences on a street corner outside what is now the small
Sarajevo 1878 – 1918 museum.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
I was never very much interested in history in school, but once I turned forty and had more personal history under my belt, I became much more interested in world events and how they impacted the people that I met on my travels. In several movies I’ve seen over the years, there have been references made to how many historians mark the assassination of the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne as the event that sparked the beginning of World War I.
A few years ago I was drawn to watch the movie ‘Sarajevo’, a film that focuses on the individuals that perpetrated the assassination, and the Jewish lawyer who was assigned the task of interviewing the assassins and writing a report for the Kaiser Wilhelm I. There is also a subplot that tries to explain the conspiracy theory that wealthy individuals were behind the assassination because they wanted to ensure that a rail line would be built from Europe all the way to Bagdad, not only to facilitate trade, but to be able to move troops into the region efficiently.
I kept thinking of the film during the time we were in Croatia and Montenegro, and thought it would be a good idea to watch it again, and have Anil see it for the first time, as it would provide us with some background before we reached Sarajevo itself. I also liked the fact that it was a beautifully-filmed period piece, showing what the city looked like in the early 20th century.
We were coming to Sarajevo for the first time, more than a hundred years since the assassination, and after a brutal civil war in the 1990s that devastated not only the citizens, but the buildings and the infrastructure itself. The Latin Bridge remains to this day but the memorial to the Arch Duke and his wife was demolished during Tito’s time.
A small building on the street corner near the bridge now houses a museum. There are some photos taken during the ceremonial procession for Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand. We didn’t visit the museum but stopped to pour over the photos on display on the external walls.