World War I and Archduke Franz Ferdinand Part 3 Eyewitness Report

An eyewitness report about the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, his assassins and assassination in European history which sparked World War I.


WHEN: 1914

EYEWITNESS REPORT: Borijove Jevtic was arrested, too, and later described the crime in an article printed in the New York World: "A tiny clipping from a newspaper, mailed without comment from a secret band of terrorists in Zagreb, capital of Croatia, to their comrades in Belgrade, was the torch which set the world afire with war in 1914. That paper wrecked old, proud empires. It gave birth to new, free nations.

"I was one of the members of the terrorist band in Belgrade which received it.

"The little clipping declared that the Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand would visit Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, June 28, to direct army maneuvers in the neighboring mountains.

"It reached our meeting place, the cafe called Zeata Moruna [Green Garland] one night in the latter part of April, 1914.... The men who were terrorists in 1914 embraced all classes. Most of them were students. Youth is the time for the philosophy of action. There were also teachers, tradesmen, and peasants; artisans and even men of the upper classes were ardent patriots. They were dissimilar in everything except hatred of the oppressor.

"Such were the men into whose hands the tiny bit of newsprint was sent by friends in Bosnia that April night in Belgrade. At a small table in a very humble cafe, beneath a flickering gas jet we sat and read it.... our decision was taken almost immediately. Death to the tyrant!"

He goes on to describe the aftermath of the assassination. "The officers seized Princip. They beat him over the head with the flat of their swords. They knocked him down, they kicked him, scraped the skin from his neck with the edges of their swords, tortured him, all but killed him.... I was placed in the cell next to Princip....

"Awakened in the middle of the night and told that he was to be carried off to another prison, Princip made an appeal to the prison governor: "There is no need to carry me to another prison. My life is already ebbing away. I suggest that you nail me to a cross and burn me alive. My flaming body will be a torch to light my people on their path to freedom.'"

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