World War I: The Seminal Tragedy – One Fateful Day in June – Extra History – #2

World War I: The Seminal Tragedy – One Fateful Day in June – Extra History – #2


♪ ♪ [male narrator]
All right, the stage is set. Now let’s put the
players in their places. The curtain opens on the back
of a rundown cafe in Belgrade. A young man comes
in carrying a package and takes a seat at a table with a handful
of other young men huddled around. They still to hush as he
opens the package. Inside is a single piece of paper,
a newspaper clipping. The one who brought the package
bends over to stare at the page. One of the other young men slide a candle
across the table so he can better see. Before him, circled in red,
is the headline and it reads, “Archduke Franz Ferdinand
to Visit Sarajevo.” Now we skip ahead a few weeks,
where outside the palace a resplendently dressed
man and woman are getting in an open-top car,
a hundred years ago this year. He is dressed in bright,
blazing blue. His chest is full
of medals. On his head,
a grand horse-hair cap. She is wearing a flowing,
white dress and laughing. He helps her into the car. This is Franz Ferdinand,
the Archduke of Austria, next in line for succession
to the throne, accompanied
by his wife Sophie. They’ve come to Sarajevo
to watch military maneuvers. But really,
that’s an excuse. It’s their anniversary. They’ve come to get away from
the stifling courts of Austria, where the Archduke’s
marriage to Sophie will never be accepted
due to her low birth. She was, after all,
only a countess. But things have been really
tense in this part of the empire. The Serbian agitators have been
acting with increased boldness to demand a Serbia free and
independent from Austrian rule. And this day of all days
falls on the anniversary of one of the greatest battles
in Serbian history: The Battle of Kosovo. It’s one of the great rallying
points of the Serbian people, a point of national pride. To Serbian nationalists,
this is one of their proudest days. And for them,
for the Archduke of Austria, the symbol of their oppression,
the embodiment foreign rule to come here on that date
was the greatest insult. Now, perhaps the Archduke had
chosen that day to show solidarity, to ease tensions, to make
the people of Serbia understand that he cared about
their traditions. Maybe he simply didn’t know that
the day had any special importance, and he was just
there to get away. But whatever the reason,
he was ill-informed. For on any other day, the events
that are about to play out may not have happened. On any other day, this might have turned out
simply to be your average parade, an event which wouldn’t even go
down as a historical footnote in a long and prosperous rule. But something had
to happen on this day. It was two symbolic, too important,
too grand of a story. And so the first domino is placed
in the mad and improbable events of this 28th day of
June, 1914. So here now in the
sleek black car, the royal couple begins to process
down the streets of Sarajevo, flanked by five other cars filled
with officials and guards. It’s a parade. The streets are lined
with onlookers. The route has
been published. The world knows exactly where
the Archduke is gonna be. And those young men from that cafe
in Belgrade are there in that crowd. They are nationalists. They’re Patriots. They’re assassins and terrorists. They call themselves
Young Serbia and are part of the much more
ominously named Black Hand– and they are angry. Angry in the way that
only young men can be, and when I say young, I mean that barely any of them
had reached the age of twenty. They had in them
an anger born of ideals. Or they had ideals
to rationalize their anger. A boldness born of a cause, or a cause to justify the brash kind
of risk-taking that truly borders madness. But however you view them, here they were hidden
in the crowd, intent on killing
the Archduke. One by one, the Archduke’s car
passes his would-be assassins. Nothing happens. No attempt on his life. Two of his assassins
ended up succumbing to fear and couldn’t go through
with the deed. One felt pity for his wife
sitting in the car and just couldn’t bring
himself to pull the trigger. Another one had an
equipment malfunction. And so one by one, Ferdinand passed
them none the wiser, smiling and waving
to the crowd, smiling and waving in an open-top car
so the world could better see. But at last, on the
Cuprija Bridge, an assassin finally steps forward and
throws a bomb at the Archduke’s car. Seconds before it lands, Ferdinand sees it and dives
behind the door of the car as the bomb passes over him
and bounces into the street behind. An explosion rips
through the ground, mangling the car
following them and leaving twenty people
wounded and bleeding on the street. The assassin leaps over the side
of the bridge to make his escape, but in the type of
amateurish planning that would be comical if the
circumstances weren’t so grave, he fails to realize that the river
below is only four inches deep, and he hurts his
leg in the fall. In one last act of
comic/tragic bravado, the assassin swallows the
cyanide pill he’s been carrying, a final “You’ll never take
me alive!” gesture. But alas, these young
high school assassins had bought their
suicide pills on the cheap, and this one was
way past its shelf life. So the young man just sits
quietly vomiting into the river while the police stroll down
to take him very much alive. The motorcade races
back the way it came, sirens screaming, and the city
begins to lock down. Another of the young men, a 19-year-old named
Gavrilo Princip, watches the cars go by,
heart sinking. “So it’s done,”
he thinks to himself. “It’s off. “The Archduke is alive. The assassination
has failed.” He is pretty bummed out. His hopes to be immortalized in
the halls of Serbian heroes are dashed. All his dreams of glory
just shattered. Overall, it’s been
a pretty lousy day. So he goes off to pout,
thinking, “Maybe a snack will
make me feel better.” This one young man’s comfort snack
may seem like a small thing, but it’s on the small things
that history often turns. Back at City Hall, the Archduke
and the mayor are having words. The mayor proposes that the Archduke
and Duchess should continue on their trip, but the Archduke thunders
back something like “Are you crazy? You’d have us visit museums while
bombs explode on your street?” And then, in a gesture of gallantry
that you don’t often see anymore, he proposes instead that they
immediately visit the hospital where the wounded were
taken after the attack. So they don’t hide him in a bunker
or spirit him out of the country with a small army of guards
like we would do today. Instead, they all pile out
to the motorcade and start off towards
the hospital. But nobody remembers
to tell Franz Ferdinand’s driver, and I should mention that this is
the Archduke’s personal chauffeur. This fellow came along with
the Archduke for the trip, but he’s Austrian
through and through. This guy does not know
his way around Sarajevo. And so, as they’re making
their way through the city, the Archduke’s driver makes a
wrong turn onto Franz Joseph Street, a street named for
the Archduke’s father. Meanwhile, our failed assassin
Gavrilo Princip, is sitting outside a deli
eating his consolation snack and starting to feel
maybe a little better. And maybe this will be
his only chance, he thinks. Maybe someday he’ll have
another shot at greatness. I mean, it was a really bad day,
but who knows, it could still turn out okay. They’d have to go into
hiding for a while but– Holy *beep* Is that
the Archduke? Yes, right there in front of him,
in the same open-top car was the Archduke
and his wife. The driver had taken a random
wrong turn onto the street where Gavrilo Princip
was having a sandwich, and their car had just
stalled out trying to back up. Three strides away. Gavrilo can hear the Archduke
and his wife talking from the car. No words, just actions. He stands up,
he pulls out his pistol, and he fires two shots
that changed the world. The Archduke looks over, barely noticing the gendarmes wrestling
the young man by the car to ground. His only sight is
for his wife, lying quietly on
the floor of the car. He reaches out with
a hand, weak and heavy. Something’s wrong
with his neck. He can’t quite think straight. He sees her and
he utters one last wish: “Sophie, Sophie. “Don’t die. Live for our children.” A man leans over him
and asks if he is badly hurt. And he thinks he says, “It’s nothing. It’s nothing.” He repeats the phrase,
each time a little more quietly, and neither of them
live through the hour. And so our
first act is done. A martyr to prince and princess,
or the death oppressors. An act of terror or
a heroic strike for freedom. An act that relied on
a thousand coincidences, on a poorly chosen date,
on a change of plans, on a misinformed driver, and on a sad young
man having a sandwich. But no matter how
you look at it, it was an act that began
the greatest war in history and brought to an end the world
that all of these actors knew. This war would
change the world. Join us next time and find out how
the world responds to this event. ♪ ♪ Captions Provided by: The University of Georgia
Disability Resource Center 114 Clark Howell Hall
Athens, Georgia 30602 706-542-8719 Voice
706-542-8778 TTY

100 thoughts on “World War I: The Seminal Tragedy – One Fateful Day in June – Extra History – #2

  1. You forgot to mention that Serbs lost the war in Kosovo. They take pride in a lost war?! That is a way on how to concentrate stupidity in a single point, so much that it becomes a black hole, ripping the space-time continuum and avoiding the laws of physics.

  2. Serbs,like Russians are pure cancer on this planet,they glorify Gavrilo Princip like Russians glorify Vyacheslav Molotov and Gennady Osipovich.
    I can't wait to see a world without Russians and Serbs.

  3. Im sorry But i cant stop of thinking about this one meme when watching this.

    2 shots

    hudreds of Thousends of deaths

  4. Instead of being a hero, Gavrilo Princip has become a bringer of death.
    He effectively caused WW1, and WW2. He caused all the pain and suffering that came from those wars.

    Damn you, Gavrilo Princip.

  5. l wonder how many Austrians were actually born and living in Bosnia in 1914. Bosnia was given to Austria by the world powers to appease its territorial demands. Did anybody actually ask the majority of the population, the Serbs, if they wanted to live under a foreign dictatorship and a foreign monarchy? Obviously not. Why would the Archduke tour a region where he was despised and viewed as an instrument of oppression? Because he was a political football, used by the Austro-Hungarian government to start a War against Serbia and blame the Serbs for starting the War. The fuse was lit in the Austrian-Hungarian Houses of Parliament long before the Archduke was assassinated.

  6. I know this event changed history but every time I hear about the assassination, I always wonder if this is necessary.

  7. Apparently, the chief of police complained about the lack of security for the visit repeatedly, but his bosses chose to ignore him. In fact, after the grenade attack, plans to have troops in the street were rejected because they wouldn't be able to get them the correct dress uniform. What's unfortunately weird is that this kind of balls-up sounds eerily familiar even today.

  8. Why are serbians proud of the battle of kosovo ? There were 2 battles of kosovo, the first one is debatted but most historians agree it was a ottoman win or at best a tie, the second was a major ottoman win.

  9. The saddest thing is people actually believing an "assassin" working for a small organization could assassinate an Arch Duke and all of the blame for WW1 going to a small country that has no voice, not like the previous 20 years the whole europe was preparing for the war and preparing the right trigger no no this was all a <coincidence>

  10. Nice video, but can't help but point out that what the Young Serbs and Black Hand were fighting for was for a free and independent Bosnia which was administered by Austria-Hungary (and was annexed around the time that Franz Ferdinand's trip). There was already a free Serbia right next door to Bosnia.

  11. It's a shame Franz Ferdinand never survived, he had such an interesting plan to reorganize the A-H Empire to better ethnic relationships of the diverse people ruled by the duel nation.

  12. I choose a heroic strike of freedom. Maybe that's because I'm also slavic (Belarusian). Maybe because my ancestors were also a prisoners of oppressing empire (the Russian one). Maybe because even nowadays l know how that burning heart feels when you see your language and culture dying. I would've done the same.

  13. yesterday
    june 14, 1914
    a date witch stall make
    a tragedy
    the upcoming hier to the thrown
    was brudily and quickly killed
    by the rebals of Serbia.

  14. 6:19 I love these things someone going home thinking they failed their mission having a snack feeling a bit better thinking they get another shot at it, then turn and like 😲 oh crap my chance is here. 😁😅

  15. Honestly needs to add more comedic random one word swearing, I had a stitch from laughing so hard when the assassin saw the arch duke

  16. They probably didnt buy the cyanide as expired. They just didnt have any other choise, its kinda hard to come buy cyanide capsules…

  17. Aaaah …Studentt politicians .Don't ter just love 'em ?The dumbest class of people on this planet .

  18. i've known about this story since i was in middle school. and i still hate gavrilo. i understand his reasons but what he did fucked over everyone. i wish i could go back in time and just slap him on the back of the head.

  19. The organization wasn't called "Young Serbia", it was called "Young Bosnia", at least this part was easy to look up. And their members included Bosnian Muslims and Croatians as well, they were a Pan-slavic group to a large extent.
    Also, you didn't mention Bosnia had been annexed by Austria just a couple of years prior to this.

  20. When I read the book Nicholas and Alexandra, the author raised a very interesting “what if;” literally only a couple days after the Archduke was murdered, there was an attempt on Rasputin. A woman who was under orders from one of his rivals in the Orthodox Church stabbed him in the street, spilling his guts out and very nearly killing him. Rasputin ultimately lived, and proved a key factor in the disintegration of the Russian government during the war and ultimately caused the people to lose all faith in their monarchy. What if the roles had been reversed-if the Archduke had lived and Rasputin had died? How much different would things have turned out?

  21. "Heroic Acts" that killed your country and awakened the worst people and events on history.

    Seems Legit

  22. I know I'm not supposed to be joking about such a serious subject but… MAN was this sandwich deadly 😂😂

  23. This war is why I'm not a baroness. My great-grandparents were barons in Hungary before the war, and their son inherited the worthless title when he was born. Had his daughter, my mom, been a boy or had a brother, the title would die with me. Or idk maybe Omama in her badass wisdom would have flipped off convention & made her beloved grand- and great-grand-daughters baronesses 🙂

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