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Gavrilo Princip

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Gavrilo Princip
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Princip being arrested after the shooting

Gavrilo Princip (Гаврило Принцип) (July 25, 1894April 28, 1918) was a Bosnian Serb nationalist who killed Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, and his wife Countess Sophie in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, prompting the Austrian action against Serbia that led to World War I. Born in Obljaj, Bosansko Grahovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Princip was a member of the Serb group Young Bosnia (Mlada Bosna) and the Black Hand, which advocated Bosnia's unification with Serbia.

Assassination

On June 28, 1914 Princip participated in the assassination in Sarajevo. General Oskar Potiorek, Governor of the Austrian provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina had invited Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophia to watch his troops on maneuvers. Franz Ferdinand knew that the visit would be dangerous. Just before 10 o'clock on Sunday, the royal couple arrived in Sarajevo by train. In the front car was Fehim Čurčić, the Mayor of Sarajevo and Dr. Gerde, the city's Commissioner of Police. Franz Ferdinand and Sophia were in the second car with Oskar Potiorek and Count von Harrach. The car's top was rolled back in order to allow the crowds a good view of its occupants, Franz Ferdinand and his wife.

At 10:10, when the six car procession passed the central police station, Nedeljko Čabrinović hurled a hand grenade at the archduke's car. After Čabrinović's bomb missed the Archduke's car, he and five other conspirators, including Princip, didn't get an opportunity to attack because of the heavy crowds. It was beginning to look like the assassination would fail. However, Franz Ferdinand decided to go to the hospital and visit the victims of Čabrinović's bomb. In order to avoid the city centre, General Oskar Potiorek decided that the royal car should travel straight along the Appel Quay to the Sarajevo Hospital. However, Potiorek forgot to tell the driver, Franz Urban, about this decision. On the way to the hospital, Urban took a right turn into Franz Joseph Street.

Princip had gone to a nearby shop for a sandwich, apparently giving up, when he spotted Ferdinand's car as it drove past, having taken the wrong turn. After realizing the mistake, the driver put his foot on the brake, and began to back up. In doing so he moved slowly past the waiting Princip. Princip stepped forward, drew his gun, and at a distance of about five feet, fired several times into the car. Franz Ferdinand was hit in the neck and Sophia in the abdomen. Sophia, who was later found to be with child at the time of her death, died instantly. Ferdinand, who in disbelief of her death insisted that she wake up, fainted within five minutes and died soon after.

Capture and imprisonment

Princip tried to kill himself first by ingesting cyanide, and then with his gun, but he vomited the poison (which Čabrinović had also done, leading the police to believe the group had been deceived and bought a much weaker poison), and the gun was wrestled from his hand before he had a chance to fire another shot. Having been too young at the time of the assassination (19), to face the death penalty, Princip received the maximum sentence of twenty years in prison, where he was held in harsh conditions worsened by the war. He died of tuberculosis of the bone on April 28, 1918 at Theresienstadt.

The gun used by Princip was a Browning M 1910 semi-automatic pistol in 7.6517mm (.32 ACP) caliber. It was recently found and recovered in the home of an Austrian Jesuit family, and is now in display at the Vienna Museum of Military History. The second bullet fired by Princip, killing Ferdinand, is stored as a museum exhibit in the Konopiště Castle near the town of Benešov, Czech Republic.

See also

bs:Gavrilo Princip bg:Гаврило Принцип da:Gavrilo Princip de:Gavrilo Princip eo:Gavrilo PRINCIP fr:Gabriel Princip it:Gavrilo Princip nl:Gavrilo Princip ja:ガブリロ・プリンチプ no:Gavrilo Princip pl:Gawriło Princip ru:Принцип, Гаврило sl:Gavrilo Princip sr:Гаврило Принцип fi:Gavrilo Princip sv:Gavrilo Princip uk:Гаврило Принцип zh:加夫里若·普林西普

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