The day marked 98 years since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand unleashed a chain of events that led to the first world war. That didn’t seem to matter much in Sarajevo that day, a city that was and remains massively scarred from the war of the early 1990s. The assassination was already more history than memory for a city that had spent a century associated with war. Little more thatn just another historical marker among many commemorative markers.
Below, a shot of the Latin Bridge —also snapped two years ago today— where Gavrilo Princip, a teenaged Yugoslav nationalist and anarchist wannabe, shot Franz Ferdinand and his pregnant wife. Killing the former was a political act; killing the latter the war’s first atrocity. During the Yugoslav years, the bridge bore Princip’s name, a teenager who managed to change the course of history.
You have to wonder what would have transpired had Princip been a more typical teenager and simply stuck with graffiti instead.
One hundred years on Princip remains a divisive figure in Sarajevo, the capital of a country that remains very much divided. So divided, that the Serb entity, Republika Srpska, and the Muslim-Croat Federation are commemorating today’s milestone anniversary separately.
A few interesting write-ups on the topic (edited 29-Jun):
– The Guardian: Villain or hero? Sarajevo is split on archduke’s assassin Gavrilo Princip
– NY Times: In Sarajevo, Divisions That Drove an Assassin Have Only Begun to Heal
– Salon: Ghosts of an assassination: The chaotic history of Franz Ferdinand’s demise