20/1/1916 Consumption claims one of Franz Ferdinand’s assassins

The spark that ignited this terrible war was the murder in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. Nedjelko Chabrinovitch was one of the Archduke’s killers. Gavrilo Princip fired the fatal shot but Chabrinovitch made the first attempt to kill the Franz Ferdinand, throwing a bomb at his car, injuring some of his party and a number of onlookers.

Chabrinovitch considered his actions heroic and driven by noble sentiments. Yet he also expressed a degree of remorse and sympathy for the orphaned children of Franz Ferdinand (their mother was also shot dead by Princip). Subsequently two of the Archduke’s three children wrote to Chabrinovitch, forgiving him for his part in the murder of their parents, thought the youngest declined to sign the letter.

Chabrinovitch’s youth saved him from the death penalty; an Austro-Hungarian court gave him a twenty year prison sentence. But Chabrinovitch knew he was unlikely to ever live again as a free man, as he was already suffering from consumption when he tried to kill Franz Ferdinand. Today he finally succumbs to the disease, his death no doubt hastened by the conditions of his imprisonment.

image source:

Nedjelko Chabrinovitch (Wackulus)

Franz Ferdinand and his family in happier times (The Bexley Times)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.