Posts Tagged ‘Franz Ferdinand’

December 18th: Mishapsburgs

Posted in General, On This Day on December 18th, 2010 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

Archduke Franz Ferdinand would have been 147 today; but he stopped counting in 1914. His assassination was, at the very least, a disaster for Sarajevo’s tourism. If only the heir to Austria-Hungary had the consideration to have been gunned elsewhere, World War I could have been averted.

The Emperor Franz Josef couldn’t stand his nephew. The archduke was crass, humorless and irritable; there was no Viennese charm about him. In fact, Franz Ferdinand hated Vienna: too intellectual, too artistic and–or is this redundant–too Jewish. The elderly Emperor may have kept living just to keep his repulsive nephew from the throne.

And if Franz Ferdinand had been killed anywhere but Bosnia-Herzegovina, the old Emperor might have chuckled and shrugged. The Hapsburgs were inured to violent deaths. Crown Prince Rudolf, the Emperor’s only son, had suffered depression and alleviated it with a pistol. (If only young Dr. Freud had advertised!).  The Emperor’s brother Maximilian had been executed in Mexico. The Empress Elizabeth had been assassinated in Switzerland. Yet Austria had not declared war on Mexico or Switzerland, and Franz Josef actually liked his wife.

Unfortunately, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand could not be rationalized or ignored. Bosnia-Herzegovina was Austrian territory (whether or not Bosnians liked it) and it really was a breach of etiquette for the Serbian secret service to be encouraging the murder of Hapsburgs there.

So Austria-Hungary had to declare war on Serbia, so Russia had to declare war on Austria, so Germany had to declare war on Russia, and France was only too eager to declare war on Germany, so Germany had to declare war on Belgium (poor Belgium was in the way), so Britain had to declare war on Germany. Turkey hated Russia and didn’t want to feel left out.

On the positive side, the next-in-line to the Hapsburg throne was the Archduke Karl, and the Emperor liked him.

On This Day in 1914: Great Moments in Public Relations

Posted in General, On This Day on June 28th, 2009 by Eugene Finerman – 4 Comments

June 28, 1914: Belgrade

The Serbian Press Secretary opened the news conference with this statement.

“The Serbian government was sad to learn that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife the Archduchess Sophie shot each other today. We wish that they had found a more peaceful way to solve their marital problems.”

I will now answer your questions.

Reporter: Eyewitnesses report that the couple was assassinated by a terrorist linked to Serbia. Is the Serbian government denying any connection to this terrorist organization?

Spokesmanvic: There have been so many assassinations and it is just pointless and malicious to allege that this government had any knowledge, link or responsibility for the murder of President McKinley.

Reporter: The Austrian government is accusing Serbia of supporting terrorists.

Spokesmanvic: Look, this “event” probably was a carjacking that got out of hand. If the conspiracy-paranoids in Austria need a culprit, they should accuse Mexico. There is no question that the Mexicans killed the Archduke Maximilian, and a Chicano street gang may have killed Franz Ferdinand as a member initiation.

Reporter: I’m Clive Murdoch of the Melbourne Swagman. Got me a two part question. Is it possible that the assassination was the work of bolshevik-anarchists and do you got nude photos of the Archduchess for our page three?

Spokesmanvic: Yes and no. And those were excellent questions. Thank you.

Reporter: Do you feel that the controversial, iconoclastic studies of Freud and the provocative, scathing plays of Arthur Schnitzler offer any predicative insights into the psychology and actions of pre-post-modernist Vienna?

Spokesmanvic: You’re from The New York Times, aren’t you? Yes, the Austrians want to kill us. Interestingly enough, they also want to kill Freud and Schnitzler.

December 18th: Mishapsburgs

Posted in On This Day on December 18th, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – 2 Comments

Archduke Franz Ferdinand would have been 146 today; but he stopped counting in 1914. His assassination was, at the very least, a disaster for Sarajevo’s tourism. If only the heir to Austria-Hungary had the consideration to have been gunned elsewhere, World War I could have been averted.

The Emperor Franz Josef couldn’t stand his nephew. The archduke was crass, humorless and irritable; there was no Viennese charm about him. In fact, Franz Ferdinand hated Vienna: too intellectual, too artistic and–or is this redundant–too Jewish. The elderly Emperor may have kept living just to keep his repulsive nephew from the throne.

And if Franz Ferdinand had been killed anywhere but Bosnia-Herzegovina, the old Emperor might have chuckled and shrugged. The Hapsburgs were inured to violent deaths. His brother Maximilian had been executed in Mexico. His wife Elizabeth had been assassinated in Switzerland. Yet Austria had not declared on Mexico or Switzerland, and Franz Josef actually liked his wife.

Unfortunately, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand could not be rationalized or ignored. Bosnia-Herzegovina was Austrian territory (whether or not Bosnians liked it) and it really was a breach of etiquette for the Serbian secret service to be encouraging the murder of Hapsburgs there.

So Austria-Hungary had to declare war on Serbia, so Russia had to declare war on Austria, so Germany had to declare war on Russia, and France was only too eager to declare war on Germany, so Germany had to declare war on Belgium (poor Belgium was in the way), so Britain had to declare war on Germany. Turkey hated Russia and didn’t want to feel left out.

On the positive side, the next-in-line to the Hapsburg throne was the Archduke Karl, and the Emperor liked him.

Mishapburgs

Posted in On This Day on December 18th, 2006 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

Archduke Franz Ferdinand would have been 143 today; but he stopped counting in 1914. His assassination was, at the very least, a disaster for Sarajevo’s tourism. If only the heir to Austria-Hungary had the consideration to have been gunned elsewhere, World War I could have been averted.

The Emperor Franz Josef couldn’t stand his nephew. The archduke was crass, humorless and irritable; there was no Viennese charm about him. In fact, Franz Ferdinand hated Vienna: too intellectual, too artistic and–or is this redundant–too Jewish. The elderly Emperor may have kept living just to keep his repulsive nephew from the throne.

And if Franz Ferdinand had been killed anywhere but Bosnia-Herzegovina, the old Emperor might have chuckled and shrugged. The Hapsburgs were inured to violent deaths. His brother Maximilian had been executed in Mexico. His wife Elizabeth had been assassinated in Switzerland. Yet Austria had not declared on Mexico or Switzerland, and Franz Josef actually liked his wife.

Unfortunately, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand could not be rationalized or ignored. Bosnia-Herzegovina was Austrian territory (whether or not Bosnians liked it) and it really was a breach of etiquette for the Serbian secret service to be encouraging the murder of Hapsburgs there.

So Austria-Hungary had to declare war on Serbia, so Russia had to declare war on Austria, so Germany had to declare war on Russia, and France was only too eager to declare war on Germany, so Germany had to declare war on Belgium (poor Belgium was in the way), so Britain had to declare war on Germany. Turkey hated Russia and didn’t want to feel left out.

On the positive side, the next-in-line to the Hapsburg throne was the Archduke Karl, and the Emperor liked him.