Tuesday, September 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Sarajevo: The slaying that set off World War I

By
From page A1 | June 28, 2014 |

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — A century after Gavrilo Princip ignited World War I with a shot from his handgun, the baby-faced Serb teenager who assassinated the Austro-Hungarian crown prince in Sarajevo in 1914 still provokes controversy.

His legacy has been molded time and again to meet political agendas in the Balkans, which remains a smoldering patchwork of ethnic and religious rivalries.

Nikola Princip crossed himself and stood silently recently in front of a Sarajevo chapel plaque that read “The Heroes of St. Vitus Day.” The list starts with Gavrilo Princip’s name for the assassination he carried out on that sacred Serb holiday of June 28 – 100 years ago Saturday.

“He lived and died for his ideas to liberate and unite the southern Slavs. May he rest in peace,” the 81-year-old man said, lighting a candle.

A few blocks away, another plaque marks the spot where Princip killed Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand. There, Halida Basic, a 72 year-old Bosnian Muslim, has a different view.

“He was a killer, a terrorist. He did it because he wanted Bosnia to be part of Greater Serbia,” she said.

Barely a month after the 19-year-old fired his shots, Europe, and eventually the world, was at war.

Austria accused Serbia of masterminding the assassination. Backed by Germany, Austria attacked Serbia, whose allies, Russia and France, were quickly drawn in. Britain, its sprawling Commonwealth empire and the United States also joined the fighting.

When the mass slaughter known as the Great War ended in 1918, it had claimed some 14 million lives – 5 million civilians and 9 million soldiers, sailors and airmen – and left another 7 million troops permanently disabled.

For his part, Princip was immediately arrested and died in captivity months before the war ended.

With the centenary remembrance of the assassination approaching in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, the old entrenched positions are resurfacing.

“Gavrilo Princip will, just like the past 100 years, remain a hero for some and a terrorist to others,” said the head of the Sarajevo History Institute, Husnija Kamberovic. “It is a matter of feelings toward what he did, and not a matter of serious historical arguments.”

The split follows Bosnia’s ethnic divisions.

Christian Orthodox Serbs celebrate Princip as someone who saw Bosnia as part of the Serb national territory. The same idea inspired the Serbs in 1992 to fight the decision by Muslim Bosnians and Catholic Croats to declare the former republic of Bosnia independent when Serb-dominated Yugoslavia fell apart.

In Serb history books, the “great liberation act” of Princip and his comrades is described for over 20 pages.

“They were heroes who were ready to sacrifice their own lives for freedom and liberation,” said Jovan Medosevic, a primary school history teacher in the Bosnian Serb town of Pale, near Sarajevo.

That’s exactly what makes Princip unpopular among Muslim Bosnians and Catholic Croats. In their official textbooks, Princip is mentioned in just one sentence as a member of a secret terrorist organization who “did not assassinate Franz Ferdinand to liberate Bosnia from the occupier, but wanted Bosnia to become a part of Kingdom of Serbia,” high school student Ermin Lazovic said.

A century ago, Muslim Bosnians and Catholic Croats preferred to stay in the big Austrian empire that had brought progress, law and order. Serbia was already in the process of destroying all mosques on its territory after it had liberated itself from the Ottoman Empire.

Accordingly, authorities in the Serb part of Bosnia plan to erect a monument to Princip and refuse to take part in the planned commemorations in Muslim Bosnian-dominated Sarajevo.

For the Serbs, it is beyond doubt that Austria and Germany were the instigators of World War I, not Princip or the Serbs.

The Sarajevo commemoration includes a performance of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and an international historical conference at which no Serb academics will attend.

“We have no new facts and we can only reinterpret old documents,” Bosnian Serb historian Draga Mastilovic said. “So are we now supposed to accept the Austro-Hungarian position that Serbia caused that war?”

He said he understood why Germans and Austrians want to promote their version of events. “It is not easy to carry the burden of having caused two world-wide bloodbaths in the 20th century,” he said.

For Kamberovic, the professor organizing the conference in Sarajevo, everything is open for academic review.

“People who accuse us of trying to revise history before the conference has even started are aware that we do intend to open discussions they do not really like,” he said.

“We will talk about how much the expansionist policy of the German monarchy has contributed — but also how much the expansionist policy of Serbia toward Bosnia has contributed to the outbreak of that war,” he said.

A Bosnian rock group has even written a song about the sunny morning in 1914 when, according to their lyrics, Princip became a “hero to some, a criminal to others, while probably his own soul is still wandering, somewhere in between.”

Fixing the flower arrangement he laid in front of the little chapel in Sarajevo, Nikola Princip admitted he had a personal stake in the debate.

“Gavrilo Princip was my uncle,” he said.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Dave ShreeveJune 28, 2014 - 9:02 am

    This is a shortened version of what appeared in the print edition. The print edition would leave one with the impression that the U.S. entered WWI in 1914, not mid 1917, and that the UK came into the war because the French and Russians did, nothing about their treaty obligations to defend Belgium. The Germans caused the Brits to come into the war when they violated Belgian neutrality by invading Belgium to try to get behind French forces in northern France.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Weather for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

Police investigate deadly Vallejo shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
 
 
Police report missing man was found

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Support group to host domestic violence event

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Lake Berryessa hike set in October

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Work scheduled for Rio Vista Bridge

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

.

US / World

California wildfire crews brace for weather shift

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Reserves narrowing for California water wholesaler

By The Associated Press | From Page:

LA County sheriff’s deputies testing body cameras

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bear suspected to have killed New Jersey hiker

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Poll: Support for gay marriage may be leveling off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamic State militants kill 40 Iraqi troops

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sierra Leone, Liberia brace for new Ebola cases

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamist group kidnaps Frenchman in Algeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Pennsylvania governor confident ambush suspect will be caught

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Focus on UVa employee in student’s disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

State police: 3 missing Afghan soldiers in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Prosecutor: 800 rounds found in intruder case

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Islamic State offensive poses problems for Turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Study links changing winds to warming in Pacific

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Crews work to clear debris from Shasta mudslide

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoon for Sept. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
Still searching for the bottom in Iraq

By John M. Crisp | From Page:

Academia needs to act to protect college women

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page:

 
Question of the week: Will the drought end this year?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
My daughter doesn’t like my cruise plans, but she ignored me first

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page:

Community Calendar: Sept. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Kris Jenner files to divorce Bruce Jenner

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Alaska TV reporter quits on air to promote pot

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Shonda Rhimes lays claim to Thursday nights on ABC

By Frazier Moore | From Page: | Gallery

 
Giuliani to help fight Noriega’s video game suit

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

‘The Lion King’ earns record box office

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Eric Lynch, Howard Stern’s diminutive foil, dies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Giants get closer, beat Dodgers 5-2 in 13 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Prep boys water polo: Mustangs go 3-0 in Dixon tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Prep boys soccer: Mustangs hold Indians to 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
MNF: Bears hold on to beat Jets 27-19

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Jeff Samardzija pitches A’s past Angels 8-4

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Nebraska’s Abdullah: Jameis Winston must grow up

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders have to settle for moral victory

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Home of 49ers lineman Ray McDonald burglarized

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Undisciplined play sends 49ers to 1-2 start

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kicking game: It is called football, after all

By Barry Wilner | From Page:

US Soccer stands by Solo decision

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
FIFA ethics judge hesitates on World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Braves fire GM Frank Wren after missing playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Royals beat Indians 2-0, gain on Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bettman says NHL proactive about off-ice conduct

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Silver: NBA will review domestic violence policies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Concern over McIlroy, McDowell more about results

By The Associated Press | From Page:

NFL vetting process: There are no sure things

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Owner: ‘No misinformation’ by Ravens on Rice

By The Associated Press | From Page:

This date in sports history for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kent creates scholarship for Cal women’s athletics

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Treasury to unveil steps to curb tax inversions

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Tesco suspends execs over inflated profit report

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GM expert says 21 deaths eligible for compensation

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Apple: 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold

By The Associated Press | From Page:

US existing home sales fall in August

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Investors fret Yahoo’s future, stock dips

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Businesses and investors pressing for green policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Garfield Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6