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Did you know that Princip is considered a national hero in the struggle against Austrian oppression by many Serbs?  These statues were erected a few years ago.


2 Answers

+2 votes
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Yes. Many Serbs like him and consider a hero. It is true that he fought for Serbian and South Slavic unification. I think he was a nationalist. I don't judge him because of nationalism. 

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Kninjanin, do you know of a good biography of Gavrilo Princip, done sympathetically and translated into English?

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+2 votes
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Hi Tink, I was actually wondering if that might be the case (i.e., Princip seen as hero, with national memorials like USA for Civil and Revolutionary Wars), rather hoping Kninjanin will chime in, with his experience...

I also learned that for Poland, it was WWI out of which they emerged as a nation; clearly beneficial to them.

A counterfactual corollary to your Q, assuming I understand accurately, might be: If the Archduke had not been assassinated, would World War have been prevented? ima guess that answer is NO, that Europe was a tinderbox needing only the spark, maybe express as Quantum tipping point? I have a book on existentialism that discusses WWI as an eruption of repressed existential angst...pondering that also as I look for a way forward from our present, unacceptable capitalistic/economic quagmire...

And in that light too, it's strange, the British diplomat commenting just before the assassination, that things were calmer/more peaceful than they had been in a long time, after the 1912-13 Balkan wars. 

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Another irony, this from that WWI series you found, is that apparently Francis Ferdinand was quite liberal in his governing views, and would have attempted a much more inclusive, less oppressive approach to the empire.

(deep breath, V wanders off for cup of Earl Grey tea...)

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Yes, Virginia, I think WW1 would probably have happened sooner or later anyway, given the tensions that existed.

And yes, Franz Ferdinand had relatively enlightened ideas about governance.  I read someplace, can't remember where, that the Black Hand didn't like him for precisely that reason; they thought he might succeed in preserving Austrian rule in the Balkans, so they took the most provocative step they could in assassinating him, in order to foment a crisis, a typical revolutionary tactic.

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Tink, I did learn of the Black Hand in that video series...although THAT particular aspect was not brought out...

Are you familiar with the idea that Germany may actually have lost WWI very early on, at the Battle of the Marne? That battle was their chance to put an end to the war early and quick; their loss guaranteed a protracted war, which Germany could not sustain (not enough Heinies?).

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Yes, I saw that, Virginia, but I think it's a bit of an overstatement for WW1.  Certainly, after the Marne, the war was going to be protracted, but I think the Germans still would have had a pretty good chance of winning, had they managed to keep the USA out of the war.

There were mutinies in the French army towards the end of 1917 (when Russia was knocked out of the war), and had US troops not arrived to shore them up, I think it possible that the French would have proposed an armistice.

If that had happened, there would have been nothing for it but for the British Expeditionary Force to pack up and go home.

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Interesting, Tink...and that means, back to the Zimmerman telegram as one of the watersheds of that war!

(Tx Barbara Tuchman for fine research, fine book...)

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Yes, Virginia, the Zimmerman telegram and the torpedoing of the Lusitania.  Stupid moves, that I think Bismarck would never have made.

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Well, maybe someday I will take up learning about Bismarck a bit more...you have mentioned him in complimentary fashion a couple times now...

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Yes, Bismarck always knew exactly how far he could go.

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