In the latest installment of the #KU_WWI Twitter Project, assassin Gavrilo Princip (@G_Princip1914) and his friend Nedeljko Čabrinović (@N_Cabrinovic) discuss the plot to kill Archduke Franz Ferdinand (@ArchdukeFranzi) with fellow co-conspirator Trifko Grabež (@T_Grabez) and leader of the Black Hand terrorist group and Serbian Chief of Intelligence Dragutin “Apis” Dimitrjević (@BlackHandApis).
One would think after 100 years of study, this part of history would be figured out. But for many, the conspirators and their assassination plot remains controversial. Even though many have strong opinions, there seems to be more questions than answers: How big of a role did the Black Hand play? And what was the role of Dragutin “Apis” Dimitrjević, Serbia’s Chief of Intelligence? Who were the conspirators? Were they patriots? Terrorists? Bungling school boys? Committed freedom fighters? Did they have any concept of what their actions might cause?
Princip, Čabrinović, and Grabež were all born in Bosnia, and at 19-years-old, shared a deep-seated hatred for the Austro-Hungarian empire that had annexed Bosnia in 1908. All three identified themselves as members of Mlada Bosna, the Young Bosnia Movement, which fought for a unification of South Slavs. What is less certain is their relationship with the serb-nationalist terrorist group, the Black Hand, which claimed credit for the plot to kill Archduke Franz Ferdinand after the fact.
Princip was the acknowledged leader of the assassination plot, but his friend Čabrinović was the more charismatic member who, as the #KU_WWI #conspiracy mini reenactment illustrates, had a bad habit of speaking a little too freely at times. At his court trial, Princip claimed that he learned about Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s visit to Sarajevo while reading the newspaper, and sent clippings to Čabrinović to convince him to join plot. It has us wondering… if Gavrilo Princip were alive today, would he have sent his “clippings” via twitter?
Like the #SafetyFirst script, the #Conspiracy mini reenactment was given to Slavic Languages and Literatures Instructor, Marta Pirnat-Greenberg, who incorporated it into the curriculum of her BCRS 208: Intermediate Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian class. As a class project, the BCS students worked together to use their language skills in translating the script.
The #KU_WWI #Conspiracy mini reenactment is just one interpretation of what might have occurred between the conspirators and should by no means be taken as historical fact. If you’re looking for more information about Gavrilo Princip and the other conspirators, you might be interested in this article about Tim Butcher’s new book, Hunting the Assassin who Brought the World to War.