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Gavrilo Princip and the Black Hand

The assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand on the 28 June 1914 was the trigger to the Great War. But who was the gunman Gavrilo Princip and the mysterious Black Hand movement?

The insignia of the Black Hand movement
The insignia of the Black Hand movement

Princip was a Bosinian-Serb who joined the Nationalist Black Hand in 1912 who believed that a union should exist between Bosnia and Serbia. In June 1914, the group set out to assassinate the heir to the throne of the Empire that ruled them, Austria-
Hungary.

Did you Know?
Franz Ferdinand’s uncle Franz Joseph was the subject of an assassination attempt by the Black Hand in 1911

As Franz Ferdinand’s car entered the streets of Sarajevo, Princip leapt towards the car and shot both the Archduke and his wife Sophie in the neck and abdomen respectively. The assassin then turned the gun on himself but was restrained by the police before doing so. He would die in prison on 28 April 1918 of tuberculosis.

Princip's arrest
Princip’s arrest

The chain of events that came after this would lead to the beginning of World War One.

Members of the Black Hand

-Dragutin Dimitrijevic (Leader)
-Nedjelko Cabrinovic
-Trifko Grabez
-Gavrilo Princip
-Six unknown conspirators

The Archduke and his wife shortly before the incident
The Archduke and his wife shortly before the incident

Did you know?
The prime minister of Serbia was given advance warning of the assassination and gave orders for their arrest. However, his orders were not carried out

Princip on trial
Princip on trial