Gavrilo Princip


General Information

"The Narodna Odbrana does not doubt that in the fight against the enemies with whom we stand face to face, our people will provide a succession of heroes."

ø Exerpt from "Narodna Odbrana" pamphlet

A 19 year old tubercular Bosnian Serb student. A member of Mlada Bosna ("Young Bosnia"), a movement dedicated to a Bosnia free of Hapsburg rule. He and his six fellow assassins were equipped with pistols and bombs by a Serbian terrorist organization known as the Black Hand.

On 28-Jun-1914 he succeeded where his accomplices failed in assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Countess Sophia in Sarajevo.

He attempted suicide at the scene but the gun was knocked from his hand by an onlooker. His second attempt at suicide was by cyanide, but it made him retch and he vomited up the poison. He was taken into custody and made to stand trial. He was found guilty but, because of his age, spared the death penalty. He died in prison of tuberculosis in 1918. All in all, it seems he was treated fairly by the government he considered so tyrannical.

See also:
ø Information on "Ujedinjenje ili Smrt"
This is the Serbian "Black Hand". Link provides full background info including their constitution listing Colonel Dimitrievitch (Apis) as a member.
ø Information on "Narodna Odbrana"
This is the Serbian secret patriotic society of which "Mlada Bosna" was a splinter group..

"There is no need to carry me to another prison. My life is already ebbing away. I suggest that you nail me to a cross and burn me alive. My flaming body will be a torch to light my people on their path to freedom."
ø Princip to the prison govenor on being moved to another prison

Princip (second from right) being taken into custody in Sarajevo