The Day after Sarajevo: 29 June 1914

Ritter von Storck was the Austro-Hungarian Secretary of Legation at the time of the Sarajevo assassinations. On 29 June 1914, he sent his impressions to Count Berchtold, Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs

Ritter von Storck to Count Berchtold. Belgrade, 29 June 1914.

Under the terrible shock of yesterday’s catastrophe it is difficult for me to give any satisfactory judgment on the bloody drama of Serajevo with the necessary composure and judicial calm. I must ask you, therefore, to allow me for the moment to limit myself to putting on record certain facts.

Yesterday, the anniversary of the battle of the Amselfeld, was celebrated with greater ceremony than usual, and there were celebrations in honour of the Servian patriot, Milos Obilic, who, in 1389 with two companions treacherously stabbed the victorious Murad.

Among all Servians, Obilic is regarded as the national hero. In place of the Turks, however, we are now looked on as the hereditary enemy, thanks to the propaganda which has been nourished under the aegis of the Royal Government and the agitation which has for many years been carried on in the press.

A repetition of the drama on the field of Kossovo seems, therefore, to have hovered before the minds of the three young criminals of Serajevo, Princip, Cabrinovic and the third person still unknown, who also threw a bomb. They also shot down an innocent woman, and may therefore think that they have surpassed their model.

For many years hatred against the Monarchy has been sown in Servia. The crop has sprung up and the harvest is murder.

The news arrived at about 5 o’clock; the Servian Government at about 10 o’clock caused the Obilic festivities to be officially stopped. They continued, however, unofficially for a considerable time after it was dark. The accounts of eye-witnesses say that people fell into one another’s arms in delight, and remarks were heard, such as: “It serves them right, we have been expecting this for a long time,” or “This is revenge for the annexation.”


Source: Austro-Hungarian Red Book

Image: Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie


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