Gavrilo Princip

[2014]

(I’m not so sure about this one…Held onto it a few months. Then figured what the hell. So here it is….)

I’ve just been reading one sad article after another about Israel and Gaza and Palestine and murders and retaliation and things blowing up.  And I’m thinking again how none of this would be happening if it hadn’t been for Gavrilo Princip and his little gun. It was a warm summer day in Sarajevo a century ago. He came out of nowhere, fired twice, killed the heir to the Hapsburg Empire and his loving wife died too. They died in each others arms.

Gavrilo Princip

Gavrilo Princip

The police grabbed Princip. He was tried, found guilty and sentenced to the maximum sentence of twenty years. There was no death penalty in Austria-Hungary for those under twenty one. Not even for regicide. He died of tuberculosis in his cell within a couple years. No matter, he was no longer any importance, none whatsoever. He never did get to see how his war came out. He just rotted his life away (literally, his tubercular bones were disintegrating) completely forgotten as the world came down all around him. He had some regrets. There are interview transcripts. He said if he’d known all this would happen he never would have shot the Archduke. Never at all. He would have stayed home deep in books–he was quite the reader–and just let the royal procession pass by. He had always wanted to be a poet anyway. A great Serbian poet.

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