Friday, June 27, 2014

Scars of World War I Linger in Europe on Eve of Centennial

The Sarajevo street corner where Gavrilo Princip shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, triggering WWI. A banner shows the assassin, on left, and his victim. Matt Lutton for The Wall Street Journal
A Century After Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand Sparked WWI, Tensions Persist

By Naftali Bendavid, WSJ
June 26, 2014 10:35 p.m. ET

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina—Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary gazes regally from a banner on one side of a museum here. From the other stares a haunted Gavrilo Princip, who, on the street below 100 years ago, shot to death the archduke and set in motion Europe's Great War.

"The street corner that started the 20th Century," the banner proclaims.

Those two .38-caliber bullets unleashed a lethal torrent of technology, toppled empires, dragged the U.S. from its isolation and sowed the seeds of the next even bloodier war, genocide and the Cold War partition of Europe.

A century later, the scars of World War I linger. The display at the assassination site has prompted a furious response from the local Austrians and Germans, whose representatives called it "inappropriate and scandalous"—like equating Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth. But the banner hasn't come down.

(More here.)

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