Human Lives Human Rights: On June 28, 1914, Emperor of Austria, Prince Franz Joseph and his wife Sophie were captured by a Serb nationalist group called the Black Hand. The two were killed during a visit to Sarajevo.
This assassination had very serious consequences for Europe, because this assassination provided a necessary excuse for Vienna to announce an Austrian ultimatum to Serbia for the direct participation of the Austrian intelligence service in identifying and arresting the perpetrators.
After the Serbian government refused to comply with this request, Austria declared war on Serbia, which was supported by the Tsardom Empire of Russia, and this was the beginning of the global war, because on one hand, pro-Austrian countries such as Germany and the Ottoman Empire, and on the other hand, pro-Serbian countries, such as Russia, Britain, Italy and France, went to war with each other.
Thus, began the deadliest war that human beings had ever experienced. The war caused great economic and infrastructural damage to continental Europe, to the extent that in 1917, no food other than vegetables was found throughout continental Europe. Hence the winter of 1917 became known as the Cabbage-Turnip Winter.
The war also destroyed many aspects of European civilization and in a very short span of time, led to the rapid growth of nihilistic ideas such as Dadaism because European civilized people were deeply disillusioned with their actions.
The war also led to the collapse of bankrupt governments such as the Weimar Republic of Germany or totalitarian regimes like the Nazi regime in Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s fascist government in Italy in the 1920s.
But regardless of the dire political, economic and social dimensions of the assassination of the Austrian Emperor and his wife in the legal interpretation of this event, it can be said that the responsibility for this assassination lies on the shoulders of the then Serbian government, as the black hand terrorist group was directly supported by the country’s army and the head of its intelligence service.
It should also be noted that the Austrian Emperor was the guest of this government and thus, the hosting government was directly responsible for his security and that of his entourage.
On one hand, it is necessary to note that this assassination is exactly the case of a targeted murder, as it was carried out with prior planning and preparation. On the other hand, the Austrian Crown Prince, had no chance to defend himself and his wife.
One more point to note is that the Austrian Emperor was not on the battlefield, or Austria and Serbia were not at war with each other, whereas it could be said that his or his wife’s murder was a legitimate act.
On the concluding note, it can be said that the above incident was neither legitimate nor beneficial because it had very serious consequences for continental Europe and many other parts of the world.