Gavrilo Princip Facts and Biography

Gavrilo Princip

Biography Summary: Gavrilo Princip (1895-1918) was the Serbian nationalist who assassinated Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand whose death became the catalyst for the outbreak of WWI. Gavrilo Princip was a young man of strong convictions when it came to his country and his people. He wanted to fight for what he thought was right and although he was turned away for being of small stature, he trained and qualified himself for a duty he felt he was eligible for. In the end, he achieved what others had attempted to achieve purely by chance.

He was in the right place at the right time to assassinate Archduke France Ferdinand. What Gavrilo Princip could not have realized were the ramifications of the death of the Archduke would trigger.

Gavrilo Princip Fact Sheet: Who was Gavrilo Princip? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Gavrilo Princip.


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Gavrilo Princip Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1894 – 1918 *** Full Name: Gavrilo Princip *** Occupation: Bosnian Serb *** Date of Birth: Gavrilo Princip was born on July 25th 1894 *** Place of Birth: Gavrilo Princip was born in Obljaj, Condominium of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria-Hungary *** Family background: His father was Petar Princip and his mother was Marja Micic. His father was a farmer of no wealth whatsoever, referred to as a serbs they were oppressed by the landlords of the Muslim faith *** Early life and childhood: Gavrilo Princip grew up with his family, of the nine children his parents had only three survived infancy *** Education: Gavrilo Princip attended a local primary school, although his father objected, he did rather well in his studies ***

Gavrilo Princip Fact 1: Gavrilo Princip was born on July 25th 1894 and during the 19th century period in history when many empires across the globe collapsed, the Spanish, first and second French, Holy Roman, Mughal and Chinese but the British and Russian Empires, the United States and German Empire where on the rise.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 2: Both Gavrilo Princip and his brother Jovan travelled to Sarajevo with the intention of joining the Austro-Hungarian military school but on advice from his friend they decided against joining the military as the friend suggested they would not like becoming “an executioner of his own people”.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 3: They changed their minds. Instead, Princip registered with a merchant school.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 4: Gavrilo Princip supported his studies by carrying logs from the local forests to the mills inside the city as well as doing manual labor tasks. After three years he relocated to a local gymnasium which was the equivalent of a secondary school similar to a grammar school in Britain or a preparatory school in America.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 5: Bogdan Zerajic was a Bosnian Serb revolutionary who came to Princip’s attention in 1910 after his failed attempt to assassinate the Austro-Hungarian Governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marijan Varesanin, after which he committed suicide.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 6: The following year Princip joined the Young Bosnia who were a Yugoslavist revolutionary movement made up largely of young students that were forced to meet in secret because students had been forbidden by the local authorities for form any such groups.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 7: In 1912 his school expelled Gavrilo Princip for taking part in a demonstration that was against Austro-Hungarian authorities.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 8: Having been expelled from school in Sarajevo Gavrilo Princip travelled on foot to Belgrade.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 9: Once there he volunteered in the fight against the Ottoman Turks with the Serbian guerrilla bands. Their leader was Major Vojin Tankosic, a leading member of the Black Hand the primary conspiratorial society at the time in Serbia.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 10: Having attempted to join the group, he was doubly rejected because of his small stature.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 11: He made the return journey to Sarajevo and stayed with his brother. Over the next few months Gavrilo Princip travelled between the two cities and on a trip to Belgrade he made the acquaintance of Zovojin Rafajlovic who was a founding member of the Serbian Chetnik Organization and was sent, together with other Young Bosnia members to their training center in Vranje where they met Mahajlo Stevanvic-Cupara.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 12: While in Vranje he stayed with Cupara and trained, practicing shooting, the use of a blade and using bombs before he returned to Belgrade.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 13: The Austro-Hungarian officials implemented martial law having declared a state of emergency and took control of schools and prohibited numerous Serb societies.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 14: The Black Hand’s planned to assassinate the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie on a visit to Sarajevo.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 15: Seven of their members lined the route the Royal couple were due to take in order to take part in the opening of a hospital. As the procession of cars moved along the road the first conspirator, Muhamed Mehmedbasic was the first to make an attempt but failed, he later said it was because he thought there was a police officer behind him.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 16: Further down the route was another student who was able to hurl a grenade towards the motorcade, although he missed Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s car he did blow up another vehicle. Thereafter the cars sped off and the crowd began to disperse rapidly.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 17: With the attempt to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand abandoned Princip happened to be standing near a café when he caught sight of the Archduke’s car, having taken a wrong turn, reversing to turn around and the driver stalling the engine.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 18: With his weapon, a Belgium M 1910 .380 ACP Semi Auto pistol, in his pocket, he withdrew his gun as he approached the stationary vehicle and when around four feet away he fired to shots into the car. The first shot struck Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the neck and the second shot struck Sophie in the abdomen as she leant over to protect her husband. They both died before they reached medical attention.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 19: Captured and tried, Gavrilo Princip was too young to be given the death penalty by twenty seven days so instead he was sentenced to twenty years in prison.

Gavrilo Princip Fact 20: On April 28th 1918 Gavrilo Princip died in prison. Between malnutrition and contracting tuberculosis, coupled with the extremely harsh conditions of the prison, his body wracked by skeletal tuberculosis eating away at his skeleton. Gavrilo Princip died weighing barely eighty eight pounds. It is thought his remains were finally laid to rest in St Mark’s Cemetery in Sarajevo.



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