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Friday, June 27, 2014

Franz Ferdinand

Tomorrow marks the hundredth anniversary of the shot that started the Great War. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was assassinated in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914. This led Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia, and the current European system of alliances soon meant that the continent was embroiled in World War I.

You can read more about the assassination here and there was a great piece on Morning Edition this morning, which points out how improbable and almost farcical the assassination plot was, if only the results hadn't turned out so catastrophically. NPR has also produced an interesting piece, "A World Without World War One," looking at what things might have looked like had Franz Ferdinand never been assassinated.

In honor of the anniversary, we've put Franz Ferdinand's cigarette case on display in the library and we're featuring it on the blog. The case was made by A. Förster of Vienna and is decorated with the arms of Austria-Hungary

A. Förster, cigarette case owned by Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Vienna. 1954.2070. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
A. Förster, cigarette case owned by Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Vienna. 1954.2070. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

A. Förster, cigarette case owned by Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Vienna. 1954.2070. Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.


Kathy Haas is the Associate Curator at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia
and the primary poster at the Rosen-blog.

1 comment:

Peter Gibbes said...

Hi Kathy,

Wonderful to have found your blog post. Frans Ferdinand visited my Great Grandfather's property in New South Wales (Australia) on the 20th May 1893 during his world tour. At the end of the day, he gave his cigarette case to my relative as a token of thanks for the day's hunting. My cigarette case is identical to yours except blue in colour.

Peter.