Archduke Franz Ferdinand was heir to the throne of Austria. On 28 June 1914, he and his wife were shot dead by Serb nationalist, Gavrilo Princip. With German support, Austria attempted to use the assassinations as a chance to crush Serbia. When Russia prepared to defend Serbia, Germany too became involved in the conflict. In turn, the alliance with Russia brought France into the conflict. Germany declared war on them both on 1 August 1914.
- This clip is from:
- First broadcast:
- 16 March 2007
Students could be asked to consider whether terrorism is ever a justified means to an end and the extent to which the assassination at Sarajevo was a war crime. Students can collaborate on definitions of ‘terrorism’ and ‘war crime’ to consider the deeper conflicts in the Balkan region. This could prompt a discussion over the context of nationalistic tensions between Austria-Hungary and Russia in south-eastern Europe in 1914. The students could examine other historic examples of possible terrorist acts, and implement simulated judicial proceedings or role-plays where the perpetrators, victims, and legal participants present their perspectives on the case before a tribunal.