Sunday, 29 May 2016

Doctor Wilhelm John

Caricature of Dr. Wilhelm John 
by Austrian War Artist:
Carl Hollitzer (1874-1942)

Vienna's Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (motto: War belongs in a Museum) is currently celebrating its 125th anniversary. One of the items on display is the above drawing by artist Carl Hollitzer. Also to be seen are a couple of interesting paintings by war artist Carl Pippich.

Infantry Summer Maneuvers 1914
by Carl Pippich (1862-1932)

Thirsty Work by Carl Pippich

The star of the show is naturally the Gräf & Stift convertible in which Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand and his wife Countess Sophie Chotek were shot dead by Black Hand gunman Gavrilo Princip on 28th June 1914.

Thunder at Twilight is the title of Frederic Morton's compelling account of the events in Serbia and Austria which led to the outbreak of the first world war. I have read it and can highly recommend it.

It concludes with an Afterword and the words written in pencil on Gavrilo Princip's cell wall where he died of tuberculosis in April 1918:

Our ghosts will walk through Vienna
And roam through the Palace
Frightening the Lords. 

Two years later the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg Monarchy was at an end.

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