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  • My friend needs help too.

    My friend is doing her research report on the "Black Hand".

    If you have any information on the "black hand" also that would be really helpful.

    Thanks for all the help guys.
    "Everyone has stress burried deep inside, sometimes they hide the stress from their friends, It's better to let it loose in the end".
    -Dylan Dubeau

  • #2
    Hope this helps.

    The Black Hand
    The Secret Serbian Terrorist Society
    by Micheal Shackelford

    On October 8, 1908, just two days after Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, many men, some of them ranking Serbian ministers, officials and generals, held a meeting at City Hall in Belgrade. They founded a semi-secret society -- Narodna Odbrana (National Defense) which gave Pan-Slavism a focus and an organization. The purpose of the group was to recruit and train partisans for a possible war between Serbia and Austria. They also undertook anti-Austrian propaganda and organized spies and saboteurs to operate within the empire's provinces. Satellite groups were formed in Slovinia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Istria. The Bosnian group went under the name Mlada Bosna -- Young Bosnia.
    Narodna Odbrana's work had been so effective that in 1909 a furious Austria pressured the Serbian government to put a stop to their anti-Austrian insurrection. Russia was not ready to stand fully behind Serbia should things come to a showdown, so Belgrade was grudgingly forced to comply. From then on, Narodna Odbrana concentrated on education and propaganda within Serbia, trying to fashion itself as a cultural organization.
    The Birth of the Black Hand

    Many members formed a new, and again secret, organization to continue the terrorist actions. Ten men met on May 9, 1911 to form Ujedinjenje ili Smrt (Union or Death), also known as The Black Hand. The seal of their group is reproduced above.
    By 1914, there were several hundred members, perhaps as many as 2500. Many members were Serbian army officers. The professed goal of the group was the creation of a Greater Serbia, by use of violence, if necessary. The Black Hand trained guerillas and saboteurs and arranged political murders. The Black Hand was organized at the grassroots level in 3 to 5-member cells. Above them were district committees. Above them, was the Central committee in Belgrade. At the top was the ten-member Executive Committee led, more or less, by Colonial Dragutin Dimitrijevic, (also known as Apis ). Members rarely knew much more than the members of their own cell and one superior above them, to ensure that the group's leaders would remain secret. New members swore "...before God, on my honor and my life, that I will execute all missions and commands without question. I swear before God, on my honor and on my life, that I will take all the secrets of this organization into my grave with me."

    The Black Hand took over the terrorist actions of Narodna Odbrana , and worked deliberately at obscuring any distinctions between the two groups, trading on the prestige and network of the older organization. Black Hand members held important army and government positions. Crown Prince Alexander was an enthusiastic and financial supporter. The group held influence over government appointment and policy. The Serbian government was fairly well informed of Black Hand activities.
    Friendly relations had fairly well cooled by 1914. The Black Hand was displeased with Prime minister Nikola Pasic. They thought he did not act aggressively enough towards the Pan-Serb cause. They engaged in a bitter power struggle over several issues, such as who would control territories Serbia annexed in the Balkan Wars. By this point, standing up and saying 'no' to the Black Hand was a dangerous act. Political murder was one of their well known tools.

    It was also in 1914 that Apis decided that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir-apparent of Austria, should be assassinated. Towards that end, three young Bosnian-Serbs were recruited and trained in bomb throwing and marksmanship. Princip, Cabrinovic' and Grabez were smuggled across the border back into Bosnia via a chain of underground-railroad style contacts.
    The decision to kill the Archduke was apparently initiated by Apis, and not sanctioned by the full Executive Committee. Those involved probably realized that their plot would invite war between Austria and Serbia. They had every reason to expect that Russia would side with Serbia. In all likelihood, they did not anticipate that their little war would mushroom into world war.
    Others in the government and some on the Black Hand Executive Council were not as confident of Russian aid. Russia had let them down recently. When word of the plot percolated through Black Hand leadership and the Serbian government, Apis was told not to proceed. He made a half-hearted attempt to intercept the young assassins at the border, but they had already crossed. This 'recall' appears to make Apis look like a loose cannon, and the young assassins as independent zealots. In fact, the 'recall' took place a full two weeks before the Archduke's visit. The assassins idled around in Sarajevo for a month. Nothing more was done to stop them. The extensive network of contacts that smuggled them into Sarajevo, fed and housed them, was not utilized to stop them. This calls into question the Black Hand's and the Serbian government's desire that the plot truly be cancelled.

    The Assassination

    Of the seven young men involved, Princip succeeded in killing the Archduke. (Read the Sarajevo, June 28, 1914 article for a fuller account of the assassination.) The careful secrecy of the Black Hand delayed its being found out as the instigator of the crime until many weeks later. By that time, the guilt for the crime had settled loosely on Serbia in general. Tensions between Serbia and Austria eventually drew in the other European powers and escalated into world war.
    Towards the end of 1916, Prime Minister Pasic decided to destroy the leaders of the Black Hand and break up the organization. By the spring of 1917, many Black Hand leaders, including Apis, had been arrested.
    A sham trial before a military tribunal was held in May 1917 for Apis and others. Among the charges was that the Black Hand had attempted to murder Prince Regent Alexander. Though the number of witnesses against them were numerous, the evidence cited was nearly all hearsay or outright fabrications. Apis and six others were sentenced to death. Three obtained commutations to long prison terms, but Apis and three comrades were executed by firing squad on June 26, 1917.

    In June 1917, the Black Hand was outlawed. Intriguing and insurrection, by their very nature, however, are not bothered by legalities. A new organization -- The White Hand -- was formed from trustworthy men of Narodna Odbrana . It continued the imperialistic work of the Black Hand, using the same techniques. The death of Vojislav Petrovic, an ex-attache to the Yugoslav Legation in London, was said to be the work of Narodna Odbrana . Petrovic was preparing a book on the history of the Sarajevo assassinations and the Black Hand.
    In what became Yugoslavia after the war, the White Hand grew into an essential piece of the state's machinery.



    Related Articles in World War I Document Archive
    Sarajevo, June 28, 1914
    Constitution of the Black Hand
    Biography of Colonel Dimitrijvic, the mastermind.
    Biography of Franz Ferdinand, the slain Archduke.
    Biography of Sophie, Franz Ferdinand's wife.
    Biography of Princip, the gunman.
    Biography of Cabrinovic, the bomber.
    Biography of Ilic, the assassin who talked.


    Sarajevo: the story of a political murder, by Joachim Remak, 1959
    Origins of World War I: 1871-1914, by Joachim Remak, 1967

    Black Hand Over Europe, by Henri Pozzi, 1935
    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.


    • #3
      More on the Black Hand.

      In May 1911, ten men in Serbia formed the Black Hand Secret Society. Early members included Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic, the chief of the Intelligence Department of the Serbian General Staff, Major Voja Tankosic and Milan Ciganovic.

      The main objective of the Black Hand was the creation, by means of violence, of a Greater Serbia. Its stated aim was: "To realize the national ideal, the unification of all Serbs. This organisation prefers terrorist action to cultural activities; it will therefore remain secret."

      Dragutin Dimitrijevic, who used the codename, Apis, established himself as the leader of the Black Hand. In 1911 he sent a member to assassinate Emperor Franz Josef. When this failed, Dimitrijevic turned his attention to General Oskar Potiorek, Governor of the Austrian provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Dimitrijevic recruited Muhamed Mehmedbasic to kill Potiorek with a poisoned dagger. However, Mehmedbasic returned to Belgrade after failing to carry out the task.

      By 1914 there were around 2,500 members of the Black Hand. The group was mainly made up of junior army officers but also included lawyers, journalists and university professors. About 30 of these lived and worked in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

      Three senior members of the Black Hand group, Dragutin Dimitrijevic, Milan Ciganovic, and Major Voja Tankosic, decided that Archduke Franz Ferdinand should be assassinated. Dimitrijevic was concerned about the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Ferdinand's plans to grant concessions to the South Slavs. Dimitrijevic feared that if this happened, an independent Serbian state would be more difficult to achieve.

      When Dragutin Dimitrijevic heard that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was planning to visit Sarajevo in June 1914, he sent three members of the Black Hand group, Gavrilo Princip, Nedjelko Cabrinovic and Trifko Grabez from Serbia to assassinate him. Nikola Pasic, the prime minister of Serbia, Pasic heard about the plot and gave instructions for the three men to be arrested. However, his orders were not implemented and Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated.

      Several members of the Black Hand group interrogated by the Austrian authorities claimed that three men from Serbia, Dragutin Dimitrijevic, Milan Ciganovic, and Major Voja Tankosic, had organised the plot. On 25th July, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian government demanded that the Serbian government arrest the men and send them to face trial in Vienna.

      On 25th July, 1914, Nikola Pasic, the prime minister of Serbia, told the Austro-Hungarian government that he was unable to hand over these three men as it "would be a violation of Serbia's Constitution and criminal in law". Three days later Austro-Hungarian declared war on Serbia.

      During the first two years of the First World War the Serbian Army suffered a series of military defeats. Nikola Pasic, who blamed the Black Hand for the war, and in December 1916 decided to disband the organisation. Dragutin Dimitrijevic and several of the Black Hand leaders were arrested and executed the following year.

      (1) Oath sword by all members of the Black Hand group.

      I, in joining the organisation "Union or Death", swear by the Sun that warms me, by the Earth that nourishes me, before God, by the blood of the ancestors, on my honour and on my life, that I will from this moment until my death be faithful to the laws of this organisation; and that I will always be ready to make any sacrifice for it.

      I swear before God, on my honour and on my life, that I will take all the secrets of this organisation into my grave with me.

      (2) Constitution of the Black Hand Group (9th May, 1911)

      Article 1. For the purpose of realising the national ideals - the Unification of Serbdom - an organization is hereby created, whose members may be any Serbian irrespective of sex, religion, place or birth, as well as anybody else who will sincerely serve this idea.

      Article 2. The organisation gives priority to the revolutionary struggle rather than relies on cultural striving, therefore its institution is an absolutely secret one for wider circles.

      Article 3. The organization bears the name: "Ujedinjenje ili Smrt".

      Article 4. In order to carry into effect its task the organization will do the following things:

      (1) Following the character of its raison d etre it will exercise its influence over all the official factors in Serbia - which is the Piemont of Serbdom - as also over all the strata of the State and over the entire social life in it:

      (2) It will carry out a revolutionary organisation in all the territories where Serbians are living:

      (3) Beyond the frontiers, it will fight with all means against all enemies of this idea:

      (4) It will maintain friendly relations with all the States, nations, organisations, and individual persons who sympathise with Serbia and the Serbian race:

      (5) It will give every assistance to those nations and organisations who are fighting for their own national liberation and unification.

      Article 5. The supreme authority is vested in the Supreme Central Directorate with its headquarters at Belgrade. Its duty will be to see that the resolutions are carried into effect.

      Article 6. The number of members of the Supreme Central Directorate is unlimited - but in principle it should be kept as low as possible.

      Article 7. The Supreme Central Directorate shall include, in addition to the members from the Kingdom of Serbia, one accredited delegate from each of the organisations of all the Serbian regions: (1) Bosnia and Herzegovina, (2) Montenegro, (3) Old Serbia and Macedonia, (4) Croatia, Slovenia and Symria (Srem), (5) Voyvodina, (6) Sea-coasts.

      (3) Borijove Jevtic, was a member of the Black Hand group in Serbia in 1914.

      A tiny clipping from a newspaper mailed without comment from a secret band of terrorists in Zagreb to their comrades in Belgrade, was the torch which set the world afire with war in 1914. The little clipping was from the Srobibran, a Croation journal of limited circulation, and consisted of a short telegram from Vienna. The telegram declared that the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand would visit Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, 28 June, to direct army manoeuvres.

      How dared Franz Ferdinand, not only the representative of the oppressor but in his own person an arrogant tyrant, enter Sarajevo on that day? Such an entry was a studied insult. 28 June is a date engraved deeply in the heart of every Serb, so that day has a name of its own. It is called vidounan. It is the day on which the old Serbian kingdom was conquered by the Turks at the battle of Amselfelde in 1389. That was no day for Franz Ferdinand, the new oppressor, to venture to the very doors of Serbia for a display of the force of arms which kept us beneath his heel. Our decision was taken almost immediately. Death to the tyrant!

      (4) Dragutin Dimitrijevic, last will and testament, 11th June, 1917.

      Although sentenced to death by two competent courts, and deprived of the mercy of the Crown, I die innocently, and in the conviction that my death is necessary to Serbia for higher reasons.

      I may, without wishing to, have committed errors in my work as a patriot. I may even, unknowingly, have hurt Serbian interests. But in taking any action one almost always runs the risk of being sometimes wrong. I am certain, however, of having committed no intentional errors, and of always having wished to serve no other cause than that of Serbia.

      (5) Lieutenant Colonel Ljubomir Dabic, official witness of the execution of Dragutin Dimitrijevic (26th June, 1917)

      The three condemned men stepped down into the ditches that had been dug for the purpose, and placed themselves in front of the stakes. Dimitrijevic on the right, Vulovic in the middle, and Malobabic on the left. After being blindfolded, Dimitrijevic and Vulovic cried: "Long live Greater Serbia!"

      Malobabic succumbed after the first five shots, while the two others suffered longer, twenty shots having to be fired at each of them. No one was hit in the head. The execution was over at 4.47 in the morning.
      Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.


      • #4
        Thanks guys. That should help out alot.
        Wow's there's more information here than I have for Vimy, Passchendale, Sommes, and Ypres.
        "Everyone has stress burried deep inside, sometimes they hide the stress from their friends, It's better to let it loose in the end".
        -Dylan Dubeau


        • #5
          What kind of poison did Princip Take after he assassinated The Archduke and Archduchess?
          One of the Question's she needs answered.
          "Everyone has stress burried deep inside, sometimes they hide the stress from their friends, It's better to let it loose in the end".
          -Dylan Dubeau


          • #6
            From Wikipedia:

            Princip tried to kill himself first by ingesting cyanide, and then with the use of his pistol. But he vomited the past-date poison (which Čabrinović had also done, leading the police to believe the group had been deceived and bought a much weaker poison). The pistol was wrestled from his hand before he had a chance to fire another shot.

            Having been too young at the time of the assassination (19, 1 month and 3 days short of turning 20) to face the death penalty, Princip received the maximum sentence of twenty years in prison, where he was held in harsh conditions worsened by the war. He died of tuberculosis on April 28, 1918 at Theresienstadt. At the time of his death Princip weighed around 40 kilograms.

            And another from

            Gavrilo Princip (1894-1918) was born in June or July 1894, the son of a postman. One of nine children, six of whom died in infancy, Princip's health was poor from an early age: his eventual death was caused by tuberculosis.

            After attending schools in Sarajevo and Tuzla, Princip left for Belgrade in May 1912. While in Serbia Princip joined the secret Black Hand society, a nationalist movement favouring a union between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia.

            Princip was one of three men sent by Dragutin Dimitrijevic, the chief of the Intelligence Department in the Serbian Army and head of the Black Hand, to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, during his visit to Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. Ferdinand had accepted the invitation of General Oskar Potiorek to inspect army manoeuvres in his capacity of Inspector General of the army. The other men sent to assassinate Ferdinand were Nedjelko Cabrinovic, and Trifko Grabez.

            The three men were instructed to commit suicide after killing the Archduke. To this end they were each given a phial of cyanide, along with a revolver and grenades. Each of the men suffered from tuberculosis and consequently knew that they did not have long to live; meanwhile, Dimitrijevic did not wish any of the men to live to tell who was behind the assassination.

            The prime minister of Serbia was given advance warning of the assassination plot, and whilst a sympathiser of the Black Hand's objectives - Bosnia-Herzegovina achieving independence from Austro-Hungary - he feared war with Austria-Hungary should an assassination attempt be successful. He therefore gave orders for the arrest of the three men as they left the country; his orders were not acted upon however.

            Once in Bosnia-Herzegovina the three men met up with six fellow conspirators and travelled onwards to Sarajevo.

            Franz Ferdinand arrived in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914, a Sunday, and was met at the railway station by General Potiorek, to be taken on to the city hall for the reception and speeches.

            Seven members of the Black Hand lined the route due to be taken by the Archduke's cavalcade along Appel Quay. One of the men, Nedjelko Cabrinovic, threw a grenade at the Archduke's car. The driver took evasive action and quickly sped from the scene. The grenade bounced off the back of the Archduke's car and rolled underneath the next car, exploding seconds later; two of its occupants were severely wounded.

            Cabrinovic swallowed his cyanide capsule as instructed, and jumped into the River Miljacka. He did not die however, but was captured and arrested. It is speculated that the capsule contained nothing other than a harmless water-based solution.

            Ferdinand attended the reception at the city hall and complained vociferously about his reception at the city.

            "What is the good of your speeches? I come to Sarajevo on a visit, and I get bombs thrown at me. It is outrageous!"

            Archduke Franz Ferdinand interrupting the Mayor's welcome speech at Sarajevo's city hall, 28 June 1914.

            Following the reception the Archduke determined to visit those injured in the grenade explosion at the city hospital. General Potiorek decided that the motorcade should take an alternate route to the hospital, avoiding the city centre altogether. However the driver of Ferdinand's car, Franz Urban, was not informed of the change of plan and so took the original route.

            Turning into Franz Joseph Street, General Potiorek, who was a passenger in Ferdinand's car, noticed that the altered route had not been taken. He remonstrated with the driver who in turn slowed the car and then began to reverse out of the street.

            Gavrilo Princip, who happened to be in Franz Joseph Street at a cafe, seized his opportunity, and took aim at Ferdinand from a distance of five feet. His bullets struck the Archduke in the neck and his wife, Sophie, who was travelling with him, in the abdomen.

            Urban drove the car to the governor's residence at Konak; the couple died soon afterwards.

            Gavrilo Princip being taken into custody following the Assassination of Franz Ferdinand, 28 June 1914After the shooting Princip made to turn his gun upon himself but was seized and restrained by a man nearby, aided by several policemen. He was arrested and taken to a police station.

            In total eight men were charged with treason and Franz Ferdinand's murder. However under Austro-Hungarian law capital punishment could not be applied to anyone under the age of 20 when the crime was committed. Gavrilo Princip, whose precise date of birth could not be firmly established at his trial, was therefore imprisoned for the maximum duration, twenty years. He died however of tuberculosis on 28 April 1918.

            Hope this helps....
            Last edited by Frankenstein; 27 Sep 07, 01:46.
            Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.


            • #7
              Thanks. That works. I had no idea what he used and neither did she. Thanks a lot.
              "Everyone has stress burried deep inside, sometimes they hide the stress from their friends, It's better to let it loose in the end".
              -Dylan Dubeau


              • #8
                It's really sad how the Black Hand actually pulled off killing Franz Ferdinand. Two of the guys didn't try. A third threw a bomb that bounced off the vehicle and wounded people in following motorcars. Princip initially lost his nerve, and then felt bad about it so he went to a cafe to drown out his sorrows there. The cafe happened to be inconveniently located right next to the street where the Archduke's drive made a wrong turn, and as Princip was moping he looked up, saw the Archduke, and shot him, sparking a series of events that led to the most devastating period of warfare in modern history. Unlucky, the world in general and Franz Ferdinand in particular was.


                • #9
                  It was one of the most devastating periods of warfare in modern History, the other one was World War 2. But it is sad that Princip pulled it off. After reading that he had gone into the cafe to drown out his sorrow's I thought that he wouldn't be able to do it. And then I read on and, it was pretty upseting.
                  "Everyone has stress burried deep inside, sometimes they hide the stress from their friends, It's better to let it loose in the end".
                  -Dylan Dubeau


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tigersqngirl View Post
                    It was one of the most devastating periods of warfare in modern History, the other one was World War 2. But it is sad that Princip pulled it off. After reading that he had gone into the cafe to drown out his sorrow's I thought that he wouldn't be able to do it. And then I read on and, it was pretty upseting.
                    Quick question and please do not take this the wrong way, but how old are you and your friend who need help? I'm asking because some of the stuff we can find would be for younger audiences and we can also find stuff that is for hard-core military people that wouldn't mean a thing to someone who hasn't spent their life studying military history. Again, I'm just curious as to what info we should be looking for.
                    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.


                    • #11
                      We're both 15 in grade 10 history class, and it's alright. I can understand where your coming from and why you asked. If there's any other questions I can answer I'll be happy to help.
                      "Everyone has stress burried deep inside, sometimes they hide the stress from their friends, It's better to let it loose in the end".
                      -Dylan Dubeau


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