June 20, 1914

wounded-man“The men had removed their hats, as if in church. The women looked for petals dropped to the gravel. Young girls would slip them into their bodices; matrons would press them between pages of Bibles brought for that purpose. Amidst the crowds passing the castle itself, voices were raised here and there.”

“Long live the Archduke!”

“Their shouts sounded frail against the massive seventeenth century turrets. No answer came. Kaiser Wilhelm would have mounted a parapet and strutted in his spurs. Franz Joseph would have appeared and performed his kindly little wave. Not Archduke Franz Ferdinand. He showed himself only during a brief ride down the main path. After that he did not emerge from behind the stone walls.”

“Though unseen, he saw. He watched from behind a window, holding his Sophie’s hand. It is not impossible that he smiled.”

“On Saturday, June 20, the couple went to Chlumetz, Franz Ferdinand’s other, more intimate Bohemian castle. Here they spent a cozy family weekend with their brood, bowling, playing checkers, roaming the woods. And here, on the early morning of Wednesday, June 24, they said good-bye to their daughter and their two sons until a reunion planned for a week later. Then the Archduke and his Duchess began their journey to Sarajevo.”

Frederic Morton, Thunder at Twilight, ch. 23

20.6.1914

Zu Beginn seines viertägigen Besuches in Hamburg wohnt der deutsche Kaiser Wilhelm II. dem Stapellauf des 55 000 Bruttoregistertonnen großen Dampfers “Bismarck” bei.

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