WWI: Vienna, the day of the funeral

On Friday 3rd July, the open coffins of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie lay in state at the Court Chapel from eight in the morning til noon. It’s reported that fifty thousand people attempted to view the bodies, but most were turned away due to the short period of time allowed.

Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria and King of HungaryAt 4pm precisely the Emperor Franz Joseph, accompanied by Habsburg Archdukes and Archduchesses, attended a short funeral ceremony in the Court Chapel, which was conducted by Cardinal Gustav Piffl, Archbishop of Vienna.

Ambassadors of all nations attended the funeral service in Vienna, but no monarchs or presidents: any who had sent an announcement that they wished to attend had been turned away by a message from the First Obersthofmeister – the highest-ranking court official – Prince Alfred of Montenuovo, who telegraphed each of them:
Fürst Montenuovo, Prince Alfred of Montenuovo

“…kindly have your ambassador act as representative to avoid straining His Majesty’s delicate health with the demands of Protocol.”

King Carol I of Romania (Charles of Roumania) and his wife Elizabeth had already set out to attend the funeral in Vienna, and were turned back on the orders of the First Obersthofmeister at the Austrian frontier.

Kaiser Wilhelm II is reported to having wished to use the funeral as a sort of informal peace conference, to ensure that the military action that the Austro-Hungarian Empire intended to take against Serbia – which he supported – was kept local, and Serbia’s allies were not brought into the war.

The First Obersthofmeister forbade the three surviving children of Franz and Sophie from attending the funeral in Vienna: as morganatic orphans they had no rights in the Habsburg line.

On that day, Yov. M Yovanovitch, the Serbian Minister at Vienna, wrote two letters to Nikola Pašić, the Serbian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs:

Yesterday being the day on which the remains of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife were brought from Serajevo to Vienna, I gave instructions that the national flag at my residence should be hoisted at half-mast as a sign of mourning.

Yesterday evening, on this account, protests were made by the concierge, the other tenants, the landlord’s agent, and the landlord himself, who demanded the removal of the flag. Explanations prove of no avail, and the assistance of the police authorities was requested. The latter privately asked that the flag should be removed in order to avoid further disorders. The flag was not removed, and accordingly noisy demonstrations took place last night in front of the Legation. The conduct of the police was energetic, and nothing happened to the flag or to the building which might constitute an insult. At 2 a.m. the crowd dispersed. To-day’s papers, more particularly the popular clerical papers, publish articles under the heading “Provocation by the Serbian Minister,” in which the whole incident is falsely described

The flag on the Legation building remained flying the whole time up to the conclusion of the service at the Court Chapel. As soon as this ceremony was concluded, the flag was removed. People from all over the quarter in which I live went to the Prefecture, the Municipality, and the State Council to demand the removal of our flag.

The crowd was harangued by Dr. Funder, director in chief of the Catholic Reichspost, Hermengild Wagner, and Leopold Mandl all of whom are known as the chief instigators of the attacks in the Austrian and German press against Serbia and the Serbians.

Hermengild Wagner was the author of With The Victorious Bulgarians, a history of the Balkan Peninsula War of 1912-1913. In 1912, Leopold Mandl had published a book on Austria-Hungary and Serbia after the Balkan wars; Materials for understanding the relations between Serbia to Austria-Hungary. Friedrich Funder was the Christian Social Party editor of the Reichspost, a daily paper from 1905 to 1938.

Later that day the Serbian Minister at Vienna wrote a second letter to the Serbian Prime Minister:

In the course of a conversation which I had with the Under Secretary at the Foreign Office on the subject of the Serajevo outrage, Baron Macchio severely criticised the Belgrade press and the tone of its articles. He argued that the Belgrade press was under no control and created die Hetzereien gegen die Monarchie. I told him that the press in Serbia was absolutely free, and that as a result private people as well as the Government very often suffered; there were, however, no means of proceeding against the press except by going to law. I told him that in the present instance the fault lay with the Austrian and Hungarian press which was controlled by the Austro-Hungarian Government. Was it not true that during the past two years the Austrian and Hungarian press had been attacking Serbia, in such a manner as to offend her most sensitive feelings ? The anniversary of the unfortunate war with Bulgaria had taken place a few days ago. I had myself witnessed the great lack of respect with which the Vienna press had written about Serbia and the Serbian army during and after the war, as well as in many other matters. The press in Belgrade was much more moderate. For instance, in the present case, a terrible crime had been committed and telegrams were being sent from Vienna to the whole world accusing the entire Serbian nation and Serbia of being accomplices of the detestable Serajevo outrage. All the Austrian newspapers were writing in that strain. Was it possible to remain indifferent ? Even if the criminal was a Serbian, the whole Serbian nation and the Kingdom of Serbia could not be held guilty, nor could they be accused in such a manner.

Baron Macchio replied, “Nobody accuses the Kingdom of Serbia nor its Government, nor the whole Serbian nation. We accuse those who encourage the Great Serbian scheme and work for the realisation of its object.”

I told him that it appeared to me that from the first the nationality of the criminal had been deliberately put forward in order to involve Belgrade and to create the impression that the outrage had been organised by Serbia. This had struck me immediately, as I knew that up till now the Serbians of Bosnia had been spoken of as die Bosniaken, bosnische Sprache, die Orthodoxen aus Bosnien, while now it was being said that the assassin was ein Serbe, but not that he was a Bosnian nor that he was an Austrian subject.

“I repeat,” said Baron Macchio, “that we do not accuse the Serbian Government and the Serbian nation but the various agitators. . . .”

I begged him to use his influence in order to induce the Vienna press not to make matters more difficult by its accusations in this critical moment, when Serbo-Austrian relations were being put to a severe test.

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