The world history is densely interwoven by war conflicts. For people they meant losses and suffering, to generals they brought honours and fame. However, they form the basic structure of the entire human history and that’s why Czech Mint decided to commemorate the events that changed history in a unique series History of Warcraft. The first one, Assassination in Sarajevo, marks an extraordinary event which occurred one hundred years ago when two shots turned the development of entire Europe.
On 28 June 1914, the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne and emperor’s nephew Franz Ferdinand d‘Este and his wife Sophie arrived to Sarajevo. However, their visit was not welcome because for local population the archduke embodied lack of freedom and oppression. People desired independent Serbia, or Yugoslavia, instead of the dependence on Austria and the more radical ones decided to speed up the process with an extreme measure – assassination. After several unsuccessful attempts, a chance helped materialize the intention. The car with emperor Franz Ferdinand d’Este and his Czech wife Sophie Chotek driven by Czech Leopold Lojka turned by mistake into a side road. There he was spotted by one of the assassins Gavrilo Princip, who was buying himself a sandwich – after several unsuccessful assassination attempts. As the car stopped for a moment to make a U-turn, he recognized the archduke and from a distance of one and a half metre shot both him and his wife. The latter was apparently shot unintentionally, as she tried to protect her husband with her own body. Everything was over in a few minutes, but the consequences were immense. Austria declared war on Serbia and started a bloodbath which left sixteen million people dead. Thanks to his young age Gavrilo Princip was sentenced to "only" twenty years in prison, of which he served just four years before dying in the Terezín fortress.
Silver medal Assassination in Sarajevo is a unique reminder of a moment which affected the direction of new history. The design of the medal was created by academic painter Karel Zeman. On the obverse he depicted the effigies of Franz Ferdinand d‘Este and his wife Sophie. The reverse features a fascinating depiction of the moment of assassination together with years 1914 and 2014. Be sure to make place for the first commemorative medal from the new series History of Warcraft in your collections, if will definitely stand out!