Enthusiasm and Sympathy for Austria on the Streets of Berlin (August 1, 1914)
After Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914) was assassinated by a Serb nationalist in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Empire presented the Serbian government with a strict ultimatum including several demands, one of which was that Austrian officials be allowed to investigate on location in Serbia. With the exception of this particular demand, which the Serbs regarded as an infringement upon their sovereignty, the government agreed to most points. Encouraged by its German ally, however, the Austrian government was unwilling to forfeit an opportunity to cut Serbia down to size. During the so-called July Crisis, the international system of alliances resulted in the alignment of Austria and Germany against the Entente Powers of France, Great Britain, and Russia, the last of which was determined to support Serbia. As last-minute efforts to avert a general European and world war failed, citizens of these nations took to the streets in support of their respective governments, allies, and confrontation in general. Although the “spirit of 1914” was not a universal phenomenon, large parts of the European population greeted the conflict with enthusiasm. In this photograph from August 1, 1914 (when Austria had already declared war on Serbia, and Germany was just declaring war on Russia in response to the Russian mobilization), a crowd of Berliners hold up a portrait of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I (1830-1916), thereby demonstrating support for their Habsburg ally. By August 4, 1914, France and Britain were also involved in what became the first of the century’s two global wars. Photo by unknown photographer, August 1, 1914.