- Black Hand
- “Black Hand” (in Serbo-Croatian Crna Ruka ) was the byname of the secret Serbian organization Union or Death ( Ujedinjenje Ili Smrt). In the early twentieth century, radical nationalist societies operated in Serbia and tried to undermine the Habsburg regime in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Black Hand was founded in 1911 by extremists. Most of them were officers in the Serbian army and involved in the regicide of 1903, like the Black Hand’s leader Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic, head of the intelligence service of the Serbian army. Dimitrijevic (his nom du guerre was “Apis”) supported the terrorist group that assassinated Austria-Hungary’s heir to the throne, Francis Ferdinand, and his wife on June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo. In the aftermath of a power struggle within the Serbian government in exile, the leaders of the Black Hand were sentenced to death or imprisonment in a trial in Saloniki in 1917.FURTHER READING:Cox, John K. The History of Serbia. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2002;Stavrianos, Leften. The Balkans since 1453. New York: Rinehart, 1958;Strachan, Hew. The First World War. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.GUENTHER KRONENBITTER
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.