THE DAY BEFORE THE WORLD CHANGED FOREVER – JUNE 27.
Aleksandra’s Note: Today is Thursday, June 27, 2013. Exactly 99 years ago today was the day before everything in the world changed forever. History tells us that it was a beautiful summer in 1914 – everything a summer should be. The peaceful atmosphere in Europe had only 24 hours left. The next day, June 28, 1914 was Vidovdan, a most sacred day in Serbian history. It was also the day that an Austrian Archduke and his wife would come visiting and go for a carriage ride in a city in Bosnia. It was a day they should have chosen to go elsewhere, anywhere, but the Balkans. But then again, it would not have mattered at all. The war planners had already engineered the future, a destiny they believed would turn out in their favor. That’s the folly of arrogance and shortsightedness.
The historical revisionists, in anticipation of next year’s centennial of the start of the War To End All Wars, have already begun their campaigns to sabotage the truths of history. The Serbs, regardless of all evidence to the contrary, are to be made the fall guy, thus nullifying even the Versailles Treaty where it was determined unequivocally and with finality who was responsible and accountable for the First World War. And it was not the Serbs. Any historian with even a modicum of integrity will see this WWI centennial campaign for exactly what it is and will reject its phony premise.
But that’s all for later. This day, June 27th in 1914, is a peaceful day in Europe and beyond. But there had been portents of things to come for many decades before this day, and like anything that simmers under the surface, there’s always the tipping point. Always.
David Fromkin, in the excerpts I’m sharing below from his book “Europe’s Last Summer: Who Started the Great War in 1914?” describes this peaceful time and the context in which the First World War began.
Today, June 27, 2013, the skies over Chicagoland have been blue and sunny with ever changing storm clouds creating remarkable images. These were the portent of a brief but intense rainstorm. Moments later a beautiful rainbow appeared in the Eastern sky. How quickly things can change…
As the leaders and politicians and policymakers and regular people of the world all went to sleep on this same night 99 years ago, they could not possibly have known that the very next day the world as they knew it would change forever in more ways than any of them could ever have imagined.
As they slept, the tipping point was upon them.
David Fromkin writes:
“What was the First World War about? How did it happen? Who started it? Why did it break out when and where it did? ‘Millions of deaths, and words, later, historians still have not agreed why,’ as the “Millenium Special Edition” of The Economist (January 1, 1000-December 31, 1999) remarked, adding that ‘none of it need have happened.’ From the outset everybody said that the outbreak of war in 1914 was literally triggered by a Bosnian Serb schoolboy when he shot and killed the heir to the Austrian and Hungarian thrones. But practically everybody also agrees that the assassination provided not the cause, but merely the occasion, for first the Balkans, then Europe, and the rest of the earth to take up arms.
“The disproportion between the schoolboy’s crime and the conflagration in which the globe was consumed, beginning thirty-seven days later, was too absurd for observers to credit the one as the cause of the other…millions of people could not be losing their lives they felt, because one man and his wife — two people of whom many of them had never heard — had lost theirs. It did not seem possible. It could not, everyone said, be true.
“Because the Great War was so enormous an event and so fraught with consequences, and because we want to keep anything similar from happening in the future, the inquiry as to how it occurred has become not only the most challenging but also the biggest question in modern history. But it remains elusive. In the words of the historian Laurence Lafore, ‘the war was many things, not one, and the meanings of the word ’cause’ are also many.'” 
“To the man or woman in the streets of the Western world — someone who was alive in the vibrant early years of the twentieth century — nothing would have seemed further away than war. In those years men who dreamed of battlefield adventure had been hard pressed to find a war in which they could participate. In the year 1901, and the thirteen years that followed, the peoples of western Europe and the English speaking Americas were becoming consumers rather than warriors. They looked forward to more: more progress, more prosperity, more peace. The United States at that time (commented an English observer) ‘sailed upon a summer sea,’ but so did Great Britain, France, and others. There had been no war among the Great Powers for nearly half a century, and the globalization of the world economy suggested that war had become a thing of the past. The culmination of those years in the hot, sun-drenched, gorgeous summer of 1914, the most beautiful in living memory, was remembered by many Europeans as a kind of Eden.” 
Fromkin, David. Europe’s Last Summer: Who Started the Great War in 1914?, p. 8
Fromkin, David. Europe’s Last Summer: Who Started the Great War in 1914?, p. 12
These history changing events and their long-term impact will be featured in the upcoming book “Heroes of Serbia” by Aleksandra Rebic.
If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org