Franz Ferdinand, Erzherzog von Österreich-Este#
b. Graz (Styria), Dec. 18, 1863, d. Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), June 28, 1914; son of Archduke Karl Ludwig, nephew of Emperor Franz Joseph I. The death of crown prince Rudolf in 1889 and of his father in 1896 made him next in succession to the throne, but was forced to renounce his children's rights to the throne (children with Countess Sophie Chotek). In 1898 he became the Emperor's deputy in the supreme army command, was appointed inspector general of the armed forces in 1913 and was particularly interested in promoting the navy; wielded little political power. He aimed at eliminating Hungary's privileged position among the countries of the monarchy and sought to reach a compromise with the Slavs. His political orientation was characterized by a strictly conservative and authoritarian attitude. One outstanding characteristic was his extreme passion for hunting. The assassination of F. F. and his wife was the immediate cause of the outbreak of World War I. Information about his life is given at the Franz Ferdinand Museum in Artstetten Palace (Lower Austria).
Literature#G. Holler, F. F. v. Oesterreich-Este, 1982; F. Weissensteiner, F. F. Der verhinderte Herrscher, 1983; M. Polatschek, F. F., Europas verlorene Hoffnung, 1989; B. Hamann, Die Habsburger, 41993; W. Aichelburg, Erzherzog F. F. von Oesterreich-Este und Artstetten, 2000.