Magazine article History Today

October 9th, 1934: Alexander I of Yugoslavia Assassinated

Magazine article History Today

October 9th, 1934: Alexander I of Yugoslavia Assassinated

Article excerpt

A cameraman happened to be at exactly the right spot when King Alexander, in Marseilles at the beginning of a state visit to France, was being driven through the streets in a car with Louis Barthou, the French foreign minister. He was only a few feet away when a gunman jumped out of the crowd and shot both the king and the chauffeur dead. The car stopped, with the king slumped in the back, while the cameraman continued filming. Louis Barthou was shot, too, and mortally wounded, possibly by mistake by a French policeman in the general confusion.

The assassin, Vlado Chemozemski, was struck down with a sabre by a French mounted officer and beaten to death by the crowd or shot by the police or both, according to varying accounts. He was a 36-year-old Bulgarian who belonged to a Macedonian revolutionary organisation, which wanted to secede from Yugoslavia, and was allegedly in league with Croatian separatists, the Ustashas, who were backed by Benito Mussolini's Italy. …

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