• Secret Societies of the Empire - Black Hand


    Black Hand - it’s a pretty ominous sounding group. That's confirmed when you hear its motto - 'Unity or Death' 

    Black Hand was a military secret society founded in Serbia in the early 1900s. Its aim was to create a greater Serbia, uniting the Serbian populations across the territories annexed by Austria-Hungary.


    Initially the group was formed of ten men, but after just a few years, their membership had grown to hundreds, possibly thousands. Many of its members were in the Serbian army. Living strictly to their motto, the group was not afraid of using violence, training guerrillas and conspiring to carry out political murders. 

    To make sure the society maintained its secrecy, most of its members knew very little about the rest of the society, only about their own 'cells'. New members had to swear to carry out whatever orders they were given, and to take the secrets of their society to the grave.

    The group was suspected of having involvement in the assassination Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria (one of several factors which contributed to the start of First World War).

    Although initially the group had a fairly friendly relationship with the Serbian government, this relationship started to sour by 1914. In 1917, several of the society's leaders were arrested - some were later executed, others received lengthy jail terms. With the society in demise, its members dispersed.

    posted by You're History


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