Fanatical Serbian nationalist, spymaster, assassin,
and terrorist leader, responsible for sparking World War I.
On June 11, 1903, inflamed by the possibility of a treaty between Serbia
and Austria-Hungary, which had recently annexed Bosnia-Herzegovnia,
Dimitrijevic was one of the group of military officers that stormed the royal palace in Belgrade. Dimitrijevic participated in hacking Serbian King Alexander
I Obrenovic and Queen Draga to death. The junta put Peter I Karageorgevic on the Serbian throne, but controlled Serbia.
Dimitrijevic was promoted to colonel and made chief of Serbian espionage. Not only that, he founded Ujedinjenje ili Smrt (Black Hand Society), a secret terrorist society dedicated to uniting all of the South Slavs (jugo-slavs) into a single nation-state, Yugoslavia. Dimitrijevic, using the code name "Apis", plotted the assassination of anyone who stood in his way, including the monarchs of all of Serbia's neighbors.
He retained a special hatred, however, for Austria-Hungary, and his organization
recruited Bosnians of all stripes to assassinate Austrian officials, even
going so far as to attempt the assassination of Emperor Franz Jozef (which
failed when the Bosnian Muslim assigned to do the task had second thoughts).
In 1914, Colonel Dimitrijevic sent a group of students to assassinate
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary while he toured Sarajevo.
After some bungling, one of them Gavrilo Princip, succeeded. Princip,
under interrogation, supplied Dimitrijevic's name to the Austrians, and
when the Serbian government refused to hand over Dimitrijevic, Milan Ciganovic, and Major Voja Tankosic, World War I resulted. Dimitrijevic was promoted to general and made chief of Serbian military intelligence for this action.
Peter soon abdicated in fear of being assassinated by Dimitrijevic.
In 1917, Peter's son Alexander had Dimitrijevic arrested, brought to
Salonika, and shot on June 24. After the war, Alexander, now king
of Yugoslavia, covered up the execution and squashed the Black Hand.
Mention of the society or Dimitrijevic's name became punishable by death.
In 1953, Yugoslav communist strongman Josip Broz, aka Tito, (a Croat) revealed Dimitrijevic's existence but transformed him from a terrorist
into a national hero. I suppose he did this in order to find *some* figure associated with Yugoslavia's birth who was not associated with the monarchy, or that he could portray as "betrayed" by the monarchy.