Franz von Matsch: Franz Joseph on his deathbed, oil painting, 1916

Decline and Fall


The Austrian writer Karl Kraus called the Great War the Last Days of Mankind. Triggered by the assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne and Austria-Hungary's declaration of war on Serbia, it leaves ten million dead in its wake. The old Europe comes to an end and with it the Austrian Monarchy. The Republic of Austria is created as one of the successor states of the Monarchy.