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Janos Libenyi
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Assassin (Failed)
    ( -February 26, 1853)
    Hungarian nationalist
    Journeyman blacksmith and tailor
    Attempted to assassinate Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I in protest of Austrian annexation of Hungarian territory (Feb. 18, 1853)
    Was immediately subdued by the Emperor's adjutant, Count Maximilian Karl Lamoral O'Donnell and a nearby butcher, Joseph Ettenreich
    Executed by hanging on Vienna’s Simmeringer Haide, eight days later (Feb. 26, 1853)
    Little is known about his personal or private life prior to his assassination attempt.
    He ambushed the Emperor on his morning stroll.
    He tried to kill the Emperor by stabbing him in the back.
    His plan was thwarted when a woman, who caught site of him approaching, cried out and caused the Emperor to turn around.
    The blow dealt probably would have been fatal had his knife not landed on the collar button at the nape of the Emperor's neck, softening it as a result.
    He reportedly cried 'Eljen Kossuth,' or 'Hail Kossuth,' as he was dragged off (in reference to the fanatical Hungarian patriot Lajos Kossuth).
    The attack was credited with rendering the once-trusting and jovial Emperor suspicious and sensitive, bordering on paranoid, for the rest of his reign.
    While his act was widely condemned, a good chunk of the Hungarian population was apathetic to the Emperor's near-death experience.
    His cause generated enough sympathy that people could be heard in the streets on the day of his execution singing 'on the Semmering Heath/A tailor was executed/But he deserved his fate/For how could a tailor have cut so poorly?'
    His act would be the first taste of an internal strife within the Hapsburg Empire that would violently manifest itself several times more (culminating with the assassination of the Emperor's nephew and heir, the Archduke Ferdinand by Gavrilo Princip, setting off World War I, in 1914).
    His act was a protest of the Emperor's recently attained status as an Absolute Monarch.
    His plan backfired in that the Emperor's popularity spiked as a result of the attack.
    He at least chose to attack the Emperor when he was a young man and not in his advanced age.
    He also chose to go after the head guy and not to try to pick off defenseless women, as Luigi Lucheni did was Franz Joseph's Empress Elisabeth, in 1898.
    Both O'Donnell and Ettenreich received Austrian ennoblement for their role in stopping the assassination attempt.
    His act laid the groundwork for the building of the spectacular Votivkirche Church, commissioned by the Emperor's brother at the very site of the attack, as a national landmark and monument to Franz Joseph.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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