history meme - 5 assassinations - empress elisabeth of austria
Empress Elisabeth “Sissi” of Austria was born in 1837 to Bavarian nobility. She became empress at the age of 16 and found life difficult in court. Her two daughters were taken away from her and raised by her controlling mother-in-law, Princess Sophie. Sissi was prone to anxiety and deep bouts of depression, especially after the deaths of two of her children, including the only male heir, Prince Rudolf.
At 1:35 p.m. on Saturday, 10 September 1898, Elisabeth and Countess Irma Sztáray de Sztára et Nagymihály, her lady in waiting, left the hotel on the shore of Lake Geneva on foot to catch the steamship Genève for Montreux. Since the empress did “not like processions,” her servants had already been ordered to leave by train for neighboring Territet.
They were walking along the promenade when the 25-year-old Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni approached them, attempting to peer underneath the empress’s parasol. According to Sztaray, as the ship’s bell announced the departure, Lucheni seemed to stumble and made a movement with his hand as if he wanted to maintain his balance. In reality, in an act of “propaganda of the deed”, he had stabbed Elisabeth with a sharpened needle file that was 4 inches (100 mm) long (used to file the eyes of industrial needles) that he had inserted into a wooden handle.