Leopold Loyka
Leopold Lojka (1885–1926) was the chauffeur of the car carrying Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand at the point of Ferdinand's assassination in Sarajevo in 1914.

Lojka was born in 1885 in the town of Znojmo
Znojmo is a city in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic, near the border with Lower Austria, connected to Vienna by railway and road . The royal city of Znojmo was founded shortly before 1226 by King Ottokar I on the plains in front of Znojmo Castle...

 in southern Moravia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now part of the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

). He became a professional chauffeur in the service of Franz, Count Harrach
The Harrach family is a Bohemian and Austro-German noble family. The Grafs von Harrach were among the most prominent families in the Habsburg Empire.-History:...

, an Austro-Hungarian nobleman and close friend of heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Lojka accompanied his employer and the Archduke on their trip to Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 so as to serve as Ferdinand's chauffeur. Shortly after leaving the military barracks where Ferdinand had been inspecting the local Imperial garrison, the car was attacked by a Serb Black Hand
Black Hand
Unification or Death , unofficially known as the Black Hand , was a secret military society formed by members of the Serbian army in the Kingdom of Serbia, which was founded on September 6, 1901. It was intent on uniting all of the territories containing significant Serb populations annexed by...

 terrorist, who threw a bomb at it. However, Lojka was able to swerve out of the way and the bomb bounced away, injuring several soldiers.

Despite protestations from his wife Sophie
Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg
Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg ; 1 March 1868 – 28 June 1914) was a Czech aristocrat, the morganatic wife of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. Their assassination sparked World War I.- Early life :...

, Ferdinand decided to visit the injured soldiers in the hospital. However, this was off the planned route and Lojka had not been informed of the change in plans and was not familiar with the new route. Consequently, as he was driving away from the hospital to head out of Sarajevo, Lojka took a wrong turn down a backstreet. Realising his mistake, Lojka began to reverse out. However, it so happened that Black Hand assassin Gavrilo Princip
Gavrilo Princip
Gavrilo Princip was the Bosnian Serb who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914...

 was sitting in a café on the street just as Ferdinand's car began to pull into it. Princip seized his chance and ran out of the café with his pistol. Spotting him, Lojka attempted to reverse faster, but his foot missed the accelerator pedal. As a consequence, Princip shot and killed the Archduke and his wife.

After the assassination, Lojka was given the task of sending three telegrams: one for the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph, one for the German Emperor Wilhelm II, and one for the children of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. He also served as a witness for the prosecution in the Black Hand terrorists' trial.

Lojka was later awarded 400,000 crowns by Austro-Hungarian emperor Charles I, which he used to buy an inn in Brno
Brno by population and area is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Brno is the administrative centre of the South Moravian Region where it forms a separate district Brno-City District...

 in Czechoslovakia. There he became an innkeeper, and would often show off the bloodstained braces of Franz Ferdinand and a piece of Sophie's golden bracelet.

He died in Brno in 1926. Since his death, the role of chauffeur of Franz Ferdinand's car has often been erroneously attributed to a 'Franz Urban'.
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