‚A Serious Lack of Discipline’ – Robberies and Abuse of Authority at the Polish-Romanian Border
In contrast to the relations with the other neighboring states dominated by border conflicts, relations between Poland and Romania were quite harmonious in the aftermath of the First World War. Nevertheless, conflicts occurred at the Polish-Romanian border at a local level. Polish authorities faced complaints about alleged abuse of authority, border violations by Romanian border guards, and illegal requisitions of food or cattle from the local population. An attempt to arrest a Romanian official who was met at Polish territory resulted even in violence and murder. However, the lines of conflict were quite complex: I will outline conflicts between Polish and Romanian border officials, between the local population and state officials – be it Polish or Romanian ones, but also between different Polish institutions like the customs guard and the state police, and investigate them in the context of the establishment of a new border and the establishment of new state institutions. How did these conflicts affect practices of border control, and what role did the behavior of state officials play for the acceptance of Polish authorities and state institutions in this multinational border region?