Under the provisions of the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Bosnia and Herzegovina found itself in the sphere of influence of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the influx of Poles started. In Galicia of the Austro-Hungarian Emoire recruitment was started among persons who could take up administrative positions in the new crown country. The recruitment of Polish staff to work in Bosnia was the result of not good relations between Bosnian population and German and Hungarian officials. The Austro-Hungarian authorities also stimulated peasant settlement in a sparsely populated country near Banka Luka.
After Poland regained independence and the establishment of Yugoslavia, Bosnia was left by Austrian officials of Polish nationality. Officials who remained in their positions had to make special oaths of allegiance to the new king and kingdom. New Polish workers came from textile factories in Lodz.
In 1919-1921, a Consulate of the Republic of Poland was active in Sarajevo. After World War I, Poles still constituted a large proportion of Bosnian residents. According to the 1921 statistics, the number of Poles in Bosnia was 10,705 people. Also during the Second World War many Poles participated in war activities, taking part in the fight mainly on the part of the partisan forces of Marshal J. B. Tito, as well as Serbian of Draža Mihajlović. In the spring of 1944, a Polish battalion was formed consisting of 500 soldiers.
After the war, Poles were deported to Poland. After the breakup of Yugoslavia, Tuzla, Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka were the places with the biggest Polish immigration groups. At the beginning of the 21st century, the number of Poles in Bosnia and Herzegovina amounted to less than half a thousand people.
Poland recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina by resolution of the Council of Ministers of April 30, 1992. Diplomatic relations were established on December 22, 1995.
Pope John Paul II visited Sarajevo and prayed for peace. His monument was erected on 30 April 2014 in front of the Cathedral of the Heart of Jesus.
Source: Polish Embassy in Sarajevo, Wikipedia and Communications-Unlimited.nl
Photos: Cathedral of the Heart of Jesus in Sarajevo
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