RE-QUESTIONING THE BORDERS OF THE BANAT. DISCONTINUITY AND CONFLICT AT THE ROMANIAN-SERBIAN-HUNGARIAN BORDER

Romanian historiography has occasionally reserved a distinct space for the study of borders in the larger interdisciplinary sense: geographical-regional, national-political, socio-confessional, there being a sum or articles and papers that tackle this subject in a unilateral manner6. When talking about limits, we discover a prevalence for the word ”border”7, even though there exists in the Romanian language a multitude of other accepted terms, terms considered synonymous when used to talk about territorial demarcation: ”graniţă – border” (a word of Bulgarian origin – granica)”hotar-boundary” (coming from the slavic atar, meaning region, or the Hungarian hotár, symbolizing a territorial limit), ”limită de demarcaţie – demarcation line”, ”limită teritorială – territorial limit”, ”margine – margin”, ”confinii – confinia” (coming from Latin, confines, or the French, confins, usage having to do with scholarly usage), ”fruntarie – frontier” (a term no longer in use). Going along this vein until the etymologic explanations, we become aware of the richness of language linked to the word border that resonates very well with the common noun banat, meaning border province8. The theoretisation of the concept of the border has been developed rather from the spectrum of contemporary geopolitics9.

LANDMARKS AND CONTOURS OF THE BORDERS OF THE BANAT

The richness of material (press articles, propaganda, diplomatic papers, letters and contemporary memoirs) will be subjected to a (de)construction through the help of two coefficients: discourse and mentalities reflected by the images built at the level of which one can identify mode of perception and imagining the contour of borders. The content analysis must of course be preceded by a preamble in which we must gather the general situation of the province with the role as a bastion of Austrian influence on the southeastern limit.

The historic unfolding of the borders of the Banat is cinematographic in nature: this territory was included into Burebista’s state, was transited by Roman legions during the conquest of the Dacian state of Decebalus, was under Roman administration, was transited for hundreds of years by migratory waves, knew the first forms of state organisation at the end of the first millenium, only to become a defensive buffer during the dominance of the Magyar Kingship, holding a role in the anti-ottoman defense system. The eastern part of the province was temporarily under the control of Wallachian voivodes only for it to be entirely conquered by the Turks in 1552. After 1718 and its passing into Habsburg dominion, the Banat was organized as a frontier province, becoming militarized due to the need of the Empire to consolidate its position in that part of Europe. From 1751 onwards, the province gained civilian administration10. Transited by observers and travelers during the 18th century, idealised by the young revolutionaries of 1848 who considered it worthy of being associated with a promised land, the region was always invoked as a prophetic gift, with quite a complicated architecture. From 1857 to 1918 the Banat was an integral administrative and economic part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, holding a polarizing function, structuring and organizing multiple fields of activity. Embodying also a sociological entity through the feeling of belonging shared by its inhabitants regarding a cosmopolitan community from an ethical and religious point of view11.

When speaking about the problematics of the Banat in the era of post-conflict in a space that experienced the traumas of the Great War, we are confronted with a new manner of perceiving borders. War represented a de-centering for this province, creating a lack of equilibrium, a new gravitational pull that pulverized borders. We are witnessing a shift from singular (the border of the Banat as province of Southern Hungary) to plural (the Romanian, Serbian and Hungarian borders, the projects of demarcation lines proposed by the specialists of the Commision for Romanian and Yugoslav affairs, an international organism specially created at the suggestion of British Prime-Minister David Lloyd George during the Peace Conference in order to resolve territorial sollicitations)12. The promotion of the Banat as a Romanian or Serbian province from the perspective of a normal retrieval, a moral reparation after unhappy historical circumstances had occurred, occupied a central point in the diplomatic actions of 1919, undertaken by Romania and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians. The war offered the singular chance for two young states, the chance to gain this province and organically integrate it into the national, ethnic and/or natural borders.

Detached from the Allied camp, the two states, the Kingdom of Romania and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians start competing directly for obtaining the Banat. Romania took the first step in 1916, when it managed to state in an international diplomatic agreement, the treaty with the Antante, that for joining in the war it would obtain the integral ownership of the province. In the autumn of 1918, it was Serbia’s turn to reply. The country, taking account of the successive capitulations for Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria and the imminent end of the war, counting on victorious troops returning from the Thessaloniki, starts the ”conquest” of the targeted territory of the Banat: the western part of the province. As vision goes, the decision making staff in Belgrade anticipated that the borders of the Banat would be officialized and fixed after long debates during the upcoming Peace Conference. They rely on the tactic of attacking Romania’s right to claim, obtained in 1916, by taking actual possession of the territory (the occupation of the Banat by Serbian armies) in the first part of the month of November 1918 with the admitted intention of peace keeping), to be used as an instrument used to convincingly contest decision at international level, and as an element of pressure at regional level. Once in open competition, there was a need for a referee, an uncomfortable fact given the context of re-settling the whole world was going through after the war. Time and a favorable atmosphere were needed in order to establish an informed organism that had to take upon itself the mediation of the states in order to establish the criteria for delimitation and judgement. The border of the Banat became a huge stake for the two states which had become rivals13.

If a chronological hierarchy was needed for the recovering of the province of the Banat, one could observe the diplomatic battle that unfolded initially in Petrograd (1914-1916) and then later in Paris (1918-1920), the influencing of international public opinion being done in Paris and sometimes London. French and British intellectual circles loved such means, some of the public debates enjoyed these means, those of a public debate on religious problem, and the question of the Banat (a la question de Banat) was one of them.

BORDERS OF THE BANAT – OBJECT AND SUBJECT OF LAYING CLAIM

The argumentation proven by the obtaining of the Banat by Romania was achieved by Prime-Minister I. C. Brătianu as first-delegate at the peace congress, (the memoir La Roumani devant le Congrès de la paix, la question du Banat de Temeshvar) was built upon ethnic aspects (the ratio of the Romanian element, the penchant of the Swabians to be integrated into the Romanian state), geographic aspects (river traffic), economic aspects (the migration of the workforce, cereal, resources in wood, the network of railroads), historical aspects (the preservation of the Latin character in spite of migration, the military service tendered by the Romanian communitirs towards Hungarian nobles, the roles of chieftains (the bani) from Lugoj and Caransebeș in meditating relations between the Turks and Transylvanian princes, the establishment of the Austrian administration).

Nikola Pašić, prime-minister and head of the Serbian delegation at the Peace Conference re-enforced the claim for a part of the Banat based on the respect of three essential principles in the name of which he managed to fight for so many years: a national principle (the Serbian nation didn’t surrender), the right of nations for self-determination14 (an independent state, liberated of any foreign domination), the right of small nations to be treated equally15. The province was inhabited by Serbs that had the right and wanted to be part of a national state, and Serbia was ready to make use of its resources (especially those of a democratic nature – plebiscite) in order to receive them.

The people inhabiting areas close to the border were under constant threat of aggression, injustice, misunderstandings and lack of gratitude. If the northern border (the Mureș river) and the southern one (the Danube) were colder, stabilized, the ones in the East and West were still unstable, metamorphosing continuously based on military decisions taken and political negotiations. The Danube was not only a natural frontier, fortified in the 18th century by the Austrians, it also breathed of legend that brought with it an olympian process of pacification. The Baziaș-Orșova sector were a source of dispute. The point of view of the Romanian prime-minister, I. C. Brătianu expressing himself on the occasion of the inauguration of the work session of the Peace Conference in front of the Great Powers, is the following: ”The Danube must be our border, guaranteeing our survival, as it has done before, in the 10 centuries past when, guaranteeing the friendly relations between both peoples16.”

This credo was sustained by Brătianu since the middle of January, in Belgrade, in front of  Alexandru Karageorgević, regent of King Peter I. ”Far from representing a belligerent act towards Serbia […] the solution was imposed by the conviction that the Danube was the only border that could prevent law-suits between use and the Serbs, that unfortunately existed in Dobrogea between the Bulgarians and our country. It would be unfortunate to treat such and issue superficially, under temporary factors, as this affair can make the relationships between our two countries to develop or become compromised17.” The evolution of negotiations and the obvious division of the Banat reactivated older fears: the loss of the Danube in the western sector of the region. A group of intellectuals meeting in June 1919 in Şiria, a township situated in the county of Arad, north of the river Mureș, who assembled with the aim of organizing a league for the reclaiming of the Banat, proclaimed that their task of faith would become: ”To yell in the whole wide world, that the Danube’s being stolen from us.”18 This exhortation is a form of protest against the occupation of the Serbs of a part of the territory of the Banat. The river also was the way of access of Serbian troops into the territory, who crossed through it in November 1918 following two directions: one from the Iron Gates, another by the mouth of the Morava.

With regards to the north of the Banat, the fact the line of the Mureș river was militarized was a strange occurrence for the inhabitants. The decision was taken as a result of the Belgrade Armistice, signed on the 13th of November between the Antante and Hungary. It regarded the transformation of the Mureș river into an arbitrary demarcation line between Hungary and Romanian Transylvania under the authority of Budapest on the one hand, and the Banat on the other hand, territory which was put under Serbian military control19.

The press reports on the profound unhappiness of the inhabitants of the Danube and Mureș rivers areas, which were open to chaos and robbery. The Serbian neighbors south of the Danube as well as the Hungarian neighbors north of the Mureș were considered capable of thievery. The claims to the border are intertwined, in various ways, with prejudice (the Romanian tendency to judge the Serbs unjustly in general because of the behavior of occupation troops that requisitioned good without compensation; the air of superiority of the Serbian conqueror regarding Romanians, considered to be the losers, as a consequence of the separate peace signed in Bucharest), stereotypes (the collective image that circulated regarding the Serbians: false allies/ weird allies, and the Romanians: opportunists), rumors (the compromise of splitting the Banat in favor of the Serbs, accepted by the Romanian Take Ionescu, who influence the decisional circles inside the Conference).

The region of the Banat is strongly conditions by the split between east and west, an opposition marking the privileged place held by the Romanians toward the western border and by the Serbs regarding the eastern border. From Bucharest, the province is seen as ”one of the richest areas that stretches until the Tisza river the tendrils of Latinness”20. Perceived coming from the west, from Belgrade, the Banat was supposed to offer a cordon of security for the young Yugoslav state. From a Romanian perspective, it was a problem of mustering all resources and efforts in order to gain a historic boundary (the keeping of the western frontier of the Banat and the erasing of the eastern one), while the Serbians were putting into question a strategic boundary (pushing it, forcing it eastwards towards an acceptable limt). The claim upon the Romanian borders seems focused on the past, anchored in the olden myth of Paradise lost, bidding for the whole of the Banat which would contribute to the securing of the political and administrative framework needed for the development of the Romanian nation inside a logic of peace. The Serbian effort of finding safer boundaries, stemming from a perception of borders seen through the eyes of the fatality of war, seems oriented towards the future, towards a millenarian existence of the Yugoslav state. Perhaps here is the reason for the confrontation between the leaders I. C. Brătianu, anchored in diplomati tradition, and  Nikola Pašić, who was in contact with the circles of influencers in the French capital.

The county of Torontal, situated in the western part of the region is described in the Romanian press through the phrase: ”at the edges of Romanianness”21. On the other hand, the journey of General Berthelot to the Banat, in December 1918, is perceived as a tour ”of the western ethnic frontier of Romanianness”22, similar to a journey from the centre (from Bucharest, the capital of the Kingdom of Romania and the headquarters of French Command) towards the periphery, a zone of superimposed cultures of the inheritors of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, towards the point of friction between Romanian and Serbian claims. The journey was echoed in the press of the time: ”Certainly the impression of General Berthelot will be that (sic!) even if Romanians from all the peripheries want with the same passion similar with Romanians from the centre, to accomplish the dream of ages… union”23.

THE WESTERN FRONTIER OF THE BANAT WITH ROMANIA IS A ZONE OF TENSION BUT ALSO OF CONTACT WHERE THE TASTE OF FREEDOM WAS FELT.

It appears as a barrier which appears, is hard to overcome, but also as a clandestine passage. The military occupation of the Banat by the Serbian armies who established garrisons in villages and had surveillance patrols running, the searches done by the Hungarian gendarmerie organizing commando style raids determined the Romanian inhabitants to take refuge in Romania. The border appears in some places as a land of horror and hope, death and resurrection, negation and affirmation. Beyond this invisible line that divided the Banat from Romania, the Romanians could manifest without holding back and without censorship. But the overcoming of this frontier proved similar to a journey of initiation into a universe of colportage, rumors and fears, a place where the conventional was abolished, where the fearless were exposing themselves voluntarily to evil. The challenge of passing into the other world is captured very well in the account of Ion Babeu.

”We rested, ate, warming up mostly and the next day – the third since we left – dressed in peasant clothing and supplied with food, we left in a carriage that took us over the Iablaniţa up to Pecinișca, by Băile Herculane where we arrived at night, around 10PM. There were many Serbs in the village so we went to a traveler’s house near the edge of the village, where we ate dinner and hid under the blankets, falling asleep, under the blankets, of course. The next day – the fourth – at about 3 in the morning a lad came, hired the night before by our house, whom we gave 60 crowns to lead us over the Carpathians on smuggler’s routes, up to the old border. After a hard march which took 11 hours, we arrived at 2 PM at the border where the lad left us, turning back while we kept on under the watchful eyes of the Father and of Fate through the breast-deep snow, 120cm tall. Soon after the lad had left us a great snowstorm hit us, the kind of storm only the mountains can conjure. It was howling and moaning so loud we were thinking it was the end of the world. The frozen snow, blown up by the storm blinded us and cut into our cheeks. Branches and twigs from the tips of beeches and centuries old first came crashing down with a great noise, threatening to squish us under their weight. And for the horror to be even greater, there was darkness and pitch black, you couldn’t see 10 paces in front. After a few beeches went down like the sound of artillery, being ripped out of the roots by the storm, we ran out of shelter and wandered blindly. Helped by luck we stumbled into some old trenches that had been left over after the war where we took shelter for two more hours until the storm abated. As the storm passed the sky alighted a little – fog still reigned – we headed off lead by the orientation instinct we had gained in the war. We soon ran into a footpath that led to the village of Niegușa in the county of Mehedinţi, where we found out, to our horror, that the wolves had eaten two laborers that day, exactly in the region we had passed.

”Well well!” I said to my colleagues. ”That would have been too much, getting eaten by wolves after the hell we went through on that mountainside.” Because it was still light out, we kept going until we reached the village of Marga where we stayed overnight and where we ran out of food completely being forced to beg at sheepfolds for polenta and sauerkraut until we reached Turnu Severin on the eighth day.

Eight days and two nights of marching from Oraviţa to Turnu Severin.”24

For other Romanians, passing the border was the same as an expulsion, representing a dissapointment. This is a case of a volunteer that got involved, at the end of 1918, in setting up the national guards in the southeast of the Banat. A Serbian commander of the occupation army recommended to take the road of Vârciorova toward Romania in order to save his life. The line that separated Romania and the Banat didn’t represent  for the Romanian volunteer anything more ”than a blasted frontier”25.

For foreigners or military personnel transiting the Banat at the end of 1918 and the beginning of 1919, the easter extremity appeared as being Romanian, while the westers one was Serbian. The visit of General Berthelot and his preliminary observations, put down in a letter, offer the most conclusive example: ”… have arrived at Orșova, which makes up the border of the Banat. It is an absolutely artificial border because the population of this region is clearly Romanian, even if the Serbian are claiming this territory.”26 But the following observations, made by the French general after meeting the Serbian Prince Alexander, announced the fate of western Banat: ”in Torontal there are no Romanians.”27

A very nuanced justification of this reality is offered by geographer Emmanuel de Martonne, nicknamed the ”border tracer”, a member of the French Study Committee that wrote the preliminary reports of the Peace Conference: ”Crossing the Danube we find in the Banat one of the most mixed regions. The mosaic in which the colors representing the Romanians, Serbs, Germans and Hungarians are superimposed, still permit us to detect a predominance of Romanians in the east, meaning the mountains (in the Krasso-Szöreny county and in the eastern part of Temes), that of the Serbians along the Danube and the Tisza river, and the existence of a large intermediary area whose connections stretch all the way to the Tisza, and whose only defining feature is a certain predominance of Germans in the north, around Timișoara. This is the result of a troubled history.”28

The main interest, be it from a Serbian or Romanian standpoint, consisted in finding the illuminating argument, the best possible argument, that would justify border claim. The speeches did nothing more than fuel a climate of tension at diplomatic and political level, which through the press poured over the local communities of the Banat. All these formulas integrated the taxonomic model of claim. The text are full of meaning and subtext which respect the ideological patterns through the way phrases a constructed – poor in content, using repetition, enumeration of arguments and justifications regarding the taking part in the war effort, stereotypical schematizing down to cliches. The Romanian texts are organized in a circular fashion, coming back to the same leitmotiv: the wholeness of the Banat having as its base geographic unity and the flow of history.

The interview with the Romanian minister Alexandru Lahovary in Italy, published in the newspaper Corriere della Sera, justifies the Romanian claim of wholeness of the region, banking on the natural delineations of the landscape: ”The Banat is an indivisible whole where natural borders are well defined. Throughout its history, during foreign occupation, the Banat was never split up. Its wholeness is conditioned and guaranteed by the economic and geographic situation, indicated by the main commercial routes on the rivers Mureș, Tisza and Danube.”29

There is a series of more conciliating speeches, aimed at conceding to the arguments of the Serbians, but they are still compensatory in nature, because the wholeness of the Banat is never questioned. ”It is nothing more than a part of the county of Torontal, representing a tract of land along the Tisza, between the Mureș and the Danube, which the Serbs would claim. But could one conceive a border for this region, that from the geographical point of view could be traced elsewhere than on the Tisza itself? Could we imagine that the great Transylvanian artery formed by communication lines and the points of flow of the Mureș into the Danube, could belong to anybody else than the Transylvanian region? Such a situation is blocked by the need for strategic safety as well as an economic necessity. The best option is that these consideration of a capital nature must temper the principle of nationalities. The whole of the Banat must therefore become part of Romania. As to the fate of its compatriots, the profound and uninterrupted friendship between the two people prove that there are no reasons for fear.”30

The Serbians underline, in their argumentation, on the difficulty of compromise in a region which is the inheritor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. But, as always, they bet on the ethnographic argument which should satisfy the need for security of the new state, the Serbo-Croatian-Slovenian Kingdom. The newspaper The Romanianpublishes a comment regarding the speech of the Serbian Prime-Minister. ”Speaking of the future borders of Serbia, Mr. Pasici admits that in countries that suffered Austrian rule, nations live so intertwined that it is difficult to trace national borders. Austro-german politics was one of creating provinces with mixed populations so that national unity would be an impossibility. Regarding the question of the Banat, mr. Pasici believes there should be no difficulties from the side of Romania. A part of the Banat, he claims, is purely Serbian, while the other purely Romanian. And a small part is a mix of nationalities.”31 Another Serbian delegate, Vesnić Milenko, the diplomatic representative of Serbia in Paris, expresses himself in the same vein: ”Our future borders with Romania must correspond, in the realm of possibility, to ethnographic limits. We are the neighbors of our Romanian friends since we all live in this region. (…) Historical, ethnical, moral and economic arguments support our claim for the western part of the Banat. They are strongly based on consideration of European nature and interest which take into account a strong coverage of the valley of Moravia, as well as Belgrade.”32

THE DEFINING OF THE ROMANIAN-SERBIAN-HUNGARIAN BORDER CONTOURS

Contested by competing states, realigned by Serbian occupation and the French Military Mission (The French Occupation Zone based in Lugoj), superimposed on the map of experts from France, the UK, the U.S.A. and Italy taking part in the Commission for Romanian and Yugoslav Affairs, the borders of the Banat were subjected to partition. The three beneficiaries would get the following: Romania – the port in Baziaș, following a line towards the north until the course of the Mureș near Szeged, the railway line that linked Timișoara to Arad, Serbia – the two banks of the Tisza and the railway lines that link Great Kikinda, Small Becicherec, Panciovan Vârșeţ, Hungary – the nort-western corner of the province.

The frontiers of states constitute elements of security that ensure peace, a reason for why they are imbued with intangible, inviolable value. After the war and the signing of peace treaties, a revision of the borders is only possible by unanimous consent of the parties involved.33 Therefore, a series of work meetings took place between Romanian and Serbian authorities in order to apply the Treaty of  Sèvres, by forming a mixed commission through the Protocol of Timișoara of January 1922.34 On the 24th of November 1923, a delimitation and locality exchange protocol was signed in Belgrade between Romani and the Serbian-Croation-Slovenian Kingdom35. The difficulties and tensions encountered were due to the inability of the superior forums of the Commission of Romanian and Yugoslav Affairs to clearly define the territory of the Banat province, which seemed like a melting pot which overlapped Romanian and Serbian nationalities. In fact, the Serbo-Romanian meetings had the objective of corrections absurd situations that had come up because of the initial partitioning.

The locality of Chechea from Timiș county can be taken as a good example – here the new Serbian border passed through the middle of the village. The cemetary was on the Serbian side, therefore the priest could not perform burial rites. The funerary procession was forced to head into the cemetery without the priest36. Following the initial protocol written up in Timișoara in the year 1921 and signed in Belgrade in 1923, the locality was transferred to Romania, and the demarcation line that had cut it in half was erased. Another case was the village of Partoș. The centre of the village is Romanian while its margins and agricultural land is Serbian. The adjustment of the border moves the entire locality to Romania, with the exception of several hectares of the vast property belonging to Count Karacsonyi37.

In order to sum up the events of the year 1919 and of the following period, the fate of the Banat was under the sign of border dispute: at local level the atmosphere is tense, full of uncertainty; at regional level the problem of supply is worsened and transport is disrupted, different authorities alternating and replacing each other because of the lack of a well established legal framework. Therefore the Serbian suffer dislocation towards the west, unwilling to give up on their initial stance; the French become more present, trying to replace the void of authority by taking on a buffer mission and by creating free zones, while the Romanians obtain the establishment of a national administration in a troubled region. The borders of the Banat have inherited a bagage brimming with unfulfilled wishes, uncertainties, emotional availability, tendencies to compensate which the inhabitants of cosmopolitan communities have imbued with the exercise of peaceful cohabitation from before the war.

La Roumanie devant le Congrès de la Paix, Anexă
SHAT, Vincennes – Série 6 N, cutia 77.
La Roumanie devant le Congrès de la Paix, Le Banat de Temeshvar
BDIC, Nanterre – fond Louis Lucien KLOTZ – Conférence de la Paix, cota F° rés 0223, 11/5, La Roumanie devant le Congrès de la Paix. Le Banat de Temeshvar
Map drawn up by eng. Anca Moscovici after Annex IX din Rapport Nº 1 présenté au Conseil Suprême des Alliés par la Commission pour l’étude des questions territoriales relatives à la Roumanie et à la Yougo-Slavie 
BDIC, Nanterre – Louis Lucien KLOTZ fund, Conférence de la Paix, cota F° rés 0223/29/20.

[1]Vasile Vese, Crina Capotă, Frontiere și identităţi în istoriografia românească, în Codrii Cosminului, 2005, 11, p. 163-170; Sorin Șipoș, Mircea Brie, Florin Sfrengeu, Ion Gumenâi, Frontierele spațiului românesc în context european, Editura Universității din Oradea, Editura Cartdidact din Chișinău, Oradea, Chișinău, 2008; Valer Moga, Frontierele Europei: istorie și actualitate, în Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Historica, 2015, 2/19, pp. 5-11. 

[2] Dicţionar explicativ al limbii române (DEX), Academia Română, Institutul de Lingvistică „Iorgu Iordan”, București, 1998, s. v. frontieră: din franţuzescul „frontière”, linie naturală sau convenţională care separă teritoriul unui stat de teritoriul altor state sau întinderi de apă care nu fac parte din teritoriul său.

[3] René Bustan, Les Relations roumano-hongroises dans la perspective de la construction européenne, Éditions Publibook, Paris, 2007, p. 182. 

[4] Ilie Bădescu, Tratat de geopolitică, vol. I, Editura Mica Valahie, București, 2004, pp. 229-231.

[5] Raularian Rusu, Organizarea spaţiului geografic în Banat, Editura Mirton, Timișoara, 2007, p. 168. 

[6] Adriana Babeţi, Le Banat: un Paradis aux confins dans Le Banat: un Eldorado aux confins, în Adriana Babeți, Cécile Kovacshazy (coord.), Culture d’Europe Centrale, Hors série nº 4, 2007, pp.18-23. 

[7] Dumitru Preda, Ioan Chiper, Alexandru Ghișa, România la Conferinţa de Pace de la Paris (1919-1920). Documente diplomatice. Vol. I, 1 decembrie 1918 – 28 iunie 1919, Editura Semne, București, 2010, p. 305.

[8]Vasile Vese, Crina Capotă, Frontiere și identităţi în istoriografia românească, în Codrii Cosminului, 2005, 11, p. 163-170; Sorin Șipoș, Mircea Brie, Florin Sfrengeu, Ion Gumenâi, Frontierele spațiului românesc în context european, Editura Universității din Oradea, Editura Cartdidact din Chișinău, Oradea, Chișinău, 2008; Valer Moga, Frontierele Europei: istorie și actualitate, în Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Historica, 2015, 2/19, pp. 5-11. 

[9] Dicţionar explicativ al limbii române (DEX), Academia Română, Institutul de Lingvistică „Iorgu Iordan”, București, 1998, s. v. frontieră: din franţuzescul „frontière”, linie naturală sau convenţională care separă teritoriul unui stat de teritoriul altor state sau întinderi de apă care nu fac parte din teritoriul său.

[10] René Bustan, Les Relations roumano-hongroises dans la perspective de la construction européenne, Éditions Publibook, Paris, 2007, p. 182. 

[11] Ilie Bădescu, Tratat de geopolitică, vol. I, Editura Mica Valahie, București, 2004, pp. 229-231.

[12] Raularian Rusu, Organizarea spaţiului geografic în Banat, Editura Mirton, Timișoara, 2007, p. 168. 

[13] Adriana Babeţi, Le Banat: un Paradis aux confins dans Le Banat: un Eldorado aux confins, în Adriana Babeți, Cécile Kovacshazy (coord.), Culture d’Europe Centrale, Hors série nº 4, 2007, pp.18-23. 

[14] Dumitru Preda, Ioan Chiper, Alexandru Ghișa, România la Conferinţa de Pace de la Paris (1919-1920). Documente diplomatice. Vol. I, 1 decembrie 1918 – 28 iunie 1919, Editura Semne, București, 2010, p. 305.

[15] Emmanuel Gonon, Fréderic Lasserre, Espaces et enjeux: méthodes d’une géopolitique critique, Paris, 2001, p. 321.

[16] Vasile Rămneanţu, Istoricul relaţiilor româno-iugoslave în perioada interbelică, Timișoara, Editura Mirton, 2006, p. 16. 

[17] Miodrag Ciurușchin, Relaţiile României cu Serbia în perioada 1903-1919, teză de doctorat susţinută la Universitatea de Vest Timișoara, Facultatea de Litere, Istorie și Teologie, Timișoara, 2009, coordonator știinţific prof. univ. dr. Ioan Munteanu, p. 550.
   Miodrag Ciurușchin, Romania’s relations with Serbia from 1903-1919, PhD thesis held at the University of the West of Timisoara, Faculty of Letters, History and Theology, Timisoara, 2009, scientific coordinator prof. dr. Ioan Munteanu, p. 550

[18] Românul, nr. 23, 11 februarie 1919, p. 5. 

[19] Notă de audienţă a lui Ion I.C. Brătianu, președinte al Consiliului de miniștri și ministru al Afacerilor Străine al României, șeful delegaţiei române la Conferinţa de pace de la Paris, la prinţul regent Alexandru al Serbiei, f. nr., 31 decembrie 1918/13 ianuarie 1919, Belgrad, doc. 105 în Dumitru Preda et alii, România la Conferinţa de Pace de la Paris (1919-1920). Documente diplomatice, vol I, 1 decembrie 1918-28 iunie 1919, Editura Semne, București, 2010, pp. 95-96. Gheorghe I. Brătianu, Acţiunea politică și militară a României în 1919 în lumina corespondenţei diplomatice a lui Ion I.C. Brătianu, Editura Corint, București, 2001, p. 33.
    Audience note of Ion I.C. Brătianu, President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania, head of the Romanian delegation at the Paris Peace Conference, Prince Regent Alexander of Serbia, no., December 31, 1918/13 January 1919, Belgrade, doc. 105 in Dumitru Preda et alii, Romania at the Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920). Diplomatic documents, vol I, December 1, 1918-28 June 1919, Editura Semne, București, 2010, p. 95-96. Gheorghe I. Brătianu, Acţiunea politică și militară a României în 1919 în lumina corespondenţei diplomatice a lui Ion I.C. Brătianu, Editura Corint, București, 2001, p. 33

[20] „Marea adunare din Şiria pentru Bănat”, Românul, nr 34 din 11 iunie 1919, p. 2.

[21] „Text of Military Convention between the Allies and Hungary, signed at Belgrade november 13, 1918”, The American Journal of International Law. Supplement: Official documents, 4, vol. 13, 1919, pp. 399-400. 

[22] Sébastien Serbesco, La Roumanie et la guerre, Librairie Armand Colin, Paris, 1918, p. 47.

[23]Ion Jianu, Soarta Banatului. Scrisoare către domnul N. Iorga, Românul, nr./no. 41, 16/29 decembrie/december 1918, p. 2. 

[24] Românul, nr./no. 41, 16/29 decembrie/december 1918, p. 1. 

[25] Ibidem.

[26] Ion Babeu, Din peripeţiile subsemnatului și ale colegilor.

[27] Un voluntar, Banatul sub ocupaţie sârbească, Almanahul Banatului, 1930, pp. 90-92.

[28] General Henri Mathias Berthelot, Jurnal și corespondenţă. 1916-1919, Editura Presa Universitară Clujeană, Cluj, 2000, p. 333. 

[29] General Radu R. Rosetti, Mărturisiri (1914-1919), Editura Modelism, București, 1997, p. 302. 

[30] Emmanuelle Boulineau, Un géographe traceur de frontières: Emmanuel de Martonne et la Roumanie, în L’Espace géographique, 2001, 4, p. 358.

[31] „Drepturile României asupra Banatului”, Românul, nr./no. 18, 23 ianuarie/january – 5 februarie/february 1919, p. 3. 

[32] Sébastien Serbesco, op. cit., p. 86. 

[33] Românul, nr./no. 15, 19 ianuarie/january – 1 februarie/february 1919, p. 4.

[34] Milenko Vesnitch, La Serbie à travers la guerre, Éditions Bossard, Paris, 1921, p. 109. 

[35] Victor Aelenei, Teoria juridică a frontierei, în Buletinul știinţific al Academiei Forţelor Terestre „Nicolae Bălcescu”, 2006, 11, 22, tome 2, apud Viorica Moisuc, Istoria relaţiilor internaţionale până la mijlocul secolului al XX-lea, Editura Fundaţiei „România de Mâine”, București, 2002, pp. 111-112. 

[36] Valer Moga, Interesele României și ale Serbiei în Banat. Dificultatea trasării unei frontiere între Aliați (1914-1920), în Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Historica, 2015, 1, p. 150. 

[37] Mihaela Bărbieru, Relaţiile militare româno-iugoslave între anii 1918-1923, în Arhivele Olteniei, S.N., 2010, 24, p. 154. 

[38] Muzeul Banatului din Timișoara, fond/fund Nicolae Ilieșiu, caiet/fascicle Timiș, Checea, p. 153.

[39] Idem, Partoș, pp. 485-486.


Study published in “Moving Fireplaces” book, 2019 edition

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