The black sheep of the land: bandits in the Polish borderlands, 1918 – 1925

Aleksandra Pomiecko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines banditry in the northeastern provinces of the Second Polish Republic after the First World War and into the mid-1920s. It considers the devastating effects of the war, which ravaged the territory, together with policies of the Polish state that contributed to an increase in bandit activity in the eastern borderland region. This work argues that banditry here worked as a multi-level system and thrived due to the involvement of multiple social actors—the bandits themselves, locals, state authorities, and foreign aid. Furthermore, this article pushes for an examination of bandits—not merely as social outcasts or misfits—but as an integral part of the communities they emerged from. More broadly, the focus on banditry contributes to scholarship dedicated to better understanding the aftermath of the First World War and continued conflict from the perspective of everyday people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-451
JournalJournal of Historical Sociology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


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