Back in the late 19th century, the infamous Galician poverty forced the Austro-Hungarian establishment to resolve the already raging issue. Since the Monarchy recently took control over Bosnia and Herzegovina as a “new territory”, Bosnian deserted villages with their arable and fertile land seemed like a decent alternative for Polish-Galician deeply impoverished peasants.
Broadly speaking, the settlement of Poles, Ukrainians (Greek-Catholics), Czechs, Slovaks, and Italians throughout Bosnia had a political mission. Serbian Orthodox Christian peasants were making a majority of all peasants in Bosnia. Being under the influence of the Serbian national movement, they represented a source of a possible threat for the Monarchy. Hence, settling a loyal, mainly Catholic, peasant class was notably important to strengthen the state influence in the Bosnian countryside.
We trace the Polish presence as of 1892, mainly in the area of North Bosnia and specifically around the town of Prnjavor. Amongst the peasant class, a certain number of Polish settlers were officers, doctors, engineers, and lawyers. They introduced a new homeland to use of chemical fertilizers, which were unknown before, and contributed Bosnian agriculture with industrial crops and developed beekeeping as well.
Speaking in numbers, according to 1910. census, roughly 11 thousand Poles lived in Bosnia. 20 years afterwards, their population tripled to 30 thousand. Prnjavor district abounded with the Polish population, compared to some other places in North Bosnia where they also lived.