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2009 | 52 | 1(205) | 33-52
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LOCAL STRUCTURES OF THE POLISH LIQUIDATION COMMISSION (1918-1919) (Struktury powiatowe Polskiej Komisji Likwidacyjnej 1918-1919)

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This article, based on documents from the Central Archives of the History of Ukraine in Lviv (Lwów), examines the process of forming the interim Polish administration in Western Galicia in the last days of October and first days of November 1918. The Polish Liquidation Commission was established in Cracow (Kraków) on 28 October 1918. Its task was to take over the administration of Galicia from the Austrians and run it until the central government in Warsaw would be ready to take charge. The outbreak of Polish-Ukrainian conflict in the eastern part of the former Austrian province forced the Commission to narrow down its operations to the territory of Western Galicia. In the counties (powiaty) of Western Galicia the handover took place smoothly, and in some cases even before the official resignation of the local Austrian authority. The new Polish administration usually emerged quite spontaneously and constituted itself under one of two names, County Liquidation Commission or the National County Committee. As a rule the latter tended to be quite large, with membership running into dozens, which made such a body exceptionally cumbersome. Consequently, it became clear that the problem of installing Polish administration on the local level needed a different solution. It was supplied, in the event, by the Polish Liquidation Commission on 5 November 1918. The two-tier system of state and local (self-rule) administration was merged and each county was to be governed on behalf of the PLC by a commissar. The following day the appointments were announced for all the counties except Przemysl and Lesko. In their work the commissars were to be assisted by councils whose remit was to 'advise and supervise'. The original grassroot committees faded away soon after the new system was put in place.
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