By defining a new border between the former kingdoms of Italy and Yugoslavia after the First World War, our towns suddenly turned into a border region, which initiated the activity that has always thrived near borders: smuggling. The border ran directly along this area and the main smuggling routes to Italy led over the Javorniki hills.
Smuggling brought good profit to many, but for many it was a way of getting cheaper Yugoslav flour and, thus, a bit bigger loaf of bread on the table. Naturally, Italian authorities did not tolerate the activity and controls along the border were very common. However, there were also cases when a member of the Italian Royal Finance Guard, disapprovingly called financar, was found hanging from one leg on a treetop. While looking for smugglers in the woods, he would step into a loop which they had attached to a bended tree.
On few occasions, smugglers, locally called kontrabantarji, were also captured because of the snitches from this side of the border. When caught, they faced fines, prison, and, in some cases, even death. And yet, all these measures never succeeded in putting a stop on smuggling in the region.
|SMUGGLED FROM YUGOSLAVIA:
|horses, meat, flour, cigarettes, wood
|WANTED ITALIAN PRODUCTS:
|sugar, rice, cofeee, wine, silk scarves, ladies' umbrellas
|until the beginning of World War II