Have you ever heard of the Banat Republic? No, not Banana Republic. Banat. We bet you haven't. And yet, it was a country. Sort of. In Europe. For a good four months. Sort of.
One of the effects of World War I was the dissolution of Austria-Hungary into, well, Austria and Hungary. New countries emerged from the rubble as well: Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. And then there was Banat, squeezed between Hungary, Romania, and Serbia.
The idea had merit: Banat was a melting pot of Hungarians, Romanians, and Serbs, together with a swabbing of Jews and Swabians. As the past century has shown us, much trouble has been brought by hastily-drawn borders that separate ethnicities without historical regard. Why divide when you can unite?
So, on October 31, 1918, the Banat Republic was proclaimed, with Otto Roth, a socialist Jew with both Hungarian and Romanian roots, in charge. Alas, only Hungary recognized the Banats. In a month, it was occupied by Serbia. In January, France intervened, trying to prevent war between Serbia and Romania. By February 20, 1919, the Banat Republic was no more, divided between three of its neighbors.
Considering how unification worked out long-term in Czechoslovakia and especially Yugoslavia, perhaps it was for the best...