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In 1924, Rijeka belonged to the independent Free State of Fiume, which had been created four years earlier under the Treaty of Rapallo, but in the Treaty of Rome the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes and Italy agreed to dissolve the free state. Instead Fiume was annexed to Italy as the Province of Fiume, and Sušak remained with the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, but with joint administration of the port facilities.
In her 1941 travel book, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, Rebecca West dedicates a chapter to "Sushak" (sic). At the moment of the writing the city was a separate town from Fiume, as described above. Of the border area, she writes, "There we found a town that has the quality of a dream, a bad headachy dream. ...And at places where no frontiers could possibly be, in the middle of a square, or on a bridge linking the parts of a quay, men in uniform step forward and demand passports..."
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