Hovudpersonen

The Good Soldier Švejk

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Franz Ferdinand and Sophie leave the Sarajevo Town Hall, five minutes before the assassination, 28 June 1914.

The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk is a novel with an unusually rich array of characters. In addition to the many who directly form part of the plot, a large number of fictive and real people (and animals) are mentioned; either through Švejk's anecdotes, the narrative or indirectly through words and expressions.

This web page contains short write-ups on the persons the novel refers to; from Napoléon in the introduction to captain Ságner in the last few lines of the unfinished Book Four. The list is sorted in to the order of which the names first appear. The chapter headlines are from Zenny K. Sadlon's recent translation and will in most cases differ from Cecil Parrott's version from 1973. In January 2014 there were still around twenty entries to be added.

  • The quotes in Czech are copied from the on-line version of the novel provided by Jaroslav Šerák and contain links to the relevant chapter
  • The tool-bar has links for direct access to Wikipedia, Google search and Švejk on-line

The names are colored according to their role in the novel, illustrated by the following examples: Doctor Grünstein who is directly involved in the plot, Heinrich Heine as a historical person, and Ferdinand Kokoška as an invented person. Note that a number of seemingly fictive characters are modelled after very real living persons. See for instance Lukáš and Wenzl.

>> The Good Soldier Švejk index of people mentioned in the novel (585) Show all
>> I. In the rear
>> II. At the front
>> III. The famous thrashing
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

1. The good soldier Švejk acts to intervene in the world war

Erzherzog Franz Ferdinandnn flag
*18.12.1863 Graz - †28.6.1914 Sarajevo
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Franz Ferdinand was the Ferdinand Švejk did not know. The novel starts with Mrs. Müllerová telling Švejk that "they have killed our Ferdinand". Švejk knows two Ferdinands; one is a servant at a chemists and another one collects dog turds. Not until Mrs. Müllerová reveals that it is the fat religious one from Konopiště do we understand that she is a talking about the fateful assassination of Sarajevo.

Background

Franz Ferdinand was a nephew of emperor Franz Joseph I and from 1896 to 1914 heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. He was murdered in Sarajevo in 1914 together with his wife Sophie, an event that led to the outbreak of World War I. His full name was Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria von Österreich-Este. He owned Konopiště castle where the family spent much of their time.

Franz Ferdinand's political views where relatively liberal; he was against preventive warfare against Serbia and he advocated making Austria-Hungary a three-pillar federal state where the Slav nations were put on an equal footing with Germans and Hungarians.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Tak nám zabili Ferdinanda,“ řekla posluhovačka panu Švejkovi, který opustiv před léty vojenskou službu, když byl definitivně prohlášen vojenskou lékařskou komisí za blba, živil se prodejem psů, ošklivých nečistokrevných oblud, kterým padělal rodokmeny.
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Also written:Ferdinand Hašek František Ferdinand cz Ferenc Ferdinánd hu

Paní Müllerovánn flag
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Müllerová was a servant in the house where Švejk lived. The first dialogue in the novel is between the two, they discuss the news of the shots in Sarajevo where Franz Ferdinand and his wife were murdered by Serb nationalists. She had read about the shootings in the paper so the conversation surely took place on 29 June 1914 (the evening papers from the previous day were printed before the news arrived).

Müllerová is subsequently not mentioned again until Švejk was set free in [I.6]. Then his room had already rented out to someone else.

The next chapter boasts the famous scene where old Mrs Müllerová pushes Švejk to the military in a wheelchair. The last time the good soldier is at home [I.10] he discovers that the poor old lady had been arrested the very evening she had rolled him off to the draft board and she was now in the concentration camp at Steinhof.

Background

The name may have been derived from Marie Müllerová, a friend of editor Michal Kacha, one of Hašek's companions from the anarchist movement (Radko Pytlík). Another theory is that the name is borrowed from Marie Müllerová, allegedly a brothel madam next door to U kalicha (Jan Berwid-Buquoy). But there were many Müller's around in Prague at the time (7537 entries in the police registers between 1850 og 1914, of them 531 on Marie alone), so there is scope for endless speculation.

Müllerová is not part of the two early versions of Švejk, but in Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí her role is partly taken by Švejk's servant Bohuslav who pushes his master off to the draft board in a wheelchair. This indicates that Müllerová is little more than a name assigned to a literary role.

Links

Source: Radko Pytlík, Jan Berwid-Buquoy

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Tak nám zabili Ferdinanda,“ řekla posluhovačka panu Švejkovi, který opustiv před léty vojenskou službu, když byl definitivně prohlášen vojenskou lékařskou komisí za blba, živil se prodejem psů, ošklivých nečistokrevných oblud, kterým padělal rodokmeny. Kromě tohoto zaměstnání byl stižen rheumatismem a mazal si právě kolena opodeldokem. „Kerýho Ferdinanda, paní Müllerová?“ otázal se Švejk, nepřestávaje si masírovat kolena, „já znám dva Ferdinandy.
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Ferdinandnn flag
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Ferdinand was a servant at Drogerie Průša and drank a bottle of hair oil by mistake. He was the first Ferdinand Švejk knew. See Drogerie Kokoška.

Background

Ferdinand is probably modelled on a colleague of the author from his time as a chemist's apprentice in 1898 and 1899. He frequently mentions a Ferdinand in his collection of stories "From the old pharmacy". In these stories the owner of the pharmacy is a certain Kološka, not Průša. See Drogerie Kokoška.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Kerýho Ferdinanda, paní Müllerová?“ otázal se Švejk, nepřestávaje si masírovat kolena, „já znám dva Ferdinandy. Jednoho, ten je sluhou u drogisty Průši a vypil mu tam jednou omylem láhev nějakého mazání na vlasy, a potom znám ještě Ferdinanda Kokošku, co sbírá ty psí hovínka. Vobou není žádná škoda.“
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Průša, Františeknn flag
*Votice 17.10.1862 - †Král. Vinohrady 22.5.1915
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prusa2.png

Národní politika, 27.9.1902

prusa1.png

Adresář královského hlavního města Prahy, 1910

Průša was the owner of the chemist's store where Ferdinand was an assistant.

Background

Průša was the owner of a pharmacy Drogerie Průša at Tylovo náměstí in Královské Vinohrady. Jaroslav Hašek worked here as an apprentice from March 1898 (or later) until September 1899. Exactly when he started is not known, but it happened after he had been dismissed at Drogerie Kokoška.

The pharmacist was born in Votice in 1862, was married to Mathilde (b. 1872) and they had the son Rudolf. The family moved to Královské Vinohrady in 1893. Otherwise we know little about him but newspaper adverts reveal that his store existed at least until 1915, the year Průša died. In 1916 Čech reported that his widow had been the victim of fraud, but that the culprit had been arrested and sentenced to 5 months in prison. From the death protocols it transpires that Průša died from a brain stroke, that he suffered from diabetes and lived at Vinohrady čp. 603 when he passed away.

Adverts from a chemist's Fr. Průsa appeared already in 1890 but then from Kamenice nad Lipou. That said there is no doubt that this Průša is the same person as police registers reveal that the son Rudolf was born in the very Kamenice in 1893.

Průša is the first of countless examples of how the author pulled in fragments from his own experiences to create the backdrop for the novel. Even Průša who appears to be a fictive person, is drawn from real life. This is probably the case with most of the apparently fictional figures in the novel. Their role might have been distorted or mystified but the names were rarely thought up.

Links

SourceRadko Pytlík, Jaroslav Šerák

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Jednoho, ten je sluhou u drogisty Průši a vypil mu tam jednou omylem láhev nějakého mazání na vlasy, a potom znám ještě Ferdinanda Kokošku, co sbírá ty psí hovínka. Vobou není žádná škoda.“
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Also written:Pruscha de

Kokoška, Ferdinandnn flag
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Kokoška collected dog turds. He was the second Ferdinand that Švejk knew.

Background

This name is surely inspired by the identically named Kokoška, the author's boss at Drogerie Kokoška in 1898. Hašek was reportedly dismissed here after repainting the face of a cow so it resembled the proprietor. Here the author makes further fun of him by letting him collect dog turds.

Source: Václav Menger

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Jednoho, ten je sluhou u drogisty Průši a vypil mu tam jednou omylem láhev nějakého mazání na vlasy, a potom znám ještě Ferdinanda Kokošku, co sbírá ty psí hovínka. Vobou není žádná škoda.“
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Herzogin Sophie Chotek von Chotkowann flag
*1.3.1868 Stuttgart - †28.6.1914 Sarajevo
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Sophie is never mentioned by name in the novel, just referred to as "the archduchess who was riding in an automobile i Sarajevo with her archduke". Švejk was obviously not aware that she also had been killed as the talks about her as the widow who will have to find another archduke, an even fatter one.

Background

Sophie was a Bohemian noble lady, married to the heir to the Austrian and Hungarian thrones, Franz Ferdinand. She was killed in Sarajevo together with her husband. Sophie was never accepted by the Habsburg imperial family due to her non-royal background. The children of Sophie and Franz Ferdinand therefore had no rights in succession to the throne. Her full name was Sophie Maria Josephine Albina Gräfin Chotek von Chotkowa und Wognin.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Práskli ho v Sarajevu, milostpane, z revolveru, vědí. Jel tam s tou svou arcikněžnou v automobilu.“ „Tak se podívejme, paní Müllerová, v automobilu. Jó, takovej pán si to může dovolit, a ani nepomyslí, jak taková jízda automobilem může nešťastně skončit.
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Also written:Žofie Chotková cz Sophie Chotek von Chotkowa de Chotek Zsófia hu

Godnn flag
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gud.jpg

God as Michelangelo imagined him.

God is first referred to by Švejk when he states to Mrs Müllerová that the Archduke Ferdinand now rests with God, obviously referring to the Christian God. God is mentioned on numerous occasions in the novel, often through expletives like Himmelherrgott!.

The pious field chaplain in [I.12] mentions the Lord an impressive three times in the same breath, albeit under the influence.

Background

God is a mythical figure from the Bible and the Qur'an and is the most important symbol in the three monotheistic world religions of Semitic origin: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The word "God" can also have a more general meaning, including polytheistic religions like the old Nordic Ásatrú.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Tak se podívejme, paní Müllerová, v automobilu. Jó, takovej pán si to může dovolit, a ani nepomyslí, jak taková jízda automobilem může nešťastně skončit. A v Sarajevu k tomu, to je v Bosně, paní Müllerová. To asi udělali Turci. My holt jsme jim tu Bosnu a Hercegovinu neměli brát. Tak vida, paní Müllerová. On je tedy pan arcivévoda už na pravdě boží. Trápil se dlouho?“
[I.12] "Já mám pánaboha rád," ozval se nábožný polní kurát, začínaje škytat, "moc ho mám rád. Dejte mně trochu vína. - Já si pánaboha vážím," pokračoval potom, "moc si ho vážím a ctím. Nikoho si tak nevážím jako jeho." Uhodil pěstí do stolu, až láhve poskočily: "Bůh je vznešená povaha, cosi nadpozemského.
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Also written:Bůh cz Gott de Gud nn

Kaiser Franz Joseph Inn flag
*18.8.1830 Wien - †21.11.1916 Wien
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franzjoseph.jpg

Franz Joseph soiled by flies. The picture is a gift from John Rocarek, Zenny Sadlon, and Mary Keenan Sadlon. Cedar Rapids (Iowa), 30 August 2014.

Franz Joseph I is mentioned in the first chapter, referred to as "His Imperial Highness" but is crops up several times later in the novel with his real name. He was the theme of the discussion at U kalicha after Palivec revealed that the flies had shitted on his portrait.

Background

Franz Joseph I was emperor of Austria and from the Ausgleich (Vienna Accord) in 1867 also crowned king of Hungary. His reign lasted from 1848 to 1916 and is the third longest in European history. He ascended the throne when he was 18 years old, after the revolution of 1848. He was regarded as very conservative during his first period in power. The young emperor was initially unpopular and in 1853 he survived an attempt on his life. The next year he married his cousin, Elisabeth (Sisi). They had four children.

The emperor suffered a number of personal tragedies: the oldest daughter died when she was two, his brother Maximillian (see Maximiliano I) was executed in Mexico, his son and heir Rudolf committed suicide, and in 1914 his nephew Franz Ferdinand was murdered in Sarajevo. The emperor was quite unpopular amongst Czechs as he refused to be crowned as king of Bohemia.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „To se samo sebou rozumí, paní Müllerová,“ řekl Švejk, konče masírování kolen, „kdybyste chtěla zabít pana arcivévodu, nebo císaře pána, tak byste se jistě s někým poradila.
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Also written:Francis Joseph I Parrot František Josef I/Franz Josef I Sadlon František Josef I cz Franjo Josip I hr I. Ferenc József hu Franciszek Józef I pl František Jozef I sk Franc Jožef I sl Франц Йосиф I ua

Lucheni, Luiginn flag
*22.4.1873 Paris - †19.10.1910 Genève
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Lucheni is mentioned by Švejk in conversations with Mrs Müllerová when he reveals his knowledge on royal murders.

Background

Lucheni was a French-born anarchist of Italian descent who lived most of his life in Switzerland. He murdered empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary in Geneva in 1898. He was sentenced to life for this (Switzerland had abolished the death penalty) and later committed suicide in prison. The name is often written Luccheni, which is also used by Hašek.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Hlavní věcí je vyčíhat na ten moment, až takovej pán jede kolem. Jako, jestli se pamatujou, na toho pana Luccheniho, co probod naši nebožku Alžbětu tím pilníkem. Procházel se s ní.
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Also written:Luccheni Hašek

Kaiserin Elisabethnn flag
*24.12.1837 München - †10.9.1898 Genève
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Elisabeth is mentioned by Švejk when he is reeling off for Müllerová his list of royal murders. He states directly who killed here, and how.

Background

Elisabeth was empress of Austria, queen of Hungary, also called Sissi, unhappily married to emperor Franz Joseph I. She was killed in Geneva by the anarchist Lucheni. Her full name was Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie, Herzogin in Bayern.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Hlavní věcí je vyčíhat na ten moment, až takovej pán jede kolem. Jako, jestli se pamatujou, na toho pana Luccheniho, co probod naši nebožku Alžbětu tím pilníkem. Procházel se s ní.
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Also written:Alžběta cz Erzsébet hu

Tsar Nicholas IInn flag
*18.5.1868 Sankt-Peterburg - †17.7.1918 Jekaterinburg
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nikolaj1.png

Národní listy, 18.3.1917

Nicholas II is mentioned by Švejk when he is reeling off for Mrs Müllerová his list of royal murders, and says it may even happen to the Tsar and the Tsarevna.

Background

Nicholas II was a tsar of the Romanov dynasty and the last monarch of Russia. His reign lasted from 1894 to 1917 when he was forced to step down after the February Revolution (March 15). He was from September 1915 commander-in-chief of Russia's armed forces after replacing his cousin Nicholas Nikolaevich. On 17 July 1917 he and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks, an event which is regarded as one of the most significant political murders in recent history.

Nicholas was regarded a weak and inept ruler, but has since 1990 seen a certain post-mortem rehabilitation. He was officially buried in 1998 and in 2000 he was declared a saint by the Russian-Orthodox church.

A paradox is that Jaroslav Hašek in 1916 and 1917 advocated czarist rule and even proposed that a Romanov prince ascend the Czech throne after the foreseen victory in the war and the subsequent break-up of Austria-Hungary.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] A vono to čeká ještě moc osob. A uvidějí, paní Müllerová, že se dostanou i na toho cara s carevnou, a může být, nedej pánbůh, i na císaře pána, když už to začli s jeho strýcem. Von má, starej pán, moc nepřátel.
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Also written:Mikuláš II cz Nikolaus II de Николай II ru

Tsaritsa Alexandrann flag
*6.6.1872 Darmstadt - †17.7.1917 Jekaterinburg
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Alexandra is mentioned by Švejk when he is reeling off for Müllerová his list of royal murders, and says it may even happen to the Tsar and the Tsarevna. The good soldier's prophecy was proven true little more than three years later.

Background

Alexandra was empress of Russia from 1894 to 1917, married to tsar Nicholas II. She was executed together with her family in Yekaterinburg (Екатеринбу́рг) on 17 July 1917.

Geboren: Victoria Alix Helena Louise Beatrice von Hessen und bei Rhein.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] A vono to čeká ještě moc osob. A uvidějí, paní Müllerová, že se dostanou i na toho cara s carevnou, a může být, nedej pánbůh, i na císaře pána, když už to začli s jeho strýcem. Von má, starej pán, moc nepřátel.
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Also written:Alix de Александра ru

Browning, John Mosesnn flag
*21.1.1855 Ogden - †26.11.1926 Liège
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browning.jpg

The weapon that killed Franz Ferdinand.

Browning is mentioned through his pistol-brand when Švejk explains for Mrs. Müllerová what he would have used if he was to kill an archduke.

Background

Browning was an American firearms designer. He made pistols, rifles, shotguns and machine-guns. Franz Ferdinand was killed with a Belgian-made Browning semi-automatic pistol (FN Model 1910).

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „To jde náramně rychle, paní Müllerová, strašně rychle. Já bych si na takovou věc koupil brovnink. Vypadá to jako hračka, ale můžete s tím za dvě minuty postřílet dvacet arcivévodů, hubenejch nebo tlustejch.
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Rei Carlos Inn flag
*28.9.1863 Lisboa - †1.2.1908 Lisboa
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Carlos I is mentioned indirectly by Švejk when he explains for Mrs Müllerová what he would have used if he was to kill an archduke. To kill a fat dignitary like the king of Portugal, a good weapon like a Browning was needed (Carlos I was actually killed by rifle shots, and had become quite fat in his later years).

Background

Carlos I was king of Portugal from 1889 until he was murdered by republican activists in 1908. Portugal went bankrupt twice during his lifetime, including once during his reign, in 1902.

Nome completo: Carlos Fernando Luís Maria Vítor Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Francisco de Assis José Simão de Bragança Sabóia Bourbon Saxe-Coburgo-Gotha.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Ačkoliv, mezi námi řečeno, paní Müllerová, že do tlustýho arcivévody se trefíte jistějc než do hubenýho. Jestli se pamatujou, jak tenkrát v Portugalsku si postříleli toho svýho krále. Byl taky takovej tlustej. To víte, že král nebude přece hubenej.
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Princip, Gavrilonn flag
*25.7.1894 Obljaj - †28.4.1918 Terezín
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Princip is mentioned indirectly by Švejk and Müllerová when they discuss those who carried out the killings in Sarajevo.

Background

Princip was one of the assassins who took part in the plot to kill Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28 1914. Princip and the complices were trained by and acted on orders from the Serb nationalist group The Black Hand which had it's origin in the Serb armed forces. Their principal goal was to join all Serb-populated territories in a greater Serbia.

It was Princip who fired the lethal bullets after several attempts had failed in the preceding minutes. Princip unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide and was immediately arrested. The trial took place in late 1914 and he was convicted to life imprisonment and died in jail already in 1918. So he never lived to see the greater Serbia that Yugoslavia in many ways became.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Já si představuju, že se pan arcivévoda Ferdinand také v tom Sarajevu zmejlil v tom člověkovi, co ho střelil. Viděl nějakého pána a myslil si: To je nějakej pořádnej člověk, když mně volá slávu. A zatím ho ten pán bouch. Dal mu jednu nebo několik?“
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Also written:Гаврило Принцип sr

Detektiv Bretschneidernn flag
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Bretschneider was an undercover agent working for the state police. He met Švejk at U kalicha and tried to trick him and the host Palivec into compromising themselves in connection with the Sarajevo murders. He succeeded in both cases. We hear about Bretschneider for the last time in [I.6] when Švejk has been released after his arrest. This time he did not get anyone on the hook, and the author sends him out of the story in the most miserable manner by revealing that the detective was devoured by the very dogs he had bought from Švejk. Bretschneider is the only person taking part in the plot who explicitly gets killed.

Background

Bretschneider is probably modelled on a real person in K.u.k. Staatspolizei in Prague. Jaroslav Hašek was kept an eye on due to his connection with the anarchist movement and he knew many in the police force. Emil Artur Longen claims that the real Bretschneider was a certain Václav Spanda, and that he and Hašek had met in Berlin in 1920 (unlikely). In Longen's book Spanda explains the connection in detail.

A more likely model is Hynex "Alexandr" Mašek who tried to infiltrate the anarchist movement on several occasions, and was explicitly named in Hašek's story Po stopách státní policie v Praze. Her it is revealed that Mašek was a double-agent amongst the Czech emigrees in Russia, and the article led to Mašek's arrest and subsequent execution. Perhaps Jaroslav Hašek alludes to his execution when he lets Bretschneider be eaten by his own dogs?

The name Bretschneider may have several sources: the policeman Josef Brettschneider who lived in Košíře at the same time as Hašek, or the sculptor Vladimír Bretschneider who was a friend of the author. A certain Karel Bretschneider was a policeman who lived in Kinského tř. 31 Smíchov in 1891, but the start and end of his active duty is not known.

Radko Pytlík: Kniha o Švejkovi, s.146: Policejní strážník Josef Brettschneider, uveden ve statu pražské policie roku 1910, bydlel v Košířích č. 177, tedy v rajónu Světa zvířat; sochař Vladimír Bretschneider byl jedním z blízkých Haškových kamarádů.

Links

SourceRadko Pytlík, Břetislav Hůla (LA PNP)

Quote from the novel
[1.1] V hospodě „U kalicha“ seděl jen jeden host. Byl to civilní strážník Bretschneider, stojící ve službách státní policie.
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Hostinský Palivecnn flag
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Palivec was landlord at the pub U kalicha and known for his foul mouth. He was also a man who had read a lot without this having refined his language the slightest. He was arrested by detective Bretschneider, having uttered an unfortunate sentence about flies shitting on a portrait of the Emperor. For this he got 10 years hard labour

The epilogue to Part one reveals that he served his sentence until the end of the war. In the same epilogue the author presents Palivec as a symbol of his right to reproduce things as they were told, without having to embellish it to placate the more sensitive part of the readership or to satisfy the demands for decent language in literature.

On biographical details it is revealed that Palivec was married and his wife worked in the bar, that he had served with the army in Bosnia, and that he symptahised with the organisation Volná myšlenka (Free Thought).

Background

Palivec quite probably has a real-life model. In 1989 Jan Berwid-Buquoy claimed that this person was was Václav Šmíd who is reported to have been landlord at U kalicha in 1914 and was known for his rough language. The same source claims that a Josef Palivec was a waiter there at the time.

Radko Pytlík finds it more likely that a certain Josef Šolc was the inspiration for the Palivec character. Šolc was landlord at a pub nearby, on the corner of Sokolská ulice and Fügnerovo nám and this was a place the author knew well.

What is beyond doubt is that the landlord at U kalicha in 1912 was Vilém Juris, and that two Václav Šmíd's were landlords elsewhere (in 2011 Berwid-Buquoy "changed" the landlord's name to Josef Šmída), that he ran the pub together with Vilém Jurisch, who allegdely died in the spring of 1914. Police registers show up 180 entries on Palivec from 1850 to 1914 so there are plenty of candidates. Juris was according to police registers born in 1871 but the date of this death can't be confirmed.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] V hospodě „U kalicha“ seděl jen jeden host. Byl to civilní strážník Bretschneider, stojící ve službách státní policie. Hostinský Palivec myl tácky a Bretschneider se marně snažil navázat s ním vážný rozhovor. Palivec byl známý sprosťák, každé jeho druhé slovo byla zadnice nebo hovno. Přitom byl ale sečtělý a upozorňoval každého, aby si přečetl, co napsal o posledním předmětě Victor Hugo, když líčil poslední odpověď staré gardy Napoleona Angličanům v bitvě u Waterloo.
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Hugo, Victornn flag
*28.2.1802 Besançon - †22.5.1885 Paris
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Hugo was an author Palivec had read and liked to quote. Palivec put forward Hugo in defence of his vulgar language. Indirectly he referred to a passage in "Les Misérables" where the famous "mot de Cambronne", which is connected to Napoleon's old guard in the battle of Waterloo, is quoted. General Cambronne is said to have given this simple answer to General Colville when the latter insisted he surrender: "Merde!".

Background

Hugo was a French author and politician who published poetry, drama and novels. In France he is regarded as one of the country's leading poets. His most famous novel is probably "Les Misérables". Hugo was also a political activist and was forced into exile for a number of years. After his return in 1870 he was elected member of the Senate. He was also known as an advocate of human rights.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Palivec byl známý sprosťák, každé jeho druhé slovo byla zadnice nebo hovno. Přitom byl ale sečtělý a upozorňoval každého, aby si přečetl, co napsal o posledním předmětě Victor Hugo, když líčil poslední odpověď staré gardy Napoleona Angličanům v bitvě u Waterloo.
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Lazarus was mentioned in a dialogue when Švejk told Bretschneider that he was tied up like Lazarus for two days after having got arrested with 20 buttons missing on his uniform.

Background

Lazarus was the name of two persons from the new testament. One of them was a pauper in St. Lucas' gospel, mentioned in a parable. The second one was Lazarus of Bethany, brother of Martha and Mary and who was very close to Jesus. It was this Lazarus that Jesus resurrected, and almost certainly the one Švejk had in mind.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Jednou se pamatuji, že mně scházelo při takové přehlídce dvacet knoflíků u munduru a že mě zavřeli za to na čtrnáct dní do ajnclíku a dva dni jsem ležel jako lazar, svázanej do kozelce.
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Also written:Lazar cz Lazarus de

Oberleutnant Makovecnn flag
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Makovec was one of Švejk's superiors when he did national service. Švejk refers to him as obrlajtnant Makovec (senior lieutenant) and portrays him as a nasty brute and a fanatic disciplinarian. One of the best known quotes from the novel stems from Makovec: "Discipline must be enforced, you stupid boys".

Background

Makovec is in Jan Werich's recital for some reason mentioned as Michal Makovec.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Náš obrlajtnant Makovec, ten nám vždycky říkal: ,Disciplina, vy kluci pitomí, musí bejt, jinak byste lezli jako vopice po stromech, ale vojna z vás udělá lidi, vy blbouni pitomí? A není to pravda? Představte si park, řekněme na Karláku, a na každým stromě jeden voják bez discipliny. Z toho jsem vždycky měl největší strach.“
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Ludvík, Břetislavnn flag
*31.7.1882 Praha - †6.12.1956 Praha
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Ludvík was a cattle trader who, according to one of Švejk's numerous and long anecdotes, was stabbed on the square in Budějovice. This story associated cattle traders with the imperial family and contributed greatly to Švejk's arrest by Bretschneider.

Background

The name is borrowed from a journalist and multi-artist, in police records from 1913 registered as "Schauspieler" (actor). He was one of Hašek's childhood friends, and in 1946 he published a short book Kdo je Jaroslav Hašek in the series Who is. Here he admits to being angry with the way his name was abused and also that he briefly met Jaroslav Hašek in 1922.

One of the more imaginative claims in Ludvík's book is that Hašek met Benito Mussolini in Trento and the historian Renzo de Felice even suggests that this inspired the latter's interest in Jan Hus. Believe it if you like to … The story is inherited from Václav Menger who dates the meeting to 1906 and quotes Josef Mach as a source.

Ludvík is a good example of how the author borrowed names from a person that has nothing in common with the corresponding literary character.

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Quote from the novel
[1.1] U nás před léty v Budějovicích probodli na trhu v nějaké takové malé hádce jednoho obchodníka s dobytkem, nějakého Břetislava Ludvíka.
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Ludvík, Bohuslavnn flag
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Police registration 1911

Ludvík was the son of Ludvík in Švejk's anecdote about cattle traders. He committed suicide by jumping in the Vltava from a bridge. See Most v Krumlově.

Background

Only one single person carried this name according to the Prague police registers (1850 to 1914). He was born in 1883 and resident in Nusle in 1904. He was the same age as Jaroslav Hašek, and the author knew the area well but there exists no knowledge of any contact between the two.

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Quote from the novel
[1.1] U nás před léty v Budějovicích probodli na trhu v nějaké takové malé hádce jednoho obchodníka s dobytkem, nějakého Břetislava Ludvíka. Ten měl syna Bohuslava, a kam přišel prodávat prasata, nikdo od něj nic nekoupil a každý říkal: ,To je syn toho probodnutýho, to bude asi také pěknej lump.’ Musel skočit v Krumlově s toho mostu do Vltavy a museli ho vytáhnout, museli ho křísit, museli z něho pumpovat vodu a von jim musel skonat v náručí lékaře, když mu dal nějakou injekci.“
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A typical gamekeeper from Zliv

Pinďour was a game keeper from Zliv. He figured in an inappropriate anecdote that Švejk told Bretschneider in U kalicha. In this story water bailiffs and pig gelders are subtly compared to the imperial family. Pinďour was shot by poachers. He had an ugly name according to Švejk. The name actually means "little dick" but this is for obvious reasons not directly stated in the novel. The gamekeeper was shot by poachers and left behind the very widow who this anecdote is constructed around.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] To byl ve Zlivi u Hluboké před léty jeden hajný, měl takové ošklivé jméno Pinďour.
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Also written:Pinscher Reiner

Šavel, Pepíknn flag
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Šavel was a gamekeeper from Mydlovary in the anecdote Švejk told at U kalicha (see Pinďour). He got married to the widow of Pinďour, and was like him shot by poachers. The analogy towards the killings of Sarajevo didn't serve Švejk well at all.

Background

Pepík is a Czech nickname for Josef.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] To byl ve Zlivi u Hluboké před léty jeden hajný, měl takové ošklivé jméno Pinďour. Zastřelili ho pytláci a zůstala po něm vdova s dvěma dítkami a vzala si za rok opět hajného, Pepíka Šavlovic z Mydlovar. A zastřelili jí ho taky.
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Also written:Pepi Schawlowitz Reiner Rohwolt (2001) Schewla-Pepi Reiner (Aufbau 2009)

The prince at Hlubokánn flag
*18.3.1832 Wien - †5.10.1914 Libějovice
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The prince at Hluboká is mentioned in Švejk's anecdote about the widow of the gamekeepers who turns up at the prince's office at Hluboká nad Vltavou to ask for advice.

Background

The prince at Hluboká is possibly Adolf Joseph Schwarzenberg, the 8th Prince of Schwarzenberg and a major landowner in South Bohemia. Another candidate is his son Johann II (1860-1938) as both were alive at the time the event is said to have taken place ("years ago"). They also held the title Duke of Krumlov, another of the Schwarzenberg estates.

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Quote from the novel
[1.1] To se ví, že jí ho zas zastřelili, a to už měla s těmi hajnými šest dětí dohromady. Byla až v kanceláři knížete pána na Hluboké a stěžovala si, že má s těmi hajnými trápení.
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Also written:Kníže na Hluboké cz Der Fürst in Hluboká de

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Národní listy, 2.10.1889

Jareš was a pond warden from Ražická bašta in a story Švejk told at U kalicha. He was married to the widow of Pinďour and Šavel but drowned when fishing empty a pond. The widow finally married a pig gelder from Vodňany but was killed by him. The pig gelder uttered the most unsavoury phrases about the Emperor as he was hung in Písek. This anecdote surely contributed to Švejk's arrest.

Background

Antonín Jareš (1806-1889) was the grandfather of Jaroslav Hašek and a pond warden by Ražice. The name is re-used on three occasions later in the novel; once in Švejk's conversation with colonel Kraus's maid, and twice in an anecdote told at Švarcenberský ovčín.

Grandfather Jareš lived the last few years of his life with his daughter's family in Prague, and here he got to know his famous-to-be grandson. There is no doubt that he inspired both the names in this novel, as well as the seven stories centred around Ražická bašta that were published in Veselá Praha in 1908.

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Quote from the novel
[1.1] Tak jí odporučili porybnýho Jareše ražické bašty. A co byste řekli, utopili jí ho při lovení rybníka, a měla s ním dvě děti.
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Kronprinz Rudolfnn flag
*21.08.1858 Laxenburg - †30.01.1889 Mayerling
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Rudolf was mentioned by Švejk as he in front of Bretschneider reeled off the personal tragedies the emperor Franz Joseph had suffered in his lifetime.

Background

Rudolf was crown prince and heir to the thrones of Austria-Hungary and the only son of Franz Joseph I and Elisabeth. He committed suicide together with his lover Maria Vetsera at Mayerling castle outside Vienna. Rudolf suffered from strong depressions but there is still some debate over whether it really was suicide. The death certificate mentions "spiritual confusion." The drama of Mayerling has been filmed many times, including in a French/British production from 1968 with Omar Sharif in the role as Rudolf.

The free-thinking crown price lived a dissolute life, got dependent on morphine after treatment for VD and infected his wife with gonorrhoea, which made her sterile. Rudolf was politically liberal and associated with the organisation Free Thought. His political views prevented him from being included in the influential circles of the court, his father keeping him at distance.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Syna Rudolfa ztratil v útlém věku, v plné mužské síle.
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Orth, Johannnn flag
*25.11.1852 Firenze - †12.7.1890 (?) Cabo tres Puntas
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Orth was mentioned by Švejk when he listed the tragedies that had hit the emperor during his lifetime.

Background

Orth was archduke of the house of Habsburg and prince of Tuscany. His real name was Johann Salvator, but he took the common name Orth in 1889 after having reneged on his imperial privileges. This happened after a conflict with the court as Salvator wanted to marry the dancer Ludmilla Schubel, a lady well below his rank. He took the new name after a castle he owned in Salzkammergut. Orth was a good friend of crown prince Rudolf and shared his liberal political views. After breaking with the court he was forced to leave the country. Already having obtain a ship captain's certficate he tried his luck in merchant shipping. In 1890 he left for London where he bought a cargo vessel and embarked on a freight mission to Argentina and Chile. Around 12 July the ship went missing near Cabo Tres Puntas.

His full name was Giovanni Nepomuceno Salvatore Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Ferdinando Baldassares Lodovico Carlo Zenobio Antonino d'Asburgo-Lorena.

Speculations

What really happened is still unclear but rumours that he survived have regularly surfaced. He was officially declared dead in 1911, but in 1945 a certain Alexander Hugo Köhler from Kristiansand claimed on his death-bed that he was Orth. The case appeared in Norwegian courts in 1945 and 2007 and raised attention also in Austria. Still researchers at the university of Bergen see little reason to believe the claims of Köhler and his descendants.

Drill oder Erziehung
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Drill oder Erziehung, page 11. When the intelligent soldier feigns dutifulness.

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Concluding Drill oder Erziehung

In the novel there is yet another reference Orth, albeit obscure and indirect. It was first pointed out by Sergey Soloukh in 2012. In Marek's description of Dauerling in [II.3] he mentions a book Drill oder Erziehung where it according to Marek is stated that terror is fundamental in training of soldiers and that successful training is proportional to the degree of terror. This booklet of 22 pages exists but the content does not fit the description Marek gives and could certainly not have inspired Dauerling's inhuman methods. It is a reprint of a lecture Orth (at the time still Erzherzog Johann) held on 3 November 1883 in Militär-Wissenschaftlichen Vereine zu Wien and was published by the same association. The above-mentioned quote can not be found in the booklet, and it was exactly this type of brutal exercise Erzherzog Johann spoke out against. Nor is Marek's claim that Kriegsministerium was the publisher of the book correct. In Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí the booklet is even described as a military textboook.

Drill oder Erziehung is a sharp attack on the practices within K.u.k. Heer to emphasize drill at the expense of education in military training. The lecture caused considerable resentment and harmed the already strained relation between the liberal-minded archduke and the military establishment. Johann already carried a certain weight besides being a member of the Habsburg-family: he was a professional soldier and commander of 25. Infanterie-Truppendivision and had participated in the occupation of Bosnia­-Hercegovina­ in 1878. At the time he presented his provicative lecture the 41 year old archduke had already obtained the rank of Feldmarschall-Leutnant.

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Quote from the novel
[1.1] Manželku Alžbětu mu propíchli pilníkem, potom se mu ztratil Jan Orth; bratra, císaře mexického, mu zastřelili v nějaké pevnosti u nějaké zdi.
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Also written:Jan Orth cz Orth János hu Giovanni Orth it

Emperador Maximiliano Inn flag
*6.6.1832 Wien - †19.6.1867 Santiago de Querétaro
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Emperor of Mexiko, by Mathew Brady, around 1864.

Maximiliano I is referred to by Švejk as the Emperor of Mexico when he tells Bretschneider about all the tragedies that had hit Franz Joseph I. He was executed by some wall in some fortress in Mexico according to Švejk.

Background

Maximiliano I was an archduke of the house of Habsburg, and brother of Franz Joseph I. He was installed as emperor of Mexico by the French in 1863, but was executed in 1867 at Cerro de las Campanas in Querétaro after a rebellion led by the liberal Benito Juárez.

His full name was Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph von Österreich.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Manželku Alžbětu mu propíchli pilníkem, potom se mu ztratil Jan Orth; bratra, císaře mexického, mu zastřelili v nějaké pevnosti u nějaké zdi.
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Palivcová was left crying in U kalicha at the end of [I.1] when her husband was escorted out by Bretschneider. Palivec consoled her and told that she need not fear the police just because some flies had shitted on a portrait of the Emperor.

Mrs Palivcová reappears in [I.6] after Švejk was released from prison. In [I.11] she refuses to serve Švejk because she thinks he is a deserter. This is the last time we hear of her.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] A zatímco vedli Švejka do přijímací kanceláře, „U kalicha“ předával pan Palivec hospodu své plačící ženě, těše ji svým zvláštním způsobem: „Neplač, neřvi, co mně mohou udělat kvůli posranýmu obrazu císaře pána?“
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Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

1. The good soldier Švejk acts to intervene in the world war


© 2009 - 2017 Jomar Hønsi Last updated: 17/11-2017