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The Good Soldier Švejk

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Map of Austria-Hungary in 1914. The itinerary of Jaroslav Šerák took place entirely within the borders of the Dual Monarchy.

The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk is a novel which contains a wealth of geographical references - either directly through the plot, in dialogues or in the authors own observations. HAJ: was himself unusually well travelled and had a photographic memory of geographical (and other) details. It is evident that he put great emphasis on this: 8 of the 27 chapter headlines in Švejk contain place names.

This web page will in due course contain a full overview of all the geographical references in the novel; from Prague in the introduction to Klimontów in the unfinished Book Four. Countries, cities, towns, villages, mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers, islands, buildings are included. Note that from 14 September 2013, institutions (including pubs) have been moved to the new 'Institutions' page. The list is sorted according to the order in which the names appear through the novel. The chapter headlines are from Zenny K. Sadlon's recent translation and will in most cases differ from Cecil Parrott's version from 1973.

  • The facts are mainly taken from Internet sources but cross-verified when possible
  • The quotes in Czech are copied from the online version of sv: provided by Jaroslav Šerák and contain links to the relevant chapter
  • The toolbar has links for direct access to Wikipedia, Google maps, Google search, svejkmuseum.cz and Švejk online

The names are coloured according to their role in the novel, illustrated by these examples: Sanok as a location where the plot takes place, Dubno mentioned in the narrative, Zagreb as part of a dialogue, and Pakoměřice as mentioned in an anecdote.

>> The Good Soldier Švejk index of places mentioned in the novel (575) 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

Konopištěnn flag
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Konopiště is mentioned by Müllerová already in the opening passage as she explains Švejk which Ferdinand has been murdered: "the Archduke Ferdinand, the one from Konopiště, the fat one, the religious one".

Background

Konopiště is a village and castle by Benešov that from 1887 to 1914 was owned by Franz Ferdinand, then Austrian heir to the throne. He and his family lived there for long periods. The castle is now a museum which exhibits amongst other items, Franz Ferdinand's around 475,000 hunting trophies and large amounts of classic furniture and paintings. The village had a 115 inhabitants in 1913.

Ottův slovník naučný

Konopiště: ves a panství v Čechách, hejt., okr., fara a pš. Benešov; 23 d., 391 ob. č. (1890), 2tř. šk., 2 mlýny. Alod. panství (5397,48 ha) s krásným letním zámkem náleží arcivév. rak. Františkovi Ferdinandovi. R. 1898 zámek nádherně opraven a panské průmyslové závody v Konopišti zrušeny a převedeny do Benešova. … more

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Ale, milostpane, pana arcivévodu Ferdinanda, toho z Konopiště, toho tlustýho, nábožnýho.“ „Ježíšmarjá,“ vykřikl Švejk, „to je dobrý. A kde se mu to, panu arcivévodovi, stalo?“ „Práskli ho v Sarajevu, milostpane, z revolveru, vědí. Jel tam s tou svou arcikněžnou v automobilu.“
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Also written:Konopist Bang-Hansen Konopischt de

Sarajevonn flag
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Sarajevo is first mentioned by Müllerová as she tells Švejk about the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. Later in the chapter the conversation at U kalicha revolves around the murder on the emperor-to-be and Sarajevo is mentioned many times by Bretschneider, Švejk and Palivec.

Background

Sarajevo was in 1914 as now the capital of Bosnia­-Hercegovina­. In 1878 Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia­-Hercegovina­ although it formally remained a part of Turkey until 1908 when it was annexed by the Dual Monarchy. The annexation caused resentment in Serbia. The Bosnian capital was on 28 June 1914 the scene of the murder of Franz Ferdinand, an act that indirectly led to the outbreak of World War I. The killing was carried out by serb extremists.

The murders in Sarajevo is very directly the starting point of the novel these web pages are about.

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. 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.
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Bosniann flag
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Bosnia is first mentioned by Švejk when he states to Mrs Müllerová that Sarajevo is in Bosnia. Later, during the conversations at U kalicha mellom Bretschneider, Palivec and Švejk, and the area is mentioned several times. In Budapest a Bosnian regiment is mentioned.

Background

Bosnia is often mentioned together with Hercegovina as Bosnia and Hercegovina. This is the political unit that both areas belong to. Bosnia and Hercegovina have long been purely geographical terms.

The area was annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908. This led to widespread dissatisfaction amongst serbs and is arguably the main reason for the grievances that led terrorists to plot and execute the murder of Franz Ferdinand.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „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."
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Also written:Bosna cz Bosnien de Bosna hr Босна sr

Bosnia and Hercegovinann flag
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Bosnia and Hercegovina is first mentioned by Švejk when he states to Müllerová at Sarajevo ligg i Bosnia and that Austria-Hungary shouldn't have taken it from the Turks. Later on the area is mentioned in the conversation at U kalicha between Bretschneider, Palivec og Svejk.

Background

Bosnia and Hercegovina was (and is) is the political entity consisting of Bosnia and Hercegovina. The area was annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908. This led to widespread dissatisfaction amongst Serbs and is arguably the main reason for the grievances that led terrorists to plot and carry out the murder of Franz Ferdinand.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „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."
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Also written:Bosna a Hercegovina cz Bosnien und Herzegowina de Bosna i Hercegovina hr Bosnia og Hercegovina nn Босна и Херцеговина sr

Nuslenn flag
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Nusle is in the novel first mentioned by Müllerová when she refers to an assault with a revolver which took place there, the part of town she is from. The area is later referred to by landlord Palivec at U kalicha and it is obvious that Nusle had a bad reputation at the time. There are some references to locations in Nusle later in the novel, the pub U Bansethů being amongst them.

Background

Nusle was from 1898 a town in the Prague conurbation belonging to hejtmanství Královské Vinohrady. In 1922 it became part of the capital. It grew during the industrial revolution and in 1913 it counted 22,755 where nearly all registered Czech as their mother tongue. Riegrovo náměstí (now Náměstí Bratří Synků) was regarded the centre of the town.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Nedávno taky si hrál jeden pán u nás v Nuslích s revolverem a postřílel celou rodinu i domovníka, kterej se šel podívat, kdo to tam střílí ve třetím poschodí.“
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Switzerlandnn flag
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sveits.jpg

General Ulrich Wille, Swiss commander-in-chief during WW1.

Switzerland provides in an anecdote by Švejk refuge for a guard who had lent his braces to an inmate who had murdered a captain. The prisoner hung himself in the braces. The guard got 6 months but escaped to Switzerland.

Background

Switzerland was neutral during WW1 and was in 1914 like today a federal republic. As a curiosity it must be mentioned that the Habsburg family hailed from Switzerland. During WW1 Lenin lived in Switzerland. He was from 1917 to play an important role in the events leading to Russia's withdrawal from the war.

Sveits was also at times a place of refuge for Masaryk and other Czechs who after the outbreak of war started to work for national independence.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] To vědí, paní Müllerová, že v takový situaci jde každému hlava kolem. Profousa za to degradovali a dali mu šest měsíců. Ale von si je nevodseděl. Utek do Švejcar a dneska tam dělá kazatele ňáký církve.
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Also written:Švýcarsko cz Schweiz de Suisse fr Svizzera it Švejcar Švejk

Portugalnn flag
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portugal.jpg

Hoisting the Portuguese flag during WW1.

Portugal is referred to by Švejk when he talks about the killing of a fat king of Portugal. This surely refers to the assassination of Carlos I of the house Bragança in 1908.

Background

Portugal was in 1914 a republic which still kept some colonies, mostly in Africa. At the beginning of the 20th century Portugal experienced a power struggle between reformist and conservative groups. The republicans gained the upper hand, and a republic was established in 1910, two years after the murder of the king and the crown prince (referred to by Švejk9.

On March 9 1916 Germany declared war on Portugal and Portuguese forces took part in Afrika and on the western front. Several Portuguese ships were sunk by German U-boats during the war. After the war, Karl, the last Habsburg emperor, sought refuge in Portugal and he died at Madeira.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Jestli se pamatujou, jak tenkrát v Portugalsku si postříleli toho svýho krále. Byl taky takovej tlustej.
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Also written:Portugalsko cz

Waterloonn flag
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Waterloo and the famous battle there is mentioned by the author when he describes the pub landlord Palivec and his knowledge of Victor Hugo. Svejk also mentions it in [2.1] when on the train to Tábor.

Background

Waterloo is a town in Walloon-Brabant in Belgium, near Brussels. The town is known because of the famous battle that took place here on June 18 1815, when Wellington and Blücher were victorious against Napoleon's French army. The battle meant the end of Napoleon's political and military career.

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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Balkansnn flag
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Balkans is mentioned once by Švejk in the conversation at U kalicha.

Background

Balkans was at the start of the 20th century the least stable part of Europe. The two Balkans Wars had been fought in 1912 and 1913; first Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro against Turkey, then Serbia, Montenegro and Greece against Bulgaria. In the second Balkan War, Romania and Tyrkia joined the war against Bulgaria when they realised that these were about to loose. Serbia got out of these wars politically strengthened, a fact which made Austria-Hungary increasingly uneasy and which may have contributed to their uncompromising stance in 1914.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] A Švejk vyložil svůj názor na mezinárodní politiku Rakouska na Balkáně. Turci to prohráli v roce 1912 se Srbskem, Bulharskem a Řeckem. Chtěli, aby jim Rakousko pomohlo, a když se to nestalo, střelili Ferdinanda.
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Also written:Balkán cz

Serbiann flag
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Österreichische Illustrierte Zeitung, 9.8.1914

Serbia is first mentioned in the conversation at U kalicha between Švejk and Bretschneider about the Balkans. Therafter it reappears repeatedly, the slogan Heil, nieder mit den Serben! is quoted a few times. From book two onwards the Serbian army, irregulars and civilians are often mentioned in stories told by veterans from the campaign against Serbia.

Background

Serbia was in 1914 a kingdom on the Balkans that played a crucial role during the outbreak of WW1. Austria-Hungary made the Serb government responsible for the murder of Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian and Hungarian thrones. Serbia was the first country declared war on, and the first country to see fighing. Serbia stood up well against K.u.k. Heer and repelled three invasions in 1914, despite suffering heavy losses themselves. But after Bulgaria entered the war and German forces assisted the Austrians, resistance was broken in October 1915.

Serbia was the country that relative to population figures suffered the worst losses in the war (indeed in any modern European conflict): roughly 27% of of the population perished, many of them in the worst typhus epidemy known in history. The borders of Serbia were in 1914 somewhat different from today. The kingdom included Macedonia but not Vojvodina and Banat which at the time were part of Austria-Hungary. The capital was (and still is) Belgrade.

The 91st regiment in Serbia

IR91 was sent to the Serbian front immediately after the outbreak of war and took part in all three invasions. They spent most of the time between 15 August and 15 December on Serbian territory. Their losses were horrendous and when they finally withdrew across the Danube by Belgrade they were, like the rest of the invading army, utterly decimated. Several officers that later provided prototypes for Švejk's superiors were involved: Franz Wenzel, Čeněk Sagner, Rudolf Lukas, Josef Adamička and Jan Evangelista Eybl. Every single of them apart from Eybl (he was there only the last three weeks) were at some stage injured or reported sick.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] A Švejk vyložil svůj názor na mezinárodní politiku Rakouska na Balkáně. Turci to prohráli v roce 1912 se Srbskem, Bulharskem a Řeckem. Chtěli, aby jim Rakousko pomohlo, a když se to nestalo, střelili Ferdinanda.
[I.13] Nadporučík Machek zajat v Srbsku, dluhuje mně 1500 korun. Je zde víc takových lidí. Ten padne v Karpatech s mou nezaplacenou směnkou, ten jde do zajetí, ten se mně utopí v Srbsku, ten umře v Uhrách ve špitále.
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Also written:Srbsko cz Serbien de Србија sr

Bulgariann flag
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Bulgaria is mentioned during the conversation at U kalicha about Balkans.

Background

Bulgaria was a kingdom on the Balkans that was neutral during the first year of WW1. In September 1915 the country entered the war on the side of the Central Powers. Her main motive to join was to repair the damage after the defeat by Serbia in the second Balkan War. Bulgaria took part in the attack on Serbia in October 1915, the offensive that finally broke Serbia's resistance. Bulgaria was in 1914 slightly larger than today, she had to cede Thrace to Greece in 1918.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] A Švejk vyložil svůj názor na mezinárodní politiku Rakouska na Balkáně. Turci to prohráli v roce 1912 se Srbskem, Bulharskem a Řeckem. Chtěli, aby jim Rakousko pomohlo, a když se to nestalo, střelili Ferdinanda.
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Also written:България bg Bulharsko cz Bulgarien de

Greecenn flag
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Greece is mentioned in the conversation at U kalicha about the Balkans.

Background

Greece was neutral at the start of the war but in November 1916 it joined the Entente, strongly influenced by prime minister Venizelos. Greece was at the time a kingdom ruled by the House of Glücksburg. The country was in 1914 slightly smaller than today, it acquired Thrace from Bulgaria in 1923.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] A Švejk vyložil svůj názor na mezinárodní politiku Rakouska na Balkáně. Turci to prohráli v roce 1912 se Srbskem, Bulharskem a Řeckem. Chtěli, aby jim Rakousko pomohlo, a když se to nestalo, střelili Ferdinanda.
more

Also written:Řecko cz Griechenland de Ελλάδα el

Vltavann flag
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vltava.jpg

Vltava from Žďákovský most, august 2009.

Vltava is first mentioned in the anecdote about the man who jumped from the bridge in Krumlov. The river is mentioned several times later in the novel and Švejk must have crossed it twice during his anabasis in [2.2], without it being explicitly stated. The first crossing was between Květov and Vráž, the second on the train just before arriving in Budějovice.

Background

Vltava is the longest river in Bohemia. From its sources in Šumava, it passes Krumlov, Budějovice and Prague, before flowing into the Elbe by Mělník. The river's length is 430 km, and the catchment area is 28,090 km². In foreign languages the German name Moldau is frequently used.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] 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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Also written:Moldau de

Krumlovnn flag
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krumlov.jpg

Postcard from 1910

Krumlov is mentioned in the anecdote about Ludvík and also a few times in book two. The miller Baloun, a central character in the latter part of the novel, comes from the area around Krumlov.

Background

Krumlov was until 1920 the name of Český Krumlov, a town not far from the Austrian border. In 1913 the population count was 8,716 of which 7,367 were Germans. The town was seat of both hejtmanství and soudní okres of the same name. The district of Krumlov was located in the recruitment area of IR91, so Jaroslav Hašek would have known many fellow soldiers from there. See Ergänzungskommando.

The medieval structure of the town has been preserved and it is on the world heritage list of UNESCO. It has become a major tourist attraction.

Ottův slovník naučný

Krumlov Český, (Böhmisch-Krumau, lat. Crumlovium), město v již. Čechách, 475 m n. m., na Vltavě, při stanici spol. Rak. míst. drah (Budějovice-Zelnava), má 770 d., 1402 obyv. č., 6882 n. (1890), hejtmanství, okr. soud … more

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] 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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Also written:Krumau de

Most v Krumlověnn flag
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Most v Krumlově is mentioned in the anecdote about Ludvík who jumped from the bridge in Krumlov into the Vltava.

Background

Most v Krumlově was according to the story a bridge across the Vltava in Krumlov. The story does not reveal which one the author has in mind, but it is probably Lazebnický most in the centre which is the oldest and best known bridge there. In this mainly German-speaking town the bridge was at the time also called Baderbrücke.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] 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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Also written:Bridge in Krumlov en Brücke in Krumau de Bru i Krumlov no

Zlivnn flag
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Zliv is mentioned in an anecdote by Švejk, told to Bretschneider. It was about a gamekeeper who was shot by poachers.

Background

Zliv is a village in South Bohemia, situated 10 km north west of Budějovice and 4 km west of Hluboká.

During the summer of 1896 (or 1897), Hašek's mother Kateřina took the children on a trip to the area around Protivín to visit relatives. Both his parents were from this area. They visited Zliv, Mydlovary, Hluboká, Budějovice, Putim, Skočice, Krč, Protivín, Ražice, and Vodňany. All of these places appear in Švejk and some of them even in the short stories. In the spring of 1915 Jaroslav Hašek appeared in Zliv again, now on an unauthorised "excursion" from the Budějovice garrison.

In 1913 Zliv had 1324 inhabitants of which 1307 gave their mother tongue as Czech. It was an administrative sub-division of Okres Hluboká, Okresní hejtmanství Budějovice.

Links

SourceRadko Pytlík, Václav Menger, Jaroslav Šerák

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:Zliw Reiner

Hlubokánn flag
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Hluboká is mentioned in the same anecdote as Zliv, about the widow after the gamekeepers who turns up at the office of The prince at Hluboká to ask for advice.

Background

Hluboká is a small town in South Bohemia, 15 km north of Budějovice. It was one of the favourite haunts of German-Roman Emperor Charles IV, who often visited when he resided in Budějovice. Nowadays Hluboká is best known for its Windsor-style chateau which until 1938 belonged to the House of Schwarzenberg.

The town was an administrative sub-division of Okres Hluboká and Okresní hejtmanství Budějovice. Aalso called Podhradí, it counted 1,472 inhabitants in 1913, and including Podskal and Zámost it reached 2,835. Nearly all the inhabitants were Czechs, most of the remaining few were Germans.

Jaroslav Hašek visited Hluboká during his childhood (1896 or 1897), probably also in 1915. See Zliv.

Ottův slovník naučný

Hluboká nad Vltavou, dř. Hluboká, též Podhradí, sídlo soud. okr., v polit. okr. českobuděj., 2927 ob. (1921), z nich nár. čsl. 2851, 2735 ob. (1930), z nich nár. čsl. 2648. Cís. výsad. listem z 20. květ. 1908 povýšen městys.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Byla až v kanceláři knížete pána na Hluboké a stěžovala si, že má s těmi hajnými trápení. Tak jí odporučili porybnýho Jareše z ražické bašty.
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Also written:Frauenberg de

Mydlovarynn flag
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josef_hasek.jpg

Josef Hašek (1843-1896)

Mydlovary is mentioned by Švejk in a story about he tells Bretschneider about U kalicha, about the gamekeeper.

Background

Mydlovary is a village 16 km north west of Budějovice and the birthplace of Josef Hašek, the father of Jaroslav Hašek. He was born in house number 8. The budding satirist visited Mydlovary during his childhood (1896 or 1897) and couldn't have been far away in 1915. See Zliv.

The fact that his father was born in Mydlovary is significant. This meant that Jaroslav Hašek had right of domicile here so he, just like his literary hero, was drafted into IR91.

In 1913 the community consisted of two villages that was recorded with 687 inhabitants of which 680 were Czechs. It had a church, a school and four pubs. The closest railway station and post office were found in Zliv. Zaháj was actually the largest of the two and the church was located here. Mayor at the time was Jan Kolář (relevant to the story about the scouts who were spanked with birch branches, see Okresní hejtmanství Budějovice).

Ottův slovník naučný

Mydlovary, ves v Čechách, hejtm. Č. Budějovice, okr. a pš. Hluboká, fara Zahájí; 34 d., 319 ob. č. (1890), dobývání hlíny na výrobu zemitých barev a ložisko železné rudy.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Zastřelili ho pytláci a zůstala po něm vdova s dvěma dítkami a vzala si za rok opět hajného, Pepíka Šavlovic z Mydlovar.
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Also written:Mydlowař Reiner Mydlowar de

Ražická baštann flag
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Ražická bašta is mentioned by Švejk in an anecdote about the pond warden Jareš, no doubt inspired by the author's grandfather, Antonín Jareš. This connection appears again in chapters [I.14] and [II.2].

Background

Ražická bašta was a fishpond construction between Ražice and Putim that belonged to the Schwarzenberg family. The authors grandfather was pond warden here and Hašek wrote a few stories about him in Veselá Praha in 1908 (Historky z ražické bašty). The pond and barrier is still there but is no longer used for fish-farming. The pond wardens building is not there, but is still visible on an army-map from 1928.

The young Jaroslav Hašek visited the place in 1896 or 1897 together with his family. See Zliv.

Links

SourceRadko Pytlík, Jaroslav Šerák

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Tak jí odporučili porybnýho Jareše z ražické bašty.
more
Mexiconn flag
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Mexico is mentioned in the conversation between Švejk and Bretschneider. The brother of Franz Joseph I, Maximiliano I, was emperor of the country from 1863 to 1867. Here he is simply referred to as the emperor of Mexico.

Mexico is mentioned again in [II.2] when Marek tells Švejk about conditions in IR91.

Background

Mexico was in 1914 a republic suffering turmoil after the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz had been overthrown in the revolution in 1911. In the period from 1864 to 1867 Maximiliano I av Mexico was emperor, and it is in this context the country is mentioned in the novel.

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:Mexiko cz Mexiko de México es

Cerro de las Campanasnn flag
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Cerro de las Campanas is mentioned indirectly in the conversation between Švejk and Bretschneider where it is stated that the brother of Franz Joseph I was executed at "some fortress by some wall".

Background

Cerro de las Campanas is a hill in Queretaro where emperor Maximiliano I was executed in 1867 after having lost the war against the republican rebels led by Benito Juárez.

Links

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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Russiann flag
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Russia is briefly touched upon during the conversation U kalicha about the political situation after the assassinations in Sarajevo. Later on in the novel the country is mentioned several times; it was after all Russia the main protagonists were sent to fight against. Russian citizens take part in the plot directly when Švejk is assigned to a transport of Russian prisoners in Chyrów. The author at least once adds fragments from his own experiences in Russia (see Dubno). The original advertising poster for the novel makes it clear that Jaroslav Hašek planned to stage the latter part of the plot on Russian territory - the poster mentions the Russian civil war explicitly.

Background

Russia was in 1914 an empire ruled by the Romanov family and was far larger than the current Russian Federation. It included all of the later Soviet Union, all of Finland and the greater part of current Poland. The empire was at its largest in 1866 when it sold Alaska. Russia's support to Serbia during the July crisis in 1914 is one of the prime reason why a regional conflict on the Balkans developed into a world war.

Russia were ill prepared for a prolonged war, serious supply problems and inept military leadership soon led to catastrophic losses. Still they managed to invade Galicia and Bukovina in 1914 and for a while they even threatened to cross the Carpathians. On 2 May 1915 the central powers launched a successful offensive by Gorlice and Tarnów and 1915 turned out to be a disaster for Russland who had to withdraw from Poland and Galicia. During that year the lack of equipment took its toll, and many soldiers were sent into action without firearms.

In 1916 the situation improved and the Brusilov-offensive inflicted such heavy losses on Austria-Hungary that a collapse threatened. German reinforcements however stabilized the front and Russland spent much of her diminishing strength on futile break-through attempts. The tsarist empire fell in March 1917 but the new provisional government decided to continue the war. A last offensive got under way on 1 July 1917 but soon ground to a halt. During this fighting Czech volunteers (including Jaroslav Hašek) for the first time operated as a unit against the Dual Monarchy (Zborów 2 July). A German counter-offensive from 19 July led to a complete meltdown of a Russian army that already was badly affected by mass desertions and a breakdown in discipline.

In the aftermath of the October Revolution (7 November) a ceasefire was concluded, and the new communist authorities had to accept harsh terms in the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk (signed 3 March 1918). All of the Baltics, Finland, Polen and Ukraine were ceded (Ukraina was recovered after the war). The subsequent civil war prolonged the suffering of the peoples of Russland with many years and in 1921 a massive hunger catastrophe hit some regions. The Russian defeat in the world war had fatal consequences; it paved the way for 70 years of Communist rule, and at times an extremely brutal rule.

Hašek in Russia

Jaroslav Hašek served as a messenger on the front against Russia from 11 July 1915 and at the end of the month he participated in the bloody battle against the Russian 8th army by Sokal. On 27 August 1915 his IR91 crossed the border and from that day he continuously on Russian soil until 4 December 1920 (appx). It was on Russian territory he let himself get captured (Chorupan 24 September).

After 9 months as a prisoner of war Jaroslav Hašek was from June 1916 until March 1918 a volunteer in the Czech forces in Russland (legions), and was therefore formally a Russian soldier. After breaking with the legions in April 1918 he became of journalist, agitator and recruiter for the Czech communists, later directly for the Bolsheviks - positions he held until he was sent back to his homeland as agitator at the end of 1920. He had learnt Russian already as a youngster and mastered the language very well, and was by his return he had adapted to the degree that even his novel contains “russianisms”. During his 5-year stay in Russland his travels covered extensive areas, mostly in the Ukraine, in the Volga region and in Siberia. On 15 May 1920 he married a Russian woman, Alexandra Lvova who he took back to Prague.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Vy myslíte, že to císař pán takhle nechá bejt? To ho málo znáte. Vojna s Turky musí být. Zabili jste mně strejčka, tak tady máte přes držku. Válka jest jistá. Srbsko a Rusko nám pomůže v té válce. Bude se to řezat!“
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Also written:Rusko cz Russland de Россия ru

Turkeynn flag
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Turkey is a theme in the conversation at U kalicha about the political situation after the assassination in Sarajevo. Švejk believes the Turks are behind the murder of Franz Ferdinand. The country is mentioned again in [I.14] during Lukáš' long lecture to hop-trader Wendler about the war situation. This conversation also mention a number of distinguished Ottoman politicians and officers. (See Enver Paşa).

Background

Turkey (the Ottoman Empire) was a state that existed until 1922 and was succeeded by modern Turkey. The area was still in 1914 far larger than that of the current republic and included great parts of the Middle East. The capital was Constantinople. From 29 October 1914 the Ottoman Empire entered the war as one of the Central Powers. The defeat in the World War meant the end of the empire and losing all the Arabic possessions.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Může být,“ pokračoval v líčení budoucnosti Rakouska, „že nás v případě války s Tureckem Němci napadnou, poněvadž Němci a Turci drží dohromady. Jsou to takový potvory, že jim není v světě rovno. Můžeme se však spojit s Francií, která má od 71. roku spadeno na Německo. A už to půjde. Válka bude, víc vám neřeknu.“
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Also written:Turecko cz Türkei de Tyrkiye tr

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France is mentioned in the conversation between Švejk and Bretschneider at U kalicha about the political situation after the assassinations in Sarajevo. Many French people are mentioned in the novel: Napoléon, Hugo and Rabelais are amongst them. Several French places also appear, for instance in the conversation between Wendler and Lukáš in [I.14].

Background

France France was in 1914 a democratic republic of nearly 40 million inhabitants and also ruled over a large colonial empire, mainly in Africa.

was one of the main participants in WW1. Germany declared war on her on 3 August 1914, on 11 August France declared war on Austria-Hungary. Already from 1894 France had signed a military alliance with Russia, and from 1907 England joined them in the so-called Triple Entente, albeit with fewer military obligations. The rising power of Germany was the reason why these former rival powers now joined together.

Throughout the war nearly the whole the Western Front cut through northern France, and the area where the fighting took place was devastated. French war casualties totalled 1.7 million dead, and out of these 1.4 million were soldiers. The losses made up more than 4 per cent of the population. France was close to collapse both in 1914 and 1918 when the German army reached the river Marne, north-east of Paris.

France was the first state to recognize the Czech and Slovak claim for an independent state, and the Czechoslovak National Council was seated in Paris from 1916. On 7 February 1918 the Czechoslovak Army Corps in Russia formally became part of the French army and were to be transferred to the Western Front. See České legie. This was a decision Jaroslav Hašek disagreed with and it was the main reason why he left the army corps two months later.

After the Treaty of Versailles France was given back Alsace and Lorraine, provinces that had been ceded to Germany in 1871.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Může být,“ pokračoval v líčení budoucnosti Rakouska, „že nás v případě války s Tureckem Němci napadnou, poněvadž Němci a Turci drží dohromady. Jsou to takový potvory, že jim není v světě rovno. Můžeme se však spojit s Francií, která má od 71. roku spadeno na Německo. A už to půjde. Válka bude, víc vám neřeknu.“
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Also written:Francie cz Frankreich de La France fr

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Germany is first mentioned at the conversation at U kalicha about the political situation after the assassinations of Sarajevo. The country then appears repeatedly throughout the novel, particularly during the march battalion's journey to the eastern front in 1915. Towards the end of the novel Švejk even meets German soldiers. The author notes how well they are provided for compared with their allies from Austria-Hungary.

Many German nationals are mentioned; amongst them emperor Wilhelm II. and Hindenburg. A number of German cities also appear: amongst them Berlin. It also revealed that Švejk once visited Bremen, and this is as far as we know the only time he ever ventured beyond the borders of Austria-Hungary.. When forging of the pedigree of Fox Švejk mentions the name of several institutions in Germany related to dog-breeding (see Nuremberg). A few places in Elsass (Alsace) are mentioned in the conversation between Lukáš and Wendler, amongst them Mühlhausen (Mulhouse). During his famous dream Biegler refers to some smaller places in his account of the battle by Leipzig in 1813 (see Wachau). The last time we hear about Germans is when Švejk arrives at Żółtańce where he has to witness that the Germans get draught beer, a luxury he and his comrades can only dream of. We are also told that men from his regiment have been in a brawl with the Bavarians.

Background

Germany was in 1914 a constitutional monarchy with the emperor as head of state, officially named Das Deutsche Kaiserreich. She entered the war as an ally of Austria-Hungary in 1 August 1914 when she declared war on Russia. The two Central European powers had been allies since 1879, and Germany’s explicit support was one of the reasons that the Dual Monarchy risked to "teach Serbia a lesson" in 1914. Two days later the two-front war became a reality through the French declaration of war. The German attack on Belgium on 4 August landed an even more powerful enemy: England and its vast British Empire.

In 1914 Germany possessed the strongest army in the world but despite her military might she could ill sustain a prolonged conflict where the adversaries were superior in industrial resources, manpower and not the least in raw materials. The British naval superiority was also a determining factor; the blockade was soon to lead a serious shortages and later outright destitution.

The defeat in 1918 meant the end of imperial Germany which was succeeded by the Weimar republic. The Versailles peace treaty of 1919 forced Germany to cede large areas; mostly to Poland and France but also smaller areas to Denmark, Belgium and Czechoslovakia. Germany suffered more than 2 million fallen and in addition a few hundred thousand civilians who died due to hunger and shortages. The economic, social and political consequences of the of defeat were fatal and to a great extent it paved the way for the even worse horrors of Nazism and the Second World War.

From 1915 onwards Germany repeatedly had to act to help its weaker ally Austria-Hungary. At the section of the front in Galicia and Volyn where Jaroslav Hašek and his IR91 took part in 1915, the troops of the Dual Monarchy were supported by German units and three of these are mentioned in the novel (see Posen, Hanover and Brandenburg). Although Tyskland plays a peripheral role in the novel, it appears considerably more often in the stories Jaroslav Hašek wrote when serving in the Czech exile organisations in Russia in 1916 and 1917. In these stories whose purpose mainly is propaganda against the Central Powers, Germany is as one would expect portrayed in a negative way. Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí is an example of this. In the autumn of 1916 the author spent much of his time at the front by the river Stochod (now Stochid), where they faced the German army.

Jaroslav Hašek and Germany

Serving the Bolsheviks in 1919 and 1920 Jaroslav Hašek worked closely with German internationalists (communists), recruited from POW camps. There is every indication that he closely followed the revolutionary movement in Germany and at this time he even wrote a poem in German. It was called Spartaks Helden and was a homage to the murdered communists Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. The poem is however dangerously close to being a copy of Erich Mühsam's Generalstreik - Marsch.

Jaroslav Hašek only known journey to the Germany was in the summer of 1904, and he probably only visited Bavaria where he at least must have spent a few weeks. He wrote a handful of short stories about this trip. He knew German well although quotes from the novel indicate certain shortcomings (in the German translation numerous German-language quotes are sometimes corrected).

On 8 December 1920 he was again on German soil. He and his wife Alexandra arrived from Tallinn to Swinemünde (now Swinoujście). They were returning from Russia and took the train onwards from Stettin (now Szczecin) in the evening on 9 December. The stay on German soil was brief, probably less than 48 hours, with a likely change of trains in Berlin before they travel onwards to Pardubice where they arrived in the evening of the "second day” (probably 10 December).

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Může být,“ pokračoval v líčení budoucnosti Rakouska, „že nás v případě války s Tureckem Němci napadnou, poněvadž Němci a Turci drží dohromady. Jsou to takový potvory, že jim není v světě rovno. Můžeme se však spojit s Francií, která má od 71. roku spadeno na Německo. A už to půjde. Válka bude, víc vám neřeknu.“
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Also written:Německo cz Deutschland de

Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

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


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