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The Good Soldier Švejk

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The novel The Good Soldier Švejk refers to a number of institutions and firms, public as private. These have until 15 September 2013 been categorised as 'Places'. This only partly makes sense as this type of entity can not be always be accosiated with fixed geographical point, in the way that for instance cities, montains and rivers can. This new page contains military and civilian institutions (including army units, regiments etc), hotels, public houses, newspapers and magazines.

The line between this page and "Places" is blurred, but the idea with this section is to include entities that are not necessarily located on a fixed spot on earth. Therefore Prague and Vienna will still be found in the "Places" database, because these have constant co-ordinates. On the other hand institutions may change location: K.u.k. Heer and U kalicha are not unequivocal geographical terms so they will from now on appear on this page.

>> The Good Soldier Švejk index of institutions mentioned in the novel (174) Show all
>> I. In the rear
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

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

Drogerie Průšann flag
Tylovo nám. 699/19, Vinohrady-František Průša [1910]
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prusa.png

Národní listy, 24.6.1903

prusa.jpg

Narodní Politika, 6.5.1910

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

Background

Drogerie Průša was a chemist's store at Tylovo náměstí right on the lower corner with Vávrova třída at Královské Vinohrady. Jaroslav Hašek worked as an apprentice here some time between March 1898 and September 1899.

Over the year several newspaper adverts testify to the existence of the chemists, confirmed by address book entries. In 1906 discrete newspaper adverts for remedies against "men's problems" appeared, but they also advertised remedies against bed-nugs. In August 1915 an advert appeared in Prager Tagblatt where large amounts of furniture was for sale, indicating that the shop was about to close down. The owner was Průša (František).

Links

SourceJaroslav Šerák, Radko Pytlík

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.“
K.u.k. Heernn flag
Stubenring -/1, Wien I.-K.u.k. Ärar [1914]
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K.u.k. Heer is first mentioned (as "the army") in an anecdote Švejk tells from his time in the army (national service). This is in the conversation with Müllerová at the very start of the novel. After this the army is mentioned innumerable times, and is the most important backdrop for the novel (with Švejk as a soldier) from the middle of Book One. It is also the principal target of Hašek's satire.

Background

K.u.k. Heer (also k.u.k Armee or Gemeinsame Armee) was the largest and most important body in k.u.k Bewaffneten Macht (armed forces). Together with the k.k. Landwehr (Austrian national guard) and the k.u. Honvéd (Hungarian national guard) it made up the Landstreitkräfte (terrestrial forces). These and the k.u.k Kriegsmarine (navy) made up the total armed forces.

The common army consisted of infantry, cavalry, supply-troops and technical troops. The period of service was three years. During the war, losses were replaced by so-called March battalions, one of which Švejk was later to be assigned to. The k.u.k army existed from 1867 to 1918 and suffered catastrophic losses in WW1, the only full-scale war it ever participated in. At various time it fought on four fronts; Serbia, Galicia, Romania and Tyrol and after the heavy losses in 1914 it increasingly became dependant on German support.

The army command was from 1913 located in the building of the Kriegsministerium at Stubenring 1, Vienna. At the time when Švejk did his national service they were surely still at the old premises in Am Hof 2. This building was demolished in 1912.

Oberbefehl lay with the monarch who communicated with the army through Militärkanzlei Seiner Majestät des Kaisers und Königs. Kriegsministerium was responsible for the day to day operation of the army. From 1914 to 1917 archduke Friedrich was general inspector of the army but he delegated the operative responsibility to Conrad.

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Quote from the novel
[1.1] Jó, paní Müllerová, dnes se dějou věci. To je zas ztráta pro Rakousko. Když jsem byl na vojně, tak tam jeden infanterista zastřelil hejtmana. Naládoval flintu a šel do kanceláře.

Also written:Austro-Hungarian Army en Rakousko-uherská armáda cz Austerrike-Ungarns Hær no

U kalichann flag
Na Bojišti 1732/14, Praha II-Vilém Juris [1912]
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u_kalicha.jpg

The original tap-room at No. 14

U kalicha is the tavern where Švejk and landlord Palivec were arrested by detective Bretschneider at the very start of the novel. This probably happened on 29 June 1914 as the news about the murders in Sarajevo appeared in the newspapers on that day (Müllerová had just read about it).

The plot returns to U kalicha in [I.6] when Švejk is released from his ordeal, again meets Bretschneider, and convinces the detective to buy dogs from him. His last visit is in [I.10] after he has started his career as officer's servant with Katz. Mrs Palivcová refuses to serve him as she thinks he is a deserter.

U kalicha is also mentioned in [II.4] in the classic scene from Bruck an der Leitha when Švejk and Vodička promise to meet there after the war, at six in the evening - one of the most famous quotes from the entire novel.

Background
ukalicha2.png

Národní politika, 2.8.1899

U kalicha is a restaurant in Na Bojišti street, not far from the metro station IP Pavlova in Praha II.. It was in 1914 an ordinary pub with one tap-room, and also the name of the corresponding building. Proofs of the tavern's existence appear already in 1896 when Vilém Šubert is listed as landlord at Na Bojišti 8. In 1899 adverts reveal that it already then was known as U kalicha and that it was located in Na Bojišti 1732/8, in the same building as today. That year the owner was trying to sell new bicycles, presumably as a side business. In the 1910 address book its address is Na Bojišti 1732/14, and the landlord is Vilém Juris. He was still landlord in 1912, but in 1917 some Vaneček had taken over the license. In April 1923 adverts reveal that the pub had been renamed Café Evropa and offered French cuisine, and the 1924 address book lists the owner as Josef Kyral. Adverts from November 1923 show the first sign of U kalicha starting to exploit its connection to Švejk.

ukalicha3.png

Národní politika, 17.11.1917

It remains unclear why Jaroslav Hašek gave this place such a prominent role in the novel as none of his biographers or friends mentions the place in books or newspaper articles about him (but this does of course not mean that he didn't go there). Two houses down, in number 463/10, there was a brothel registered on Antonín Nosek (1912). This could explain why Švejk told Vodička that "they have girls there". In the same house also lived in 1912 a young man named Josef Švejk (1892-1965), information revealed as late as 1968 and later confirmed.

Legends starting to appear
ukalicha1.png

Národní politika, 14.11.1923

Over the years a number of legends have been spun around U kalicha and Jaroslav Hašek’s novel. It started with Maxmilian Huppert (Prager Presse, 6 Dec 1929) who claimed that a certain František Švejca (born 1875) was a regular there, was superarbitrated from the army, dog trader, and adds a number of other details that bear all the hallmarks of trying to fit reality to the novel. It mentions a former landlord Ferdinand Juris (sic) and that by now the pub has ceased existing and was used for storage.

In 1968 another story was revealed in the magazine Květy (12 September 1968, signed J.R Veselý). It contained sensational claims that a Josef Švejk was in fact a friend of Jaroslav Hašek and that they met on several occasions before, during and after the war. Much of the story has been verified, but the connection to Hašek appears invented. See Josef Švejk for details.

Speculation running riot

In 1989 Jan Berwid-Buquoy threw in several new items. It is claimed that a Marie Müllerova was a brothel madam in the same building, that František Strašlipka, the alleged model for Švejk, was a regular there and was even her lover, that Palivec was a waiter there, that the landlord was a certain foul-mouthed Václav Šmíd. The author has since re spun and expanded the story a few times, even changed the name of the landlord, but the essence of the information has never been confirmed by alternative sources. It is claimed that Anastasie Herzog bought the building in 1907. Police records show that the businessman Benno Herzog actually lived in the building in 1912, but the only Anastasie Herzog showing up in police records was his daughter, born in 1907! The 1910 address books lists the owner of the building U kalicha as as Karel Císař.Part of Berwid-Buquoys's story even appears on the restaurants web page (as of 15 April 2015).

In the end these stories appear to be based more on legend than facts, and we are left with address books and police records as the principal sources of reliable information. Finally it should noted that there is no mention of U kalicha in the 1911 and 1917 versions of Švejk, but then very few guest-houses figure in these early versions of the good soldier.

A tourist attraction

Around 1955 the tavern was expanded, in effect turned into a tourist attraction. From then on the restaurant occupies both No 14. and No 12. and lives well on the connection with Švejk with prices above average and frequent tour groups. Still U kalicha is worth a visit as it is decorated with memorabilia related to Švejk and the times of WW1. To avoid the bustle it is advisable to visit around lunchtime or early afternoon. The food is Czech, the menu comes in 27 languages, and co-owner and manager Pavel Töpfer runs the place very professionally and has extensive knowledgeable of the history of the establishment.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Já teď jdu do hospody „U kalicha“, a kdyby sem někdo přišel pro toho ratlíka, na kterýho jsem vzal zálohu, tak mu řeknou, že ho mám ve svém psinci na venkově, že jsem mu nedávno kupíroval uši a že se teď nesmí převážet, dokud se mu uši nezahojí, aby mu nenastydly. Klíč dají k domovnici.“

Also written:At the Chalice en Zum Kelch de Ved Kalken no

K.u.k. Staatspolizeinn flag
Bartolomějská 313/4, Praha I-K.u.k. Ärar [1906]
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polizeidirektion.png

© Pamatník Národního Písemnictvi

slavicek_uvalsu.png

Hašek's encounter with state police after having registered as a Russian trader at U valšů, 24 November 1914. © PNP

postopach.png

Čechoslovan, 21.8.1916 (3.9)

K.u.k. Staatspolizei is mentioned when it is revealed that Bretschneider is in the service of the state police.

Background

K.u.k. Staatspolizei was the domestic civilian intelligence service of Austria-Hungary, which main task was surveillance of potential enemies of the state. The department was created in 1893 after civilian unrest and the unit reported directly to the "Statthalter". In Prague their servicemen and agents were located in Policejní ředitelství, 4th department. In their service were amongst others two young lawyers, Slavíček and Klíma.

Jaroslav Hašek had intimate knowledge of the state police, originating from his period as an anarchist activist (from 1904). His most celebrated encounter with them was after his famous hoax at U Valšů on 24 November 1914 where he registered as a Russian trader, ostensibly to test the vigilance of the Austrian security service. He was let off with only 5 days in jail which he served immediately.

During the war the eyes of the state police again fell on Jaroslav Hašek. It happened after the author on 17 July (30 July) 1916 published a story in Čechoslovan in Kiev where he lets a tomcat soil pictures of the emperor. This led to charges og high treason and an arrest orders was issued. Several of the other stories he wrote were also aroused interest. They were translated to German for the benefit of the investigators and led to a lively exchange between the police in Prague and Vienna.

During the war the eyes of the state police again fell on Jaroslav Hašek. It happened after the author on 17 July 1916 (30 July) published a story in Čechoslovan in Kiev where he lets a tomcat soil pictures of the emperor. This led to charges og high treason and an arrest order was issued. Several of the other stories he wrote also aroused interest at home. They were translated to German for the benefit of the investigators and led to a lively exchange between the police headquarters in Prague and Vienna.

Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí: … Švejka vedli k výslechu do oddělení státní policie přímo k policejnímu komisaři Klímovi a Slavíčkovi.

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.
Vinárna Sarajevonn flag
Nusle
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Vinárna Sarajevo was a wine tavern in Nusle where, according to Palivec, there was fighting every day.

Background

Vinárna Sarajevo was a wine tavern which existence and location has yet to be verified. According to Milan Hodík Palivec may have referred to a small pub known as Bosna in Michle.

Milan Hodík

Šlo nejspíš o malou hospodu zvanou Bosna na michelském kopce nad Bondyho statkem.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Ty nám to pěkně v tom Sarajevu vyvedli,“ se slabou nadějí ozval se Bretschneider. „V jakým Sarajevu?“ otázal se Palivec, „v tej nuselskej vinárně? Tam se perou každej den, to vědí, Nusle.“
Mladočešinn flag
Jungmannová tř. -/25, Praha II.
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kramar_reichsrat.jpg

Karel Kramář, Reichsrat 1896. © Radio Praha

Mladočeši is mentioned indirectly when Palivec tells Bretschneider that he serves whoever pays up, and that he didn't care at all if it was a Muslim, anarchist, Turk or a Young Czech who killed Franz Ferdinand.

Background

Mladočeši (officially Národní strana svobodomyslná) was a Czech political party that existed from 1874 to 1918, formally called the National Liberal Party. The party reached its zenith after 1890. Due to their for the time radical demands on universal suffrage and greater autonomy for the Czech lands of Austria-Hungary, they received considerable support in their homeland but correspondingly greater opposition from Vienna.

Thereafter the Social Democrats and the Agrarian Party made inroads into their electoral base, and the party lost much of its influence. The leading politician in the history of the party was Kramář. The party's official newspaper was Národní listy, to which Jaroslav Hašek contributed many short stories. At the 1911 election to Parlament they achieved 9.8 per cent of the votes in Bohemia and had 14 representatives.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Host jako host,“ řekl Palivec, „třebas Turek. Pro nás živnostníky neplatí žádná politika. Zaplať si pivo a seď v hospodě a žvaň si, co chceš. To je moje zásada. Jestli to tomu našemu Ferdinandovi udělal Srb nebo Turek, katolík nebo mohamedán, anarchista nebo mladočech, mně je to všechno jedno.“

Also written:Young Czech Party en Jungtschechen de Ungtsjekkarane no

Věznice Pankrácnn flag
Palackého tř. 88/-, Nusle Pankrác-K.u.k. Ärar [1906]
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Věznice Pankrác is implicitly mentioned by Palivec when he explains that talking politics might mean ending up in Pankrác.

The prison is also referred to in [I.3] where the unfortunate lathe operator who broke into Podolský kostelík was incarcerated and later died.

Background

Věznice Pankrác (C.k. trestnice pro mužké v Praze) was at the time a large penitary for men, and "pankrác" is almost synonymous with prison in Czech slang. The prison is named after the Pankrác district where it is located. Construction started in 1885 and was complete in 1889.

It was at the time a modern prison with good conditions for the inmates. In Austrian times the prison mostly housed dangerous male criminals but also saw the odd political prisoner.

The prison later became the scene of executions and 1580 persons were killed; 1087 of them during the Nazi occupation. During Communist rule from 1948 another few hundreds were executed.

Egon Erwin Kisch

The raging reporter has contributed his part to the fame of the prison. Denied permission to enter, he still climbed the walls, and reported from the cemetry of the inmates. Their graves were not marked! This is all revealed in the story, xxxxx, first printed in Bohemia on xx.xx.19xx.

Links

Quote from the novel
[1.1] „Já se do takových věcí nepletu, s tím ať mi každej políbí prdel,“ odpověděl slušně pan Palivec, zapaluje si dýmku, „dneska se do toho míchat, to by mohlo každému člověku zlomit vaz. Já jsem živnostník, když někdo přijde a dá si pivo, tak mu ho natočím. Ale nějaký Sarajevo, politika nebo nebožtík arcivévoda, to pro nás nic není, z toho nic nekouká než Pankrác.“
[1.3] Potom ten soustružník zemřel na Pankráci.

Also written:Pankrác Prison en Pankratz Gefängnis de Pankrác fengsel no

Krajský soud Píseknn flag
Velké nám. 121/17, Písek-K.u.k. Ärar [1915]
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Krajský soud Písek is where the pig gelder from Vodňany was sentenced and executed, all whilst uttering the worst imaginable things about the emperor. At least this is what Švejk tells Bretschneider at U kalicha.

Background

Krajský soud Písek was an institution that was part of the judiciary of Austria, and also remained under Czechoslovakia. Písek also hosted an okresný soud (district court), and this court still exists. The location of the court is almost certainly the same as under Austria.

The court in Písek was involved in the infamous Hilsner-affair where a Jew was accused of ritual murder. His death-sentence was confirmed in Písek on 14 November 1900 but the verdict was converted to life imprisonment and in 1918 he was set free during a general amnesty. Future president Masaryk put his academic career at stake during his defence of Hilsner. The verdict at Písek was quashed as late as 1998.

Quote from the novel
[1.1] Když ho potom u krajského soudu v Písku věšeli, ukousl knězi nos a řekl že vůbec ničeho nelituje, a také řekl ještě něco hodně ošklivého o císařovi pánovi.“

Also written:Písek District Court en Landesgericht Písek de Distriktsretten Písek no

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


© 2009 - 2018 Jomar Hønsi Last updated: 19/8-2018