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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 associated with fixed geographical point, in the way that for instance cities, mountains 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: Kriegsministerium 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 (190) Show all
>> I. In the rear
Index Back Forward II. At the front Hovudpersonen

1. Švejk's mishaps on the train

Nádraží císaře Františka Josefann flag
Sadová silnice 300/2, Král. Vinohrady
Wikipedia czdeen Google mapsearch Švejk-muzeum
hlavni.jpg

Wiener Bilder, 27.1.1909.

Nádraží císaře Františka Josefa (now Hlavní nádraží) is not mentioned explicitly but it is clear from the circumstances that Lukáš and Švejk set out on their journey from this station. The trip got off to a bad start as their luggage was stolen at the station, and as we know it was to get worse …

Background

Nádraží císaře Františka Josefa was until 1918 the name of the main railway station in Prague. It has since then also been called Wilsonovo nádraží after president Woodrow Wilson. Since 1953 it has been named Praha hlavní nádraží (Prague main station). The station was opened in 1871 and is by far the busiest railway station in the country.

In 1914 the station had remote connection with Vienna and it served a number of other destinations both locally and regionally. It was one of the three major railway stations in Prague, together with Státní nádraží (now Masarykovo) and Severozápadní nádraží (now demolished).

Quote from the novel
[2.1] „Poslušně hlásím, pane obrlajtnant,“ ozval se tiše Švejk, „doopravdy ho ukradli. Na nádraží se vždycky potlouká moc takových šizuňků a já si to představuju tak, že jednomu z nich se nepochybně zamlouval váš kufr a ten člověk že nepochybně využitkoval toho, jak jsem vodešel od zavazadel, abych vám vohlásil, že s našima zavazadlama je všechno v pořádku.

Also written:Emperor Franz Joseph Station en Kaiser-Franz-Joseph-Bahnhof de

Severozápadní nádražínn flag
Tešnov 1583/2, Praha II.
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tesnov.png

Venkov, 5.7.1912.

tesnov1.png

Orientační plán král. hl. města Prahy a obcí sousedních, 1910-1914.

Severozápadní nádraží is mentioned when Švejk explains Lukáš that theft at railway stations always occur. This was after their luggage had been stolen at the station they left Prague from, presumably Nádraží císaře Františka Josefa.

According to the soldier a theft took place here at the North West Station. A pram with a little girl was stolen and handed in at Švejk's local police station.

Background

Severozápadní nádraží was a major railway station in Prague, from 1953 called Praha-Těšnov. It was located in Florenc and was in service until 1972. (The building was demolished in 1985). It was from here Jaroslav Hašek took the train to Světlá nad Sázavou (on his way to Lipnice) on 25 August 1921.

In Prague it was the main hub of Österreichische Nordwestbahn, a private railway operator that was founded in 1868 and functioned until it was nationalised in 1909. The headquarters were located in Vienna. During Austria-Hungary the station served Vienna and Berlin, and several regional desitinations.

Attempts to find any mentioning of the episode with the stolen pram have been futile. If the soldier is to be believed the theft took place in 1912 and the child handed in at Policejní komisařství Salmova ulice (the police station closest to where we assume that Švejk lived).

It should also be noted that Jaroslav Hašek was a reporter on local affairs in České Slovo The main newspaper of the Czech National Social Party. for a period in 1912 and it can't be ruled out that he re-used one of his own reports (it has even been claimed that some of these were invented).

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Quote from the novel
[2.1] Před dvěma léty na Severozápadním nádraží ukradli jedné paničce kočárek i s holčičkou v peřinách a byli tak šlechetní, že holčičku vodevzdali na policejním komisařství u nás v ulici, že prej ji našli pohozenou v průjezdě. Potom noviny udělaly z tý ubohý paní krkavčí matku.“

Also written:North West Station en Nordwestbahnhof de Nordveststasjonen no

Neue Freie Pressenn flag
Kolowratring, Fichtegasse -/12, Wien I.
Wikipedia czdeen Google mapsearch
nfp0.png

The front page of the first issue, 1.9.1864

nfp1.png

The Jewish Monitor, 29.10.1920

Neue Freie Presse is mentioned in connection with Švejk and Lukáš and their train journey to Budějovice. Opposite them in the compartment sat a completely bald man and red this paper. Later it became clear that this man was the notorious major general von Schwarzburg.

Background

Neue Freie Presse was a daily newspaper that was published in Vienna from 1864 to 1939, founded as a break-away from Die Presse. It published both a morning and an evening issue. It's political stance was bourgeois liberal, along the lines of e.g. Prager Tagblatt and Bohemia.

The newspaper eventually became very influential, led by the powerful editor in chief, Moritz Benedikt (1849-1920). It was also one of the largest of its kind in Austria, employing around 500, and the also enjoyed a reputation abroad. They were known for outstanding journalism and succeeded in enlisting writers like Theodor Herzl, Hugo von Hoffmannsthal, Bertha von Suttner and Stefan Zweig.

During World War I World wide armed conflict that took place from 1914 to 1918. Is the backdrop of the novel these web pages are dedicated to. they took an aggressive patriotic stance, but had also during the French-German war in 1870-71 shown a pro German tendency.

In the inter-war years the newspaper continued to publish but was closed by the Nazis in 1939. The paper always had many Jewish employees and Benedikt himself was of Jewish descent.

External Links

Quote from the novel
[2.1] „Dohromady nic, pane obrlajtnant,“ odpověděl Švejk, nespouštěje oči s lysé lebky civilisty sedícího naproti nadporučíkovi, který, jak se zdálo, nejevil pražádný zájem o celou záležitost a četl si „Neue Freie Presse“, „v celým tom kufru bylo jen zrcadlo z pokoje a železnej věšák z předsíně, takže jsme vlastně neutrpěli žádný ztráty, poněvadž zrcadlo i věšák patřily panu domácímu.“
V čubčím hájinn flag
Praha II.
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nekazanka.jpg

Nekázanka ulice, 1907.

V čubčím háji is mentioned in an anecdote by Švejk when he tells Lukáš about Nechleba who always wants to do good but rarely succeeds.

Background

V čubčím háji was according to Švejk a pub in Nekázanka ulice but additional information is not available. The name has surely been a colloquial term for and existing pub in the street or even a somewhere else. In 1910 there were several pubs here, where the best known was U zlatého křížku.

Folta Josef858-II. Nekázanka 1
Hýna Antonín "U zlatého křížku"880-II. Nekázanka 7
Stejskal Karel879-II. Nekázanka 9

External Links

Quote from the novel
[2.1] „Poslušně hlásím, že jsem to, pane obrlajtnant, pozoroval. Já má, jak se říká, vyvinutej pozorovací talent, když už je pozdě a něco se stane nepříjemnýho. Já mám takovou smůlu jako nějakej Nechleba z Nekázanky, který tam chodil do hospody ,V čubčím háji’.

Also written:The Bitches' Grove en Hündin im Hain de

U Špírkůnn flag
Praha I
Google mapsearch
uspirku3.png

Adressář hl.m. Prahy 1896

uspirku1.png

Prager Tagblatt, 26.9.1897

uspirku2.png

Národní listy, 11.5.1912

uspirku.png

Rovnost, 5.3.1916

uspirku4.png

Národní politika, 27.9.1929

U Špírků is mentioned on the train to Budějovice as Švejk loudly ponders the possible causes of loss of hair, and unfortunately quotes a medical student from U Špírků on this. The bald gentleman sitting opposite him is the feared Major General von Schwarzburg, who doesn't take lightly to Švejk's comments.

Background

U Špírků was a coffee-house in Staré město Prague's old town, also known as Praha_I. in Prague which still exists albeit in a different setting. According to the restaurant's web site it was founded as early as 1870 and renovated in a traditional style between 2004 and 2006.

The café is not listed in the pre-war address books, but in 1891 the police registered a certain Karel Špirk, entered with cafetier as occupation. During the 1890's Špirk and his wife on several occasions placed adverts in Prager Tagblatt where they wishes their Jewish guests a Happy New Year. In the 1896 address book the café is entered under the name U dvou kominíků (At the two Chimneysweeps) with wife Rozalie Špirková as the owner.

In 1912 Národni listy reported that Karel Špirk had passed away and they also add that he was 54 years old, was a café owner and a proprietor of real estate. Špirk was according to the police books born 12 October 1858 in Prague so the connection to the café is indisputable. He was married to the ten year younger Roselie, and they had a daughter Anna who was born in 1887. Karel Špirk died on 9 May 1912 in Senohraby and was buried at Vyšehrad cemetery.

A newspaper notice in Právu Lidu from 1916 confirms that the café was still in business and that it was subjected to a police raid on suspicion of illegal prostitution (Tunel is mentioned in the same item). As late as 1929 adverts reveal that the establishment was still running, now officially using the name U Špírků. They hosted concerts, and served Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell).

The owner in 1924 was Josef Baloun. In 1936 Marie Balounová was the owner. A picture from 1945 reveals that the establishment survived the Nazi protectorate. During the first republic U Špírků also functioned as an unofficial brothel (licensed brothels were banned in 1921).

Another "U Špírků"

From 1920 onwards another tavern carrying the name appears in newspaper adverts. It was located in Sokolská třída in Nové město Prague's new town, also known as Praha_II. and is also a place the author surely would have known about as he frequented this part of the city a lot (see Apollo, Bendlovka and U kalicha). Newspaper adverts reveal that this U Špírků was often used for meetings. Although there is no trace of this café in pre-war address books, one shouldn't rule out "backdating" as Jaroslav Hašek at times added pieces of information to his novel that were chronologically at odds with the 1914/1915 plot. See Siedliska, Lokesch, Batěk for some examples.

External Links

Quote from the novel
[2.1] “A pokračoval neúprosně dál: „Potom říkal jednou jeden medik v kavárně „U Špírků“, že padání vlasů zaviňuje duševní pohnutí v šestinedělí.“
Banka Slaviann flag
Havlíčkovo nám. 978/23, Praha II
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slavia.jpg

Rozkvět, 10.4.1910

slavia1.png

Český Lloyd, 13.9.1902

Banka Slavia is mentioned on the train to Budějovice when Švejk in an innocent manner asks general von Schwarzburg if he may happen to be Purkrábek, the representative of this bank.

Background

Banka Slavia was a mutual insurance company (and bank) with headquarters at Havlíčkovo náměstí. The company was founded in 1868 by a group of businessmenn led by F. L. Chleborad. The first general assembly was held 14 May 1869. The company expanded quickly and by the turn of the century they were established in Prague, Brno, Vienna, Lwów, Zagreb and Lubljana. At the outbreak of war they were present also in Sarajevo.

The inter-war years saw the firm prosper even more and they were part owners of many foreign financial institutions, even as far as New York. They remained in business until 1945.

Hašek and Slavia

Jaroslav Hašek was employed as an apprentice by the bank from October 1902 until he was dismissed in June 1903. The reason was two longer absences without permission, the latest occurred 30 May 1903. Hašek disappeared without a trace and went off on a trip that may have lasted up to 4 months.

The author's family were strongly connected to Slavia: both his father Josef and his younger brother Bohuslav worked for the bank.

External Links

Source: Vojtěch Pojar, Radko Pytlík Prominent Czech publicist and literary historian (1928-), leading expert on Hašek, author of numerous books and articles about the author of Švejk. Considered the foremost living authority on Hašek and his life and writing.

Quote from the novel
[2.1] „Dovolte, vašnosti, neráčíte být pan Purkrábek, zástupce banky Slavie?“
K.u.k. Infanteriekadettenschule Pragnn flag
Mariánské hradby 221/-, Praha IV.
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kadetniskola1.jpg

Český svět, 1913

K.u.k. Infanteriekadettenschule Prag is directly mentioned first time in the conversation between Generalmajor Major General (cz. generalmajor), rank no. 5. General-Offizier. The rank above Oberst and below Feldmarschalleutnant. Typically brigade commander. von Schwarzburg and Lukáš after the infamous episode on the train to Tábor. Here Lukáš is asked where he absolved cadet school, and the answer is Prague.

When the author introduces Lukáš in [1.14] the cadet school is mentioned but it was not revealed where it was located.

In [3.1], at the station in Győr, Ságner and station commander Zykán have a serious conversation. It is revealed that Ságner and Lukáš were class-mates at the school, together with Zykán.

Background

K.u.k. Infanteriekadettenschule Prag refers to an infantry cadet school in Prague which was opened in 1869 and was situated in the northern part of Hradčany from 1900. The building still exists and has had various functions since, and has also been used by Nazi and Soviet occupants. Today the building is used by the Czech Ministry of Defence.

The real life Čeněk Sagner actually attended this school from 1901 to 1905 whereas Rudolf Lukas did not. He graduated from Královo Pole (Königsfeld) by Brno. These two were the only infantry cadet schools on Czech lands. In addition Moravia hosted the only cavalry cadet school in the monarchy, i Hranice na Moravě (Mährisch Weisskirchen).

Cadet schools were institutions that educated active officers for the land forces. Most of them belonged to the infantry, but there were schools also for cavalry, artillery and pioneers. The education lasted for four years and beside military subjects general subjects were also taught. The graduates obtained the rank Fähnrich, until 1908 Kadett Cadet (cz. kadet). Student at a military school. -Stellvertreter. The schools' elite profile was was underpinned by an arrangement were sons of officers paid much lower tuition fees than others.

External Links

SourceMilan Hodík Czech military historian (1933-), publisher of three books on Švejk, focussing on the backdrop. Best known is his two-volume encyclopaedia of explanations to themes is the novel.

Quote from the novel
[2.1] „Pane nadporučíku,“ řekl, „kde jste navštěvoval kadetní školu?“ „V Praze.“ „Vy jste tedy chodil do kadetní školy a nevíte ani, že důstojník je zodpověden za svého podřízeného. To je pěkné.
[3.1] Pamatuji se jenom na to, že jsem jednou v kadetce v Praze vám pomáhal na hrazdu jako jeden ze staršího ročníku. Tenkrát jsme oba nesměli ven. Vy jste se pral s Němci ve třídě? Tam byl s vámi také Lukáš.

Also written:Infantry Cadet School Prague en Pěchotní kadetní škola Praha cz Praha Infanterikadettskule no

Táborské nádražínn flag
Google mapsearch Švejk-muzeum
tabornadr1.jpg

Josef Lada, 1955.

tabornadr.jpg

Bechyňská dráha,zahájení, nádraží, 1903

tabormag.png

Wounded Hungarian soldiers in Tábor

Nachrichten über Verwundete und Kranke, 9.1.1915.

tabornadr.png

Chytilův adresař 1915.

Táborské nádraží plays an important role in the plot because Švejk and Lukáš's journey from Prague to Budějovice to join their regiment was unexpectedly interrupted here. This was after Švejk's many mishaps on the train, culminating in him pulling the emergency brake. As he couldn't pay the fine he had to leave the train to explain himself to the station master.

A benefactor at the station who were sympathetic to his plight paid the fine and gave him money for the trip onwards, but the money were spent at the station restaurant instead. Here Švejk treated a Hungarian reconvalescent with beer (one after the other) and the chance to buy a ticket onwards disappeared more and more with each beer.

Švejk was in the end discovered by a patrol and taken to the station's military commander who in the end ordered him to continue on foot. This was the beginning of his famous anabasis where he, despite his great enthusiasm, for a long timed struggled to join his regiment.

Background

Táborské nádraží is the railway station in Tábor, situated appx. 2 km east of the town centre. It is one of the major stops on the line Prague - Budějovice.

The railway station was built between 1869 and 1971 and was used by the company Kaiser Franz Josephs-Bahn[1] who operated the line Prague - Vienna. Other important stops on the line were Benešov, Veselí nad Lužnicí, Třeboň and Gmünd. The station was also served Budějovice and from 1903 the local train to Bechyně. In 1914 the station also served lines going east-west: Jihlava - Domažlice. Station manager in 1914 was Vincenc Motyčka so this was the person Švejk would have reported to (if his mishaps were based on any real-life incident).

Magyars in Tábor

It may at first sight appear strange that Švejk would meet a wounded Hungarian soldier in Tábor, far from the Hungarian heartlands. Further investigations do however reveal that it was quite likely. Tábor had a large hospital, good railway connections, and admitted wounded soldiers from all over the monarchy. Lists of wounded and infirm from early 1915 show up several Hungarian names at this hospital.

Outbreak of war also led to the establishment of temporary hospitals. Already in August 1914 Sokol put their building at the disposal for sick-beds and the waiting rooms at the station were used by the Red Cross. In january 1915 military hospitals were also established elsewhere in town. That there were several of them in Tábor is also mentioned by the author.

Hašek at the station?

Jaroslav Hašek didn't write much about Tábor in his short stories so it is unclear if he ever visited before World War I World wide armed conflict that took place from 1914 to 1918. Is the backdrop of the novel these web pages are dedicated to. . In February 1915 there is however no doubt that the train that brought him to Budějovice to enrol in IR91 K.u.k. Infanterieregiment Nr. 91
(Royal and Imperial Infantry Regiment No. 91). One of 102 regular Austro-Hungarian infantry regiments, recruitment district Budweis. This is the regiment where Švejk and also Hašek served. A complete description of the regiment will follow later.
must have stopped here. The contingent of Landsturm recruits that Hašek belonged to was called up on 15 February 1915 and he enlisted at the regiment two days later. Whether this delay was due to a stop-over in Tábor or simply a result of queues during enrolment is anybody's guess. In the novel the author mentions two propaganda posters that fit fairly well with mid February 1915, namely those of Bong and Danko. There is no doubt that he saw the items, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to describe them so accurately. That said he might have come across them somewhere else or even had them at hand when he wrote the novel six years later. It should also be added that his description of the station restaurant as "third class" doesn't seem to correspond to facts. Photos and other information indicates that it was an up-market establishment. See Nádražní restaurace v Táboře.

[1]Nationalised and incorporated into k.k. Staatsbahnen 1 May 1884.

External Links

Quote from the novel
[2.1] Zůstal průvodčí se Švejkem a mámil na něm dvacet korun pokuty, zdůrazňuje, že ho musí v opačném případě předvést v Táboře přednostovi stanice. „Dobrá,“ řekl Švejk, „já rád mluvím se vzdělanejma lidma a mě to bude moc těšit, když uvidím toho táborskýho přednostu stanice.“

Also written:Tábor railway station en Tábor Bahnhof de Tábor jernbanstasjon no

Nádražní restaurace v Tábořenn flag
Google mapsearch Švejk-muzeum
tabnadrest.jpg

Interiér, Nádražní restaurace

tabnadrest.png

Chytilův adresař 1915.

tabnadres1.png

Tábor, 4.6.1915.

Nádražní restaurace v Táboře was a third class restaurant at the station in Tábor that was visisted by Švejk after he had to leave the train because of the episode with the emergency break. A friendly gentleman both paid his fine and also gave him a fiver for the journey onwards. Švejk however suffered the misfortune that he drank one beer after the other and he also invited a Hungarian reconvalescent to join him. The result was that he had no money left and had to continue on foot, thus starting on his famous anabasis.

Background

Nádražní restaurace v Táboře is today (2010) a basic bistro but earlier it was a large and up-market restaurant with a summer terrace. It was situated between the two main blocks of the station building.

A restaurant existed at the station already from 1871 when the station opened, and in 1886 it was run by Antonín Jonáš. Who ran the restaurant through the years is unknown but in 1913 Antonín Stětina was in charge. He seems to have gone bankrupt in the spring of 1914.

From 1914 Jan Zimák is officially listed as proprietor and he was also in charge when Jaroslav Hašek passed through Tábor in mid February 1915. From August 1914 Zimák also provided food for the Red Cross clinic that was set up at the station. In 1915 the restaurant advertised itself as elegant, with excellent food, serving draught beer from Pilsen. In 1932 it was still operating and not much had changed - and the beer was still from Pilsen. The landlord was now Karel Hokův and he was listed as owner also in 1939. What happened to the restaurant since then is not known.

The information we have about the restaurant does not correspond to the author's description of it as "third class" so it must be assumed that he didn't visit himself, and that Švejk's stop-over is inspired by events that took place elsewhere.

External Links

Quote from the novel
[2.1] Mezitím dobrý muž věřící v nevinnost Švejkovu zaplatil za něho v kanceláři pokutu a odvedl si Švejka do restaurace třetí třídy, kde ho pohostil pivem, a zjistiv, že všechny průkazy i vojenský lístek na dráhu nalézají se u nadporučíka Lukáše, velkomyslně dal mu pětku na lístek i na další útratu. When this large scale restaurant ceased to exist is not known.

Also written:Tábor station restaurant en Tábor Bahnhofgaststätte de Tábor stasjonsrestaurant no

Index Back Forward II. At the front Hovudpersonen

1. Švejk's mishaps on the train


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