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

5. From Bruck on the Leitha toward Sokal

Brucker Zuckerfabriknn flag
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Brucker Zuckerfabrik um 1910

Brucker Zuckerfabrik is mentioned by Lukáš (using the term "sugar factory") when he tells Vaněk about some manouvres in Bruck an der Leitha.


Brucker Zuckerfabrik was from it started in 1909 until it was closed in 1986 one of the largest sugar refineries in Austria. Today it is the site of a biodiesel-factory. Wolfgang Gruber and Erwin Sillaber have written a detailed history of the sugar factory.

Trotz regionaler Widerstände und Schwierigkeiten entstand in Bruck im Jahre 1909 ein moderner Verarbeitungsbetrieb für Zuckerrüben. Die Brucker Zuckerfabrik wurde für die Ostregion südlich der Danube über Jahrzehnte zu einem wichtigen Arbeit- und Auftraggeber.

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Source: Wolfgang Gruber

Quote from the novel
[2.5] „Předevčírem při nachtübungu měli jsme, jak víte, manévrovat proti Einjährigfreiwilligen Schule za cukrovarem. První švarm, vorhut, ten šel ještě tiše po silnici, poněvadž ten jsem vedl sám, ale druhý, který měl jít nalevo a rozeslat vorpatroly pod cukrovar, ten si počínal, jako kdyby šel z výletu.

Also written:Bruck Sugar Factory en Bruck cukrovar cz Bruck sukkerfabrikk no

Drogerie Kokoškann flag
Na Perstyně 360/4, Praha I
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House No. 360, 2 January 1905. © AHMP


Národní listy, 1.7.1890

Drogerie Kokoška is mentioned by Švejk in his story from when he was a chemist's apprentice at Mr Kokoška in Na Perštýně. The pharmacy store was located in this street.


Drogerie Kokoška was a chemist's store where Jaroslav Hašek in 1898 worked as an apprentice after prematurely ending his studies at the gymnasium. The shop was located at the corner of Na Perštýně and Martinská ulice, in the house U třech zlatých koulí. The information is confirmed by newspaper adverts, address books and a photo from 1905. The owner Kokoška opened the store/workshop in the summer of 1890. It was operating until 1906 when the proprietor died.

From the old pharmacy

The author's time at the chemists inspired a series of eight stories that were published in Veselá Praha in 1909 and 1910. Here Kokoška, Tauchen and Ferdinand all appear but the former two with their names slightly twisted but easily recognizable (Kološka and Tauben). The stories were translated to English by Cecil Parrott and included in the book The red commissar.

The stories that are written in the first person form describe the pharmacy, the people who worked there, and also customers and neighbours. Pivotal to the story is Mr. Kološka who is an elderly man with a kind heart. His assistant is the lazy Mr. Tauben who doesn't take his duties too seriously and also encourages the you apprentice not to run his shoes off for the boss. Another employee is Ferdinand who is known for his colourful and immaculately kept carriage into which he puts all his diligence and pride. Mrs. Kološka is described in extremely unflattering terms and she is also given the nick-name "acid". She torments her husband and the staff at the pharmacy. Her name is Marie (born Vanouš), she is a tall and corpulent lady but with quite attractive features. She and her father continuously remind Kološka that the business would have gone under by now if it hadn't been for their help. It is also revealed that Kološka and his wife live together with the evil father-in-law and that the marriage came about for financial reasons. They lived somewhere else, not in the pharmacy building, and appeared to be quite well off.

Ficton and facts

As commonly known in the writing of Hašek these stories are also a mix of facts and invention. There exists no doubt that the author was an apprentice at the pharmacy, that the owner was Kokoška and the location of the business is also correct. Menger could confirm that a Tauben worked there, likewise a Ferdinand Vavra who probably is the model for the Ferdinand with the colourful cart. On the other had the young apprentice seem to have had a much more strained relationship with Tauben than what is apparent from the stories. The young Hašek was subjected to some envy from other staff members because he was capable and thus a favourite of the boss. Further Menger mentions Mrs. Kokošková and that she came from a wealthy background. This appears to be true but otherwise her biographical details are differ from those of her literary counterpart. From population registers we know that Mrs Kokošková was born Anna Milnerová in 1857 and not Marie Vanouš as in the stories. On the other hand it is true that the family lived somewhere else, and not in the building of the pharmacy. The address was Prague II, Pštrossová ul. 221/25. Here they are registered from 1880 and the year after their daughter Anna was born, so moving there was clearly a result of the marriage. Hašek may also have been touching real life when describing the obnoxious behaviour of Mrs. Kološková: Anna Kokošková eventually died in a lunatic asylum in Praha. On the other hand Tauben (or Tauchen) is a mystery. Despite Menger's claim that he existed there is not a single Tauben to find in population records or police registers, and the few Tauchen who are listed have no obvious link to Kokoška2 or any pharmacy.


After the death of Kokoška in 1906 the shop and the workshop was taken over by Václav Rubeš. In the meantime it had also moved from No. 360 to the next-door No. 359 with address Martinská ulice. Anna Kokošková died as late as 1916, 59 years old. It is not known what happened to the daughter Anna who was 26 when her father died.

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Quote from the novel
[2.5] „Já jsem se taky učil materialistou,“ řekl Švejk, „u nějakýho pana Kokošky na Perštýně v Praze. To byl náramnej podivín, a když jsem mu jednou vomylem ve sklepě zapálil sud benzinu a von vyhořel, tak mne vyhnal a gremium mne už nikde nepřijalo, takže jsem se kvůli pitomýmu sudu benzinu nemoh doučit. Vyrábíte také koření pro krávy?“

Also written:Drogerie Kokoschka de

U milosrdnýchnn flag
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U milosrdných is mentioned by Švejk in his story from when he was a chemist's apprentice at Mr Kokoška.


U milosrdných refers to the hospital Nemocnice na Františku associated with the monastry-komplex klášter milosrdných bratří s kostelem sv. Šimona a Judy in Staré město Prague's old town, also known as Praha_I. . This hospital was the first in Europe to carry out anasthaesia (1847).

Quote from the novel
[2.5] Chytal holuby na půdě, uměl votvírat pult s penězma a ještě nás učil jinejm melouchům se zbožím. Já jako kluk jsem měl doma takovou lékárnu, kterou jsem si přines z krámu domů, že ji neměli ani ,U milosrdnejch’. A ten pomoh panu Tauchenovi; jen řek: ,Tak to sem dají, pane Tauchen, ať se na to kouknu,’ hned mu poslal pan Tauchen pro pivo.

Also written:U milosrdnejch Švejk

Plynární stanice Letnann flag
U Královské Obory 138/37, Praha VII
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Plynární stanice Letna is mentioned in the story about the gas worker Zátka.


Plynární stanice Letna refers to a gas station at Letná of which there were two in 1910. Both were guard-houses (strážnice) whose main duty was street-lighting. The most obvious candidate is situated on the Letná plain, in U Královské Obory 138 (now Nad Královskou oborou 138/37), but the station in Skuherského 724/32 (now Pplk. Sochora 724/30) can not be ruled out entirely.

Quote from the novel
[2.5] „Co se mý osoby týká, pane rechnungsfeldvébl, když jsem to slyšel, co vy jste vo těch outvarech povídal, tak jsem si vzpomněl na nějakýho Zátku, plynárníka; von byl na plynární stanici na Letný a rozsvěcoval a zas zhasínal lampy.
Kostel svaté Kateřinynn flag
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Kostel svaté Kateřiny is mentioned in the same story as recruit Pech who was from nearby Dolní Bousov where this church is.


Kostel svaté Kateřiny is the parish church in Dolní Bousov. According to local sources it was built in 1759 and 1760 in baroque style. There was probably a church there already, just as Pech says.

Quote from the novel
[2.5] Dolní Bousov, Unter Bautzen, 267 domů, 1936 obyvatelů českých, hejtmanství Jičín, okres Sobotka, bývalé panství Kosť, farní chrám svaté Kateřiny ze 14. století, obnovený hrabětem Václavem Vratislavem Netolickým, škola, pošta, telegraf, stanice české obchodní dráhy, cukrovar, mlýn s pilou, samota Valcha, šest výročních trhů.’
Church of Saint Savann flag
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The first church of St. Sava, 1895

Church of Saint Sava is mentioned because the entire 6th March Company got lost here during the withdrawal from Belgrade. This is brought up in connection with the trial of Teveles.


Church of Saint Sava at first glance seems to refer to the largest and most important cathedral in Serbia, and the largest cathedral in south-eastern Europe, and also the largest orthodox cathedral in the world.

This assumption is however wrong, because in 1914 the cathedral was still only being planned. Construction started as late as 1935, but in 1914 there was a small church with the same name on the site, and this is surely the one the author has in mind. Both churches were/are located on the Vračar hill.

The missing march company

The story about the missing 6th March Company may be based on real events although this company never existed (each march battalion consisted of four companies, numbered I,II,III and IV). The author may however had 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.
/6th field company or another company of IR91 in mind. These fought by Belgrade during the withdrawal from Serbia in the week before 15 December 1914. During this time the regiment lost three entire companies before the remainder pulled out to Hungary across the river Sava. The three missing field companies (5th, 13th and 14th) were however captured by Borak south of Belgrade, not in the city itself.

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Source: Rudolf Kiesswetter, Petr Novák

Quote from the novel
[2.5] Byl-li však pěšák Teveles povýšen v bělehradské válečné kampani za četaře, nedalo se naprosto zjistit, poněvadž celá 6. marškumpanie se ztratila u cerkve sv. Sávy v Bělehradě i se svými důstojníky.

Also written:Cerkev svaté Savy Hašek Kostel svaté Savy cz црква Светог Саве sr

Zur weissen Rosenn flag
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Zur weissen Rose is mentioned because this is where Peroutka was found when the company was about to depart for the front.


Zur weissen Rose has not been identified, but may be a mis-translation or mis-spelling of Zum Weissen Rössel, a former guest-house in Bruck an der Leitha. Zum Weissen Rössel was located in Altstadt 6, and on the first floor was a Mannschaftspuff (brothel for the lower ranks). Altstadt is the name of a street, not the old town as the name suggests. 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. the street was centre of nightlife and entertainment in Bruck.

Bohumil Vlček recalls a Czech waitress Růženka who worked in a certain tavern named u Růže (Zur Rose) and that many Czechs, including Jaroslav Hašek, visited regularly. Further Jan Morávek, in an interview that was printed in Průboj 3 March 1968, adds that the author, before departure to the front was picked up by the patrol at U zlatého růže (Zur goldenen Rose). It is surely the same place, but there is great confusion about the real name of the place. Vlček also mentions that Jaroslav Hašek in the same situation was detained in a pub by the railway station. If this is the case, the hypothesis about Zum Weissen Rössel is invalid as it was located about 10 minutes walk from the station. On the other hand Vlček explicitely states that the "Rose" was in Bruck, whatever color or shape it might have appeared in.

Bohumil Vlček

V lágru nás nic nepoutalo, proto po zaměstnáni navštěvovali jsme v Mostě hostinec u "Růže" kde nás obsluhovala naše česká číšnice Růženka / jak v románě též o tom zmínka :/ Tam byl stalým hostem Jaroslav Hašek, kterého jsem tam též osobni poznal. Většinou do restaurace chodili Češi, jednoročáci a i mužstvo od náhr. praporu.

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Source: Bohumil Vlček, Wolfgang Gruber, Friedrich Petzneck, Klara Köttner-Benigni, Jan Morávek

Quote from the novel
[2.5] Vymlouval se, že chtěl před odjezdem prohlédnout známý skleník hraběte Harracha u Brucku a na zpáteční cestě že zabloudil, a teprve ráno celý unavený že dorazil k „Bílé růži“. (Zatím spal s Růženkou od „Bílé růže“.)

Also written:At the White Rose en U bílé růže cz Fehér Rózsa hu Ved den Kvite Rose no

Index Back Forward II. At the front Hovudpersonen

5. From Bruck on the Leitha toward Sokal

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