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The Good Soldier Švejk

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Mariánská kasárna in Budějovice (Budweis). Until 1 June 1915 it was the home of the Good Soldier Švejk's k.u.k. Infanterieregiment Nr. 91. In 1915 Jaroslav Hašek also served with the regiment in these barracks.

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

The line between this page and "Places" is blurred, churches do for instance rarely change location, but are still included here. Therefore Prague and Vienna will still be found in the "Places" database, because these have constant coordinates. On the other hand institutions may change location: Odvodní komise and Bendlovka are not unequivocal geographical terms so they will from now on appear on this page.

The names are colour coded according to their role in the plot, illustrated by these examples: U kalicha as a location where the plot takes place, k.u.k. Kriegsministerium mentioned in the narrative, Pražské úřední listy as part of a dialogue, and Stoletá kavárna, mentioned in an anecdote.

>> index of institutions, taverns, military units, societies, periodicals ... (226) Show all
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Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

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

Drogerie Průšann flag
Královské Vinohrady/699, Tylovo nám. 19
Google mapsearch
prusa.png

Národní listy, 24.6.1903

prusa.jpg

Narodní Politika, 6.5.1910

Drogerie Průša was the chemist's store where the first servant Ferdinand was an assistant. He drank a bottle of hair oil by mistake.

Background

Drogerie Průša was a chemist's store at Tylovo náměstí right on the lower corner with Vávrova třída at 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-bugs. 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).

Quote(s) 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.“

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák, Radko Pytlík

Literature

K.u.k. Heernn flag
Wien I., Stubenring 1
Wikipedia czdeen Google mapsearch
kukarmee.jpg

Schematismus für das k.u.k. Heer und für die k.u.k. Kriegsmarine 1914.

kukarmee1.jpg

Uniforms of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces

Český svět, 31.7.1914.

verlustliste.jpg

Example of casualty list

Verlustliste, 11.7.1916.

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 Mrs. 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 (Royal and Imperial armed forces). Together with the k.k. Landwehr (Austrian national guard) and the 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 of the Dual Monarchy.

The common army consisted of infantry, cavalry, artillery, supply-troops and technical troops. The period of service was until 1912 three years, then two. During the war, losses were replaced by so-called march battalions, one of which Švejk was later to be assigned to. The common army existed from 1867 to 1918 and suffered disastrous losses in World War I, 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 became increasingly dependant on German support.

The army command was from 1913 located in the building of the k.u.k. 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 formally 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 Erzherzog Friedrich was general inspector of the army but he delegated the operative responsibility to field marshal Feldmarschall Conrad.

Quote(s) 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

Literature

U kalichann flag
Praha II./1732, Na Bojišti 14
Google mapsearch Švejkova cesta
ukalicha2.png

Národní politika, 2.8.1899.

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Mládenec, 7.11.1913.

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Národní politika, 17.11.1917.

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Národní politika, 14.11.1923.

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Chytilův adresář, 1924.

U kalicha is the tavern where Švejk and landlord pubkeeper 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 (Mrs. Müllerová had just read about it).

The plot returns to U kalicha in [1.6] when Švejk is released from his ordeal, again meets detective Bretschneider, and convinces the detective to buy dogs from him. His last visit is in [1.10] after he has started his career as officer's servant with Feldkurat Katz. Mrs. Palivcová refuses to serve him as she thinks he is a deserter.

U kalicha is also mentioned in [2.4] in the classic scene from Bruck an der Leitha when Švejk and Sappeur Vodička promise to meet there after the war, at six in the evening - one of the most famous quotes from the entire novel.

Background

U kalicha is the name of a restaurant in Na Bojišti street in Nové město, and also the name of the building where the restaurant is located. Today it is thanks to The Good Soldier Švejk a tourist attraction, but in 1914 it an ordinary pub with one tap-room, . 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. The building itself has been there at least since 1890. In 1907 the property was advertised for sale and the advert mentions the pub.

In the 1910 address book it is listed at Na Bojišti 1732/14. The landlord is now Vilém Juris, who in 1907 is registered as landlord of a pub in Smíchov. Police records reveal that he lived at Na Bojišti 1732 from 18 July 1908, was born in 10 June 1871 and married to Blahoslava. In 1913 he placed adverts specifically aimed at students and he used the name U zlatého kalichu. Juris marketed his establishment "as a well known meeting spot for students, with concerts every day and open until the morning". 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 signs that U kalicha had started to exploit its connection to The Good Soldier Švejk.

Hašek and U kalicha, an unclear connection
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© VÚA

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A blip from Elsbeth Wessel

It remains unclear why Jaroslav Hašek gave U kalciha such a prominent role in the novel as none of his biographers or friends mentions it as a place he frequented.

One possible connection is one Josef Švejk (1892-1965) who from 1912 onwards lived two houses down the street. This is a person the author may have known about, particularly since both were volunteers in České legie from 1916. In this context it is worth mentioning that there is no mention of U kalicha in the 1911 and 1917 versions of The Good Soldier Švejk so the author's knowledge of this person may have inspired him to introduce U kalicha in the novel. His first name Josef is also introduced in the novel.

We also know that Jaroslav Hašek associated with students from the technical college so he may have been drawn to U kalicha by them. That he knew the environs of U kalicha is also clear. Two houses down, in number 463/10, a brothel was registered on Antonín Nosek (1912). This could explain why Švejk told Sappeur Vodička that "they have girls there".

The well known Norwegian germanist Elsbeth Wessel contributes with a peculiar item. In an otherwise insightful chapter on Hašek she informs that "that the author slowly drank himself to death at U kalicha". Who the source of this claim is we don't know, but this should be regarded as a blip as the rest of her contribution is of high quality.

Legends forming
huppert.png

Prager Presse, 5.12.1929.

Over the years a number of legends have been spun around U kalicha and Jaroslav Hašek’s novel. An early example is Maxmilian Huppert (Prager Presse, 5 December 1929) who claimed that a certain František Švejca (born 1875) was a regular there, traded in stolen dogs, and adds a number of details that bear the hallmarks of trying to adapt reality to fit the novel. Hupperts crown witness is a former landlord at U kalicha, Ferdinand Juris. He claims to have known this "Švejk". More tangible is the information that U kalicha no longer operated and that the premises now were used for storing flour.

In 1968 a related story appeared in the weekly 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 details that attempt to connect this Švejk to Hašek appears to be invented. See Josef Švejk for details.

A web of hearsay

In his book Die Abenteuer des gar nicht so braven Humoristen Jaroslav Hašek (1989) Jan Berwid-Buquoy threw in several new but rather "colourful" 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, through another book (2011) and an article in Reflex (2012). He even changed the name of the landlord and other details, but the essence of the information has not been possible to confirm. Later it was 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 1906 address books lists the owner of the building U kalicha as Karel Císař.

In the end these stories appear to be based on hearsay. A more serious concern is that most it appears on the restaurant's own web site (even in English and Russian), so the myths get propagated world-wide. Here even more "facts" are thrown in the pot: U kalicha is supposed to have become popular after the translation of The Good Soldier Švejk into German (1926) and particularly during the thirties when German journalists and men of letter came to visit Egon Erwin Kisch. In that case they would have been disappointed as the restaurant closed down some time between 1924 and 1929 (it is not present in the 1936 address book).

A tourist attraction
u_kalicha.jpg

The original tap-room at No. 14 (2011)

Around 1955 U kalicha was expanded (probably re-opened), and deliberately turned into a tourist attraction. From then on the restaurant occupies both No 14. and No 12. It lives well on the connection with Švejk, with prices above average and frequent tour groups visiting. Still U kalicha is worth a visit as it is decorated with memorabilia related to Švejk and the times of World War I. To avoid the crowds it is advisable to visit around lunchtime or early afternoon. The food is Czech, the menu comes in 27 languages.

Quote(s) 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

Literature

Staatspolizeinn flag
Praha I./313, Bartolomějská 4
Google mapsearch
polizeidirektion.png

© LA-PNP

uvalsu.png

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

© LA-PNP

postopach.png

Čechoslovan, 21.8.1916 (3.9).

Staatspolizei is mentioned when it is revealed that detective Bretschneider is in the service of the state police.

Background

Staatspolizei (officially k.k. Staatzpolizei) was the domestic civilian intelligence service of Cisleitanien, which main task was surveillance of potential enemies of the state. In the context of The Good Soldier Švejk we understand the Prag branch. The department was created in 1893 after civilian unrest and the unit reported directly to the "Statthalter" (Governor). In Prague their servicemen and agents were operating from c.k. policejní ředitelství. In their service were amongst others two young lawyers, Mr. Slavíček and Mr. Klíma. Head of the unit was Viktor Chum.

U Valšů

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

During the war the eyes of the state police again fell on Jaroslav Hašek. It happened after the author on 17 June 1916 published a story in Čechoslovan in Kiev where he lets a tomcat soil pictures of the emperor. This led to charges of 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.

Quote(s) 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.

Literature

Vinárna Sarajevonn flag
Nusle
Google mapsearch

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

Background

Vinárna Sarajevo has yet to be identified. According to Milan Hodík pubkeeper 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(s) 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
Praha II./1987, Ferdinandova tř. 20
Wikipedia czdeen Google mapsearch Švejkův slovník
kramar_reichsrat.jpg

Karel Kramář, Reichsrat 1896. © Radio Praha

Mladočeši is mentioned indirectly when pubkeeper Palivec tells detective 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 Erzherzog 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.

Quote(s) 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

Literature

Věznice Pankrácnn flag
Nusle/88, Palackého tř. -
Wikipedia czdeen Google mapsearch Švejkův slovník
pankrac2.png

Egon Erwin Ksich, Bohemia, 7.11.1913

Věznice Pankrác is implicitly mentioned by pubkeeper Palivec when he explains that talking politics might mean ending up in Pankrác.

The prison is also referred to in [1.3] 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 cemetery of the inmates. Their graves were not marked! This is all revealed in the story Im Friedhof der Pankratzer Sträflinge (On the cemetery of the Pankrác inmates), first printed in Bohemia on 7 November 1913, in 1931 appearing in the book Prager Pivatal with the title changed.

Quote(s) 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

Literature

Krajský soud Píseknn flag
Písek/121, Velké nám. 17
Wikipedia cz Google mapsearch
ksoudpisek.jpg

Velké náměstí in Písek (1917). The large building to the left housed the regional court.

© Písecký deník

ksoudpisek.png

"Královské město Písek", Jan Matzner, 1898

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 detective Bretschneider at U kalicha.

Background

Krajský soud Písek was an institution that was part of the judiciary of Austria, and also remained functional in Czechoslovakia until 1945. It resided in a large building at southern part of Velké náměstí, down towards Otava and adjacent to the smaller Okresní soud Písek. The court president in 1915 was František Soukup. At the site is today (2021) located the latter, i.e. the district court, is but the building is newer.

Hilsner

The court in Písek hosted the 2nd trail of the infamous Hilsner affair (or Polna affair) where the young Jew Leopold Hilsner was accused of ritual murder. His death-sentence was confirmed in Písek on 14 November 1900 but was converted to life imprisonment by Kaiser Franz Joseph I. and in 1918 he was set free during a general amnesty[a]. Future president professor Masaryk put his academic career at stake during his defence of Hilsner, and an article he wrote in on the case was confiscated[b]. The verdict at Písek was quashed as late as 1998.

Quote(s) 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 Regional Court en Kreisgericht Písek de Kretsretten Písek no

Literature

References
bBericht über die Revision der Polnaer ProcessesTomáš Masaryk, Die Zeit10.10.1900
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

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


© 2009 - 2021 Jomar Hønsi Last updated: 27.11.2021