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The Good Soldier Švejk

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Mariánská kasárna in Budějovice, home of Švejk's k.u.k. Infanterieregiment Nr. 91 until 1 June 1915.

The novel The Good Soldier Švejk refers to a number of institutions and firms, public as private. These were until 15 September 2013 categorised as 'Places'. This only partly makes sense as this type of entity can not be 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 co-ordinates. 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.

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Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

7. Švejk goes in the military

K.u.k. Kriegsministeriumnn flag
Wien I./-, Stubenring 1
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Seidels kleines Armeeschema (1914)

K.u.k. Kriegsministerium is mentioned by the author when he informs that the ministry remembered Švejk at the time when the Austrians where fleeing across Raba, and that Švejk was to help them out of the difficult situation.

The ministery appears again at the start of [1.13] when Feldkurat Katz receives a directive about how to adminster the last rites. In [2.1] the author notes that issued the propaganda posters that Švejk read at the station in Tábor (see Trainsoldat Bong and Zugsführer Danko).


K.u.k. Kriegsministerium was the common ministery of war of Austria-Hungary, one of the few institutions that the two constituent parts of the Dual Monarchy shared. Minister of War from 1912 until 1917 was Alexander von Krobatin. He was regarded as one of the hawks, who wanted to settle scores with Serbia at the slighest pretext. As can be seen on the picture he gave audience to civilians two hours every week.

The war ministry was not responsible for k.k. Landwehr and Honvéd, the territorial armies of the two parts of the empire. The formal status Švejk held with regards to the ministery is unclear. He was classified as Landsturm (domobranec), reservists that were only called up on in great danger to the motherland.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.7] V době, kdy lesy na řece Rábu v Haliči viděly utíkat přes Ráb rakouská vojska a dole v Srbsku rakouské divise jedna za druhou dostávaly přes kalhoty to, co jim dávno patřilo, vzpomnělo si rakouské ministerstvo vojenství i na Švejka, aby pomohl mocnářství z bryndy.
[1.13] Polní kurát Otto Katz seděl zadumané nad cirkulářem, který právě přinesl z kasáren. Byl to rezervát ministerstva vojenství
[1.15] Zatraceně, proč ministerstvo vojenství dává takové věci do školního programu. To je přece pro dělostřelectvo.
[2.1] Strážnice byla vyzdobena litografiemi, které v té době dalo rozesílat ministerstvo vojenství po všech kancelářích, kterými procházeli vojáci, stejně jako do škol i do kasáren.


K.u.k. Infanterieregiment Nr. 18nn flag
Hradec Králové/-, - -
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Militärschematismus..., 1859.

K.u.k. Infanterieregiment Nr. 18 is mentioned in the song Jenerál General Windischgrätz a vojenští páni through the term "the eighteenth band". See Solferino and Piedmont.


K.u.k. Infanterieregiment Nr. 18 was an infantry regiment with recruitment district Hradec Králové that took part in nearly every war the Habsburg Empire fought ever since the regiment was founded in 1682. This included the campaign of the second Italian war of independence in 1859, the actual theme of this song. At the battle of Solferino only the 4th battalion was involved, the other battalions were fortunate enough to be assigned border duty.

In 1914 the bulk of the regiment's soldiers were Czechs (75 per cent), the rest Germans.

Quote(s) from the novel
Krve po kolena a na fůry masa, 
vždyť se tam sekala vosumnáctá chasa, 
hop, hop, hop!


Pražské úřední novinynn flag
Praha III./387, Karmelitská ul. 6
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Adresář královského hlavního města Prahy a obcí sousedních, 1907


Prager Tagblatt, 5.7.1914


Prager Tagblatt, 8.9.1914

Pražské úřední noviny prints a glowing homage to the patriotic cripple Švejk after he was pushed to the draft commission in a wheelchair. The title was: "Patriotism of a cripple".


Pražské úřední noviny is not listed in the newspaper section of the address books of 1907 and 1910, but there is little doubt that the author refers to the publications of c.k. Místodržitelství (k.k. Statthalterei), often referred to by this or similar names like Pražské úřední listy, in German Prager Amtsblätter. These newspapers were mouthpieces of the Austrian authorities in Bohemia, headed by the Statthalter (governor).

The newspapers were published in Czech and German, with one official and one regular commercial part. The main periodical was Prager Zeitung in German, in Czech Pražské Noviny. Both were morning papers that were published every day except Monday. In the afternoon of working days they also published Prager Abendblatt, albeit in German only. Official announcements were printed in a separate add-on on weekdays: Úřední list Pražských Novin and Amtsblatt der Prager Zeitung respectively. On Sundays an entertainment magazine was added.

The editorial offices were located in Malá Strana, right behind Kampa island. Some time between 1907 and 1910 they changed address, but were still in the same block. Editor in chief for all the papers was Aladar Guido Przedak, for the Czech part Jan Svátek. Przedak (1857-1926) main editor from 1900 until 1918 and also bore the title k.u.k. Regierungsrat. The circulation of Prager Abendblatt was quintupled during his reign as editor.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.7] O celé této události objevil se v „Pražských úředních novinách“ tento článek:
[1.7] Vlastenectví mrzáka. Včera dopoledne byli chodci na hlavních pražských třídách svědky scény, která krásně mluví o tom, že v této veliké a vážné době i synové našeho národa mohou dáti nejskvělejší příklady věrnosti a oddanosti k trůnu stařičkého mocnáře. Zdá se nám, že se vrátily doby starých Řeků a Římanů, kdy Mucius Scaevola dal se odvésti do boje, nedbaje své upálené ruky. Nejsvětější city a zájmy byly včera krásně demonstrovány mrzákem o berlích, kterého stará matička vezla na vozíku pro nemocné. Tento syn českého národa dobrovolně, nedbaje své neduživosti, dal se odvésti na vojnu, aby dal svůj život i statky za svého císaře. A jestli jeho volání „Na Bělehrad!“ mělo tak živý ohlas v pražských ulicích, jest to jen svědectvím, že Pražané skýtají vzorné příklady lásky k vlasti a k panovnickému domu.

Also written:Prague Official Newspaper en Prager Amtszeitung de Praha Amtstidende no


Prager Tagblattnn flag
Praha I./896, Panská ul. 12
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Prager Tagblatt, 1.12.1914


Listed in the 1910 address book.


Prager Tagblatt, 5.1.1923


Prager Tagblatt, 17.1.1926

Prager Tagblatt briefly notes that Švejk was protected by Germans against Czech agents from the Entente who wanted to lynch him on his way to Střelecký ostrov.

The newspapers features again in connection with the theft of Fox. The dog's owner, Oberst Kraus, placed adverts both here and in Bohemia where he promises a reward of 100 crowns.


Prager Tagblatt was a German language daily published in Prague from 1877 until 1939. The paper had a reputation for outstanding journalistic qualities, and was regarded as one of the very best German-language newspapers of its time. It was over the years associated with a number of distinguished writers, amongst them Max Brod, Egon Erwin Kisch, Franz Kafka, Josef Roth, Michal Mareš and Friedrich Torberg. Politically it was regarded as liberal-democratic, and in Czech address books it is listed as "German progressive". Chief editor in 1910 was Gustav Horn. Franz Kafka was amongst those who contributed to the newspaper and he was also an avid reader of it.

During World War I the paper aligned with the propaganda, but was often the victim om censorship, and put more emphasis on the human costs of the war than many other papers. In the inter-war years the daily re-established its reputation for journalistic excellence, but hardly two months after the German invasion in March 1939 it was closed for good. The many Jewish staff had been dismissed already during the days after the invasion.

The editorial and administration offices were located in Panská ulice (Herrengasse), incidentally very close to where Oberst Kraus caught Oberleutnant Lukáš red-handed with the stolen Fox.

Prager Tagblatt and Hašek

After Jaroslav Hašek's death on 3 January 1923 Prager Tagblatt played a major role in acknowledging and spreading the word about the late author and his satirical masterpiece. This was largely thanks to Max Brod, an author and journalist who is better known as the custodian of Franz Kafka's literary heritage.

Already on 5 January the paper printed an obituary on Hašek, and Brod's own translation of the first chapter of the novel appeared in the same issue. During the next fifteen years Švejk and Hašek showed up repeatedly in the newspaper's columns, particularly in 1926 when the full translation into German by Grete Reiner was published.

Švejk greift in den Weltkrieg ein (Max Brod)

"Also den Ferdinand haben die uns erschlagen", sagte die Bedienerin zu Švejk, welcher, nachdem er vor Jahren den militärischen Dienst verlassen hatte (die ärtztliche Kommission erklärte ihn für vollkommen irrsinnig), sich durch den Verkauf von Hunden weisterbrachte, deren Stammbaum er fälschte.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.7] Ve stejném smyslu psal i „Prager Tagblatt“, který končil svůj článek slovy, že mrzáka dobrovolce vyprovázel zástup Němců, kteří ho svými těly chránili před lynchováním ze strany českých agentů známé Dohody.
[1.15] „Pane nadporučíku,“ pokračoval plukovník, „považujete za správné jezdit na ukradeném koni? Nečetl jste inserát v ,Bohemii’ a v ,Tagblattu’, že se mně ztratil stájový pinč?
[1.15] V tiché resignaci seděl nadporučík na židli a měl takový pocit, že nemá tolik síly nejen dát Švejkovi pohlavek, ale dokonce ukroutit si cigaretu, a sám nevěděl ani, proč posílá Švejka pro „Bohemii“ a „Tagblatt“, aby si Švejk přečetl plukovníkův inserát o ukradeném psu.


Bohemiann flag
Praha I./211, Liliova ul. 13
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The first issue after the change of names


Ferdinand Mestek de Podskal, E.E. Kisch

Bohemia, 5.7.1914.

Bohemia published an article that resembled the one from Prager Tagblatt about the cripple Švejk and his journey in a wheelchair. It adds that gifts for the benefit of the soldier can be presented at the administrative office. In the next chapter it becomes clear that it was in this paper Baronesse von Botzenheim read about the keen soldier.

In [1.14] the newspaper is mentioned again as Oberst Kraus placed an advert about the missing dog and offered a rward of 100 crowns.

On the train to Tábor [2.1] it is revealed that even Oberleutnant Lukáš reads Bohemia.


Bohemia was a German-language daily published in Prague from 1828 til 1938, associated with the German Liberal Party. During the war they took a strongly patriotic stance, and from 15 November 1914 even changed the name to Deutsche Zeitung Bohemia. The editorial and administration offices were located in Liliova ulice in Staré město and chief editor in 1914 was Andreas Haase. He held the position for an impressive 40 years, from 1879 to 1919.

E.E. Kisch

Their best known reporter was without doubt the legendary Egon Erwin Kisch. He worked for the paper from 1906 to 1913, and published many reports from Prague, mainly focused on the shady underworld. Kisch dedicated a feuilleton to flea circus director Mestek, mentions the murderer Valeš and the Negro negro Kristian, and wrote about a number of dubious establishments that are familiar to readers of Švejk: Apollo, Tunel, U Kocanů, to name just a few. Kisch knew Jaroslav Hašek personally and even wrote about him on a few occasions.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.7]Bohemie“ uveřejnila tuto zprávu žádajíc, aby mrzák vlastenec byl odměněn, a oznámila, že pro neznámého přijímá od německých občanů dárky v administraci listu.
[1.15] „Pane nadporučíku,“ pokračoval plukovník, „považujete za správné jezdit na ukradeném koni? Nečetl jste inserát v ,Bohemii’ a v ,Tagblattu’, že se mně ztratil stájový pinč?
[1.15] V tiché resignaci seděl nadporučík na židli a měl takový pocit, že nemá tolik síly nejen dát Švejkovi pohlavek, ale dokonce ukroutit si cigaretu, a sám nevěděl ani, proč posílá Švejka pro „Bohemii“ a „Tagblatt“, aby si Švejk přečetl plukovníkův inserát o ukradeném psu.
[2.1] Nadporučíkovi bezděčně zacvakaly zuby, vzdychl si, vytáhl z pláště „Bohemii“ a četl zprávy o velkých vítězstvích, o činnosti německé ponorky „E“ na Středozemním moři...


Odvodní komisenn flag
Praha I./336, Střelecký ostrov -
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Commission on 31 December 1914


Oveview of Landsturm medical examination commissions in Prague (Čech, 8 November 1914)

Odvodní komise is the Czech name for Draft commission, the body that examined Švejk at Střelecký ostrov. Head of the commission was the notorious doctor Bautze.


Odvodní komise refers in this context to Landsturmmusterungskommision No. 1, a temporary body who were tasked with carrying out a renewed medical examination of Landsturm recruits who in peace time had either been declared unfit for armed service (Waffenunfähig) or had been dismissed from the armed forces after initially having started their military service (Superarbitriert).

Commission no. 1 was responsible for recruits who lived in Prague and had right of Heimatrecht in the city. In addition it examined residents of Prague with right of domicile elsewhere, if these were born from 1878 to 1883. Jaroslav Hašek belonged to the latter group (right of domicile Mydlovary, born 1883) and necessarily also Švejk. As a soldier in k.u.k. Infanterieregiment Nr. 91 his right of domicile must have been in Heeresergänzungsbezirk Nr. 91. See Ergänzungskommando.

The commission started the examinations on 1 October 1914 when those born from 1892 to 1894 were called in. Amongst this group more than half were deemed fit for service. From 16 November to 31 December it was the turn of those born from 1878 to 1890. Amongst this group far fewer were passed capable Tauglich, less than one third. This latter group is the most interesting for us as it was here Jaroslav Hašek fit in. Everything indicates that also Švejk belonged to this group and was thus born between 1878 and 1883. On 20 January 1915 it was announced that those passed for service were to report at their Ergänzungskommando on 15 February.

The examinations took place in the garden restaurant at Střelecký ostrov, on the southern part of the island. The restaurant was in 1914 a popular destination.

Quote(s) from the novel
[1.7] Když Švejk revírnímu inspektorovi ukázal, že to má černé na bílém, že dne musí před odvodní komisi, byl revírní inspektor trochu zklamán; kvůli zamezení výtržnosti dal doprovázet vozík se Švejkem dvěma jízdními strážníky na Střelecký ostrov.

Also written:Draft commission en Musterungskommision de Mønstringskommisjonen no


Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

7. Švejk goes in the military

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