Tooltip container

The Good Soldier Švejk

Hovudpersonen Change languageChange language


Novel on-lineŠvejk MuseumBibliografieLiterární ArchivŠvejk CentralBlogTravel diaryContact

Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie leave the Sarajevo Town Hall, five minutes before the assassination, 28 June 1914.

The Good Soldier Švejk is a novel with an unusually rich array of characters. In addition to the many who directly form part of the plot, a large number of fictional and real people (and animals) are mentioned; either through the narrative, Švejk's anecdotes, or indirectly through words and expressions.

This web page contains short write-ups on the people/animals that the novel refers to; from Napoléon in the introduction to Hauptmann Ságner in the last few lines of the unfinished Part Four. The list is sorted in the order of which the names first appear. The chapter headlines are from Zenny Sadlon's recent translation (1999-2008) and will in most cases differ from Cecil Parrott's version from 1973. In January 2021 there were still around twenty entries to be added.

The quotes in Czech are copied from the on-line version of The Good Soldier Švejk: provided by Jaroslav Šerák and contain links to the relevant chapter. The toolbar has links for direct access to Wikipedia, Google maps, Google search, and the novel on-line.

The names are coloured according to their role in the novel, illustrated by the following examples:

  • Dr. Grünstein as a fictional character who is directly involved in the plot.
  • Fähnrich Dauerling as a fictional character who is not part of the plot.
  • Heinrich Heine as a historical person.

Note that a number of seemingly fictional characters are inspired by living persons. Examples are Oberleutnant Lukáš, Major Wenzl and many others.

Titles and ranks have until 2020 largely been missing on this web page. Senior Lieutenant Lukáš has, for instance, only been known as Lukáš. This weakness is now (24 December 2020) slowly being addressed. Military ranks and other titles related to Austrian officialdom will appear in German, and in line with the terms used at the time. This means that Captain Ságner is still referred to as Hauptmann although the term is now obsolete, having been replaced by Kapitän. Civilian titles denoting profession etc. are mostly translated into English.

>> People index of people, mythical figures, animals ... (587) Show all
>> I. In the rear
>> II. At the front
>> III. The famous thrashing
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen


Napoléon Bonapartenn flag
*15.8.1769 Ajaccio - †5.5.1821 St.Helena
Wikipedia czdeenfrnnno Search


D.S. Merežkovskij (Д.С. Мережко́вский) 1929.


Sur le champ de bataille de Slavkov

Alois Slovák 1923.

Napoléon is named 9 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Napoléon has the honour of being the first person to be mentioned in the novel. He is also mentioned in [I.1], and later in the novel he appears several times.

Švejk mentions that Napoléon was five minutes late at Waterloo and his whole reputation subsequently went down the toilet. This was when the train stopped before Tábor in [II.1]. At the end of this chapter his retreat from Moscow is mentioned.


Napoléon was emperor of France from 18 May 1804 to 6 April 1814. He had gradually assembled power in the aftermath of the French Revolution, aided by his unique military talent and many successes on the battlefield. He conquered and ruled over most of western and central Europe and for a couple of years also held power in Egypt. A failed campaign in Russia in 1812 weakened his position, and laid the foundations for his ultimate defeat at Waterloo in 1815.

Several battles that took place during the Napoleonic wars are mentioned in The Good Soldier Švejk: Leipzig, Aspern and Waterloo. Napoléon emerged victorious from the only major battle he was involved in on Czech territory. By Austerlitz (now Slavkov u Brna) Napoleon's army defeated Austrian and Russian forces on 2 December 1805. This battle is by many historians regarded as his greatest military achievement ever.

Quote(s) from the novel
[Úvod] Velká doba žádá velké lidi. Jsou nepoznaní hrdinové, skromní, bez slávy a historie Napoleona. Rozbor jejich povahy zastínil by slávu Alexandra Macedonského. Dnes můžete potkat v pražských ulicích ošumělého muže, který sám ani neví, co vlastně znamená v historii nové velké doby.
[I.1] Palivec byl známý sprosťák, každé jeho druhé slovo byla zadnice nebo hovno. Přitom byl ale sečtělý a upozorňoval každého, aby si přečetl, co napsal o posledním předmětě Victor Hugo, když líčil poslední odpověď' staré gardy Napoleonovy Angličanům v bitvě u Waterloo.
[I.10] A tak slova Napoleonova "Na vojně se mění situace každým okamžikem" došla i zde svého úplného potvrzení.
[I.14.2] Každý z nich je Napoleonem: "Povídal jsem našemu obrstovi, aby telefonoval do štábu, že už to může začít".
[II.1] Napoleon se u Waterloo vopozdil vo pět minut, a byl v hajzlu s celou svou slávou..."
[II.1] Šel sněhy silnice, ve mraze, zahalen v svůj vojenský plášť, jako poslední z gardy Napoleonovy vracející se z výpravy na Moskvu, s tím toliko rozdílem,...
[II.2] Ta napolionská, potom, jak nám vypravovávali, švédský vojny, sedmiletý vojny
[II.2] Tak se pánbůh na ně rozhněval pro tu jejich pejchu a voni zas přijdou k sobě, až budou si vařit lebedu, jako to bejvalo za napolionský vojny.
[II.3] Dělali to Švédové a Španělé za třicetileté války, Francouzi za Napoleona a teď v budějovickém kraji budou to dělat zase Madaři a nebude to spojeno s hrubým znásilňováním.
Alexander the Greatnn flag
*20.6.356 BC Pella - †10.6.323 BC Babylon
Wikipedia czdeennnno Search

Alexander the Great is introduced by the author as someone that Švejk exceeds the reputation of!

Alexander re-appears several times later in the novel, including in the author's reflections on the officer servant occupation in [I.14]. Here it is revealed that even Alexander had his own Putzfleck.


Alexander the Great was king of Macedonia. The Greek city states had already been united by his father, Philip II of Macedon. Alexander conquered Persia, Egypt and a number of other kingdoms and reached northern India. The conquests led to a rapid spread of Greek culture on the Eurasian continent. Thus he played a major part in the future extending of Greek culture and language.

Quote(s) from the novel
[Úvod] Velká doba žádá velké lidi. Jsou nepoznaní hrdinové, skromní, bez slávy a historie Napoleona. Rozbor jejich povahy zastínil by slávu Alexandra Macedonského. Dnes můžete potkat v pražských ulicích ošumělého muže, který sám ani neví, co vlastně znamená v historii nové velké doby.
[I.14.2] Instituce důstojnických sluhů je prastarého původu. Zdá se, že již Alexandr Macedonský měl svého pucfleka.

Also written:Alexandr Macedonský Hašek Alexandr Veliký cz Alexander der Große de Mégas Aléxandros gr

Švejk, Josefnn flag
Wikipedia czdeennnpl Search

Josef Lada's first drawing of Švejk, 1921


© Josef Lada, 1955

Švejk is named 2001 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Švejk is mentioned in the first paragraph of the introduction and he is obviously the main character of the novel. He was a dog trader from Prague, who lived by selling bastard animals that he falsified the pedigrees of. Švejk was unmarried and spent a great deal of time in the pubs of the Bohemian capital.

Švejk possessed considerable oral skills, but his mental horizon is still under debate. It is known that he was dismissed from the army due to idiocy, but it is unclear if this was feigned or not. He certainly had a good memory and had read a lot, which indicates that his limited mental abilities may have been stage-play. In the epilogue to Part One, the author explicitly states that he never meant Švejk to be feeble-minded, so that issue should be clear.

Politically, he was the apparently not very active, only brief passages reveal that he was hostile to Austria and the Catholic Church, although he mostly said exactly the opposite. Švejk was occasionally both deceitful and a thief, but in other cases he showed moral substance, particularly towards the end of the novel. He could at times appear detached and cynical - perhaps this was a defence mechanism in the unforgiving surroundings he found himself in.

Švejk came through the war unhurt, but what happened to him at the front is unclear as the novel was never completed. His first name Josef is first used in his confession at c.k. policejní ředitelství in the second chapter. In the course of the novel the main character is mentioned more than 2,000 times in a novel of slightly more than 200,000 words.

Personal information

The author provides little biographical information on his hero, but some details can be read or deduced from the novel.

Very early on the reader is told that the soldier suffers from rheumatism, and made a living by trading dogs. Later it is revealed that his father was Prokop Švejk and the mother Mrs. Antonie Švejková and the soldier seems to have been born in Dražov by Strakonice. At the outbreak of war he must have lived close to U kalicha in Praha II.. Through anecdotes we know that he some years back worked in Moravská Ostrava. Still many years back he was wandering/travelling around and got as far as Bremen. Furthermore he had once lived in Opatovická ulice. We know that he 20 December 1914 served Oberleutnant Lukáš in Prague. As a soldier he had served with in Budějovice, and it was this regiment he rejoined some time after the outbreak of war, probably in early 1915. Švejk had also served as a conscript in Trient (Trento), and this city is a theme that appears in all the three versions of The Good Soldier Švejk (1911, 1917, 1921).

The good soldier's age

At first sight it seems that Švejk's age at the outbreak of war was between 31 and 36 and he was a so called Landsturm-mann (reservist). This can be deduced from the circumstances around the draft at Střelecký ostrov and is also in line with Jaroslav Hašek's own entry into the army. This is however inconsistent with what he himself says in his anecdote about supák Schreiter where it is revealed that he served in the army in late 1912. He could thus at the earliest have started his military service in 1909, and would thus have been born between 1888 and 1891, leaving him aged from 24 to 27 in 1915.

Superarbitrated soldier on manoeuvres?

As the reader of The Good Soldier Švejk would know Švejk was years ago dismissed from the army due to idiocy, but then follows a logical short-circuit: he still took part in military exercises, and several of them: in Tábor, Písek, Velké Meziříčí, and Veszprém. His manoeuvres in South Bohemia may have been inspired by the experiences of Zdeněk Matěj Kuděj, the others rather inspired by news items picked up and memorised by the avid newspaper reader Hašek. That he took part in exercises in 1910 means that he at most could have been 32 that year, so he could not have been born before 1878.


The figure of Švejk is in the end a product of the author's literary creativity, but as with several of the other characters in the plot, he clearly has real-life models. The most obvious of these is the writer himself; he lends several personal qualities and biographical details to his hero. See Jaroslav Hašek for more on this theme.

A borrowed name

The name Josef Švejk itself is by near certainty borrowed from a real person. A young man of that name is registered with home address next to U kalicha from June 1912, and may have lived there also when Jaroslav Hašek invented his good soldier in May 1911. It is quite likely that Jaroslav Hašek knew this man (or knew about him), particularly since they from 1916 both served in České legie. That said he seems to have borrowed little more than the name from him.

Another Josef Švejk that the author surely knew about was MP for the Agrarian Party, and this person is much more likely to have lent the good soldier his name in 1911. The young Josef is however a good candidate for having caused the rebirth of The Good Soldier Švejk in 1917 and not the least in 1921 (it is only now that Švejk is connected to U kalicha). See Josef Švejk for more on this theme.

Offiser's servant Strašlipka

Another often touted inspiration is František Strašlipka, the servant of Oberleutnant Rudolf Lukas from the outbreak of war until the formers capture on 24 September 1915. Apart from his position in the nomenclature of IR. 91, Strašlipka is also believed to have inspired Švejk's incessant story-telling.

Otherwise Švejk's and Strašlipka's biographies differ greatly. Strašlipka was the Putzfleck of Rudolf Lukas from the very start of the war and joined him in the field immediately. Švejk for his part was originally a Landsturm reservist and to judge by his call-up date he was 10 years older than Strašlipka. He was drafted several months later and didn't serve only Oberleutnant Lukáš. Strašlipka was unlike Švejk never super-arbitrated and Švejk also served as a messenger, a role the former never had.

Zdeněk Matěj Kuděj

Last but not least some elements from the experiences of Hašek's good friend Zdeněk Matěj Kuděj (1881 - 1955) can be recognised in The Good Soldier Švejk. This is particularly evident in Part One where the plot is set in civilian life and few of the chapters have any obvious links to the author's own time-line during the early months of the war.

Quote(s) from the novel
[Úvod] Velká doba žádá velké lidi. Jsou nepoznaní hrdinové, skromní, bez slávy a historie Napoleona. Rozbor jejich povahy zastínil by slávu Alexandra Macedonského. Dnes můžete potkat v pražských ulicích ošumělého muže, který sám ani neví, co vlastně znamená v historii nové velké doby. Jde skromně svou cestou, neobtěžuje nikoho, a není též obtěžován žurnalisty, kteří by ho prosili o interview. Kdybyste se ho otázali, jak se jmenuje, odpověděl by vám prostince a skromně: „Já jsem Švejk…“

Sources: Radko Pytlík, Jaroslav Šerák, Jan Morávek, Jan Prchal


Artemisnn flag
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Mythologie Řekův a Římanův1908.

Artemis is mentioned indirectly by the author through the expression "the temple of the goddess in Ephesus". See Temple of Artemis.


Artemis was a Greek goddess, daughter of Zeus and sister of Apollo. Artemis was the virgin moon goddess for hunting, healing, chastity and child birth. She was also protector of wild animals and the wilderness. She was often revered as a goddess of fertility. Her Roman equivalent was Diana.

Her named had already appeared directly in an article by Jaroslav Hašek in Čechoslovan on 29 January 1917, but in the Roman version of Diana.

Když se zametá

A náš redaktor chtěl se dostat do dějin. Stejně jako Hérostratés, když zapálil chrám bohyně Diany, právě v tu noc, kdy se narodil Alexandr Veliký. Jenže Hérostratos měl před ním tu výhodu, že nebyl osobní.

Quote(s) from the novel
[Úvod] Mám velice rád tohoto dobrého vojáka Švejka, a podávaje jeho osudy za světové války, jsem přesvědčen, že vy všichni budete sympatizovat s tím skromným, nepoznaným hrdinou. On nezapálil chrám bohyně v Efesu, jako to udělal ten hlupák Herostrates, aby se dostal do novin a školních čítanek.


Also written:Ἄρτεμις gr

Herostratusnn flag
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

© GreeceHighDefinition

Herostratus is ridiculed as being exactly the opposite of the unassuming hero of this novel. Herostratus is described as the fool who set fire to the temple in Ephesus in order to get his name in newspapers and text books.


Herostratus (also called Herostrates) set fire to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus in 356 BC in order to become known, cf Herostratic fame. He was executed the same year.

This was not the first time Jaroslav Hašek wrote about Herostratus. In a stinging article in Čechoslovan on 29 January 1917 a similar imagery appears. The target is easy to identify although no names are mentioned: Bohdan Pavlů, editor of the competing weekly Čechoslovák in Petrograd.

Sergey Soloukh (2017) also points out the parallel to the story Cena slávy from 1913. The author mixes up the name with Efialtes but it is without doubt Herostrates, Ephesus and the temple of the goddess Diana he has in mind.

Když se zametá

A náš redaktor chtěl se dostat do dějin. Stejně jako Hérostratés, když zapálil chrám bohyně Diany, právě v tu noc, kdy se narodil Alexandr Veliký. Jenže Hérostratos měl před ním tu výhodu, že nebyl osobní.

Cena slavý

Ve starověku žil v Řecku muž jménem Efialtes, jehož jedinou tužbou bylo, aby se stal slavným a aby se o něm mluvilo. Aby toho dosáhl, šel a zapálil nádherný chrám bohyně Diany v Efesu, jeden ze sedmi divů světa.

Quote(s) from the novel
[Úvod] Mám velice rád tohoto dobrého vojáka Švejka, a podávaje jeho osudy za světové války, jsem přesvědčen, že vy všichni budete sympatizovat s tím skromným, nepoznaným hrdinou. On nezapálil chrám bohyně v Efesu, jako to udělal ten hlupák Herostrates, aby se dostal do novin a školních čítanek.

Also written:Herostrates Hašek Herostratos cz


Hašek, Jaroslav Matěj Františeknn flag
*30.4.1883 Praha - †3.1.1923 Lipnice nad Sázavou
Wikipedia czdeennnruuk Search

O životě Jaroslava Haška, Zdena Ančík 1953.


Kopřivy 10.9.1914.

Hašek is referred to five times in the novel. He signs the introduction as "The author". Then he briefly appears as "I" in the narrative in [I.14] when re-tells his experiences with officer servants. Finally he signs the epilogue to Part I, using his full name.


Hašek was a Czech writer, best known for the unfinished satirical novel The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk During the World War. He wrote around 1,500 short stories, six collections of short stories, was the co-author of a poetry book, and also contributed to a few plays and cabarets. Jaroslav Hašek is considered a prominent satirist, and The Good Soldier Švejk, being translated into 54 languages[a] (59 if variations are counted)[1], and is probably the most translated book written in Czech ever.

The novel about Švejk is closely linked to the author's own experiences in k.u.k. Heer in 1915, and also contains numerous autobiographical elements from other periods in his life. For more information on the connection between The Good Soldier Švejk and his author, see Jaroslav Hašek in the 'Who is Who' section.

Quote(s) from the novel
[Úvod] On nezapálil chrám bohyně v Efesu, jako to udělal ten hlupák Herostrates, aby se dostal do novin a školních čítanek. A to stačí.

[I.14.2] U 91. pluku znal jsem jich několik. Jeden pucflek dostal velkou stříbrnou proto, že uměl báječně péct husy, které kradl...
[I.14.2] Viděl jsem jednoho zajatého důstojnického sluhu, který od Dubna šel s druhými pěšky až do Dárnice za Kyjevem...
[I.14.2] Nikdy nezapomenu toho člověka, který se tak mořil s tím přes celou Ukrajinu...
[I.16] Stane-li se však slovo Švejk novou nadávkou v květnatém věnci spílání, musím se spokojit s tímto obohacením českého jazyka.

Jaroslav Hašek.

Also written:Ярослав Гашек ru Ярослав Гашек ua

1. The number 54 also includes translations that are partial, e.g. Latin and Irish. Not included are language variants: English(2), Spanish(3), Portuguese(2) and German(2). If these are counted the number is 59.


aPřeklady Osudů do jednotlivých jazyků - Bibliografie2020
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

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

Erzherzog Franz Ferdinandnn flag
*18.12.1863 Graz - †28.6.1914 Sarajevo
Wikipedia czdeenhuno Search Švejkův slovník

Franz Ferdinand was the Ferdinand Švejk did not know. The novel starts with Mrs. Müllerová telling Švejk that "they have killed our Ferdinand". Švejk knows two Ferdinands; one is a servant at a chemists and another one collects dog turds. Not until Müllerová reveals that it is the fat religious one from Konopiště do we understand that she is a talking about the fateful assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo.


Franz Ferdinand was a nephew of Kaiser Franz Joseph I. and from 1896 to 1914 heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. He was murdered in Sarajevo 28 June 1914 together with his wife Herzogin Sophie, an event that eventually led to the outbreak of World War I. His full name was Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria von Österreich-Este. He owned Konopiště castle where the family spent much of their time.

Franz Ferdinand's political views where relatively liberal; he opposed preventive warfare against Serbia and he advocated making Austria-Hungary a three-pillar federal state where the Slav nations were put on an equal footing with Germans and Hungarians.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] „Tak nám zabili Ferdinanda,“ řekla posluhovačka panu Švejkovi, který opustiv před léty vojenskou službu, když byl definitivně prohlášen vojenskou lékařskou komisí za blba, živil se prodejem psů, ošklivých nečistokrevných oblud, kterým padělal rodokmeny.

Also written:Ferdinand Hašek František Ferdinand cz Ferenc Ferdinánd hu


Mrs. Müllerovánn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

České slovo 11.11.1923.

Müllerová is named 45 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Müllerová was a servant in the house where Švejk lived. The first dialogue in the novel is between the two, they discuss the news of the shots in Sarajevo where Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand and his wife were murdered by Serbian nationalists. She had read about the shootings in the paper so the conversation surely took place on 29 June 1914 (the evening papers from the previous day were printed before the news had arrived).

Mrs. Müllerová is subsequently not mentioned again until Švejk was set free in [I.6]. Then his room had already rented out to someone else.

The next chapter boasts the famous scene where old Mrs. Müllerová pushes Švejk to the military in a wheelchair. The last time the good soldier is at home [I.10] he discovers that the poor old lady had been arrested the very evening she had rolled him off to the draft board and she was now in the concentration camp at Steinhof.

Information about the person Mrs. Müllerová is scarce. It is only revealed that she is/was married, is somewhat elderly, and she is from Nusle. She was the cousin of Mrs. Kejřová.



Jaroslav Hašek doma, Václav Menger 1935.


"Adresář města Král. Vinohradů" 1912.

Mrs. Müller does not have any obvious prototype so several theories have been proposed through the years. The strongest candidate is put forward by Václav Menger who in his book Jaroslav Hašek doma (1935) stated that a Mrs. Müllerová was a domestic servant in where Hašek's mother lived and where the author often slept over. This was in Velehradská 1411/20 on Vinohrady where his mother lived from 20 May 1908. Jaroslav and his brother Bohuslav were also registered here, Jaroslav until 9 February 1909, and Bohuslav at least until 1912 when their mother died. So whoever was servant her: Hašek would have known her well.

There were at least two female home servants registered att this addess in 1911 but none of them were named Mrs. Müllerová. The two were Marie Kalinová and Josefa Smolčíková. That said the house servant didn't necessarily live at the address where she worked, although this was the most common arrangement.

Radko Pytlík suggests that the name was borrowed from Marie Müllerová, a friend of editor Michal Kacha, one of Hašek's companions from the anarchist movement. Jan Berwid-Buquoy claims that Marie Müllerová was madam at the brothel next door to U kalicha and that Hašek borrowed the name from her.

These are only three of the possibilities but there were many Müller's living in Prague at the time (7537 entries in the police registers between 1850 og 1914, of them 531 on Marie alone), so there is ample scope for further speculation.

Mrs. Müllerová does not figure in the two early versions of The Good Soldier Švejk, but in Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí her role is partly taken by Švejk's servant Bohuslav who pushes his master off to the draft board in a wheelchair. This indicates that Müllerová is little more than a name assigned to a literary role.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] „Tak nám zabili Ferdinanda,“ řekla posluhovačka panu Švejkovi, který opustiv před léty vojenskou službu, když byl definitivně prohlášen vojenskou lékařskou komisí za blba, živil se prodejem psů, ošklivých nečistokrevných oblud, kterým padělal rodokmeny. Kromě tohoto zaměstnání byl stižen rheumatismem a mazal si právě kolena opodeldokem. „Kerýho Ferdinanda, paní Müllerová?“ otázal se Švejk, nepřestávaje si masírovat kolena, „já znám dva Ferdinandy.

Sources: Václav Menger, Radko Pytlík, Jaroslav Šerák, Jan Berwid-Buquoy

Sluha u Průši Ferdinandnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Ferdinand was a servant at drogerie Průša and drank a bottle of hair oil by mistake. He was the first Ferdinand that Švejk knew. See drogerie Kokoška.


Ferdinand is probably modelled on a colleague of the author from his time as a chemist's apprentice in 1898 and 1899. He frequently mentions a Ferdinand in his collection of stories "From the old pharmacy". In these stories the owner of the pharmacy is a certain Kološka, not drogista Průša. See drogerie Kokoška.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] „Kerýho Ferdinanda, paní Müllerová?“ otázal se Švejk, nepřestávaje si masírovat kolena, „já znám dva Ferdinandy. 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.“


Drogista Průša, Františeknn flag
*Votice 17.10.1862 - †Král. Vinohrady 22.5.1915
Search Švejkův slovník

Národní politika 27.9.1902.


Adresář královského hlavního města Prahy 1910.

Průša was the owner of the chemist's store where sluha u Průši Ferdinand was an assistant.


Průša was the owner of drogerie Průša at Tylovo náměstí in Vinohrady. Jaroslav Hašek worked here as an apprentice from March 1898 (or later) until September 1899. Exactly when he started is not known, but it happened after he had been dismissed at drogerie Kokoška.

The pharmacist was born in Votice in 1862, was married to Mathilde (b. 1872) and they had the son Rudolf. The family moved to Vinohrady in 1893. Otherwise we know little about him but newspaper adverts reveal that his store existed at least until 1915, the year Průša died. In 1916 Čech reported that his widow had been the victim of fraud, but that the culprit had been arrested and sentenced to 5 months in prison. From the death protocols it transpires that Průša died from a brain stroke, that he suffered from diabetes and lived at Vinohrady čp. 603 when he passed away.

Adverts from a chemist's Fr. Průsa appeared already in 1890 but then from Kamenice nad Lipou. That said there is no doubt that this Průša is the same person as police registers reveal that the son Rudolf was born in the very Kamenice in 1893.

Průša is the first of countless examples of how the author pulled in fragments from his own experiences to create the backdrop for the novel. Even Průša who appears to be a fictional person, is drawn from real life. This is probably the case with most of the apparently fictional figures in the novel. Their role might have been distorted or mystified but the names were rarely thought up.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.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: Radko Pytlík, Jaroslav Šerák

Also written:Pruscha de


Kokoška, Ferdinandnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Ferdinand Kokoška collected dog turds. He was the second Ferdinand that Švejk knew.


This name is surely inspired by the identically named Mr. Kokoška, the author's boss at drogerie Kokoška in 1898. Hašek was reportedly dismissed here after repainting the face of a cow so it resembled the proprietor. Here the author makes further fun of him by letting him collect dog turds.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.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: Václav Menger

Herzogin Sophie Chotek von Chotkowann flag
*1.3.1868 Stuttgart - †28.6.1914 Sarajevo
Wikipedia czdeenhuno Search Švejkův slovník

Sophie Chotek, 1868

Sophie is never mentioned by name in the novel, just referred to as "the archduchess who was riding in an automobile i Sarajevo with her archduke". Švejk was obviously not aware that she also had been killed as he talks about her as the widow who will have to find another archduke, an even fatter one. Švejk also "promotes" her to archduchess whereas her title was duchess.


Sophie was a Bohemian noble lady, married to the heir to the Austrian and Hungarian thrones, Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand. She was killed in Sarajevo together with her husband. Sophie was never accepted by the Habsburg imperial family due to her non-royal background. The children of Sophie and Franz Ferdinand therefore had no rights in succession to the throne.

Her full name was Sophie Maria Josephine Albina Gräfin Chotek von Chotkowa und Wognin.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] „Práskli ho v Sarajevu, milostpane, z revolveru, vědí. Jel tam s tou svou arcikněžnou v automobilu.“ „Tak se podívejme, paní Müllerová, v automobilu. Jó, takovej pán si to může dovolit, a ani nepomyslí, jak taková jízda automobilem může nešťastně skončit.

Also written:Žofie Chotková cz Sophie Chotek von Chotkowa de Chotek Zsófia hu


Godnn flag
Wikipedia czdeennnno Search

God as Michelangelo imagined him.

God is named 200 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

God is first referred to by Švejk when he states to Mrs. Müllerová that Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand now rests with God, obviously referring to the Christian God.

God is mentioned directly or indirectly around 200 times in The Good Soldier Švejk, mostly through common expression like "My God", "God's will", "Good Lord" etc. Very common in the word pánbůh, literally "Mr. God", in German "Herr Gott".

The pious field chaplain in [I.12] mentions the Lord an impressive three times in the same breath, albeit under the influence of alcohol.


God is a mythical figure from the Bible and the Qur'an and is the most important symbol in the three monotheistic world religions of Semitic origin: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The word "God" can also have a more general meaning, including polytheistic religions like the old Nordic Ásatrú.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] „Tak se podívejme, paní Müllerová, v automobilu. Jó, takovej pán si to může dovolit, a ani nepomyslí, jak taková jízda automobilem může nešťastně skončit. A v Sarajevu k tomu, to je v Bosně, paní Müllerová. To asi udělali Turci. My holt jsme jim tu Bosnu a Hercegovinu neměli brát. Tak vida, paní Müllerová. On je tedy pan arcivévoda už na pravdě boží. Trápil se dlouho?“
[I.12] "Já mám pánaboha rád," ozval se nábožný polní kurát, začínaje škytat, "moc ho mám rád. Dejte mně trochu vína. - Já si pánaboha vážím," pokračoval potom, "moc si ho vážím a ctím. Nikoho si tak nevážím jako jeho." Uhodil pěstí do stolu, až láhve poskočily: "Bůh je vznešená povaha, cosi nadpozemského.

Also written:Bůh cz Gott de

Kaiser Franz Joseph I.nn flag
*18.8.1830 Wien - †21.11.1916 Wien
Wikipedia czdeenhuno Search Švejkův slovník

Franz Joseph soiled by flies. The picture is a personal gift from John Rocarek, Zenny Sadlon, and Mary Keenan Sadlon. Cedar Rapids (Iowa), 30 August 2014.

Franz Joseph I. is mentioned in the first chapter, referred to as "His Imperial Highness" but is crops up several times later in the novel with his real name. He was the theme of the discussion at U kalicha after pubkeeper Palivec revealed that the flies had soiled his portrait.


Franz Joseph I. was emperor of Austria and from Ausgleich in 1867 also crowned king of Hungary. His reign lasted from 1848 to 1916 and is the fourth longest in European history. He ascended the throne when he was 18 years old, after the revolution of 1848. He was regarded as very conservative during his first period in power. The young emperor was initially unpopular and in 1853 he survived an attempt on his life. The next year he married his cousin, Kaiserin Elisabeth (Sisi). They had four children.

The emperor/king suffered a number of personal tragedies: the oldest daughter died when she was two, his brother Maximilian was executed in Mexico, his son and heir Crown Prince Rudolf committed suicide, Sisi was murdered, and in 1914 his nephew Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand was shot in Sarajevo. The emperor was quite unpopular amongst Czechs as he refused to be crowned as king of Bohemia.

The good soldier Švejk in captivity

In Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí is mentioned several times and Švejk has a picture of him hanging on the wall in his cobbler's shop at Vinohrady. The theme about Švejk wanting to serve his emperor until he is torn to pieces is even more prominent than in the novel. Moreover, the monarch on a few occations appears in Švejk's dreams. The author also dedicates som paragraphs to the emperor's mental and physical condition.[1]

V duchu opustil hradčanský vojenský soud a mysl jeho zaletěla na Vinohrady do malého krámku, svezla se po obraze Františka Josefa a vyhledala pod starou postelí dvě morčata.

A u Františka Josefa nebylo to opět nic jiného než zděděný kretenismus, kterým trpí potomci Habsburků.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] „To se samo sebou rozumí, paní Müllerová,“ řekl Švejk, konče masírování kolen, „kdybyste chtěla zabít pana arcivévodu, nebo císaře pána, tak byste se jistě s někým poradila.
[I.15] Rozebereme-li jeho duševní schopnosti, dojdeme k přesvědčení, že nebyly o nic lepší těch, které proslavily otlemeného Habsburka Františka Josefa jako notorického idiota.
[II.3] I kdyby se k nám chtěl přidat císař pán, tak jste to nesměl dovolit.
[III.1] Potom Švejk počal mluvit o známých rozkazech, které jim byly přečteny před vstoupením do vlaku. Jeden byl armádní rozkaz podepsaný Františkem Josefem a druhý byl rozkaz arcivévody Josefa Ferdinanda, vrchního velitele východní armády a skupiny, kteréž oba týkaly se událostí na Dukelském průsmyku dne 3. dubna 1915, kdy přešly dva batalióny 28. pluku i s důstojníky k Rusům za zvuků plukovní kapely.

Armádní rozkaz ze dne 17. dubna 1915:

Přeplněn bolestí nařizuji, aby c. k. pěší pluk čís. 28 pro zbabělost a velezrádu byl vymazán z mého vojska. Plukovní prapor budiž zneuctěnému pluku odebrán a odevzdán do vojenského musea. Dnešním dnem přestává existovat pluk, který, otráven mravně z domova, vytáhl do pole, aby se dopustil velezrády. František Josef I.

Also written:Francis Joseph I Parrott František Josef I/Franz Josef I Sadlon František Josef I. cz Franjo Josip I. hr I. Ferenc József hu Francesco Giuseppe I it Franciszek Józef I pl Franz Josef I ro František Jozef I. sk Franc Jožef I. sl Франц Йосиф I ua


1Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetíJaroslav Hašek1917
Mr. Lucheni, Luiginn flag
*22.4.1873 Paris - †19.10.1910 Genève
Wikipedia czdeenfrit Search Švejkův slovník

Lucheni is mentioned by Švejk in conversations with Mrs. Müllerová when he reveals his knowledge on royal murders.


Lucheni was a French-born anarchist of Italian descent who lived most of his life in Switzerland. He murdered Kaiserin Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary in Geneva in 1898. He was given a life sentence (Switzerland had abolished the death penalty) and later committed suicide in prison. The name is often written Luccheni, which is also used by Hašek.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] Hlavní věcí je vyčíhat na ten moment, až takovej pán jede kolem. Jako, jestli se pamatujou, na toho pana Luccheniho, co probod naši nebožku Alžbětu tím pilníkem. Procházel se s ní.

Also written:Luccheni Hašek

Kaiserin Elisabethnn flag
*24.12.1837 München - †10.9.1898 Genève
Wikipedia czdeenhuno Search Švejkův slovník

Zlatá Praha 16.9.1898.


Kourier an der Donau 1.1.1838.


Journal de Genève 11.9.1898.

Elisabeth is mentioned by Švejk when he reels off for Mrs. Müllerová his list of royal assassinations.


Elisabeth was empress of Austria, queen of Hungary, also called Sisi (later Sissi), and married to Kaiser Franz Joseph I.. Her full name was Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie, Herzogin in Bayern.

Elisabeth was the second eldest daughter of duke Max Joseph av Bayern of the royal Bavarian Wittelsbach dynasty, one of eight siblings. Only 17 years old she married her cousin Kaiser Franz Joseph I. in what could be described as a dynastically arranged marriage. The couple had four children, but mostly lived separate lives. After Ausgleich she was crowned queen of Hungary on 8 June 1867.

The empress/queen was very popular and has over the years acquired a status as a legend. She has been the focus of countless books, films, plays, and animations.


The event that Švejk refers to happened on 10 September 1898 in Genève. The young anarchist Mr. Lucheni (who originally intended to murder the Duke of Orleans) stabbed her with a sharpened file at 12:40 PM and at 3:50 PM she was declared dead. The murder was reported in the Vienna newspapers already the next day[a] and caused great consternation all over the world. The killer was arrested and identified the same evening.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] Hlavní věcí je vyčíhat na ten moment, až takovej pán jede kolem. Jako, jestli se pamatujou, na toho pana Luccheniho, co probod naši nebožku Alžbětu tím pilníkem. Procházel se s ní.

Also written:Alžběta cz Erzsébet hu


aDie Ermordung der KaiserinNeues Wiener Journal11.9.1898
Tsar Nicholas IInn flag
*18.5.1868 Sankt-Peterburg - †17.7.1918 Jekaterinburg
Wikipedia czdeennnru Search Švejkův slovník

Národní listy18.3.1917.

Nicholas II is mentioned by Švejk when he is reeling off for Mrs. Müllerová his list of royal murders, and says it may even happen to the Tsar and the Tsarevna.


Nicholas was a tsar (emperor) of the Romanov dynasty and the last monarch of Russia. His reign lasted from 1894 to 1917 when he was forced to step down after the February Revolution (March 15). He was from September 1915 commander-in-chief of Russia's armed forces after replacing his cousin Nicholas Nikolaevich. On 17 July 1918 he and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks, an event which is regarded as one of the most significant political murders in recent history.

Nicholas was regarded a weak and inept ruler, but has since 1990 seen a certain post-mortem rehabilitation. He was officially buried in 1998 and in 2000 he was declared a saint by the Russian-Orthodox church.

A paradox is that Jaroslav Hašek in 1916 and 1917 advocated czarist rule and even proposed that a Romanov prince ascend the Czech throne after the foreseen victory in the war and the subsequent break-up of Austria-Hungary.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] A vono to čeká ještě moc osob. A uvidějí, paní Müllerová, že se dostanou i na toho cara s carevnou, a může být, nedej pánbůh, i na císaře pána, když už to začli s jeho strýcem. Von má, starej pán, moc nepřátel.

Also written:Mikuláš II. cz Nikolaus II de Николай II ru


Tsaritsa Alexandrann flag
*6.6.1872 Darmstadt - †17.7.1918 Jekaterinburg
Wikipedia czdeennoru Search Švejkův slovník

Alexandra is mentioned indirectly by Švejk when he is reeling off for Mrs. Müllerová his list of royal murders, and says it may even happen to the Tsar and the Tsarevna. The good soldier's prophecy was proven true little more than three years later.


Alexandra was empress of Russia from 1894 to 1917, married to Tsar Nicholas II. She was executed together with her family in Yekaterinburg (Екатеринбу́рг) on 17 July 1918.

Geboren: Victoria Alix Helena Louise Beatrice von Hessen und bei Rhein.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] A vono to čeká ještě moc osob. A uvidějí, paní Müllerová, že se dostanou i na toho cara s carevnou, a může být, nedej pánbůh, i na císaře pána, když už to začli s jeho strýcem. Von má, starej pán, moc nepřátel.

Also written:Alix de Александра ru

Browning, John Mosesnn flag
*21.1.1855 Ogden - †26.11.1926 Liège
Wikipedia czdeenno Search Švejkův slovník

The weapon that killed Franz Ferdinand.

Browning is indirectly mentioned through his pistol-brand when Švejk explains for Mrs. Müllerová what he would have used if he was to kill an archduke.


Browning was an American firearms designer. He made pistols, rifles, shotguns and machine-guns. Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand was killed with a Belgian-made Browning semi-automatic pistol (FN Model 1910).

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] „To jde náramně rychle, paní Müllerová, strašně rychle. Já bych si na takovou věc koupil brovnink. Vypadá to jako hračka, ale můžete s tím za dvě minuty postřílet dvacet arcivévodů, hubenejch nebo tlustejch.
King Carlos I.nn flag
*28.9.1863 Lisboa - †1.2.1908 Lisboa
Wikipedia czdeennopt Search Švejkův slovník

Světozor, 14.2.1908

Carlos I. is mentioned indirectly by Švejk when he explains for Mrs. Müllerová what he would have used if he was to kill an archduke. To kill a fat dignitary like the king of Portugal, a good weapon like a Browning was needed.


Even though his name is not mentioned directly there is no doubt that Švejk had King Carlos I. in mind. He was king of Portugal from 1889 until he was murdered by republican activists in 1908[a]. The Portuguese state went bankrupt twice during his lifetime, including once during his reign, in 1902.

The king had indeed, as Švejk said, become quite fat in his later years. He was however killed by rifle shots, and not with a Browning as the good soldier claimed.

Nome completo: Carlos P(Fernando) Luís Maria Vítor Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Francisco de Assis José Simão de Bragança Sabóia Bourbon Saxe-Coburgo-Gotha.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] Ačkoliv, mezi námi řečeno, paní Müllerová, že do tlustýho arcivévody se trefíte jistějc než do hubenýho. Jestli se pamatujou, jak tenkrát v Portugalsku si postříleli toho svýho krále. Byl taky takovej tlustej. To víte, že král nebude přece hubenej.
aKrvavý atentát v LissaboněSvětozor7.2.1908
Princip, Gavrilonn flag
*25.7.1894 Obljaj - †28.4.1918 Terezín
Wikipedia czdeennosr Search Švejkův slovník

Die Neue Zeitung14.10.1914.

Gavrilo Princip is mentioned indirectly by Švejk and Mrs. Müllerová when they discuss those who carried out the killings in Sarajevo.


Gavrilo Princip was one of the assassins who took part in the plot to kill Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28 1914. Princip and his accomplices were trained by and acted on orders from the Serbian nationalist group The Black Hand, a group that had it's origin in the Serbian armed forces. Their principal goal was to join all Serb-populated territories in a greater Serbia.

It was Gavrilo Princip who fired the lethal bullets after several attempts had failed in the preceding minutes. Princip unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide and was immediately arrested.

The trial started in Sarajevo on 12 October 1914 and on the 28th the verdict fell. Some of the conspirators were handed death sentences but Gavrilo Princip was convicted to life imprisonment as he was to young for capital punishment.

He died in jail in Terezín already in 1918. Thus he never lived to see the greater Serbia that Yugoslavia in many ways became.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] Já si představuju, že se pan arcivévoda Ferdinand také v tom Sarajevu zmejlil v tom člověkovi, co ho střelil. Viděl nějakého pána a myslil si: To je nějakej pořádnej člověk, když mně volá slávu. A zatím ho ten pán bouch. Dal mu jednu nebo několik?“

Also written:Гаврило Принцип sr


Detective Bretschneidernn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

České slovo11.11.1923.


Čechoslovan21.08.1916 (3.9).

Bretschneider is named 44 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Bretschneider was an undercover agent working for the state police. He met Švejk at U kalicha and tried to trick him and the host pubkeeper Palivec into compromising themselves in connection with the Sarajevo murders. He succeeded in both cases.

Bretschneider is part of the plot for the last time in [I.6] when Švejk has been released after his arrest. This time he did not get anyone on the hook, and the author sends him out of the story in the most miserable manner by revealing that the detective was devoured by the very dogs he had bought from Švejk. Bretschneider is the only person taking part in the plot who explicitly gets killed.

In the epilogue to Part One the author mentions the now deceased detective and adds that people like him wander about even in Czechoslovakia and are very interested in what people are talking about.

Bretschneider is mentioned by name altogether 44 times in the first book.


Bretschneider seems to be modelled on a real person in Staatspolizei in Prague. Jaroslav Hašek was kept an eye on due to his connection with the anarchist movement and he knew many in the police force. Emil Artur Longen claims that the real Bretschneider was a certain Vincenc Španda, and that he and Hašek had met in Berlin in 1920 (unlikely). In Longen's book the connection is explained in detail.

The name Bretschneider may have several sources. The policeman Josef Brettschneider lived in Košíře at the same time as Hašek, and according to Milan Báča he emigrated in 1919 and took the name Wenzel Spanda. A certain Karel Bretschneider was a policeman who lived in Kinského tř. 31 Smíchov in 1891, but the start and end of his active duty is not known.

One person that Hašek definitely knew was the sculptor Vladimír Bretschneider (1886-1951). The two fell out and the use of the name may well have been an act of revenge.

The agent Mašek

Another possible inspiration is Hynek Mašek, an agent provocateur who tried to infiltrate the anarchist movement and also Česká strana národně sociální on several occasions between 1906 and 1909. He was explicitly named in Hašek's story Po stopách státní policie v Praze, printed in Čechoslovan on 21 August 1916. Here Hašek claims that Mašek was an Austrian spy operating amongst the Czechs in Russia, and the article eventually led to Mašek's arrest. When České legie hastily had to leave Ukraine in February 1918 he was shot. Perhaps Jaroslav Hašek alludes to Mašek's fate when he lets Bretschneider be eaten by his own dogs?

Radko Pytlík: Kniha o Švejkovi, s.146

Policejní strážník Josef Brettschneider, uveden ve statu pražské policie roku 1910, bydlel v Košířích č. 177, tedy v rajónu Světa zvířat; sochař Vladimír Bretschneider byl jedním z blízkých Haškových kamarádů.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] V hospodě „U kalicha“ seděl jen jeden host. Byl to civilní strážník Bretschneider, stojící ve službách státní policie.
[I.6] A to byl konec slavného detektiva Bretschneidra. Když měl již ve svém bytě sedm takových ohav, uzavřel se s nimi v zadním pokoji a nedal jim tak dlouho nic jíst, dokud ho nesežraly.
[I.16] Lidí typu nebožtíka Bretschneidera, státního detektiva starého Rakouska, potlouká se i dnes velice mnoho v republice. Neobyčejně se zajímají o to, co kdo mluví.

Sources: Radko Pytlík, Hůla, Milan Báča


Pubkeeper Palivecnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

České slovo11.11.1923.

Palivec is named 24 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Palivec was pub landlord at U kalicha and known for his foul mouth. He was also a man who had read a lot without this having refined his language the slightest. He was arrested by detective Bretschneider, having uttered an unfortunate sentence about flies defiling a portrait of the Emperor. For this he got 10 years hard labour.

The epilogue to Part One reveals that he served his sentence until the end of the war. In the same epilogue the author presents Palivec as a symbol of his right to reproduce tales as they were spoken, without having to embellish it to placate the more sensitive part of the readership, or to satisfy the demands for decent language in literature.

On biographical details it is revealed that Palivec was married and his wife worked in the bar, that he had served with the army in Bosnia, and that he sympathised with the organisation Volná myšlenka (Free Thought).


Palivec quite probably has a real-life model. In his book Die Abenteuer des gar nicht so braven Humoristen Jaroslav Hašek (1989) Jan Berwid-Buquoy claimed that this person was Václav Šmíd who is reported to have been landlord at U kalicha in 1914 and was known for his rough language. The same source claims that a Josef Palivec was a waiter there at the time.

Radko Pytlík finds it more likely that a certain Josef Šolc was the inspiration for Palivec. Šolc was landlord at a pub nearby, on the corner of Sokolská ulice and Fügnerovo nám. and as opposed to U kalicha it was a place the author decidedly frequented.

Vilém Juris

What is beyond dispute is that the landlord at U kalicha from 1908 and at least until 1913 was Vilém Juris, and that two Václav Šmíd's were landlords elsewhere in the city. In another book published in 2011 Berwid-Buquoy changed the landlord's name to Josef Šmída, and added that he ran the pub together with Vilém Jurisch, who allegedly died in the spring of 1914. Police registers reveal 180 entries on Palivec from 1850 to 1914 so there are plenty of candidates.

Juris was according to the city's population registers born 10 June 1871 in Velké Lipno, was married to Blahoslava (nee 1877) and they registered at the address of U kalicha 18 July 1908[a]. In an article in Prager Presse 5 December 1929 Maximilian Huppert claimed that the former landlord at U kalicha, Ferdinand Juris, was still alive[b]. Whether this is a mix-up with another person is not known.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.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. Palivec byl známý sprosťák, každé jeho druhé slovo byla zadnice nebo hovno. Přitom byl ale sečtělý a upozorňoval každého, aby si přečetl, co napsal o posledním předmětě Victor Hugo, když líčil poslední odpověď staré gardy Napoleona Angličanům v bitvě u Waterloo.
[I.16] Od hostinského Palivce nemůžeme žádati, aby mluvil tak jemně jako pí Laudová
[I.16] Při této příležitosti upozorňuji, že hostinský Palivec je naživu. Přečkal válku, kterou proseděl v žaláři, a zůstal stále týmž, jako když měl tu aféru s obrazem císaře Františka Josefa.
aSoupis pražského obyvatelstvaAHMP1830 - 1910
bHistorisches vom ŠvejkMaximilian Huppert, Prager Presse5.12.1929
Hugo, Victornn flag
*28.2.1802 Besançon - †22.5.1885 Paris
Wikipedia czdeenfrnnno Search Švejkův slovník

Victor Hugo was an author pubkeeper Palivec had read and liked to quote. Palivec put forward Victor Hugo in defence of his vulgar language. Indirectly he referred to a passage in Les Misérables where the famous mot de Cambronne, which is connected to Napoléon's old guard in the battle of Waterloo, is quoted.

General Cambronne is said to have given this simple answer to General Colville when the latter insisted he surrender: Merde!.


Victor Hugo was a French author and politician who published poetry, drama and novels. In France he is regarded as one of the country's leading poets. His most famous novel is probably "Les Misérables". Victor Hugo was also a political activist and was forced into exile for a number of years. After his return in 1870 he was elected member of the Senate. He was also known as an advocate of human rights.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] Palivec byl známý sprosťák, každé jeho druhé slovo byla zadnice nebo hovno. Přitom byl ale sečtělý a upozorňoval každého, aby si přečetl, co napsal o posledním předmětě Victor Hugo, když líčil poslední odpověď staré gardy Napoleona Angličanům v bitvě u Waterloo.
Lazarusnn flag
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Lazarus was mentioned in a dialogue when Švejk told detective Bretschneider that he was tied up like Lazarus for two days after having got arrested with 20 buttons missing on his uniform.


Lazarus was the name of two persons from the new testament. One of them was a pauper in St. Lucas' gospel, mentioned in a parable. The second one was Lazarus of Bethany, brother of Martha and Mary and who was very close to Jesus. It was this Lazarus that Jesus resurrected, and almost certainly the one Švejk had in mind.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] Jednou se pamatuji, že mně scházelo při takové přehlídce dvacet knoflíků u munduru a že mě zavřeli za to na čtrnáct dní do ajnclíku a dva dni jsem ležel jako lazar, svázanej do kozelce.

Also written:Lazar cz Lazarus de

Oberleutnant Makovecnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Makovec was one of Švejk's superiors when he did national service. Švejk refers to him as "obrlajtnant Makovec" (senior lieutenant) and portrays him as a nasty brute and a fanatic disciplinarian. One of the best known quotes from the novel stems from Makovec: "Discipline must be enforced, you stupid boys".


There is no sign of any Makovec in Infanterieregiment Nr. 91 (or even in the entire k.u.k. Heer) at the time when Švejk might have done his military service.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] Náš obrlajtnant Makovec, ten nám vždycky říkal: ,Disciplina, vy kluci pitomí, musí bejt, jinak byste lezli jako vopice po stromech, ale vojna z vás udělá lidi, vy blbouni pitomí? A není to pravda? Představte si park, řekněme na Karláku, a na každým stromě jeden voják bez discipliny. Z toho jsem vždycky měl největší strach.“
Ludvík, Břetislavnn flag
*31.7.1882 Praha - †6.12.1956 Praha
Search Švejkův slovník

Břetislav Ludvík was a cattle trader who, according to one of Švejk's numerous and long anecdotes, was stabbed on the square in Budějovice. This story associated cattle traders with the imperial family and contributed greatly to Švejk's arrest by detective Bretschneider.


The name is borrowed from a journalist and multi-artist, in police records from 1913 registered as "Schauspieler" (actor). He was one of Hašek's childhood friends, and in 1946 he published a short book Kdo je Jaroslav Hašek in the series Who is. Here he admits to being angry with the way his name was abused and also that he briefly met Jaroslav Hašek in 1922.

Borrowing a name

Ludvík is a good example of how the author borrowed names from a person that has nothing in common with the corresponding literary character.

Hašek and Mussolini

One of the more imaginative claims in Ludvík's book is that Hašek met Benito Mussolini in Trento in 1906. The story is inherited from Václav Menger and his book Jaroslav Hašek doma, 1935, but Menger adds that this is a legend that Hašek himself told his friends.[1]

The historian Renzo de Felice even suggests that this meeting inspired the latter's interest in Hus, also suggested in Menger's book. As recently as 2013 the Mussolini theme appeared in the film Toulavé house by Vít Olmer.

Talk on Hašek

Břetislav Hůla 22.2.1949.


In 1949 Břetislav Hůla noted that Ludvík once held a talk on Hašek in the pub U Brindů, but adds that he was simply reading aloud from his book, "with all the contained errors and inaccuracies". There was however no damage done as only around 20 people attended and they were charged 8 crowns each!

Pavel Helan

Mussolini and Hašek both visited Switzerland and Trentino, but never at the same time. The information about contacts between the two may be found in Břetislav Ludvík’s Kdo je Jaroslav Hašek (Prague, 1946) 15-16, but the source is unreliable, even if Hašek himself was the informant. This tenuous account reached de Felice in a telephone conversation from Claudio Poeta, an Italian student in Prague in the mid-1970s, as Poeta told me in 1999.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] U nás před léty v Budějovicích probodli na trhu v nějaké takové malé hádce jednoho obchodníka s dobytkem, nějakého Břetislava Ludvíka.

Sources: Pavel Helan

1. In an updated revision of the book from 1946 the information that allegedly was spread by Hašek himself removed. Menger had by now presumably concluded that they were unreliable.


Ludvík, Bohuslavnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Police registration 1911

Bohuslav Ludvík was the son of Břetislav Ludvík in Švejk's anecdote about cattle traders. He committed suicide by jumping in the Vltava from a bridge. See Most v Krumlově.


Only one single person carried this name according to the Prague police registers (1850 to 1914). He was born in 1883 and resident in Nusle in 1904. He was the same age as Jaroslav Hašek, and the author knew the area well but there exists no knowledge of any contact between the two.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] U nás před léty v Budějovicích probodli na trhu v nějaké takové malé hádce jednoho obchodníka s dobytkem, nějakého Břetislava Ludvíka. Ten měl syna Bohuslava, a kam přišel prodávat prasata, nikdo od něj nic nekoupil a každý říkal: ,To je syn toho probodnutýho, to bude asi také pěknej lump.’ Musel skočit v Krumlově s toho mostu do Vltavy a museli ho vytáhnout, museli ho křísit, museli z něho pumpovat vodu a von jim musel skonat v náručí lékaře, když mu dal nějakou injekci.“


Pinďournn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

A typical gamekeeper from Zliv

Pinďour was a game keeper from Zliv. He figured in an inappropriate anecdote that Švejk told detective Bretschneider in U kalicha. In this story water bailiffs and pig gelders are subtly compared to the imperial family. Pinďour was shot by poachers. He had an ugly name according to Švejk. The name actually means "little dick" but this is for obvious reasons not directly stated in the novel. The gamekeeper was shot by poachers and left behind the very widow who this anecdote is constructed around.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] To byl ve Zlivi u Hluboké před léty jeden hajný, měl takové ošklivé jméno Pinďour.

Also written:Pinscher Reiner

Šavel, Pepíknn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Pepík Šavel was a gamekeeper from Mydlovary in the anecdote Švejk told at U kalicha (see Pinďour). He got married to the widow of Pinďour, and was like him shot by poachers. The analogy towards the killings of Sarajevo didn't serve Švejk well at all.


Pepík is a Czech nickname for Josef.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] To byl ve Zlivi u Hluboké před léty jeden hajný, měl takové ošklivé jméno Pinďour. Zastřelili ho pytláci a zůstala po něm vdova s dvěma dítkami a vzala si za rok opět hajného, Pepíka Šavlovic z Mydlovar. A zastřelili jí ho taky.

Also written:Pepi Schawlowitz Reiner Rohwolt (2001) Schewla-Pepi Reiner (Aufbau 2009)

The prince at Hlubokánn flag

Adolf Joseph Schwarzenberg, 1907

The prince at Hluboká is mentioned in Švejk's anecdote about the widow of the gamekeepers who turns up at the prince's office at Hluboká to ask for advice.


The prince at Hluboká probably refers to Adolf Joseph Schwarzenberg (1832-1914), the 8th Prince of Schwarzenberg and a major landowner in South Bohemia. Another candidate is his son Johann II (1860-1938) as both were alive at the time the event is said to have taken place ("years ago"). They also held the title Duke of Krumlov, another of the Schwarzenberg estates. See Fürst Schwarzenberg (st.).

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] To se ví, že jí ho zas zastřelili, a to už měla s těmi hajnými šest dětí dohromady. Byla až v kanceláři knížete pána na Hluboké a stěžovala si, že má s těmi hajnými trápení.

Also written:Kníže na Hluboké cz Der Fürst in Hluboká de


Pondwarden Jarešnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Národní listy2.10.1889.

Jareš was a pond warden from ražická bašta in a story Švejk told at U kalicha. He was married to the widow of Pinďour and Pepík Šavel but drowned when fishing empty a pond. The widow finally married a pig gelder from Vodňany but was killed by him. The pig gelder uttered the most unsavoury phrases about the Emperor as he was hung in Písek. This anecdote surely contributed to Švejk's arrest.


Antonín Jareš (1806-1889) was the grandfather of Jaroslav Hašek and a pond warden by Ražice. The name is re-used on three occasions later in the novel; once in Švejk's conversation with Oberst Kraus's maid, and twice in an anecdote told at Švarcenberský ovčín.

Grandfather Jareš lived the last few years of his life with his daughter's family in Prague, and here he got to know his famous-to-be grandson. There is no doubt that he inspired both the names in this novel, as well as the seven stories centred around ražická bašta that were published before the war[a].

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] Tak jí odporučili porybnýho Jareše ražické bašty. A co byste řekli, utopili jí ho při lovení rybníka, a měla s ním dvě děti.


aHistorky z ražické baštyJaroslav Hašek, Veselá Praha1908
Crown Prince Rudolfnn flag
*21.08.1858 Laxenburg - †30.01.1889 Mayerling
Wikipedia czdeenhusv Search Švejkův slovník

Rudolf was mentioned by Švejk as he in front of detective Bretschneider reeled off the personal tragedies the Emperor had suffered in his lifetime.


Rudolf was crown prince and heir to the thrones of Austria-Hungary and the only son of Kaiser Franz Joseph I. and Kaiserin Elisabeth. He committed suicide together with his lover Maria Vetsera at Mayerling castle outside Vienna.

Rudolf suffered from severe mood changes and there is still some debate over whether it really was suicide. The death certificate mentions "spiritual confusion." The drama of Mayerling has been filmed many times, including in a French/British production from 1968 with Omar Sharif in the role as Rudolf.

The free-thinking crown price lived a dissolute life, got dependent on morphine after treatment for VD and infected his wife with gonorrhoea, which made her sterile. Rudolf was politically liberal and associated with the organisation Free Thought (see Volná myšlenka). His political views prevented him from being included in the influential circles of the court, his father keeping him at distance.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] Syna Rudolfa ztratil v útlém věku, v plné mužské síle.
Orth, Johannnn flag
*25.11.1852 Firenze - †12.7.1890 (?) Cabo tres Puntas
Wikipedia deenhuitsv Search Švejkův slovník

Johann Orth was mentioned by Švejk when he listed the tragedies that had hit the emperor during his lifetime.


Johann Orth was archduke of the house of Habsburg and prince of Tuscany. His real name was Johann Salvator, but he took the common name Johann Orth in 1889 after having reneged on his imperial privileges. This happened after a conflict with the court as Salvator wanted to marry the dancer Ludmilla Schubel, a lady well below his rank. He took the new name after a castle he owned in Salzkammergut. Orth was a good friend of crown prince Crown Prince Rudolf and shared his liberal political views. After breaking with the court he was forced to leave the country. Already having obtained a ship captain's certificate he tried his luck in merchant shipping. In 1890 he left for London where he bought a cargo vessel and embarked on a freight mission to Argentina and Chile. Around 12 July 1890 the ship went missing near Cabo Tres Puntas.

His full name was Giovanni Nepomuceno Salvatore Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Ferdinando Baldassares Lodovico Carlo Zenobio Antonino d'Asburgo-Lorena.


What really happened is still unclear but rumours that he survived have regularly surfaced. He was officially declared dead in 1911, but in 1945 a certain Alexander Victor Hugo Köhler from Kristiansand claimed on his death-bed that he was Johann Orth. The case appeared in Norwegian courts in 1945 and 2007 and raised attention also in Austria. Still researchers at the university of Bergen see little reason to believe the claims of Köhler and his descendants.

Drill oder Erziehung

Drill oder Erziehung, page 11. When the intelligent soldier feigns dutifulness.


Concluding Drill oder Erziehung

In the novel there is yet another reference Johann Orth, albeit obscure and indirect. It was first pointed out by Sergey Soloukh in 2012. In Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek's description of Fähnrich Dauerling in [II.3] he mentions a book Drill oder Erziehung where it according to Marek is stated that "terror is fundamental in training of soldiers and that successful training is proportional to the degree of terror". This booklet of 22 pages exists but the content does not fit the description Marek gives and could certainly not have inspired Dauerling's inhuman methods. It is a reprint of a lecture Orth (at the time still Erzherzog Johann) held on 3 November 1883 in Militär-Wissenschaftlichen Vereine zu Wien and was published by the same association. The above-mentioned quote can not be found in the booklet, and it was exactly this type of brutal exercise Erzherzog Johann spoke out against. Nor is Marek's claim that k.u.k. Kriegsministerium was the publisher of the book correct as the publisher was L. W Seidel & Sohn. In Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí the booklet is even described as a "military textboook".

Drill oder Erziehung is a sharp attack on the practices within k.u.k. Wehrmacht to emphasize drill at the expense of education in military training. The lecture caused considerable resentment and harmed the already strained relation between the liberal-minded archduke and the military establishment. Johann already carried a certain weight besides being a member of the Habsburg-family: he was a professional soldier and commander of Infanteriedivision Nr. 25 and had participated in the occupation of Bosnia-Hercegovina in 1878. At the time he presented his provicative lecture the 41 year old archduke had already obtained the rank of Feldmarschall-Leutnant.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] Manželku Alžbětu mu propíchli pilníkem, potom se mu ztratil Jan Orth; bratra, císaře mexického, mu zastřelili v nějaké pevnosti u nějaké zdi.

Also written:Jan Orth cz Orth János hu Giovanni Orth it


Emperor Maximiliano I.nn flag
*6.6.1832 Wien - †19.6.1867 Santiago de Querétaro
Wikipedia czdeenesno Search Švejkův slovník

Emperor of Mexiko, by Mathew Brady, around 1864.

Maximiliano I. is referred to by Švejk as the Emperor of Mexico when he tells detective Bretschneider about all the tragedies that had hit Kaiser Franz Joseph I. He was executed by some wall in some fortress in Mexico according to Švejk.


was an archduke of the house of Habsburg, and brother of Kaiser Franz Joseph I. He was installed as emperor of Mexico by the French in 1863, but was executed in 1867 at Cerro de las Campanas in Querétaro after a rebellion led by the liberal Benito Juárez.

His full name was Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph von Österreich.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] Manželku Alžbětu mu propíchli pilníkem, potom se mu ztratil Jan Orth; bratra, císaře mexického, mu zastřelili v nějaké pevnosti u nějaké zdi.
Mrs. Palivcovánn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

České slovo11.11.1923.

Palivcová is named 9 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Palivcová was left crying in U kalicha at the end of [I.1] when her husband, pubkeeper Palivec, was escorted out by detective Bretschneider. Her husband consoled her and told that she need not fear the police just because some flies had shitted on a portrait of the Emperor.

Mrs. Palivec reappears in [I.6] after Švejk was released from prison and drops by U kalicha. In [I.11] she refuses to serve Švejk because she thinks he is a deserter. This is the last time we hear of her.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.1] A zatímco vedli Švejka do přijímací kanceláře, „U kalicha“ předával pan Palivec hospodu své plačící ženě, těše ji svým zvláštním způsobem: „Neplač, neřvi, co mně mohou udělat kvůli posranýmu obrazu císaře pána?“

Also written:Mrs. Palivec en Frau Palivec de Fru Palivec no

Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

2. The good soldier Švejk at police headquarters

Detective Brixinn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Adresář královského hlavního města Prahy a obcí sousedních (1907)

Brixi was a policeman who arrested an unusually fat paper merchant who had paid for to Serbian students at U Brejšky and had been observed drunk with them at Café Montmartre. The owner of the paper shop was one of Švejk's fellow prisoners at c.k. policejní ředitelství.


This detective may well have had a model from real life but the surname Brixi (including the variant Briksi) was relatively rare in Prague. At most ten people carrying this name were alive at the time and none of them are listed with professions that seem related to the police.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.2] Výjimku dělal neobyčejně tlustý pán s brýlemi, s uplakanýma očima, který byl zatčen doma ve svém bytě, poněvadž dva dny před atentátem v Sarajevu platil „U Brejšky“ za dva srbské studenty, techniky, útratu a detektivem Brixim byl spatřen v jejich společnosti opilý v „Montmartru“ v Řetězové ulici, kde, jak již v protokole potvrdil svým podpisem, též za ně platil.
Columbus, Cristoforonn flag
*1451(?) Genova(?) - †20.5.1506 Valladolid
Wikipedia czdeenesno Search

Columbus breaking the egg

Columbus is mentioned indirectly through the description of the event who led to the arrest of one of Švejk's fellow prisoners. Švejk's fellow inmate was a teacher of history who concluded his analysis of various assassinations with the words: The idea of an assassination is as easy as Columbus' egg.


Columbus was a discoverer and merchant og Italian origin, known for the European "discovery" of America in 1492.

Columbus' egg describes a brilliant idea or discovery that seems simple or easy after the fact. The expression refers to a popular story of how Christopher Columbus, having been told that discovering the Americas was no great accomplishment, challenged his critics to make an egg stand on its tip; and, after they gave up, he did it himself by tapping the egg on the table so as to flatten its tip.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.2] Malý pán, kterému se to stalo ve vinárně, byl profesorem dějepisu a vykládal vinárníkovi dějiny různých atentátů. Byl zatčen právě v okamžiku, když končil psychologický rozbor každého atentátu slovy: „Myšlenka atentátu je tak jednoduchá jako, Kolumbovo vejce’.“

Also written:Kolumbus cz Kolumbus de Cristóbal Colón es Columbus nn

Jesus Christnn flag
*4 Betlehem - †30(?) Jersusalem
Wikipedia czdeennn Search

As seen by El Greco

Jesus Christ is named 38 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Jesus Christ is referred to by Švejk as "Kristus Pán", literally "Christ the Lord". This is when he tells his fellow prisoners about their hopeless situation. "Christ the Lord was also innocent" are the discouraging words they hear. Jesus is mentioned more peripherally in the first chapter, through the expression Ježíšmarjá that Švejk used when he heard about the killings in Sarajevo. Jesus is mentioned at various stages through the novel, mostly in common expressions. The words used are Ježíš or Kristus/Krist. There are also rare occurences of the German Jesus and the Hungarian Krizstus.


Jesus Christ was a central figure in the Bible. He laid the foundations of the Christian faith. He was crucified for instigating rebellion in the year of 33 during the period of Roman rule. His birth and death dates are most uncertain. According to the Cristian faith and his own claims he was the Son of God and Messiah the Saviour. Jesus was also an important prophet in islam but this religion credits him with a less important role. The Jewish religion regards him as a false Messiah.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.2] „Já jsem nevinnej, já jsem nevinnej,“ opakoval zježený muž. „Kristus Pán byl taky nevinnej,“ řekl Švejk, „a taky ho ukřižovali. Nikde nikdy nikomu na nějakým nevinným člověku nezáleželo. Maul halten und weiter dienen!, jako říkávali nám na vojně. To je to nejlepší a nejkrásnější.“
[I.15] "Co s ním udělám?" mihlo se hlavou nadporučíkovi, "má, prokristapána, takový pitomý výraz."
[I.15] "Švejku, ježíšmarjá, himlhergot, já vás zastřelím, vy hovado, vy dobytku, vy vole, vy hajzle jeden. Jste tak blbej?"
[II.3] "Ježíšmarjá", vzdychl pro sebe desátník, vida, že po důkladném loku zmizelo půl láhve.
[II.3] "Mají to tady pěkně zařízený, dokonce dva deštníky na věšáku, a ten vobraz toho Pána Krista taky není špatnej."
[II.3] "Baszom az anyát, baszom az istenet, baszom a Krizstus Márját, baszom az atyádot, baszom a világot!"

Also written:Ježíš Kristus cz

Lombroso, Cesarenn flag
*6.11.1835 Verona - †19.10.1909 Torino
Wikipedia deenitno Search Švejkův slovník

Lombroso is referred to in connection with the book L'uomo delinquente where the author describes the interrogator at c.k. policejní ředitelství. He looked like a criminal type described by Lombroso in this particular book.


Lombroso was an Italian criminologist, anthropologist and lawyer. He was a pioneer of anthropological criminology which promoted the claim that criminality was inherited. Lombroso rejected the hitherto classical view that the criminal instinct was part of human nature. His V(political anthropology criminology) maintained that criminal behaviour is in the genes and could be enhanced by physical defects. The physical shape could indicate whether a person was a criminal, which he gave many examples of in the illustrations in his books. Lombroso was of Jewish origin and baptised Ezechia Marco Lombroso.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.2] „Dobrý večer přeju, pánové, všem vespolek.“ Místo odpovědi dloubl ho někdo pod žebra a postavil před stůl, za kterým seděl pán chladné úřední tváře s rysy zvířecké ukrutnosti, jako by právě vypadl z Lombrosovy knihy „O typech zločinných“. Podíval se krvežíznivě na Švejka a řekl: „Netvařte se tak blbě.“


Jan Nepomuckýnn flag
*1345(?) Nepomuk - †20.3.1391 Praha
Wikipedia czdeen Search Švejkův slovník

Statue in Třeboň, 2011.

Jan Nepomucký was by Švejk held as an example of how badly prisoners were treated before, compared to the good treatment Švejk and his fellow inmates got these July days in 1914. Our hero falsely claimed that Nepomuk was drowned from Eliščin most. He appears again in the anecdote about Šic in [II.5].


Jan Nepomucký was a Czech priest and martyr who was blinded, tortured, and drowned in the Vltava. Today there is a statue of him at the point at Karlův most where he was thrown off. He was canonized in 1729 and is now a patron saint. He is buried in Saint Vitus Cathedral in Prague.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.2] Nebo mu dali nohy do španělský boty a natáhli ho na žebřík, když se nechtěl přiznat, nebo mu pálili boky hasičskou pochodní, jako to udělali svatému Janu Nepomuckému.

Also written:John of Nepomuk en Johannes Nepomuk de Johan Nepomuk no


Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

3. Švejk before the court physicians

Mr. Demartininn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Demartini was the fat head of the guards for the prisoners in custody at the c.k. zemský co trestní soud.


The chief prison guard has perhaps been inspired by the very real police high commisioner in Prague, Rudolf Demartini (1866-1919), who lived in Vinohrady (1906). This is a person Jaroslav Hašek surely knew or knew about. Little is known about him except for that he had three daughters and is buried at Olšany in Žižkov.

It has not been confirmed if he really was the chief guard in the remand arrest at c.k. zemský co trestní soud in 1914. He is not listed as an employee of the criminal court in the address books of 1907 and 1912 and it seems strange that someone with such a high rank is employed as the head of the prison guards. Therefore this is probably a borrowed name and not much more.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.3] Čisté, útulné pokojíky zemského „co trestního soudu“ učinily na Švejka nejpříznivější dojem. Vybílené stěny, černě natřené mříže i tlustý pan Demartini, vrchní dozorce ve vyšetřovací vazbě s fialovými výložky i obrubou na erární čepici. Fialová barva je předepsána nejen zde, nýbrž i při náboženských obřadech na Popeleční středu i Veliký pátek.


Murderer Valeš, Aloisnn flag
*19.5.1861 Mšecké Žehrovice - †18.12.1908 Nusle (Pankrác)
Search Švejkův slovník

Krvavá tragedie v Krči, Adolf Synek1904.


Matrika zemřelých.



Národní politika20.12.1908.

Valeš was a well knwn murderer who some years earlier had been interrogated by the same good-natured man who questioned Švejk at c.k. zemský co trestní soud.


Valeš and his wife Ludmila committed a brutal double murder in April 1902 in the villa "Vilém" in Horní Krč where he was employed as a gardener. The victims were the young Slovak/Hungarian couple Matilda Hanzely and József Takács. They were planning to emigrate to America and therefore had a lot of money at hand. murderer Valeš hid the corpses in the garden and the crime was not discovered until October 1904. In February 1905 the couple was sentenced to death but the term was converted to life imprisonment by Kaiser Franz Joseph I..


Amongst those who interrogated murderer Valeš in 1905 were Karel Křikava and Václav Olič. They were police officers that Jaroslav Hašek knew and one of them may well have served as models for the good-natured interrogator. Egon Erwin Kisch mentions the Valeš-case briefly in the story Polizeimuseum, where he reveals that the murderer's weapon is on exhibition.

The villa owner

At the time of the discovery of the murder the owner of the villa was Alois Bauer, a merchant who lived in Smíchov. When the trial took place (January 1905) he was under administration and the villa was sold. In 1909 Bauer committed suicide by jumping into the Vltava near Střelecký ostrov [a].

E.E. Kisch: Polizeimuseum

Eine ganze Vitrine weist die Instrumente auf, mit denen das wurdige Ehepaar Valeš zu Krtsch das Liebespaar Takasz-Hanzely im Schlafe umgebracht hatte: ein Jagdgewehr, ein Strick, ein Revolver, ein Beil.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.3] Starší pán dobromyslného vzezření, který kdysi, vyšetřuje známého vraha Valeše, nikdy neopomenul jemu říci: „Račte si sednout, pane Valeš, právě je zde jedna prázdná židle.“

Sources: Milan Hodík, Jaroslav Šerák


aKonec majitele villyVenkov25.4.1909
Pontius Pilatenn flag
*? - †?
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Pontius Pilate is written about by the author when he describes those of the examining magistrates who were most obsessed with the letter of the law as "the Pilates of the new era".


Pontius Pilate was Roman prefect of Judea in the period 26 to 36 AD and oviously plays a central part in the Bible as the Roman official who sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.3] Vracela se slavná historie římského panství nad Jerusalemem. Vězně vyváděli i představovali je před Piláty roku 1914tého dolů do přízemku. A vyšetřující soudcové, Piláti nové doby, místo aby si čestně myli ruce, posílali si pro papriku a plzeňské pivo k Teissigovi a odevzdávali nové a nové žaloby na státní návladnictví.

Also written:Pilát Pontský cz

Prokop Švejknn flag

Prokop Švejk is here at c.k. zemský co trestní soud mentioned in passing by Švejk when referring to his parents. They are mentioned again in [II.5], and it is only then their full names are revealed and it transpires that they are from Dražov.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.3] „Já myslím,“ odpověděl Švejk, „že jím musím být, poněvadž i můj tatínek byl Švejk a maminka paní Švejková. Já jim nemohu udělat takovou hanbu, abych zapíral svoje jméno.“
[II.5] Jakmile jsem ho poznal, šel jsem k němu na plošinu a dal jsem se s ním do hovoru, že jsme oba z Dražova. On se ale na mne rozkřik, abych ho neobtěžoval, že prý mne nezná. Já jsem mu to začal vysvětlovat, aby se jen upamatoval, že jsem jako malej hoch k němu chodil s matkou, která se jmenovala Antonie, otec že se jmenoval Prokop a byl šafářem. Ani potom nechtěl nic vědět o tom, že se známe. Tak jsem mu ještě řekl bližší podrobnosti, že v Dražově byli dva Novotní, Tonda a Josef.
Mrs. Antonie Švejkovánn flag

Antonie Švejková is mentioned in passing by Švejk when referring to his parents in a conversation at c.k. zemský co trestní soud.

The parents are mentioned again in [II.5], and it is only then that their full names are revealed and it transpires that they are from Dražov.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.3] „Já myslím,“ odpověděl Švejk, „že jím musím být, poněvadž i můj tatínek byl Švejk a maminka paní Švejková. Já jim nemohu udělat takovou hanbu, abych zapíral svoje jméno.“
[II.5] Jakmile jsem ho poznal, šel jsem k němu na plošinu a dal jsem se s ním do hovoru, že jsme oba z Dražova. On se ale na mne rozkřik, abych ho neobtěžoval, že prý mne nezná. Já jsem mu to začal vysvětlovat, aby se jen upamatoval, že jsem jako malej hoch k němu chodil s matkou, která se jmenovala Antonie, otec že se jmenoval Prokop a byl šafářem.
Doctor Heveroch, Antonínnn flag
*29.1.1869 Minice - †2.3.1927 Praha
Wikipedia czen Search Švejkův slovník

Heveroch was mentioned in a story by one of Švejk's fellow detainees who had gone to a lecture by Heveroch to learn to fake madness. He drank from the ink pot and performed his bodily needs in front of the legal commission. The only mistake he made was to bite a psychiatrist in the right foot, a procedure which was not described by Dr. Heveroch. One of the doctors of the commission that examined Švejk was a follower of Dr. Heveroch's psychiatric teaching.


Heveroch was a notable Czech psychiatrist and neurologist who was, amongst other things, known for his studies on dyslexia and epilepsy. His book „O podivínech a lidech nápadných“ (On Freaks and Striking People) (1901) was according to František Langer amongsts Jaroslav Hašek's favourites.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.3] „Já těm soudním lékařům nic nevěřím,“ poznamenal muž inteligentního vzezření. „Když jsem jednou padělal směnky, pro všechen případ chodil jsem na přednášky k doktoru Heverochovi, a když mě chytili, simuloval jsem paralytika právě tak, jak ho vyličoval pan doktor Heveroch.


Rittmeister Rotter, Theodor Franz Adalbertnn flag
*28.3.1873 Krumlov - †1944 ?
Wikipedia cz Search Švejkův slovník

Rotter in the middle. Svět zvířat, 1909.


Za císáře pána, Michal Dlouhý


Schematismus der k. k. Landwehr und der k. k. Gendarmerie 1910.

Rotter is named 4 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Rotter was a well known police chief in Kladno who trained his dogs by experimenting with them on tramps in the district. This is according to a story Švejk tells his fellow prisoners at c.k. zemský co trestní soud.

The policeman is mentioned again in [II.2] during Švejk's wanderings around Písek. This story is almost identical, but is now told by a tramp.


Rotter was a renowned dog breeder and policeman, stationed in Kladno in 1909 and 1910. During his period of service here he became the first ever to introduce police dogs in k.k. Gendarmerie.


Rotter was born in 1873 in Krumlov with Heimatrecht Budějovice [a], son of brewmaster Theodor Rotter and Rosalie. In his younger years he served as an active (professional) officer in k.u.k. Heer, first as a cadet in Infanterieregiment Nr. 11 (Písek) from 1 September 1893 until 1895[d]. He was then promoted to Leutnant on 1 May 1895 and this year he was also transferred to Infanterieregiment Nr. 56 (Kraków). In 1901 he quit k.u.k. Heer to continue his career in the police[f].

He carried the rank lieutenant into the police and was promoted to Oberleutnant on 1 November 1902. First he led the gendarmerie in Trutnov until 1906 when he was posted to Chomutov. In 1909 he was subsequently transferred to Kladno where he 1 November 1909 was promoted to Rittmeister[h]. It was during his term in Kladno that his name was first noticed in connection with police dogs [g] and he was at time mentioned in the newspapers several times.

His stay in Kladno was brief because already in 1910 his career path continued to Písek where he became commander of Gendarmerieabteilungskommando Nr. 14, an assignment that lasted at least until 1916. The census records reveal that he was registered on 16 August 1910, lived at the department station in Pražská ulice č.p. 261 with his wife Hedwiga and 5 year old son Franz[j]. Here they had a flat at their disposal where also a servant and a female cook lived. He reported Czech as his mother tongue whereas his wife and his son reported German. In 1911 Rotter published the booklet Anleitung zur Dressur von Polizeihunden. Towards the end of the war he was stationed in Djakova in occupied Montenegro as Bezirkskommandant. He was promoted to Oberstleutnant on 1 August 1918[e].

Hašek and Rotter

Svět zvířat1909.

In 1909, when he was still Oberleutnant at k.k. Gendarmerie in Kladno, Rotter bought two German Shepherds from Saarbrücken, where he had been on a course the previous year. He trained the dogs Wolf and Wölfin for service purposes and in Svět zvířat appeared a picture of the latter "catching" a runaway.

Jaroslav Hašek knew Rotter personally from his time as editor of Svět zvířat and in 1909 the magazine printed a photo of Rotter together with his dogs. The animals feature on several more photos in this publication throughout the year.

Hašek seems to have kept in touch with Rotter because Josef Lada wrote that he and Hašek on 28 June 1914 visited Rotter in Kladno[b]. This does however seem strange, considering that Rotter had moved to Písek already in 1910.


Rotter continued in the police in Czechoslovakia after the war and newspaper articles reveal that he was promoted to plukovník (Colonel) and was still considered a prominent dog expert. Otherwise it is not known where he lived. In 1939 it was revealed that he had retired[h], he was now 67.

In his advanced years he wrote several books on dog breeding, the latest of which was published in 1938.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.3] Taky vám dám příklad, jak se na Kladně zmejlil jeden policejní pes, vlčák toho známého rytmistra Rottera. Rytmistr Rotter pěstoval ty psy a dělal pokusy s vandráky, až se Kladensku počali všichni vandráci vyhejbat.
[II.2] "....Jó, dneska mají právo četníci." "Voní ho měli i dřív," ozval se vandrák, "já pamatuju, že na Kladně bejval četnickým rytmistrem nějakej pan Rotter. Von vám najednou začal pěstovat tyhlety, jak jim říkají, policejní psy tý vlčí povahy, že všechno vyslídějí, když jsou vyučení. A měl ten pan rytmistr na Kladně těch svejch psích učeníků plnou prdel...."

Sources: Petr Netopil, Josef Lada, Michal Dlouhý, Radko Pytlík

Also written:Bohdan Rotter cz


aMatrikaSOkA Český Krumlov
bToulavé houseRadko Pytlík1971
cSchematismus der k. k. Land­wehr... (s. 548)Ministerium für Landesverteidigung1911
dSchematismus für das k. u. k. Heer... (s. 349)K.k. Hof und Staatsdruckerei1894
eVerordnungsblatt für die kaiserlich-königliche LandwehrK.k. Ministerium für Landesverteidigung13.8.1918
fVerordnungsblatt für die kaiserlich-königliche GendarmerieK.k. Ministerium für Landesverteidigung26.10.1901
gPolizeihunde für die Gendarmerie in BöhmenArbeiterwille18.8.1909
hMinistr vnitra generál Josef Ježek v jižních Čechách.Jihočeské Listy5.8.1939
iKladenský rytmistrMichal Dlouhý
jSčitání lidu 1910SOkA Písek
Wölfinnn flag

Wölfin (Vlčka) was most probably the name of the police dog that is mentioned in connection with Rittmeister Rotter's experiments in Kladno where he lets police dogs chase tramps. In the novel the dog is referred to as a police dog and wolf-dog.


Wölfin was a female police dog that Rittmeister Rotter reportedly brought in from Saarbrücken together with the male Wolf in 1909. It was probably one of those dogs Švejk had in mind when he told his anecdote. The author knew Rotter well and had surely been aware of and seen both dogs.

Wölfin was moreover bred at the kennel of Mr. Fuchs a Klamovka, next to the villa where Svět zvířat had their editorial offices and where Jaroslav Hašek worked as an editor. He would therefore have known the female dog well and in an article in the magazine 1 November 1909 it is stated that her training took place here at Klamovka.

On 16 October 1909 Rittmeister Rotter showed off the skills of Wölfin and a Doberman Pinscher called Petar on the premises of c.k. policejní ředitelství. The whole leadership of police HQ was present, amongst them Polizeikommissar Drašner and Ladislav Adamička (the brother of Josef Adamička). The article also states that Wölfin was bought from the kennel at Klamovka earlier in the year.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.3] Taky vám dám příklad, jak se na Kladně zmejlil jeden policejní pes, vlčák toho známého rytmistra Rottera. Rytmistr Rotter pěstoval ty psy a dělal pokusy s vandráky, až se Kladensku počali všichni vandráci vyhejbat.

Sources: Petr Netopil, Michal Dlouhý


Doctor Kallersonnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Hůla is of the opinion that Hašek invented the names Kallerson and Weiking

Kallerson is mentioned together with the psychiatrists Doctor Heveroch and Doctor Weiking as someone who had founded a school within the discipline.


Kallerson was according to The Good Soldier Švejk a psychiatrist but there is no information available apart from what is stated in the novel. Břetislav Hůla assumed that the name is an invention as he was unable to verify the existence of any well known psychiatrist Kallerson.

If the psychiatrist isn't invented it is probably a case of a distorted name. In one of Hašek's stories a Karl Larsson features, a name that is phonetically similar. This person was however not a psychiatrist, he was head of the Czechoslovak Salvation Army.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.3] Věc byla úplně jasnou. Spontánním projevem Švejkovým odpadla celá řada otázek a zůstaly jen některé nejdůležitější, aby s odpovědí potvrzeno bylo prvé mínění o Švejkovi na základě systému doktora psychiatrie Kallersona, doktora Heverocha i Angličana Weikinga.


Doctor Weikingnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Hůla is of the opinion that Hašek invented the names Kallerson and Weiking

Weiking is an Englishman mentioned together with the psychiatrists Doctor Heveroch and Doctor Kallerson. He had allegedly founded a certain school within the discipline of psychiatry.


Weiking is supposed to have been an English psychiatrist but there is no information available apart from what is stated in The Good Soldier Švejk. The name doesn't sound partucularly English. Břetislav Hůla assumes that the names Doctor Kallerson and Weiking are inventions. Alternatively it is a distortion of the name of a real psychologist.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.3] Věc byla úplně jasnou. Spontánním projevem Švejkovým odpadla celá řada otázek a zůstaly jen některé nejdůležitější, aby s odpovědí potvrzeno bylo prvé mínění o Švejkovi na základě systému doktora psychiatrie Kallersona, doktora Heverocha i Angličana Weikinga.
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

4. They threw Švejk out of the madhouse

Virgin Marynn flag
Wikipedia czdeennnno Search

Icon of Mary in Vladimir, Russia

Virgin Mary is named 33 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Virgin Mary was someone the inmates of the lunatic asylum could pretend to be. Otherwise she is already mentioned through the common Czech expression Ježíšmarjá. This is exclaimed by Švejk already in the first dialogue of the novel, when he hears the news about the assassination of Sarajevo and repeats itself 15 times. Her name is directly invoked several times, as both Marie and Maria.


Virgin Mary was the mother of Christ and the principal saint of the Catholic Church. In the New Testament she is featured in the gospels and in the deeds of the Apostles. At the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431, the Council Fathers bestowed here the title Theotokos, 'Mother of God'. The Quran portrays here as selected by God above all women in the world; she is mentioned in seven chapters in the Quran, one of them with her name as the title. She features in numerous works of art, where she is usually just called 'Madonna' - 'Our Lady'.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] Člověk se tam může vydávat za pánaboha nebo za panenku Marii, nebo za papeže, nebo za anglickýho krále, nebo za císaře pána, nebo za sv. Václava, ačkoliv ten poslední byl pořád svázanej a nahej a ležel v isolaci.
[II.4] Tak například na otázku, proč se nepřizná, odpověděl dle protokolu: "Já jsem zrovna v takový situaci, jako se voctnul jednou kvůli néjakejm obrazům Panny Marie sluha akademického malíře Panušky.

Also written:Panenka Marie Hašek Panna Maria cz Jungfrau Maria de

The Popenn flag
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Pius X, Wiener Bilder, 23.8.1914

Wiener Bilder23.8.1914.

The Pope was one of the persons the inmates of the lunatic asylum could pretend to be.


The Pope is bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church, based in the Vatican. Pope from 1904 until 20 August 1914 was Pius X, who was succeeded by Benedict XV. Hence Pius still occupied the seat at the time Švejk was in the asylum (July 1914).

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] Člověk se tam může vydávat za pánaboha nebo za panenku Marii, nebo za papeže, nebo za anglickýho krále, nebo za císaře pána, nebo za sv. Václava, ačkoliv ten poslední byl pořád svázanej a nahej a ležel v isolaci.

Also written:Papež cz Der Pabst de


King of Englandnn flag
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

George V before the war

King of England was as one of the persons the patients at the lunatic asylum could pretend to be, and that without repercussions.


seems to refer more to the king as a title and is not necessarily a reference to George V who was king of Great Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth from 1910 to 1936. The title king of England hadn't formally existed since 1707, but then as now it was common to interchange the terms England, Great Britain and United Kingdom.

King George belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg, a noble family originating from Germany. He was cousin of both Kaiser Wilhelm II. and Tsar Nicholas II. He bore considerable physical resemblance to the Russian tsar. In 1917 the Royal House was renamed House of Windsor, one of several examples of politically motivated name changes during World War I.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] Člověk se tam může vydávat za pánaboha nebo za panenku Marii, nebo za papeže, nebo za anglickýho krále, nebo za císaře pána, nebo za sv. Václava, ačkoliv ten poslední byl pořád svázanej a nahej a ležel v isolaci.

Also written:Anglický král cz Kongen av England nn


Saint Wenceslausnn flag
*907 Praha - †28.9.35 Stará Boleslav
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Saint Wenceslaus is mentioned during Švejk's staty at Blazinec (the madhouse) when the author lists various persons or objects the inmates pretended to be.

He reappears in the anecdote about the chamberpot in Poděbrady which was claimed to be the helmet of Saint Wenceslaus.


Saint Wenceslaus was prince (kníže) of Bohemia from 921 until his death. He was murdered by his brother Bohuslav, was canonised after his death and was eventually to become the Czech patron saint. Wenceslaus is still the patron saint of the Czech people and the Czech Republic. His feast day is 28 September and is also a Czech national holiday.

Václavské náměstí is named after him and in 1912 a big equestrian statue of him was unveiled at the southern end of the street, in front of Museum. Václav is still today one of the most common Czech male names.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] A von mu ten jeho kamarád napsal takovej fejton vo takovým jednom sběrateli, jak našel v písku na břehu Labe starej nočník plechovej a myslel, že to přilbice svatýho Václava, a udělal s tím takovej rozruch, že se tam na to přijel podívat biskup Brynych z Hradce s procesím a s korouhvema.
[III.3] A von mu ten jeho kamarád napsal takovej fejton vo takovým jednom sběrateli, jak našel v písku na břehu Labe starej nočník plechovej a myslel, že to přilbice svatýho Václava, a udělal s tím takovej rozruch, že se tam na to přijel podívat biskup Brynych z Hradce s procesím a s korouhvema.

Also written:Svatý Václav cz Heiliger Wenzel de

Archbishopnn flag
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Lev Skrbenský z Hříště, Zlatá Praha, 1899

Archbishop is referred to when one of the patients at Blázinec claims that he is archbishop. In [I.9] he is mentioned again because he received Feldkurat Katz and seemingly supported the latter in his attempt to join the priest's seminary. See Seminář.


may arguably refer to the Roman-catholic archbishop of Prague although the text doesn't indicate any particular archbishop, and is rather used as a generic term. In [I.9] there is however no doubt that the author writes about the archbishop of Prague.

In office at the time was Lev Skrbenský z Hříště (1863-1938) who held the seat from 1899 to 1916. He was a Czech cleric and nobleman who before becoming archbishop had served for 10 years as field chaplain in k.u.k. Heer.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] Byl tam taky jeden, kterej křičel, že je arcibiskupem, ale ten nic jiného nedělal, než jen žral a ještě něco dělal, s odpuštěním, víte, jak se to může rýmovat, ale tam se žádnej za to nestydí. Jeden se tam dokonce vydával za svatýho Cyrila a Metoděje, aby dostával dvě porce.

Also written:Arcibiskup cz Erzbischof de Erkebiskopen nn


Saint Cyrilnn flag
*827 Solun (Thessaloniki) - †869 Roma
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Cyril in Olomouc

Saint Cyril was mentioned when Švejk told about his stay in the lunatic asylum. One of the inmates claimed to be Saints Cyril and Methodius in order to get two portions.


Saint Cyril was a Greek missionary, later to become a saint, who together with his brother Methodius startet the christianisation of the Slavic peoples. The Cyrillic alphabet is named after him. During his lifetime he was known as Constantin.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] Jeden se tam dokonce vydával za svatýho Cyrila a Metoděje, aby dostával dvě porce.

Also written:Svatý Cyril cz Sankt Kyrill de

Saint Methodiusnn flag
*815 Solun (Thessaloniki) - †6.4.885 Mähren
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Methodius in Olomouc

Saint Methodius was mentioned when Švejk told about his stay in the lunatic asylum. One of the inmates claimed to be Saints Cyril and Methodius in order to get two portions.


Saint Methodius was a Greek missionary, later to become a saint, who together with his younger brother Cyril startet the christianisation of the Slavic peoples. During his lifetime he was known as Michael. The two brothers are often referred to as the "Apostles to the Slavs". They translated the Bible to what is now called Old Church Slavonic.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] Jeden se tam dokonce vydával za svatýho Cyrila a Metoděje, aby dostával dvě porce.

Also written:Svatý Metoděj cz Sankt Method de

Publisher Otto, Jannn flag
*8.11.1841 Přibyslav - †29.5.1916 Praha
Wikipedia czdeen Search Švejkův slovník

Otto was indirectly mentioned in connection with the mental patient who claimed to be the 16th part of Otto's Encyclopaedia.


Otto was a Czech publisher best known for publishing Ottův slovník naučný. He also published literature, text books and magazines. Amongst the latter were Zlatá Praha and Světozor which Jaroslav Hašek contributed to. The head office of the publishing house J. Otto was located at Karlovo náměstí No. 34 and they also had a branch office in Vienna.

Otto's son studied at Obchodní akademie at the same time as Jaroslav Hašek (1899-1902). Otto also ran a foundation to support poor students at the academy.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] Nejzuřivější byl jeden pán, kerej se vydával za 16. díl Ottova slovníku naučného a každého prosil, aby ho otevřel a našel heslo ,Kartonážní šička’, jinak že je ztracenej.

Sources: Radko Pytlík, Marek Šimoňák


General Windischgrätznn flag
*11.5.1787 Brussel - †21.3.1862 Wien
Wikipedia czdeensv Search Švejkův slovník

Alfred Füsrt zu Windisch-Graetz


Břetislav Hůla, 1951



Oberst Fürst Windischgrätz, commander of IR. 35 reported dead, 24 June 1859

Oesterreichischer Soldatenfreund2.7.1859.

Windischgrätz is first only referred to as a song which Švejk mentions when one of the court doctors asks him which songs he knows.

In [I.7] he sings parts of the song in bed, stricken by rheumatism and fortified by patriotic fervour, just before he is carted off to war in a wheelchair by Mrs. Müllerová.


Windischgrätz and who the song refers to is somewhat unclear. It has long been believed that the person in question was general Alfred I. Fürst zu Windisch-Graetz (ref. Břetislav Hůla, 1951). He was a famous commander who brutally suppressed the revolutions of 1848, both in Prague and Vienna.

The song in question however refers to events during the second Italian war of independence in 1859, and on this occasion the old field marshal was not involved. On the other hand, his nephew and son-in-law was on duty: Karl Vinzenz (1821-1859), colonel and commander of Infanterieregiment Nr. 35 (Pilsen), and he even fell at Solferino 25 June 1859. On 18 July his body was brought back to Prague, and the event received extensive press coverage.

Conflicting notes

The latest German translation of The Good Soldier Švejk (Antonín Brousek, Reclam Verlag, 2014) provides extensive Anmerkungen (annotations). Both persons are mentioned, but at the first occurrence of the name it claims that Alfred I. is the person in question. On the next mention it is Karl Vinzenz, despite the indisputable fact that Švejk refers to the same song on both occasions. Only a thorough investigation of the etymology behind the song may shed proper light on these contradictions.

The song in question is also quoted in Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí and in a context that is very similar[a].

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.4] A také to dál neumím,“ vzdychl Švejk. „Znám ještě první sloku z ,Kde domov můj’ a potom ,Jenerál Windischgrätz a vojenští páni od východu slunce vojnu započali’ a ještě pár takových národních písniček jako ,Zachovej nám, Hospodine’ a ,Když jsme táhli k Jaroměři’ a ,Tisíckrát pozdravujeme Tebe’...“
[I.7] Jenerál Windischgrätz a vojenští páni od východu slunce vojnu započali, hop, hop, hop!

Vojnu započali, takto jsou zvolali: „Pomoz nám Kristus pán s panenkou Marií, hop, hop, hop!“

Sources: Antonín Brousek, Militär-Zeitung


aDobrý voják Švejk v zajetíJaroslav Hašek1917
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

5. Švejk at the district police station in Salmova street

Inspektor Braunnn flag
Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Police report, 5 January 1909

Braun was a sadistic inspector at Salmova ulice police station. The author compared him to Emperor Nero. His abrupt order when Švejk entered was: "put him behind bars!".


If Braun was inspired any particular person it was most likely Karel Fahoun who was chief inspector at Policejní komisařství Salmova ulice at least from 1906 until 1910. From 1903 to 1912 Jaroslav Hašek was repeatedly in touch with this police station due to public order offences and Fahoun signed documents that directly implicated the author. Fahoun had moved on to Vinohrady by 1911, and in 1917 he had become head of c.k. policejní ředitelství.

It has also been claimed that the police inspector and the author were personal friends, but this is categorically refuted by Břetislav Hůla. It is easy to imagine that Hašek's many appearances at this police station served as inspiration for Švejk's stay there, albeit displaced in time. There is no known records that connect the author with this police station after outbreak of war.

Another possible inspiration is the policeman Friedrich Brauner who held a similar post at the police station in Nusle. Jaroslav Hašek also knew this district, not the least from his time in the Anarchist movment. There is however no record of him having been detained here.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.5] Po krásných slunných dnech v blázinci přišly na Švejka hodiny plné pronásledování. Policejní inspektor Braun aranžoval scénu setkání se Švejkem s krutostí římských pochopů doby roztomilého císaře Nerona. Tvrdě, jako tenkrát, když oni říkali: „Hoďte toho lumpa křesťana lvům,“ řekl inspektor Braun: „Dejte ho za katr!“ Ani o slovíčko více, ani méně. Jenom oči pana policejního inspektora Brauna zasvítily přitom zvláštní, perversní rozkoší.

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák

Emperor Neronn flag
*15.12.37 Antium (no Anzio) - †9.6.68 Roma
Wikipedia czdeenlannno Search

Nero is mentioned when the author compares him unfavourably with police inspector Inspektor Braun.


Nero was Roman emperor from 54 AD. The chronicles portray Nero as a tyrant and libertarian and he is known as the Emperor who "played while Rome was on fire", and an early persecutor of Christians. These stories originate from Tacitus, Svetonius and Cassius Dio. But other contemporary sources claim that Nero really was very popular in his lifetime. The first part of his time as Emperor was characterized by stability and prosperity, much thanks to his advisers, amongst them the philosopher Seneca. But Nero initiate many expensive building projects which eventually led to an economic crisis.

In 66 AD Nero added the title of "Imperator" to his name. The empire experienced insurgencies because of the economic problems. After the people had rebelled in 68 AD he was deposed by the senate. Nero though that the Senate would execute him, so he took his own life.

As Emperor he used the official name Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, but was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.5] Policejní inspektor Braun aranžoval scénu setkání se Švejkem s krutostí římských pochopů doby roztomilého císaře Nerona. Tvrdě, jako tenkrát, když oni říkali: „Hoďte toho lumpa křesťana lvům,“ řekl inspektor Braun: „Dejte ho za katr!“

Sources: Wikipedia

Also written:Neron Hašek Nerone it

Mareček, Josefnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Josef Mareček was a merchant from Vršovice who had been in Švejk's cell at Salmova ulice police station the previous year. He had written his name, the date of 5 June 1913, and his profession on the cell wall. Nothing more is revealed about him.


Josef Mareček may have borrowed the name (or more) from a real person, although the facts about the people listed in the address book from 1910 do not quite correspond to the information about the man who wrote on the cell wall. Of the five Marečeks listed in the address book a grocery merchant from Vinohrady seems the likeliest candidate.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.5] Jiný opět prostě konstatoval fakt: „Seděl jsem zde 5. června 1913 a bylo se mnou slušně zacházeno. Josef Mareček, obchodník s Vršovic.“
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

6. Švejk at home again, having broken through the vicious circle

The Devilnn flag
Wikipedia czdeennnno Search

© Josef Lada

The Devil is named 42 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

The Devil name is first invoked when the interrogator at c.k. policejní ředitelství gets uptight about Švejks reassurance that his exclamation: "Long live the Emperor, we'll win this war!" was not meant ironically. His name occurs repeatedly, mostly in the form of Czech and German swear words.


The Devil is a mythological figure in numerous religions; symbolising evil. Alternative names are Satan, Lucifer, Mephistopheles and Beelzebub. In monotheist religions, the Devil is generally considered the opposite of God. He presides in Hell as opposed to God who rules in Heaven. The Devil has a bad name, he is invoked whenever one seeks to convey a negative association, typically uttered through so-called swearwords. As a symbolical expression, the word devil through it's many variations, may be one of the most used ever.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.6] Vem vás čert, Švejku,“ řekla nakonec úřední brada, „jestli se sem ještě jednou dostanete,tak se vás vůbec nebudu na nic ptát a poputujete přímo k vojenskému soudu na Hradčany. Rozuměl jste?
[I.14.6] Zatímco Švejk koupal Maxa, plukovník, bývalý jeho majitel, strašně doma láteřil a vyhrožoval, že postaví toho, kdo mu psa ukradl, před válečný soud, že ho dá zastřelit, pověsit, zavřít na dvacet let a rozsekat. „Der Teufel soll den Kerl buserieren,“ ozývalo se v bytě plukovníka, až se třásla okna, „mit solchem Meuchelmördern werde ich bald fertig.“

Also written:Čert cz Der Teufel de

Čimperann flag
Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

"Encyklopedie pro milovníky Švejka". Milan Hodík

Čimpera owned a piece of land in Straškov no.5 that he advertised for sale in a newspaper found at U kalicha. Švejk read the advert out loud to demonstrate his total lack of interest in the attention of detective Bretschneider who again sought to trap him.


A Václav Čimpera actually lived in Straškov no. 5 in 1910 . This is information from Encyklopedie pro milovníky Švejka, II., Hodík a Landa, 1999. The document is from 22 February 1910. It is not known why (or whether) Čimpera later sold the property.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.6] Švejk sňal s věšáku nějaké noviny a prohlížeje si zadní stranu inserátů, ozval se: „Tak vida, tenhle Čimpera v Straškově č. 5, p. Račiněves, prodá hospodářství s třinácti korci vlastních polí, škola a dráha na místě.“ Bretschneider nervosně zabubnoval prsty a obraceje se k Švejkovi řekl: „To se divím, proč vás to hospodářství zajímá, pane Švejku.“

Sources: Milan Hodík, Jaroslav Šerák

Miss Mařenann flag

Mařena was a woman who the porter at the nigh café Mimosa had brought home. This happened when Švejk got back from his time in custody and discovered that Mrs. Müllerová had rented his room out, and that in his bed slept the night porter and the mentioned woman. Mařenay contributed to the novel with a single utterance when she dressed down Švejk with the select words: "you son of an Archbishop!"

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.6] „Já jsem chtěl spát do osmi večer,“ zaraženě ozval se portýr, navlékaje kalhoty, „já platím denně z postele dvě koruny té paní a můžu si sem vodit slečny z kavárny. Mařeno, vstávej!“
Detective Kalousnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Kalous was police agent who, like detective Bretschneider, bought dogs from Švejk in order to lure something compromising out of him. He got nowhere and soon disappeared from the plot.


The detective may have been inspired by Josef Kalous, a policeman in Nusle who is listed in the address book of 1910.

On 13 March 1913 Karikatury printed a story by Jaroslav Hašek called The detective Kalous. It was signed Richard Mayer, one of the many pseudonyms the author used.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.6] Pak tam šel koupit psa detektiv Kalous a vrátil se s vyjevenou potvorou, připomínající hyenu skvrnitou, s hřívou škotského ovčáka, a v položkách tajného fondu přibyla nová: D...90 K.


Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

7. Švejk goes in the military

Doctor Páveknn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Doctors in 1910

Pávek was a medical doctor from Vinohrady who prescribed Švejk bromium against his rheumatism, belligerance and exaggerated patriotism.


The address book of Prague (1910) does not show up any doktor Pávek. This also goes for the address book of Vinohrady (1912).

The surname Pávek also shows up in the story How Mr. Cetlička voted from 1913, but here there is no question of a doctor.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.7] A tak byl probuzen obtloustlým pánem, který mu chvíli držel ruku na čele a říkal: „Nebojte se, já jsem doktor Pávek z Vinohrad - ukažte ruku - tenhle teploměr si dejte pod paždí... Tak - ukažte jazyk - ještě víc - držte jazyk - na co zemřel váš pan otec a vaše matka?“ A tak v době, kdy Vídeň si přála, aby všichni národové Rakousko-Uherska dávali nejskvělejší příklady věrnosti a oddanosti, předepsal doktor Pávek Švejkovi proti jeho vlasteneckému nadšení brom a doporučoval statečnému a hodnému vojínu Švejkovi, aby nemyslil na vojnu.


Mucius Scaevolann flag
Wikipedia deenlano Search

Scaevola and king Porsena by Bernardo Cavellino


Ein zweiter Mucius Scaevola. Die neue Zeitung, 13.6.1915.

Die Neue Zeitung13.6.1915.

Mucius Scaevola is mentioned in an article in Pražské úřední novinty and compared to Švejk in the news about the incident where Švejk gets pushed off to the draft commission in a wheel-chair. The headline reads: "The patriotism of a cripple".


Mucius Scaevola was a known figure from ancient Rome who through his bravery is supposed to have saved the city during the Ethruschian siege of 508 BC. He was send to the enemy's camp to murder king Porsena but was captured. To show the king how little physical sufferings meant to a Roman soldier he held his hand in the fire without showing any signs of pain. The king released Mucius and offered peace. It has not be established if this story has a factual background but is in any cased based on the writing of Roman historian Titus Livius.

Symbol in stories of war heroism

Mucius and his burnt hand often appears as symbolism in stories about heroic deeds that the press of the Dual Monarchy printed during the war, particularly during the summer of 1915. References can also be found in the Czech press, even before the war. Amongst the papers who printed these stories in 1915 were Neue Freie Presse and Pester Lloyd. One such story appeared in June 1915 and was printed in several newspapers, including Pester Lloyd. It refers to an attack on Italian coastal defences by Porto Corsini on 24 May 1915, led by admiral Miklos Horthy. The admiral is better known as the inter-war and World War II Hungarian dictator who led his country to war as an allied of Nazi Germany.

Reuse of themes

Many themes from the novel have earlier appeared in short stories by Jaroslav Hašek, so also Mucius: Jak se Baluška naučil lhát (How Baluška learned to lie), first printed in Právo lidu, Dělnická besídka, 2 March 1913.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.7] O celé této události objevil se v „Pražských úředních novinách“ tento článek:
[I.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.


Lynch, Williamnn flag
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Dunkle Geschichten aus dem Alten Österreich

Lynch is mentioned indirectly by the term "lycnhing". It is Prager Tagblatt who report that Czech agents of the Entente tried to lynch the cripple Švejk as he was wheeled to Odvodní komise in a wheelchair. The brave cripple was protected by Germans.


Lynch (Charles or William) are both the probable candidates for the etymological origin of the term "lynching". Both lived in the 18th century, were judges and the circumstance was the American war of independence (1776-1783). In the US the term was later mostly used in connection with abuses directed against blacks. Austrian newspapers used the term "Lynchjustiz" already before 1840, mostly in connection with cases in the US (but not exclusively there).

It has not been possible to find anything in Prager Tagblatt that relates to the quote from the novel and fatal lynching was unusual amongst civilians in Austria-Hungary, even during the war. Arbitrary justice was however widespread at the front. It was used against both the enemy population and own subjects who were suspected of co-operating with the enemy. The victims were mostly Ukrainians and South Slavs.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.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 lynčováním ze strany českých agentů známé Dohody.
Doctor Bautzenn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Jaroslav R. Veselý, Květy 7.9.1968.


Pester Lloyd24.10.1914.

Bautze was head officer at the medical examination board at Střelecký ostrov. He exposed all malingerers in the most efficient and ruthless manner. He is the man behind one of the most famous quotes from Švejk: Das ganze tschechische Volk ist eine Simulantenbande (the whole Czech nation is a pack of malingerers). Švejk suffered the same fate as the other 11,000 malingerers Bautze had smoked out during his ten weeks in service.


Bautze has no obvious model but we know with near certainty that Jaroslav Hašek in mid December 1914 appeared before the Landsturm draft commission at Střelecký ostrov. He would have known who examined him, and might have borrowed traits for his literary figure from this person. Still no dr. Bautze is found in the address books of Prague from the years before the war.

In an article in Květy from 7 September 1968 Jaroslav R. Veselý claimed that some Dr. Halbhuber examined Josef Švejk at Střelecký ostrov, and his claim at first sight seems worth investigating. Dr. Franz Halbhuber was indeed an army doctor and by all accounts extremely cruel to the soldiers who were unlucky enough to get within his reach. He sent hundreds of ill and crippled soldiers back to the front and was also known as a German chauvinist, all this making him very unpopular amongst the Czech population.

There are however many reasons to doubt the veracity of Veselý's account. Halbhuber served in Prague only from late 1916 to 1918. He was "Oberstabsarzt" at Vojenská nemocnice na Karlově náměstí, and before that he had been in the same function in Košice and Litoměřice. That he was involved with the Landsturm draft commission (see Odvodní komise) in 1914 as Veselý claims, is difficult to believe, particularly in view of a news item from Pester Lloyd 24 October 1914 that says Halbhuber at the time, in Košice, was receiving a delegation led by Hungarian prime minister Count Tisza. October 1914 was precisely when Josef Švejk and others who were born in 1892 would have appeared before the commission (Josef was by all accounts to appear on the 20th, that is if the story about him being "superarbitrated" is true at all ...). Some temporary assignment can obviously not be ruled out, but for this to be verified, Halbhuber's military records would need to be consulted.

Still it is quite possible that Halbhuber and other brutal medics may have inspired the author to create the characters Bautze and Doctor Grünstein. Halbhuber had a number of similarities with both of them, for instance treating seriously ill people as malingerers and sending them to the front. In addition he was notoriously infamous so Hašek surely knew about him.

Halbhuber's predecessor as "Oberstabsarzt", MUDr. Jaromír Pečírka, may be the person who examined Hašek at Střelecký ostrov in 1914, or at least led the draft commission. But that he in any way served as model for those very German medics appears improbable. Pečírka was Czech and his obituary contradicts any suggestion that he in any way had anything in common with the two obnoxious doctors that Švejk encountered.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.7] Zejména ne vrchní vojenský lékař Bautze. Byl to muž neúprosný, který ve všem viděl podvodný pokus uniknout vojně, frontě, kulce a šrapnelům. Známý jest jeho výrok: „Das ganze tschechische Volk ist eine Simulantenbande.“ Za deset týdnů své činnosti vymýtil z 11.000 civilistů 10.999 simulantů a byl by se dostal na kobylku i tomu jedenáctitisícímu, kdyby nebyla toho šťastného člověka právě v tom okamžiku, když na něho zařval „Kehrt euch!“ ranila mrtvice. „Odneste toho simulanta,“ řekl Bautze, když zjistil, že je muž mrtev.


Marschall Radetzky, Johann Joseph Wenzelnn flag
*2.11.1776 Třebnice - †5.1.1858 Milano
Wikipedia czdeenno Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Radetzky, 1857


Bohemia 6.1.1858.


Národní listy23.4.1919.

Radetzky is named 13 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Radetzky is mentioned when Švejk is led past a statue of him on the way to the garrison prison at Hradčany. Švejk obviously honoured him by saluting.

Radetzky is mentioned several times later in the novel. He appears in the article that deputy Barabás wrote in Pester Lloyd and claims centre stage during the field mass that Feldoberkurat Ibl serves in Királyhida before the march battalion's departure to the front.

The Radetzky march is mentioned directly in [IV.1] Dobromil where the not very sober interrogator/interpreter hums it but adds his own lyrics.


Radetzky was a famous Czech nobleman and Austrian field marshal. He was Austria's most prominent commander in the first half of the 19th century and distinguished himself during the war in Italy in 1848/49 where his armies emerged victorious in the battles of Custoza, Santa Lucia and Novara. He served in Austria's army for 72 years, under five emperors, participated in 17 field operations, and was decorated 146 times.

In 1848 Johann Strauss the Elder composed the famous Radetzky march which even today is played at the end of the Vienna New Year Concerts.

The statue

The statue that is mentioned in the novel stood at Malostranské náměstí in and was removed in 1919. It is now stored in the Lapidárium in Holešovice, a subsidiary of the National Museum.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.7] Bajonety svítily v záři slunce a na Malé Straně obrátil se Švejk před pomníkem Radeckého k zástupu, který je vyprovázel: „Na Bělehrad! Na Bělehrad!“ A maršálek Radecký snivě se díval ze svého pomníku za vzdalujícím se dobrým vojákem Švejkem s rekrutskou kytkou na kabátě, kulhajícím na starých berlích, zatímco sděloval nějaký vážný pán lidem kolem, že vedou desentéra.
[II.4] ... o čemž svědčí celá řada vynikajících českých vojevůdců, z nichž vzpomínáme slavné postavy maršálka Radeckého a jiných obranců rakousko-uherského mocnářství.

Also written:Radecký cz


Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

8. Švejk as a malingerer

Bruno, Giordanonn flag
*1548 Nola - †17.2.1600 Roma
Wikipedia czdeenitno Search

Giordano Bruno is mentioned by a prisoner at Vojenská nemocnice Hradčany who attempts to feign insanity by yelling day and night: "Giordano Bruno's fire is still smouldering, renew the process against Galileo!"


Giordano Bruno was an Italian astronomer and philosopher who was burned as a heretic in 1600. Finally, in the year 2000 the Papal Cultural Council and a theological commission declared his execution as illegal.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] Nejlepší,“ mínil jeden ze simulantů, „dá se simulovat šílenství. Z našeho učitelského sboru jsou vedle v cimře dva, jeden neustále křičí dnem i nocí: ,Hranice Giordana Bruna ještě dýmá, obnovte proces Galileův!’ a ten druhý štěká, napřed třikrát pomalu: haf - haf - haf, potom pětkrát rychle za sebou: hafhafhafhafhaf, a zas pomalu, a tak to jde neustále.
Galilei, Galileonn flag
*15.2.1564 Pisa - †8.1.1642 Arcetri
Wikipedia czdeenitnnno Search

Galilée devant le Saint-Office au Vatican. Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury, 1847

Galileo is mentioned because a recruit at Vojenská nemocnice Hradčany was simulating madness by shouting day after day: "Giordano Giordano Bruno's fire is still smouldering, renew the process against Galileo!"

In Putim in [II.2] he is mentioned again when Švejk's explains his anabasis to Wachtmeister Flanderka. Here the author quotes an expression that is attributed to Galieo.


Galileo was an Italian scientist, best known for his work in the fields of astronomy and physics. He is regarded as the founder of experimental natural sciences.

The process that is mentioned in The Good Soldier Švejk was a trial that was conducted in 1633 as a result of Galileo's book Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo (Dialogue concerning the two chief World Systems). The systems being discussed in the book is the heliocentric (Copernicus) and the geocentric (Ptolemy).

The book caused anger in clerical circles and Galileo was put before a papal court. Here he withdrew his theories and thus avoided being sentenced to death by burning. He was found guilty of heresy and abjurium, sentenced to life imprisonment, albeit soon converted to house arrest. During interrogation when he was forced to retract his heliocentrical world view, he allegedly said about the earth: "and yet it moves" (Eppur si muove)[a]. It is this statement that the author refers to in connection with Švejk being arrested by Wachtmeister Flanderka in Putim.

Only in 1835 did the Catholic Church withdraw the ban of the book, but the final rehabilitation of the author only followed in 1992.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] Nejlepší,“ mínil jeden ze simulantů, „dá se simulovat šílenství. Z našeho učitelského sboru jsou vedle v cimře dva, jeden neustále křičí dnem i nocí: ,Hranice Giordana Bruna ještě dýmá, obnovte proces Galileův!’ a ten druhý štěká, napřed třikrát pomalu: haf - haf - haf, potom pětkrát rychle za sebou: hafhafhafhafhaf, a zas pomalu, a tak to jde neustále.
[II.2] Strážmistr podíval se laskavě na Švejka, který klidně a důstojně řekl: „A přece jdu do Budějovic.“ Bylo to víc než Galileovo: „A přece se točí!“ Poněvadž ten to musel říct patrně asi hodně vztekle.
aDid Galileo Truly Say, ‘And Yet It Moves’? A Modern Detective StoryMario Livio, Scientific American6.5.2020
Henčlů, Frantann flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Franta Henčlů (František Henčl) was a soldier from Hluboká who was given two years in prison after having informed members of parliament about maltreatment of soldiers. This is revealed in an anecdote Švejk tells his fellow malingerers at the military hospital at Hradčany. The episode happened during Švejk's period of national service and it is revealed that he at the time served in 11. Kompanie.


This story surely has some connection to real events, but attempts to pinpoint it directly have so far proved futile. Before the war there were several reports in the press about mistreatment of soldiers, and at least one involving IR 91.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] Nějakej ministr poslal k nám komisi, aby to vyšetřila, a nějakej Franta Henčlů ze Hluboký dostal potom dva roky, poněvadž to byl ten, co se vobrátil do Vídně k poslancům kvůli tý facce, kerou dostal na cvičišti od pana obršta.
Doctor Grünsteinnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Military head doctors in 1906.

Grünstein is named 18 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Grünstein was head doctor at the garrison at Hradčany where the malingerers were undergoing treatment. Doctor Grünstein made sure they got the demon of sabotage exorcised by medical means like quinine, aspirin, enema, stomach pumping and a strict diet. See Vojenská nemocnice Hradčany.


Grünstein doesn't have an obvious model from real life. Although Jaroslav Hašek was admitted to a military hospital in 1915, this was in Budějovice so any person that may have served as inspiration for Grünstein may better be looked for there and not in Prague.

Dr. Halbhuber

That said, Hašek may also have been inspired by people he had only heard of or read about. We know that the head medic at Hradčany in 1916 was Dr. Josef Krejčí, and that his superior at the main military hospital at Karlovo náměstí was the infamous and hated Dr. Franz Halbhuber. The latter was well known and Hašek probably knew about him. As such Halbhuber may well have lent his dubious qualities to both Grünstein and Doctor Bautze.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] Přiblížila se doba odpolední visity. Vojenský lékař Grünstein chodil od postele k posteli a za ním sanitní poddůstojník se zápisní knihou. „Macuna?“ „Zde!“ „Klystýr a aspirin! - Pokorný?!“ „Zde!“ „Vypláchnout žaludek a chinin! - Kovařík?!“


Macunann flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Macuna was one of the malingerer who was called up for treatment by Doctor Grünstein. He was treated with anema and aspirin. See Vojenská nemocnice Hradčany.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] Přiblížila se doba odpolední visity. Vojenský lékař Grünstein chodil od postele k posteli a za ním sanitní poddůstojník se zápisní knihou. „Macuna?“ „Zde!“ „Klystýr a aspirin! - Pokorný?!“ „Zde!“ „Vypláchnout žaludek a chinin! - Kovařík?!“
Pokornýnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Pokorný was one of the malingerer who was called up for treatment by Doctor Grünstein. He was treated with stomach pumping and quinine. See Vojenská nemocnice Hradčany.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] Přiblížila se doba odpolední visity. Vojenský lékař Grünstein chodil od postele k posteli a za ním sanitní poddůstojník se zápisní knihou. „Macuna?“ „Zde!“ „Klystýr a aspirin! - Pokorný?!“ „Zde!“ „Vypláchnout žaludek a chinin! - Kovařík?!“
Kovaříknn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Kovařík was one of the malingerer who was called up for treatment by Doctor Grünstein. He was given enema and aspirin. But soon after he quietly, from his bed by the window, he suddenly reported fit for duty, and Grünstein awarded him with an enema for the road. See Vojenská nemocnice Hradčany.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] „Vypláchnout žaludek a chinin! - Kovařík?!“ „Zde!“ „Klystýr a aspirin!
[I.8] "Poslušně hlásím, pane obrarct," ozvalo se tiše od postele u okna, "já už jsem zdravej, já už v noci pozoroval, že mne záducha přešla." "Jmenujete se?" "Kovařík, poslušně hlásím, mám dostat klystýr:" "Dobře, klystýr dostanete ještě na cestu," rozhodl dr. Grünstein, "abyste si nestěžoval, že jsme vás tady neléčili".
Koťátkonn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Koťátko was one of the malingerer who was called up for treatment by Doctor Grünstein. He was treated with stomach pumping and quinine. See Vojenská nemocnice Hradčany.


There is no evidence to suggest that the inspiration for this character is anything more than a borrowed surname. See Fähnrich Koťátko for further information.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] „Vypláchnout žaludek a chinin! - Kovařík?!“ „Zde!“ „Klystýr a aspirin! - Koťátko?!“ „Zde!“ „Vypláchnout žaludek a chinin!“ A tak to šlo, jeden za druhým, bez milosti, mechanicky, řízně.
Socratesnn flag
*4.6.469 Aten - †399 Aten
Wikipedia czdeennnno Search

La mort de Socrate, Jacques-Louis David, 1787

Socrates is mentioned because not even he emptied the poison chalice with such calm as Švejk drank quinine.


Socrates was a Greek philosopher, one of the all time greats, and regarded as one of the founders of Western philosophy. The outspoken philosopher was late is his life accused and convicted of impiety and having corrupted the youth. He was sentenced to either exile from Athens or to take his own life by a method of his own choice. He chose the latter by emptying a chalice of poison.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] Ani Sokrates nepil svou číši bolehlavu s takovým klidem jako chinin Švejk, na kterém vyzkoušel dr Grünstein všechny stupně trápení.

Also written:Sókratés cz

Baronesse von Botzenheimnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

The baroness watches Švejk devour his gifts

České slovo8.12.1923.

Von Botzenheim was the widow of an infantry general. She had read about Švejk's exploits in Bohemia. The editors had urged readers to collect money for the brave cripple, who brimming with patriotism was pushed to mustering in a wheelchair. The baroness brought splendid gifts for Švejk, amongst them a bottle of war liquor with the inscription Gott Strafe England! The author mocks the poor Czech of the German-speaking baroness and her visit ranks amongst the most famous episodes of the novel.


Botzenheim is a surname that is impossible to find in name databases and is surely an invention. Needless to say no such noble family existed[a] and there is no trace of any Botzenheim (general or other) in Schematismus or other military records. Nor does the surname reflect any known geographical entity.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] V té době měla vdova po generálovi pěchoty baronka von Botzenheim velice mnoho starostí, aby vypátrala toho vojáka, o kterém uveřejnila nedávno Bohemie zprávu, jak se dal vozit, on, mrzák, na vozíku pro nemocné a křičel: „Na Bělehrad!“, kterýž vlastenecký projev dal původ redakci „Bohemie“ k vyzvání čtenářů, aby konali sbírky ve prospěch loyálního hrdiny-mrzáka.
aBaronka von BotzenheimJaroslav Šerák2018 - 2023
Editor Filip, Otakarnn flag
*1.7.1874 Praha - †10.4.1931 Praha
Search Švejkův slovník

Národní politika18.8.1915.


On his 50th birthday. Národní listy 1.7.1924


Národní Listy11.4.1931.

Filip was probably the person the narrator had in mind as, quote: author of Stories from the life of our monarch and editor in chief of Československá Republika.


was a Czech journalist. author, and illustrator, and long time editor of local news in official newspapers that were published in Prague both under Austria-Hungary and Czechoslovakia. The book that is referred to he actually wrote, albeit with a title that differs somewhat from the one given in the novel. It was published in 1910 and contained 242 pages. That he was editor in chief of Československá Republika isn't entirely true, he was one of the board of editors. Filip specialised in reports and literature about Prague and published several books. See also Pražské úřední noviny.

The full title of the book Jaroslav Hašek refers to was: Osmdesátiletý mocnář: Význačné události a zajímavé obrazy ze života jeho veličenstva císaře a krále Františka Josefa I. Translated: The eighy year old monarch: significant events and interesting pictures from the life of His Majesty Emperor and King Franz Josef I.

On 18 August 1915, ironically on the very day that Jaroslav Hašek was awarded the small silver medal for bravery, an advert for a patriotic book appeared in his home town. It was titled The supreme protector of Czech children, His Highness Emperor and King Franz Josef I. and written by none other than our editor Filip!

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] Vše elegantně rozložila na prázdnou postel vedle Švejka, kam přibyla ještě pěkně vázaná kniha „Příběhy ze života našeho mocnáře“, kterou napsal nynější zasloužilý šéfredaktor naší úřední „Československé republiky“, který se ve starém Frantíkovi viděl.


Shrapnel, Henrynn flag
*3.6.1761 Bradford-on-Avon - †13.3.1842 Southampton
Wikipedia dadeen Search Švejkův slovník

Shrapnel is mentioned indirectly through the term shrapnel as Baronesse von Botzenheim and her entourage enter the sick-ward of the malingerers at Hradčany. As the novel progresses his name, or rather his invention, crops up several times in various stories from the fighting.


Shrapnel was a British officer and inventor who is famous for having invented the shrapnel shell, a shell filled with metal fragments. It turned out to be an effective anti-personnel weapon. The method was in use from the Napoleonic wars until the end of World War I.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.7] Zejména ne vrchní vojenský lékař Bautze. Byl to muž neúprosný, který ve všem viděl podvodný pokus uniknout vojně, frontě, kulce a šrapnelům.
[I.8] Ani arcikněžna nemohla tak vážně vejít, jako to udělala baronka von Botzenheim. Za ní valil se celý průvod, ve kterém nescházel ani účetní šikovatel při nemocnici, který v tom všem viděl tajemnou ruku revise, která ho od tučného žlabu v týlu hodí napospas šrapnelům někam pod drátěné překážky posic.
[I.8] Na krabici byl obrázek, jak praská šrapnel a nějaký člověk v šišáku se žene s bodákem kupředu.
[I.9] Střílet do nepřítele a zabíjet na druhé straně šrapnely a granáty stejné takové nešťastné suplenty, matematiky, považoval za blbost.
[I.13] Na obzoru hoří vesnice a praskají šrapnely a v popředí leží umírající voják s utrženou nohou, nad kterým se sklání anděl a přináší mu věnec s nápisem na stuze: "Ještě dnes budeš se mnou v ráji." A umírající se blaženě usmívá, jako by mu nesli zmrzlinu.
[I.13] Starý rezervista podíval se na zelenáčka a řekl: "Pěkný doufání, že ti šrapnel utrhne hlavu.
[I.14.2] V tom okamžiku zapomínal, že sviští mu nad hlavou granáty a šrapnely, a probíral se neúnavně se zavazadly ke štábu, kde stálo vozatajstvo.
[II.1] Von si tu hůl přendal do druhý ruky, zařval, že jim to nevodpustí, a bůhví jak by to s ním dopadlo, kdyby ho byl šrapnel za chvilku definitivně nezamordoval.
[II.3] Tady se jedná vo mizerný dvě zlatky, a já bych vás rád viděl, kdybyste měl vobětovat život za svýho vojenskýho představenýho, kdyby von ležel raněnej někde na nepřátelskej linii a vy jste ho měl zachránit a vodnest na svejch rukách a voni by stříleli po vás šrapnely a vším možným." "Vy byste se podělal," bránil se desátník, "vy jedna fajfko."
[II.3] Já ho chytnu za krk a shodím ho z prvního poschodí dolů po schodech, že poletí jako šrapnel.


Footman Johannnn flag

České slovo8.12.1923.

Johann was the servant of Baronesse von Botzenheim and looked like the murderer Babinský.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] Ja čist všekno f nófiny, já vám přinest pápat, kousat, kuřit, cucat, cešky fójak, toprá fójak. Johann, kommen Sie her!„ Komorník, připomínající svými ježatými licousy Babinského, přitáhl objemný koš k posteli, zatímco společnice staré baronky, vysoká dáma s uplakanou tváří, sedla si na Švejkovu postel a urovnávala mu slaměný polštář pod záda, s fixní myšlenkou, že se to patří dělat nemocným hrdinům.
Babinský, Václavnn flag
*20.8.1792 Pokratice u Litoměřic - †1.8.1879 Řepy u Prahy
Wikipedia czde Search Švejkův slovník

Babinský is mentioned because footman Johann, the servant of Baronesse von Botzenheim, looked like him.


Babinský was a Czech criminal, sentenced for a series of murders and a number of other crimes. He is one of the best known Czech criminals ever and Egon Erwin Kisch devotes a whole chapter to him in his Die Abenteuer in Prag. A lot of space was devoted to him in the police museum.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] Komorník, připomínající svými ježatými licousy Babinského, přitáhl objemný koš k posteli, zatímco společnice staré baronky, vysoká dáma s uplakanou tváří, sedla si na Švejkovu postel a urovnávala mu slaměný polštář pod záda, s fixní myšlenkou, že se to patří dělat nemocným hrdinům.


Kaiser Wilhelm II.nn flag
*27.1.1859 Berlin - †4.6.1941 Doorn
Wikipedia czdeennn Search Švejkův slovník

Wilhelm II. is mentioned first time when Baronesse von Botzenheim visits Vojenská nemocnice Hradčany. She gave Švejk a bottle of Kriegslikör where the label depicted Kaiser Franz Joseph I. holding hands with Wilhelm. On the other side of the bottle was written Gott strafe England.

The second mention of the German emperor is equally fleeting. Švejk browses a newspaper and notes that the Sultan has decorated emperor Wilhelm with a war medal whereas he himself so far had not even been awarded a small silver medal.

Wilhelm is mentioned twice thereafter. He was reportedly called an "animal" by the drunk gendarme Wachtmeister Flanderka in Putin, and together with Kaiser Franz Joseph I. he appears on a picture that decorates the wall at k.u.k. Gottes Hauptquartier in Kadett Biegler's pungent dream on the way to Budapest.


Wilhelm II. was emperor of Germany and king of Prussia from 1888 until 1918, member of the house Hohenzollern. Forced to abdicate in 1918 after the defeat in World War I, he lived the rest of his life in the Netherlands. Tsar Nicholas II and the king of England were both his cousins. He was also related to the royal houses of Spain, Norway, Romania and Greece.


Der neue Bezirksbote23.5.1915.

It has not been possible to verify that bottles of Kriegslikör with labels where Kaiser Franz Joseph I. and Wilhelm hold hands existed, but in any case similar propaganda material abounded. A colour post-card with this theme was actually printed and had the title In Treue fest[1]. The postcard was in circulation in 1916 and perhaps already in 1914.

Gott strafe England was likewise a common slogan from the end of 1914 onwards, so even if the bottle that Švejk was given is not hundred per cent pinpointed, similar items that may have inspired the author were plentiful.

The war medal

Neue Freie Presse10.3.1915.

The context of this sequence of the novel strongly indicates that the decoration of Wilhelm that Švejk refers to took place in March 1915. Already on the ninth the official Turkish news agency Agence Milli reported that the Sultan had telegraphed emperor Wilhelm and congratulated him on the great victories in the east. In the same telegramme it is revealed that the emperor was offered the Imtiaz war medal as an expression of the sultan's admiration.

25 March 1915 Milli reported that Goltz Paşa had travelled to Berlin in order to personally decorate the emperor. The war medal was even specially made for Wilhelm.

The good soldier Švejk in captivity

In Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí the German emperor is simply classed as brain-damaged.[1]

Nebo vezměme si případ císaře Viléma. Každé malé dítě dnes ví, že císař Vilém trpí úbytkem mozku. Ve dvorních kruzích jeho žvásty a plány považují však za geniálnost.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] Baronka zatím vytahovala dárky z koše. Tucet pečených kuřat, zabalených do růžového hedvábného papíru a ovázaných černožlutou hedvábnou stužkou, dvě láhve nějakého válečného likéru s etiketou „Gott strafe England!“ Na druhé straně byl na etiketě František Josef s Vilémem, jak se drží za ruce, jakoby si chtěli hrát hru „Králíček v své jamce seděl sám, ubožátko, co je ti, že nemůžeš skákati“.
[I.14.3] „Tak vida,“ řekl pro sebe Švejk, sleduje se zájmem přehled denních událostí, „sultán vyznamenal císaře Viléma válečnou medalií, a já nemám dosud ani malou stříbrnou.“
[II.2] ...že je císař pán nemocný dědek a že co nejdřív natáhne brka, že je císař Vilém zvíře, že mu budete do vězení posílat peníze na přilepšenou a ještě víc takových řečí...
[III.1] Uprostřed pokoje, ve kterém po stěnách visely podobizny Františka Josefa a Viléma, následníka trůnu Karla Františka Josefa, generála Viktora Dankla, arcivévody Bedřicha a šéfa generálního štábu Konráda z Hötzendorfu, stál pán bůh.

Also written:Vilém II. cz

1. "In Treue Fest" (firm in loyalty) was the motto of the Kingdom of Bavaria.


1Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetíJaroslav Hašek1917
Prince Eugen von Savoyennn flag
*18.10.1663 Paris - †24.4.1736 Wien
Wikipedia czdeenfrno Search Švejkův slovník

Eugen is mentioned by a young doctor who attempts a rousing speech to the malingerers and points to prince Eugen and Marschall Radetzky as glorious military role models.

Eugen also appears at the end of [II.2] in the song that Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek and Švejk sing in the cell at Mariánská kasárna (Prinz Eugen, der edle Ritter).

Moreover the song is partly quoted in [III.1] when soldiers from the march battalion of the Deutschmeister regiment sing it on their way through Győr. See Zemun.


Eugen was an Austrian prince and field commander. He gets most of the credit for the successful military operations against the Ottomans from the siege of Vienna in 1683 to the peace treaty of Sremski Karlovci in 1699.

The song however refers to an event that took place much later: the siege of Belgrade in 1717. The full name of the French born prince was Eugène-François de Savoie.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.8] Mluvil dlouho o tom, že každý z těch, kteří opouští nemocnici, aby odešli ke svým plukům do pole, musí být vítězem i rytířem. On že jest přesvědčen, že budou zruční ve zbrani, na bojišti i čestní ve všech záležitostech válečných i soukromých. Že budou nepřemožitelnými válečníky, pamětlivými na slávu Radeckého i prince Eugena Savojského.
[I.12] V zápalu a v řečnickém rozmachu vydával polní kurát i prince Evžena Savojského za světce, který je bude chránit, až budou dělat mosty přes řeky.
[II.2] Večer z arestu ozývalo se vždy „Zachovej nám, Hospodine“ a „Prinz Eugen, der edle Ritter“.

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák

Also written:Eugene of Savoy en Evžen Savojský cz Eugène de Savoie fr Eugene av Savoia no


Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

9. Švejk in the garrison prison

Mr. Klíma, Jaroslavnn flag
*13.2.1879 Kostelec nad Černými lesy - †5.5 1927 Menton
Search Švejkův slovník

Moravská orlice, 8.5.1927


Rovnost, 13.7.1923


Information from 1906

Klíma is mentioned by the author when he writes about policemen in the Austrian power structure who kept their positions in the new Czechoslovakia.


Klíma was a lawyer and high commissioner in Staatspolizei whose career was very similar to that of Mr. Slavíček. According to Václav Menger he was the policeman who interrogated Jaroslav Hašek after the famous incident at U Valšů in November 1914, where Hašek pretended to be a trader from Russia.

In Czechoslovakia he continued to serve in the police but was like his colleague "exiled" to Slovakia. In 1927 he fell ill with complications from the Spanish flu, was sent abroad for recuperation, but died soon after, at the age of 48. He was succeeded as Bratislava police chief by Mr. Slavíček.

The good soldier Švejk in captivity

Klíma also features in the story Kolik kdo má kolem krku[a]. In Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí he also has a more prominent position than in the novel as he personally leads the interrogation of Švejk at c.k. policejní ředitelství.[1]

Za pět minut nato Švejk, sedě na vozíku, byl s učedníkem jediným civilistou mezi mořem policejních uniforem. Právě se setkal u jeho vozíčku policejní komisař Klima s inspektorem jízdní policie Klausem. "Dobrý lov," pozdravil Klima. "Dobrý lov," odpověděl Klaus.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] Státní policie dodávala také na garnison materiál, pánové Klíma, Slavíček & Comp. Vojenská censura dopravovala sem autory korespondence mezi frontou a těmi, které doma zanechali v zoufalství. Sem vodili četníci i staré výměnkáře, kteří posílali psaní na frontu, a vojenský soud házel jim na krk za jich slova útěchy a líčení bídy domácí po dvanácti letech.


aKolik kdo má kolem krkuJaroslav Hašek, Čechoslovan19.2.1917
1Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetíJaroslav Hašek1917
Mr. Slavíček, Karelnn flag
*23.1.1874 Vodňany - †21.10.1929 Bratislava
Search Švejkův slovník

Expres 21.10.1929.


Čechoslovan 19.2.1917 (ort. kal).


Sebrané spisy Jaroslava Haška, 1925

Slavíček is mentioned when the author informs that Mr. Klíma and Slavíček were still working for the state police in the new Czechoslovak Republic.


Slavíček was a police officer, lawyer and civil servant in Staatspolizei where he was employed from 1900 until 1918. He held a degree in law from Universita Karlova and joined the police when he was 26. His career progressed rapidly within the security police where he also came across Jaroslav Hašek, for instance after the famous episode at U Valšů on 24 November 1914. He was promoted to commissioner in 1909, to high commissioner in 1913 and in 1915 he succeeded Viktor Chum as head of the state police in Prague.

Slavíček was married to Bohumila (born Vaníčková in 1884) and in 1912 the couple had one child, Karel (born in 1905).

Serving Czechoslovakia

Slavíček was investigated by the new Czechoslovak authorities in 1919, but was allowed to continue in the police, albeit in "exile" in Bratislava. Here he played a major part in organising and "demagyarizing" the police in Slovakia. From 1923 he was stationed in Košice. From 1927 he was back in Bratislava as Police Director (head of the police). Two years later he suddenly died from a stroke, at the age of 55.

Changed spelling

In the story Kolik kdo má kolem krku Slavíček and Mr. Klíma arrested Kramář and Klofáč and sent them on to Vienna. The author additionally relates from his own encounter with them during a house search at the end of 1914. When this story appeared in Sebrane spisy in 1925 Slavíček had been renamed Klabíček and Klima became Slíva. But in the original printed in Čechoslovan on 19 February 1917 the author used their real names!

It appears obvious that publisher Adolf Synek or editor Antonín Dolenský didn't want to offend the two policemen who were still alive and held important positions in the police in Slovakia. Perhaps they feared a law-suit? In Spisy Jaroslava Haška from 1973 the rewritten names are still not corrected, so the editors had obviously not read Čechoslovan too closely. A certain commissioner Knotek was renamed Snopek.

The good soldier Švejk in captivity

Slavíček is given a more prominent place in Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí where he interrogates Švejk in person. The author also dishes out a thinly veiled death threat: he knows that Slavíček and Mr. Klíma live near Riegrové sady and that in this park there are trees with branches strong enough to carry their weight.[1]

Za pět minut nato Švejk, sedě na vozíku, byl s učedníkem jediným civilistou mezi mořem policejních uniforem. Právě se setkal u jeho vozíčku policejní komisař Klima s inspektorem jízdní policie Klausem. "Dobrý lov," pozdravil Klima. "Dobrý lov," odpověděl Klaus.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] Státní policie dodávala také na garnison materiál, pánové Klíma, Slavíček & Comp. Vojenská censura dopravovala sem autory korespondence mezi frontou a těmi, které doma zanechali v zoufalství. Sem vodili četníci i staré výměnkáře, kteří posílali psaní na frontu, a vojenský soud házel jim na krk za jich slova útěchy a líčení bídy domácí po dvanácti letech.>

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák, Zdeněk Kárník


1Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetíJaroslav Hašek1917
Stabsprofus Slavíknn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

České slovo 16.12.1923.

Slavík was a brutal "stabsprofus" (staff guard) at the garrison jail at Hradčany. He was the first who received Švejk in the prison and was also present at the Holy Mess in the jail chapel, served by Feldkurat Katz for the prisoners. Slavík was imprisoned for theft after the war.


Slavík is described as a real person, but it has not been possible to determine who the author had in mind. In 1906 there were two "stabsprofus" at the prison: Jan Frkal and Josef Bureš. Otherwise Slavík is a very common surname, and amongst the many entries in the address books from 1907, 1910 and 1924 there is no obvious candidate.

The good soldier Švejk in captivity

The name Slavík appears also in Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí, but here assigned to a court medic at c.k. zemský co trestní soud. This medic is easily identifiable from the address book of 1907 as MUDR. Vladimír Slavík, a university professor from Vinohrady.[1]

Dr. Slavík hájil názor, že člověk může náhle zblbnout a že není přitom vědom svých činů. "To mohu říci sám ze zkušenosti," pravil, "po své dlouholeté soudní praxi." Pak přinesli soudním lékařům od Brejšky snídani a lékaři při smažených kotletách se usnesli, že v případě Švejkově jde opravdu o těžký případ vleklé poruchy mysli. Dr. Slavík chtěl ještě něco říci, pak si to ale rozmyslil a objednal si ještě čtvrtku vína a podepsal též soudní nález lékařský.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] Je úplně přirozené, že štábní profous Slavík, když přejímal Švejka, vrhl na něho pohled plný němé výčitky:„I ty máš porouchanou pověst, že jsi se dostal až sem mezi nás? My ti, chlapečku, pobyt zde osladíme, jako všem, kteří upadli v naše ruce, a ty naše ruce nejsou nějaké dámské ručky.“ Aby pak dodal váhy svému pohledu, přiložil svou svalnatou, tlustou pěst Švejkovi pod nos a řekl: „Čichni si, lumpe!“ Švejk si čichl a poznamenal: „S tou bych nechtěl dostat do nosu, to voní hřbitovem.“
1Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetíJaroslav Hašek1917
Feldwebel Řepann flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Řepa was a sergeant at Posádková věznice (the garrison jail) - a torturer with many lives on his conscience. His specialty was breaking the ribs of prisoners by jumping on them. He was also called "the executioner". Feldwebel Řepa returned to his profession as bricklayer after the war and the author suggests that he may even be a member of some patriotic society.


It has not been possible to pin-point any real life individual that might have inspired the author's creation of this character.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] A v garnisoně trojice: štábní profous Slavík, hejtman Linhart a šikovatel Řepa, přezdívaný též „kat“, vykonávali již svou úlohu. Kolik jich umlátili v samovazbě!
[I.9] Řepa se vrátil do civilu a vykonává dál své zaměstnání zednického mistra. Může být, že je členem vlasteneckých spolků v republice.
Hauptmann Linhartnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Linhart was a captain at Posádková věznice (the garrison prison), but little involved in the plot apart from a less than cordial phone conversation with Auditor Bernis about Švejk's documents.


This is another character without an identifiable real life model. One Karel Linhart served in the police in Smíchov (Jaroslav Hašek lived here in 1910-11) but the connection to the literary figure is difficult to established although it is likely that Hašek knew or knew about him. Linhart was a very common name in Prague and the author may have known about several of them. Another Linhart was active in the Czech indepence movement during World War I. This was a person Hašek would have been aware of and may have borrowed the surname from.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] A v garnisoně trojice: štábní profous Slavík, hejtman Linhart a šikovatel Řepa, přezdívaný též „kat“, vykonávali již svou úlohu. Kolik jich umlátili v samovazbě!
Feldkurat Katz, Ottonn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

A. Sauer a J. Čermák 1921.

Katz is named 42 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Katz was a field chaplain at the garrison in Prague and no doubt one of the most famous characters in the novel. He was of Jewish origin but converted to the Roman-Catholic church. Otto Katz was a notorious drunkard and with questionable moral, but a colourful and intelligent person who the author clearly has some sympathy for.

Katz is the only one of Švejk's superiors who never shouts or swears at him. The field chaplain plays a pivotal role in this ([I.10]) and the next four chapters. He saved Švejk from the garrison prison by taking him on as an officer's servant and the soldier largely enjoyed good times when serving Katz. Together they served field masses, provided the last rites, took part on the same side in a religious debate, and consumed whatever alcohol they could get their hands on. This blissful existence ended miserably in [I.14] where Katz gambled away his servant to obrjlajtnant Oberleutnant Lukáš in a game of cards.

The author provides a number of biographical details on Otto Katz. It is revealed that he had studied at some commercial academy, served in k.u.k. Heer as a one-year volunteer, inherited his father's trading company Katz a spol., and drove it to bankruptcy within a year. His father settled with the creditors behind closed doors and emigrated to North America leaving his son with nothing to inherit.

Thus Otto Katz saw no other option but to enlist in the army as a professional. Before that he had the brilliant idea to convert to the Roman-Catholic church, and was baptised by páter Alban (páter Albán) in Emauzský klášter. His entry exam as an officer was successful, so he continued in the army and even planned to enlist in a staff course.

But one sunny day he got drunk and exchanged the sword with the cassock. He studied for priest at the Archbishop's seminary (see Seminář) and was ordained. After completing his studies and being ordained, he turned back to the amrmy. At his old regiment he obtained the rank that eventually made him famous.

As a field chaplain he worked in Prague and lived in Královská třída in Karlín. It is not known at which unit he served as the author merely informs that he was assigned to one regiment. He bought a horse, lived a debaucherous life with card games, drink and prostitutes, often on borrowed money that he never intended to pay back. Amongst the officers in his regiment he was known as "Holy Father".

Otto Katz disappears from the story after the disastrous gambling event, but is mentioned by the author in the epilogue to Part One. Here it is revealed that he had lived through the war unhurt, had left the church after the war, and had become a "prokurista" (agent) at a paint factory in North Bohemia. He wrote the author an angry and threatening letter after having read about himself in the translation of one of the chapters in a certain German newspaper. The two still met, were reconciled, and it turned out that his drinking habits of the former field chaplain hadn't changed one bit.

During the remainder of the novel his name reappears a few times, but now in the stories that Švejk entertains his fellow soldiers with.


Any obvious model fro Otto Katz has so far been impossible to pinpoint. At least four persons with this name lived in Prague in 1910 and are possible inspirations, but notably in his role as namesake, Jew and trader, but not as a field chaplain. At least three of them ran their own companies during Hašek's lifetime and were also Jews, so we are going to limit the investigation to these.

To find a prototype for Katz has on the other hand been futile. Not a single person with the surname Katz is listed as a cleric in k.u.k. Heer in 1914, so if any real field chaplain has inspired the author he must have carried a very different name.[a]

Augustin Knesl's research

Augustin Knesl, Večerní Praha 1983.

In the series Josef Švejk a ti druzí, published in Večerní Praha in 1983, Augustin Knesl identifies an Otto Katz who he claims was the inspiration for Hašek's Katz. This person was born in 1864 in Prague, son of Leopold. He studied at the Obchodní akademie and Knesl provides many details about his years at the academy, including his marks who his teachers were.

Then the years after Otto Katz graduated in 1881 and until 1920 are left blank apart from the "literary facts" that Knesl without reservations borrows from the novel. His next step are some adverts for a firm in Celetná ulice 14, Staré město. These were printed in České slovo in 1920 and 1921. Knesl also notes that the firm appeared to have closed down in January 1923. Combining this with the information from the novel, he concludes that Katz went bankrupt twice. He has obviously not considered that there could have been more than one firm named Otto Katz in Prague.

Rapeseed oil in Libeň

Adresář Praha 1910.


The house where Otto was born

Recent investigations in newspapers and police records reveal that a certain Otto Katz was the co-owner of a company that manufactured oil from vegetables. This enterprise was located in Královská třída in Libeň and operated from 1893 until at least 1899. By 1902 the company was not listed anymore but Otto Katz still owned the premises. A curious link to the novel is the street where the firm was located. The literary field chaplain and the real life factory owner both lived in Královská třída, albeit at opposite ends.

It can now be concluded that the oil manufacturer in Libeň (in some documents named Otta) was indeed identical to the man Knesl mentioned[b]. He was born 6 December 1864 in Prague, of Jewish confession, son of Leopold and Matylda. He married Marie Moravetz in 1894, which rules out that he ever was a Catholic priest.

On 1 March 1893 he and Josef Gross from Karlín registered the company Grossmann a Katz, manufacturer of rapeseed oil. In 1896 Otto Katz is listed as the sole proprietor and in 1899 an advert confirms the existence of the firm. The advert is however not for oil, but for some furniture, so it might have been a closing down sale. In 1902 Otto Katz is listed as the owner of the same property (Královská třída 358) but there is no mention of any firm or factory anymore. This year he lives in Podskalská ul. in Praha II., indeed very close to the Obchodní akademie where Jaroslav Hašek studied from 1899 to 1902.

In the 1910 address book he is listed again, now as "disponent" and house owner. He is also chairman of the Association of Czech rapeseed oil producers. His address is now Hybernská 40 and he had lived here at least since 1905. In 1915 Katz was still married, and still recorded with "Israelite confession", so as opposed to his literary counterpart he never converted. As late as 1932 he still owned the property in Libeň. Katz died on 16 June 1935 and his wife Marie was in 1942 deported by the Nazis and murdered in Treblinka (Jaroslav Šerák).

Leopold Katz

According to the novel Katz's father was the owner of a trading company. The real Leopold Katz, born in Poděbrady in 1831, died 22 April 1909, indeed ran his own firm, but traded in leather. He passed away in Prague so it is unlikely that he ever emigrated to North America. Nor is there any trace of any Leopold Katz from Prague in the passenger lists for New York arrivals. Moreover we have seen no evidence that his son Otto ever inherited the company or that it went broke. When Otto Katz was born the family lived at Pořící (Praha II., č.p.1071).

Sewing and embroidery

The address book from 1910 lists another Otto Katz who ran his own company. By comparing police records and address books we know that one Otto Katz from Sedlec lived in Ferdinandova tř. 25 in 1910, and ran a sewing and embroidery enterprise. He was married to Božena who converted to Jewish confession when they married. In 1913 he is registered in Staré město No. 387 (Provaznická 2). His name appears here as late as 1916.

A flood of adverts

Budweiser Zeitung 7.2.1919.


Národní politika27.2.1921.

The third firm was a weaver and linen manufacturer in Celetná ulice 14 and is no doubt the firm that Knesl refers to in regards to the adverts in 1920. It existed at least from January 1918 when it advertised aprons in Lidové noviny, and may have operated already in 1916, but in Josefovská ulice in Josefov (this address also appears in adverts from 1918).

From 1918 the firm often advertised in the newspapers, particularly in 1920 and 1921, including during spring and summer 1921 when the author introduced Otto Katz for his readers. Jaroslav Hašek may well have noticed these as he eagerly read newspapers, including the adverts. Otto Katz advertised in regional and national newspapers, and even abroad. They were also seen in German-language newspapers like Budweiser Zeitung and Dorfsbote, and in Slovenia's Maribor Zeitung. Prager Tagblatt reported on 28 November 1922 that a fire damaged the store on the 2nd floor and in a note in Lidové noviny 25 January 1923 it is revealed that the firm had gone broke, information that fits well with Knesl's version. In 1924 the firms property was auctioned off.


Prager Presse13.6.1924.

The identity of this Otto Katz is somewhat unclear. At first glance he seems to have been born in 1870 in Sedlec (link B). He specialised in embroidery, also on an industrial scale, but the information from the address book entry from 1924 shows him and the factory owner in Celetná ul. as different people (it might be an error in the address book). Several others named Otto Katz lived in Prague, some of them potential factory owners by 1918. One of them was born in 1886 and is listed as obchodník (trader) in 1915 and lived in Praha I./čp. 920.

Fraudster in uniform

Národní listy 7.4.1915.

In April 1915 newspapers reported on a certain Otto Katz from Plzeň who defrauded a number of hotels while dressed in the uniform of a Fähnrich. That Jaroslav Hašek read the story is quite likely as he was marod (ill) in Budějovice at the time (and he was an avid newspaper reader). We also know that snippets from newspaper from this period appear elsewhere in the novel. The story may thus have lent drops of inspiration to Otto Katz (negligence of financial duties and visit to brothels), but this is mere speculation.

"Field chaplain" Mojžíš

A most unlikely model for Katz

In Jaroslav Hašek und sein „braver Soldat“ Schwejk, (2011) Jan Berwid-Buquoy claims that the model of Katz was Lev Mojžíš, "a cleric from Břevnov and notorious drunkard". His servant in Prague towards the end of the war was allegedly Zdeněk Matěj Kuděj, one of Jaroslav Hašek's closest friends.

That the chaplain Leo Josef Mojžíš actually lived is beyond dispute. He was born in Česká Skalice on 1 April 1863, served at Břevnovský klášter from 1888 until 1920, and at the parish at Bílá Hora from 1924 to 1948. Newspaper clips during the war always refer to him as a priest from Břevnov, but never as a military chaplain. Apart from the name there is no indication that he was of Jewish origin and he survived the Nazi occupation (died 1 May 1948). One point from Berwid-Buquoy's book is however worth recognising: that Zdeněk Matěj Kuděj from his experiences with Militärgeistlichkeit may have inspired Hašek when he created his military chaplains.

Mojžíš is not mentioned in the unpublished memoirs from Kuděj, who never mentions serving any field chaplain in Prague. He did however served at Militärgeistlichkeit, but not as an officer's servant. In 1918 he worked in the offices the field bishop in Vienna, writing death certificates. Here he simulated a nervous breakdown after a serious clash with a superior. He then returned to his regiment in Beroun and Rumburk, and was in Litoměřice around 25 July 1918 given a year's sick leave. He returned to Praha but fell ill for real and spent three months in hospital in the clinic of Dr Thomayer. The information from Jan Berwid-Buquoy that Kuděj served "field chaplain Mojžíš" in Praha can therefore not be true and appears to be based on hearsay

Considering his age it is unlikely that Mojžíš was drafted as a field chaplain, and Schematismus from 1914 can confirm that he didn't serve in k.u.k. Heer and he doesn't even appear in the list of reserve field chaplains. Schematismus does however list another reserve field chaplain with a Jewish sounding surname: Jan Mojžíš. This one actually served in Budějovice and Jaroslav Hašek is likely to have been aware of him so he could, at least in theory, have lent a trait or two to Katz.

An unclear picture

Feldkurat Stephan Dean had a disciplinary record that would have made Otto Katz proud.

© ÖStA

As opposed to his colleagues Feldoberkurat Lacina and to a lesser extent Feldoberkurat Ibl, Katz has no obvious real life prototype. Otto Katz as a Jewish merchant may have a few plausible models, Katz as an army cleric no-one that springs to mind. In 1914 there was, according to Schematismus[a], not a single army cleric called Katz in k.u.k. Heer.

Some of the field chaplain's less admirable traits may even hail from the author himself: cynicism, drunkenness and a tendency to shirk financial obligations. It is obvious that Katz is Hašek's main instrument in his mocking of the Catholic church and military clergy, and that inspiration has been drawn from many sources (including the author's vivid imagination) to create this grotesque but interesting figure.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] Potom ještě to kázání, ta zábava a legrace. Polní kurát Otto Katz byl přece jen roztomilý člověk. Jeho kázání byla neobyčejně poutavá, legračná, osvěžující tu nudu garnisonu. Uměl tak krásně žvanit o neskonalé milosti boží, sílit zpustlé vězně a muže zneuctěné. Uměl tak krásně vynadat od kazatelny i od oltáře. Uměl tak báječně řvát u oltáře své: „Ite, missa est“, celé bohoslužby provést originelním způsobem a přeházet celý pořádek mše svaté, vymyslit, si, když už byl hodně opilý, úplně nové modlitby a novou mši svatou, svůj ritus, něco, co zde ještě nebylo.
[I.16] Potom je Otto Katz je též na živu. Je to skutečná figurka polního kuráta. Hodil to všechno po převratě na hřebík, vystoupil z církve, dělá dnes prokuristu v jedné továrně na bronz a barviva v severních Čechách. Psal mi dlouhý dopis, ve kterém vyhrožuje, že si to se mnou spořádá. Jeden německý list přinesl totiž překlad jedné kapitoly, kde je vylíčen, jak skutečně vypadal. Navštívil jsem ho tedy a dopadlo to s ním velice dobře. Ve dvě hodiny v noci nemohl stát na nohou, ale kázal a říkal: „Já jsem Otto Katz, polní kurát, vy gypsové hlavy.“ště to kázání, ta zábava a legrace.
[II.3] Já jsem sloužil u feldkuráta Katze a ten by byl propil nos mezi očima.
[II.3] Můj feldkurát Katz, ten když se vožral, tak se ve spaní necítil. Jednou vám..." A Švejk počal vypravovat své zkušenosti s polním kurátem Otto Katzem tak podrobné a zajímavě, že ani nepozorovali, že se vlak hnul.

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák, Augustin Knesl, Václav Petera, Jan Berwid-Buquoy


aSchematismus für das k. u. k. Heer... (s. 181)K.k. Hof und Staatsdruckerei1914
b69 - 1864 - Katz OttoSoupis pražských domovských příslušníků 1830-1910
Archbishop Kohn, Theodornn flag
*22.3.1845 Březnice - †3.12.1915 Ehrenhausen
Wikipedia czde Search Švejkův slovník

Das interessante Blatt16.12.1915.


Národní Politika9.11.1892.


Wiener Zeitung4.12.1915.

Kohn is given as an example of someone who was a Jew like Feldkurat Katz, but that this in itself was not very important. The author also adds that Kohn even was a friend of Machar. Moreover he informs that Katz had an even more colourful past than the famous archbishop.


Kohn was professor of church law and theology, and between 1892 and 1904 archbishop of Olomouc. He was of Jewish descent but his grandfather had converted to Catholicism. The family were Czech-speaking and of humble origins but thanks to grants the gifted and diligent young man got a good education and we was consecrated as a priest in 1871. After serving in various parishes, holding positions at the university of Olomouc and at the city's archdiocese, he was finally elected archbishop in 1892. He was the first non-noble holding the seat for 300 years, and his election was therefore popular amongst the population, particularly the Czechs.

Kohn gradually fell out with parts of the Catholic church hierarchy, he was for instance not well thought of in Vienna due to his common and Jewish background. Kohn notes in his autobiography that Eduard Taaffe, the Minister-President in Cisleithanien made the following comment about his election as archbishop: Und hat er sich schon getauft lassen? (and has he already had himself baptised?)

Kohn was a capable administrator and the economy of the archdiocese improved, but soon revealed himself as headstrong and even despotic, and often took disciplinary measures against those he believed undermined him. He was increasingly criticised, also in the press, and after the so-called Rectus affair in 1903 he was called to Rome for a consultation with the Pope. The case even appeared in Reichsrat, see Parlament. In this particular controversy Kohn had sued a man based on a critical anonymous letter to the newspaper Rectus, but it soon became obvious that he had accused the wrong person.

He was summoned to Rome and the Pope asked Kohn to give up his position and in 1904 he bowed to the pressure, and moved to the castle Ehrenhausen in Styria. Here he spent the rest of his life and dedicated his time to scientific studies. In his will the left parts of his fortune to the Czech university in Brno.

Support from J. S. Machar

It was at the height of this affair that Kohn received support from an unexpected direction - from the strongly anti-clerical writer Machar. On 5 May 1903 he wrote a long article that was printed in Die Zeit, a newspaper in Vienna that already had written about Kohn. In 1909 the two were involved in another controversy: Kohn received a visit from the above mentioned Machar in Ehrenhausen and the news caused a stir despite attempts by the former archbishop to be discrete about the visit.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] Polní kurát Otto Katz, nejdokonalejší vojenský kněz, byl žid. To ostatně není nic divného. Arcibiskup Kohn byl také žid a ještě dokonce Macharův kamarád. Polní kurát Otto Katz měl ještě pestřejší minulost než slavný arcibiskup Kohn.

Sources: Jitka Jonová


Machar, Josef Svatopluknn flag
*29.2.1864 Kolín - †17.3.1942 Praha
Wikipedia czdeen Search Švejkův slovník

Český svět, 14.10.1910

Machar is mentioned by Jaroslav Hašek as a friend of archbishop Archbishop Kohn.


Machar was a Czech poet and satirist. He was like Jaroslav Hašek strongly anti-Austrian, anti-clerical and a master in the use of colloquial Czech. He was for a while one of the favourites of Professor Masaryk, member of his Realist Party and contributed to the party newspaper Čas. After the war he fell out with the president and oriented himself towards the political far right.

The friendship with Archbishop Kohn that the author refers to is probably based on events in 1903 at the height of so-called Rectus affair when controversy around Kohn reached a critical point. Machar defended the archbishop in a newspaper article in Die Zeit, printed on 5 May 1903. He also visited the now deposed Kohn in Ehrenhausen in 1909. Both these events were widely reported in the press and Jaroslav Hašek would surely have been well informed about the case.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] Polní kurát Otto Katz, nejdokonalejší vojenský kněz, byl žid. To ostatně není nic divného. Arcibiskup Kohn byl také žid a ještě dokonce Macharův kamarád. Polní kurát Otto Katz měl ještě pestřejší minulost než slavný arcibiskup Kohn.

Sources: Jitka Jonová


Father Schachleiter, Albannn flag
*20.1.1861 Mainz - †20.6.1937 Feilnbach
Wikipedia czdeen Search Švejkův slovník

© Langhans Praha


Národní politika7.11.1908.


Národní listy5.12.1918.


Národní listy21.6.1937.

Páter Albán was the priest who baptised Feldkurat Katz after the latter's conversion from Judaism. In the novel referred to as páter Albán, he ceremoniously dipped Katz in the baptismal font in Emauzský klášter.


Páter Albán (born Johann Jakob Schachleiter) was a German Benedictine monk and from 1908 abbot at Emauzský klášter. In 1886 he was ordained as a priest, and he was associated with the monastery in various roles from 1892 to 1918. He was very involved in church music, played the organ himself and was also an expert on the instrument. He was also involved in politics, and was for instance one of the leaders of the German nationalistic Los-von-Rom-Bewegung that worked for closer links with Germany both religiously and politically.

Schachleiter was an affluent man - in 1908 he bought a sumptuous car from Laurin a Klement, the firm that was later to become Škoda. In August 1914 he converted the work-shop of the monastery into a hospital that could receive up to 50 patients. Due to his German nationalism Pater Alban was unpopular amongst the Czech part of the population and despite his many years in Prague he never bothered to learn Czech. The population register shows that his home address was the very monastery (1902) but in 1915 he was not registered as a resident of Prague anymore.

The new state

In the tense situation after the collapse of Austria-Hungary and the creation of Czechoslovakia 28 October 1918, Schachleiter was from part of the Czech press subjected to accusations, one of them being espionage. Already on 31 October a delegation named by the newly created National Committee appeared to investigate the claims but let itself be convinced that they were without substance. The Emaus monastery still became a victim of the fervent moods that prevailed these days. It was surrounded by crowds, occupied and guarded by Sokol and the so-called Academic League (students).

To refute the claims he had a proclamation printed (dated 5 November) in Národní politika, Prager Tagblatt and Bohemia. This made scant impressions and the abbot was confined to his house and in the hostile environment he chose to leave the country as the National Committee couldn't guarantee his safety. When leaving on 9 December he was recognised in Benešov and arrested. On intervention from higher authorities he was released and could continue to Linz where he arrived on 10 December 1918. It turned out that the abbot had left the country for good and in 1920 he resigned his position at the monastery. All the German monks likewise left the Emaus monastery and emigrated.

He was never taken to court and there is no indication that any proofs were ever put on the table. Schachleiter himself claimed that members of the atheist organisation Volná myšlenka were behind the smear campaign, and also emphasised the that the Czechoslovak authorities were not directly involved in the harassment of him and Emauzský klášter.

Nazi association

Schachleiter settled in Bavaria and if he had been a German nationalist in Prague, he soon took it a bit further. For posterity he has become notorious due to his open co-operation with the Nazis and Adolf Hitler personally, a connection that had been established as early as 1923. On several pictures he is seen shaking hands with Der Führer. His political involvement led him into direct conflict with the Catholic church and he was briefly suspended. On his 74th birthday Schachleiter received personal greetings from Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess and several others from the NSDAP hierarchy and in 1937 he was honoured with a state funeral.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] Křtili ho slavnostně v Emauzích. Sám páter Albán ho na máčel do křtitelnice. Byla to nádherná podívaná, byl u toho jeden nábožný major od pluku, kde Otto Katz sloužil, jedna stará panna z ústavu šlechtičen na Hradčanech a nějaký otlemený zástupce konsistoře, který mu dělal kmotra.

Also written:Páter Albán Hašek


François de Salesnn flag
*21.8.1567 Chateau de Sales - †28.12.1622 Lyon
Wikipedia czdeenfrno Search Švejkův slovník

Wiener allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung11.10.1816.

François de Sales had his portrait displayed on the wall of the sacristy of the garrison chapel at Hradčany. He even witnesses Švejk's first conversation with Feldkurat Katz. See also Vězeňské kaple.


François de Sales was a French bishop and theologian, later to be canonised. He was a distinguished counter-reformist, notable for his stand against Calvinism. He is the patron saint of the deaf, writers and journalists.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] Seskočil se stolu a cukaje Švejkovi za rameno křičel pod velkým, zasmušilým obrazem Františka Sáleského: „Přiznej se, lumpe, žes brečel jen tak kvůli legraci?!“ A František Sáleský díval se tázavě z obrazu na Švejka.

Also written:Francis de Sales en František Saleský cz Franz von Sales de Frans av Sales no


Auditor Bernisnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Bernis is named 16 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Bernis was judge advocate at k.u.k. Militärgericht Prag (military court) at Hradčany. He was a libertine who had his focus anywhere but in court. He mislaid most court documents and often had to invent accusations to get the trials done.


The name Bernis does not exist in address books from Prague or any military records so it's a mystery where Hašek got the name from. Known persons with this surname did exist, but they were from a French noble family. Still the name at times appeared in the press in Austria-Hungary so Hašek may well have picked it up there.

The good soldier Švejk in captivity

In Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí the miltary court at Hradčany is also part of the plot and to a higher degree than in the novel. Also here an auditor handles Švejk's case but his name is not mentioned.[1]

Veselý auditor, který v německém kasíně bavil vždy celou společnost, vypravoval, jak dnes české čarodějnici dali pět let. A před tohoto veselého auditora přišel Švejk k výslechu. Jak tu stál, po obou stranách vojáka s bajonetem, jeho milé dobré oči bloudily po celé místnosti a zdály se burcovati svědomí celého okolí. Auditora, akta, skříň v rohu i provázející ho vojáky.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] Vyšetřující auditor Bernis byl muž společnosti, půvabný tanečník a mravní zpustlík, který se zde strašně nudil a psal německé verše do památníků, aby měl pohotově vždy nějakou zásobu. Byl nejdůležitější složkou celého aparátu vojenského soudu, poněvadž měl tak hrozné množství restů a spletených akt, že uváděl v respekt celý vojenský soud na Hradčanech. Ztrácel obžalovací materiál a byl nucen vymýšlet si nový.
1Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetíJaroslav Hašek1917
Korporal Říhann flag

Jaroslav Hašek 1921.



A. Sauer a J. Čermák 1921.


Vydavatelstvo ROH 1955.

Říha was employed at Posádková věznice (the garrison prison). He is mentioned briefly in an anecdote that one of the prisoners in cell 16 relates (from his stay in cell number 12).


Also in this case there is no obvious link to any living person although people with the surname Korporal Říha were quite a few in Prague at the time. He was probably not an active soldier, so looking for him in pre-war address books (military perons) yields no results. In 1915 several soldiers with the surname Říha served in IR 91, so the name may have been borrowed from one of these.

In post World War II editions of The Good Soldier Švejk Korporal Říha is simply replaced by Feldwebel Řepa in his role. The editors must have thought that the author really meant the latter and corrected the "error" (which it probably was). More than one hundred minor changes were done to the text in the early nineteen-fifties: removing "russisisms", adapting to modern Czech and Hungarian orthography, and on at least one occasion spelling mistakes in German were corrected.

This revising of the novel meant that Korporal Říha was absent in both post-war English translations, as well as most other modern translations, and even some that were done in the inter-war years but have been revised since then. In the most recent German translation (2014) Říha has however resurfaced.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] Tak tam hned přilítli, zavolali štábního profousa a kaprála Říhu;. My všichni jeden jako druhý říkáme, že se zbláznil, že včera i dlouho do noci žral a že to všechno sežral.


Koudela, Josefnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Adresář hl. města Prahy..., 1910

Josef Koudela was an inmate at Posádková věznice (garrison prison) who fell victim to Auditor Bernis' disorderliness. The latter had swapped his acts with those of Švejk. Documents found after the war indicated that this Koudela was executed.


Koudela is a common Czech surname and many lived in Prague in 1910, amongst them at least five carrying the first name Josef. A number of others are listed in the loss lists from World War I, and there lived also one well-known person named Josef Koudela. He was a politician from the Catholic-National Party. Still it has not been possible to identify any particular Josef Koudela who fits the description from the garrison prison.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] Spisy byly zastrčeny do spisů týkajících se jakéhosi Josefa Koudely. Na obálce byl křížek a pod ním „Vyřízeno“ a datum.


Infanterist Maixnernn flag
Wikipedia cz Search Švejkův slovník

Adresář hl. města Prahy...1910.


Český svět9.11.1917.

Maixner was an infantryman who stood accused at the same time as Švejk. This is revealed in a telegram Auditor Bernis receives from c.k. policejní ředitelství just when Švejk was to be in his office for interrogation.


Maixner and Meixner were common surnames in Prague at the time and obviously many of them served in k.u.k. Wehrmacht. It has however not been possible to identify anyone that fits the description from the novel. It is therefore probably a case of a borrowed name and nothing more.

Dr. Maixner

Maixner is a name that also briefly appears in the story Střed Evropy that Jaroslav Hašek had printed in Národní obzor in 1912, so in the case of name-borrowing he is an obvious candidate. In this story the person Maixner is no doubt real. Hašek writes in negative terms about Dr. Emerich Maixner (1847-1920), owner of a large estate and also a well known medical doctor who eventually was named Hofrat. For a period he was also the main editor of Ottův slovník naučný.

Jaroslav Hašek: Střed Evropy

Chlumecké panství rozesílá do kraje své pivo, na velkostatcích se lidi dřou do úmoru, ve Velkých Kňovicích má velkostatek pan dr. Maixner, a jestli si tohoto povšimne, tak si přečte, že právě na jeho velkostatku jsou mzdové poměry velice bídné. Jedině co v tom kraji tak bije do očí, jest poctivost.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.9] Po odchodu polního kuráta dal si auditor Bernis předvésti Švejk a nechal ho stát u dveří, poněvadž právě dostal telefonogram od policejního ředitelství, že vyžadovaný materiál k obžalovacímu spisu čís. 7267, týkající se pěšáka Maixnera, byl přijat v kanceláři čís. 1 s podpisem hejtmana Linharta.

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák


Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

10. Švejk as a military servant to the field chaplain

Odysseusnn flag
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Odysseus offering the cyclops wine

Nordisk Familjebok 1914.

Odysseus is indirectly mentioned through the term odyssey that the author uses to describe Švejk's legendary trip from Posádková věznice (the garrison prison) at Hradčany to Feldkurat Katz in Karlín.


Odysseus is a character from Greek mythology, best known through Homer's epic tales, the Odyssey and the Iliad.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.1] Znovu počíná jeho odyssea pod čestným průvodem dvou vojáků s bajonety, kteří ho měli dopravit k polnímu kurátovi.

Also written:Odysseus cz Odysseus de Ὀδυσσεύς gr

Toníknn flag

Toník was one of the two soldiers who escorted Švejk to Feldkurat Katz. It appears from the dialogue that he is a Czech patriot and regards Švejk likewise. Toník is mosly referred to as Čahoun, a nickname for a long and lanky person. Toník is short for Antonín.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.1] „Nejsi národní socialista?“ Nyní počal být malý tlustý opatrným. Vmísil se do toho. „Co je nám do toho,“ řekl, „je všude plno lidí a pozorujou nás. Aspoň kdybychom někde v průjezdu mohli sundat bodla, aby to tak nevypadalo. Neutečeš nám? My bychom měli z toho nepříjemnosti. Nemám pravdu, Toníku?“ obrátil se k čahounovi, který potichu řekl: „Bodla bychom mohli sundat. Je to přece náš člověk.“
Pubkeeper Serabonann flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Venkov, 26.9.1918

Serabona was according to Švejk landlord at Na Kuklíku, member of Sokol and therefore to be trusted.


Serabona is a name which origin is unclear but the connection to the mentioned pub is obvious. Landlord at Na Kuklíku from 1901 was Vilém Srp, and there is even a picture of him on a postcard from 1906. Here the pub is called U Serabono and the address confirms that it is the same place as Kuklík.

It is possible that Serabono was a former owner; pubs were often named after the original owners. It may hypothetically even be a nickname of Vilém Srp, or the name could have an entirely different origin.

Vilém Srp

Vilém Srp (sometimes written Srb) was born 15 April 1864 in Panenské Březany east of Prague. In 1897 he married Marie Nováková with whom he already had the daughter Božena. From 1901 and until 1928, when the building that housed Na Kuklíku was demolished, he owned and managed the named hostelry. In 1916 it appears that the pub closed for a period, and in 1918 the name U Miláčka appeared in an advert, just as on the mentioned post card. Srp lived in the building next to the restaurant and he died on 26 May 1931. So far it has not been possible to confirm the author's assertion that "Serabona" was a member of Sokol.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.1] „Pojďme na ,Kuklík’,“ vybízel Švejk, „kvéry si dáte do kuchyně, hostinský Serabona je Sokol, toho se nemusíte bát.

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák, M. Smreček


Mařkann flag

Mařka was a prostitute who frequented Na Kuklíku and who went to U Valšů with a soldier. The name is a short variation of Marie.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.1] U hudby hádali se dva, že nějakou Mařku včera lízla patrola. Jeden to viděl na vlastní oči a druhý tvrdil, že šla s nějakým vojákem se vyspat k „Valšům“ do hotelu.
Soldier Frantann flag

Franta was a wounded soldier who had taken part in the campaign in Serbia. He was drinking at Kuklík when Švejk and his entourage dropped by. Franta is short for František.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.1]Franto,“ volali na raněného vojáka, když přezpívali, zahlušivše „Osiřelé dítě“, „nech už je bejt a pojď si k nám sednout. Vykašli se už na ně a pošli sem cigarety! Budeš je bavit, nádivy!“
Polizeikommissar Drašner, Ladislavnn flag
*6.3.1877 Nový Bydžov - †19xx Praha (?)
Search Švejkův slovník

© Milan Hodík


"Meldebuch", 1904

NAČR1851 - 1914.


Venkov 11.4.1916.

Drašner is named 6 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Drašner was a police commissioner who once before the war had raided Na Kuklíku looking for prostitutes just when Švejk dropped by. He is also mentioned in a song. See Mařena. Later he appears in the story about Mestek.


Drašner was a policeman at IV. department by c.k. policejní ředitelství in Prague. He was employed in the police force at least from 1902 and records shows that he held the mentioned position in 1913. Čech informs that he had been promoted already in 1911. By 1918 he had been promoted to head commissioner. He continued to serve in the 4th department also in Czechoslovakia.

A photo from Milan Hodík confirms that Drašner was alive as late as 1937. This is confirmed by newspaper articles from January 1939 that also indicate that he had recently retired.

In 7 November 1948 Břetislav Hůla noted that he planned to visit Drašner to ask for advise in navigating police archives, indicating that the pensioned policeman was still alive.

Newspapers reveal that he was very active in controlling prostitution in Prague and he also investigated cases of human trafficking. He was a well known figure amongst the prostitutes and was in general held in high esteem by them although some also feared him.

Drašner was married to Cecilie (b. 1880), and in 1905 their first child was born. The girl however died already in 1909. In 1913 no further children are registered in the police protocols.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.1] Švejk vžil se ve vzpomínky, když tu často sedával do vojny. Jak sem chodil policejní komisař Drašner na policejní prohlídku a prostitutky jak se ho bály a skládaly na něho písničky s obsahem opačným.
Za pana Drašnera 
stala se tu mela, 
Mařena byla vožralá 
a Drašnera se nebála.

Sources: Milan Hodík, Jaroslav Šerák


Mařenann flag
Search Švejkův slovník

"Mařena, ta byla vožrala"

Patrola Šlapeto 1994.


Břevnov čp. 47, restaurant "U zelené brány"

Mařena (nickname for Marie) was a prostitute who is mentioned is a song that Švejk remembers was performed at Na Kuklíku before the war. The main character in the song was police commissioner Polizeikommissar Drašner who was inspecting the premises. She should not be confused with Mařena from [I.6].


Písen o Mařeně (The song about Mařena) is a Czech folk song, but only a fragment from it is mentioned in the novel. Who wrote it and when it first appeared is not clear, but because Polizeikommissar Drašner features it must have been after 1900 and probably before World War I.

The song is set in the restaurant U Vonásků behind Pohořelec at Břevnov Bělohorská tř. 47 and the theme is the arrival of police commissioner Polizeikommissar Drašner his colleague Malaska on an inspection. The latter, Norbert Malaška, was also a real person, born 4 August 1868 in Horká na Moravě by Olomouc. He is listed in the police registers as a civilian clothes patrol-man.

U Vonásků still exists (2019) but under the name U zelené brány. Address books confirms that this was the official name already in 1907, and František Smrtka was landlord.

Quote(s) from the novel
Za pana Drašnera 
stala se tu mela, 
Mařena byla vožralá 
a Drašnera se nebála.

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák


Epicurusnn flag
*341 Samos - †270 Athen
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Epicurus is referred to when the author maintains that small and fat people have the same philosophical attitude as Epicurus: get as much pleasure as possible, the less pain the better.


Epicurus was a Greek philosopher who maintained that the connection between good and evil is equvalent to the physical sensation of pleasure and pain. A well-known quote: "Do not fear death because when you exist death does not and when death does you do not". This laid the foundation of the Epicurian philisophical school: obtain maximum pleasure when you still can.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.1] První z nich, který našel zde úplného uspokojení, byl malý tlustý, neboť tací lidé, kromě svého optimismu, mají velký sklon být epikurejci.

Also written:Epikúros cz


Oberleutnant Feldhubernn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Feldhuber was a senior lieutenant from whom Feldkurat Katz had borrowed a previous servant. The latter was a teetotaller and this did not suit Katz at all.


No officer carrying this surname can be identified from the address books of Prague (1906, 1910, 1913). Nor was there any Feldhuber in the police domicile records during the period so this must have been a rare surname. Nor does it appear in the Verlustliste from the war or Schematismus for k.u.k. Heer and k.k. Landwehr from 1914.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.1] „Dobře, podívejte se tady na toho vojáka. Toho jsem si vypůjčil na dnešek od obrlajtnanta Feldhubra, je to jeho pucflek. A ten nic nepije, je ab-ab-abstinent, a proto půjde s marškou. Po-poněvadž takového člověka nemohu potřebovat. To není pucflek, to je kráva. Ta pije taky jenom vodu a bučí jako vůl.
Oberleutnant Helmichnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Adresář města Prahy 1907


Adresář města Prahy 1910

Helmich was a senior lieutenant who arranged a party that Feldkurat Katz took part in. The field chaplain was in the end thrown out and had to be picked up by Švejk. Their trip back from Helmich is an in-depth study in drunken drivel.


A certain senior lieutenant Alfred Helmich (born 1872, Vienna) actually served in Prague in 1906 and 1910, in 8. Korpsartillerieregiment that was headquartered at Hradčany with the men garrisoned at Bruska. Whether or not the author knew or knew about this person is mere guesswork, but can't be entirely ruled out. In the address book from 1912 he is not listed with this unit.

If this is the person who inspired the character in the novel, it is logical that Feldkurat Katz needed a cab back to Karlín. Helmich lived at Hradčany (1906) and Malá Strana (1910).

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.2] Již třetí den byl Švejk sluhou polního kuráta Otto Katze a ta dobu viděl ho jen jednou. Třetího dne přišel vojenský sluha od nadporučíka Helmicha, aby si Švejk přišel pro polního kuráta.


Oberst Justnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Just was a colonel in Infanterieregiment Nr. 75 who Feldkurat Katz got Švejk mixed up with, being inebriated on the way back from Oberleutnant Helmich.


This is a person that has so far never been linked to any real-life model. Moreover Infanterieregiment Nr. 75 was not stationed in Prague in 1914, they had been moved away from the city already in 1909.

Schematismus for 1914[a] lists several officers with the surname Just but none of them held ranks as high as colonels, and none of them served in Infanterieregiment Nr. 75.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.2] Švejk ho vzbudil a za pomoci drožkáře dopravil do drožky. V drožce polní kurát upadl v úplnou otupělost a považoval Švejka za plukovníka Justa od 75. pěšího pluku a několikrát za sebou opakoval: „Nehněvej se, kamaráde, že ti tykám. Jsem prase.“
aSchematismus für das k. u. k. Heer... (s. 433)K.k. Hof und Staatsdruckerei1914
Doctor Batěk, Alexandr Sommernn flag
*15.6.1874 Prádlo u Nepomuku - †6.4.1944 Praha
Wikipedia cz Search Švejkův slovník

Národní politika30.10.1920.

Batěk is mentioned when Feldkurat Katz, with a heavy hangover sounds like a lecture by Batěk.


Batěk was a Czech doctor of chemistry and very prominent in the fight against the twin demons of alcohol and tobacco. He was also a vegetarian, sci-fi writer, scout-activist, YMCA-activist and pacifist. For a long period in 1919 he held (almost) daily lectures at Staroměstské náměstí so it is probably these the novel refers to.

More than 100 of the lectures featured in a collection of installments printed by publisher Kočí in 1919. His Sto jisker ethických (One hundred sparks of ethics) is included in the collection but the timing indicates that Otto Katz could hardly have known about them at the time so here the author has mixed in contemporary elements and moved them back into history by six years. Batěk also published the mentioned lecture as a separate 16-page pamphlet. He was very productive; the catalogue of the Czech national library lists more than 500 items under his name. The other pamphlet mentioned, "Let's declare a life and death struggle against the demon of alcohol ...", is not listed in the catalogue.

He also lectured for the Czechoslovak abstinent's association, together with Pavla Moudrá a.o.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.3] Polní kurát byl stižen dokonalou kočkou a naprostou depresí. V tom okamžiku, kdo by ho slyšel, musil by být přesvědčen, že chodí na přednášky dra Alexandra Baťka „Vypovězme válku na život a na smrt démonu alkoholu, jenž nám vraždí muže nejlepší“ a že čte jeho „Sto jisker ethických“.

Sources: Milan Hodík, Wikipedia (cz)

Also written:Alexandr Batěk Hašek


Hauptmann Šnáblnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Šnábl was a captain at the Bruska barracks who according to Feldkurat Katz had good ořechovka (nut spirits). The field chaplain also sent Švejk there to borrow one hundred crowns. The captain was a monster according to Švejk. The good soldier had to kneel in front of him and the matter was only resolved when he told the captain that money was needed for child support.


This character has no prototype as far as we know. Bruska was used by Infanterieregiment Nr. 28 but the address books from 1906 and 1913 list no officer with this name neither here nor at other barracks in Prague. There were many people with the surname Hauptmann Šnábl or Schnabel in Praha at the time, but the address book from 1907 has none of them listed as belonging to the army.

Jaroslav Hašek has surely known or known about people with this surname and could in his usual manner have borrowed it. Curiously one Hynek Schnabl lived at Na Bojišti 1732/14 in 1907, and U kalicha was actually located in the same house!

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.3] Když ukazoval tři sta korun, vrátiv se čestně z výpravy, byl polní kurát, který se zatím umyl a převlékl, velmi překvapen. „Já to vzal najednou,“ řekl Švejk, „abychom se nemuseli zejtra nebo pozejtří starat znova o peníze. Šlo to dost hladce, ale před hejtmanem Šnáblem jsem si musel kleknout na kolena. Je to nějaká potvora. Ale když jsem mu řek, že máme platit alimenty...“

Also written:Snábl Bang-Hansen Schnabl Reiner

Oberleutnant Mahlernn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Mahler an officer at Vršovice kasárna. He was one of the three officers to whom Švejk was sent to by Feldkurat Katz to borrow money.


No trace of any Mahler can be found by IR73 or Traindivision Nr. 8, the largest military units that were garrisoned in Vršovice. In fact there was not a single Mahler registered in any of the Prague garrisons in 1907. Presumably the name of this rather peripheral figure was picked fairly at random.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.3] Jestli tam nepochodíte, tak půjdete do Vršovic, do kasáren k nadporučíkovi Mahlerovi.
Hauptmann Fišernn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Fišer was a captain at Hradčany. He was one of the three to whom Švejk was sent by Feldkurat Katz to borrow money.


It is unlikely that this peripheral figure has any real-life model. At Hradčany there were several barracks, amongst them artillery and k.k. Landwehr, but in 1906 no officer with this name was listed in the address book.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.3] Nezdaří-li se to tam, půjdete na Hradčany k hejtmanovi Fišerovi. Tomu řeknete, že musím platit futráž pro koně, kterou jsem propil.
Mrs. Kejřová, Annann flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Národní politika28.3.1915.

Kejřová was the cousin of Mrs. Müllerová and was present in Švejk's flat when he visited his home for the last time. She had received a letter from Müllerová who was now locked up in the Steinhof concentration camp. The arrest had taken place the very evening she had pushed Švejk to the military in a wheel-chair. The letter is quoted in the novel, complete but words removed by the sensors. The letter reveals that Müllerová believes that Švejk already has fallen in battle or been executed.


This could be a name the author borrowed from an advert in Národní politika on 28 March 1915. If this is the case, she was owner of a cookery school, author of cook-books and teacher of cookery from Hradec Králové. It is not inconceivable that the author already knew about her. On the other hand: according to police records there were 313 carriers of the name Kejř/Kejřová in Prague at the time so who (if any) Hašek used as a prototype is debatable. What we do know is that the author made use of several fragments from newspapers published late March/early April 1915, so this could be another example. See Marschall Liman von Sanders.

Narozena 1874 v Kralupech nad Vltavou, zemřela 16.9.1926 v Praze. Učitelka vaření, autorka kuchařských knih. Napsala: Cukrovinky na vánoční stromek, Dělnická kuchařka se sřetelem na malé dělnické domácnosti, Dělnická kuchařka, Kniha vzorné domácnosti, Minutové večeře, příležitostné hostiny, Úsporná kuchařka, Úsporná válečná kuchařka, Zdravotní polovegetariánská kuchařka, Zlatá kuchařka s rozpočty, Návod k přípravě pečiva s použitím výrobků "Kveta", Česká vegetariánská kuchařka Anuše Kejřové,České moučníky Anuše Kejřové, Naše ryby a jich vhodná úprava, ... - Zdroj Česká národní bibliografie.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.10.4] „To je náramně žertovné,“ řekl Švejk, „to se mně báječně líbí. Tak aby věděli, paní Kejřová, mají ouplnou pravdu, že jsem se dostal ven. Ale to jsem musel zabít patnáct vachmistrů a feldweblů. Ale neříkají to nikomu...“.

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák


Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

11. Švejk rides with the field chaplain to serve a field mass

Saint Adalbertnn flag
*956 Libice nad Cidlinou - †23.4.997 Truso
Wikipedia czdeensv Search Švejkův slovník

Saint Adalbert in Prague, Václavské náměstí.

Saint Adalbert is by the author mentioned as a crook who used the cross in one hand and the sword in the other to murder and exterminate the Baltic Slavs. The theme in this context is the institution of Field Mass.


Saint Adalbert was Czech marthyr and saint who spread Christianity in several countries. He suffered death as a martyr in his attempt to converts the Balts and later became a patron saint of Bohemia, Poland, Hungary og Prussia.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.11.1] Nic se nezměnilo od té doby, kdy loupežník Vojtěch, kterému přezděli „svatý“, účinkoval s mečem v jedné a křížem v druhé ruce při vraždění a vyhubení pobaltických Slovanů.

Also written:Svatý Vojěch cz

Guillotin, Joseph-Ignacenn flag
*1770 Paris - †1823 Paris
Wikipedia czdeenfrno Search

Exécution de Marie Antoinette le 16 octobre 1793

Guillotin (or rather the execution apparatus that carry his name) is mentioned by the author in connection with his description of execution- and field mass rituals.


Guillotin was a French doctor and politician who on 10 October 1789 in the National Assembly proposed a reform of capital punishment; applying the same method regardless of class, that the purpose was to end life quickly rather than torture etc. The result of the proposal was that development of a falling axe apparatus was started. From 1792 it was in regular use and led to a much quicker and less painful execution process, a great progress from the previously barbarous methods.

The guillotine is best known from the French Revolution where many prominent heads rolled. The apparatus was also used in Switzerland, and notoriously in Nazi Germany and occupied territories. In Austria-Hungary the official method of execution was hanging in Würgegalgen.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.11.1] V Prusku vodil pastor ubožáka pod sekyru, v Rakousku katolický kněz k šibenici, ve Francii pod guilotinu, v Americe kněz na elektrickou stolici, ve Španělsku na židli, kde byl důmyslným způsobem uškrcen, a v Rusku bradatý pop revolucionáře atd.
Teacher Kolaříknn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Kolařík - Katz - Švejk

Kolařík was a pious retired teacher from Vršovice who had bought a couch from Feldkurat Katz and had given away the field altar that was hidden inside. He had believed that the altar was a divine gift which obliged him to donate it to the local parish. Katz and Švejk pointed out that the alter was military property and that handling it in such a dubious manner could have grave consequences. See Vršovice kostel.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.11.2] Ve Vršovicích v bytě pana učitele, starého nábožného pána, čekalo je nemilé překvapení. Naleznuv polní oltář v pohovce, starý pán domníval se, že je to nějaké řízení boží a daroval jej místnímu vršovickému kostelu do sakristie, vyhradiv si na druhé straně skládacího oltáře nápis: „Darováno ku cti a chvále boží p. Kolaříkem, učitelem v. v. Léta Páně 1914.“ Zastižen jsa ve spodním prádle, jevil velké rozpaky.
Pivoňkann flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Pivoňka was a man from Chotěboř who had got his hands on state property and subsequently suffered a grim fate. Švejk found it appropriate to relate this fact to the pious teacher Kolařík who had donated the field altar to the local parish. The fear-stricken old man finally grasped the gravity of the situation.


Pivoňka is a name that appears in at least one of the short stories of Jaroslav Hašek. One of them was a Salvation Army captain who visited Pardubice, mentioned in Zápas s Armádou spásy (Kopřivy, 26 January 1921). Inspiration may also stem from the author's visit to Chotěboř in 1912, the outcome of which was the story Zrádce národa v Chotěboři.

Radko Pytlík writes in Data, fakta, dokumenty (2013) that Pivoňka was a secretary at the tax collector's office in Chotěboř. He met Hašek met in 1912 and the two visited a number of pubs together. The source of this assertion is however unknown, and Jaroslav Šerák adds that no Pivoňka is registered in the birth and death records of Chotěboř between 1880 and 1929. He may of course have moved here, but that would be a theme for further research.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.11.2] „Na útraty vojenského eráru, to se rozumí,“ řekl tvrdě a drsně Švejk, „zaplaťpánbůh za takový boží řízení. Nějakej Pivoňka z Chotěboře považoval jednou také za boží řízení, když se mu do rukou připletla ohlávka s cizí krávou.“

Sources: Radko Pytlík, Jaroslav Šerák


Oberleutnant Witingernn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Schematismus für das k.u.k. Heer ... 1914

K.k. Hof und Staatsdruckerei1914.

Witinger was a senior lieutenant from Infanterieregiment Nr. 75 who had won the trophy that Feldkurat Katz borrowed for use as a chalice when giving field mass. The trophy was won by the officer years ago when he ran for Sport-Favorit. He was a good runner and boasted that he had run the 40 kilometre Vienna - Mödling stretch in 1 hour 48 minutes.


Witinger is said to have belonged to Infanterieregiment Nr. 75, a unit that was located in Salzburg and Jindřichův Hradec in 1914. It would therefore have been rare to encounter officers from this regiment in Prague at the time. See Oberst Just.

The facts given in the novel with regards to distance and duration of his running are also way off. If Witinger's version was correct his time would have been much better than the current Marathon world record. See Mödling.

Witinger was not a common name in Prague at the time of our soldier, but the almost identical Wittinger was. Any inspiration for the name is therefore likely to be found amongst these.

No traces in k.u.k. Heer

There was no officer named Witinger in k.u.k. Heer in 1914, and only one Wittinger. He was a reserve lieutenant, Edmund Wittinger, enrolled in Traindivision Nr. 4 in Budapest. That this person had anything to do with the figure in the novel is improbabable.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.11.2] Tak dostaneme sportovní pohár od nadporučíka Witingra od 75. pluku. On kdysi před lety běhal o závod a vyhrál jej za ,Sport-Favorit’. Byl to dobrý běžec. Dělal čtyřicet kilometrů Vídeň-Mödling za 1 hodinu 48 minut, jak se nám vždycky chlubí. Jsem hovado, že všechno odkládám na poslední chvíli. Proč jsem se, trouba, nepodíval do té pohovky.“
Dalton, Johnnn flag
*6.9.1766 Eaglesfield - †27.7.1844 Manchester
Wikipedia czdeenno Search Švejkův slovník

Dalton is mentioned indirectly through the term daltonist (a person who suffers from colour blindness) when Feldkurat Katz's gory field altar is vividly described by the author.


was a distinguished British scientist in physics and chemistry, also known for his research into colour blindness, which he suffered from. Daltonism has even become a byword for it in some languages, notably French and Spanish. It has become a synonym in many more, amongst them Czech and English. Dalton spent almost his entire life in Manchester.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.11.2] Oltář skládal se ze tří dílů, opatřených hodně falešným pozlátkem, jako celá sláva církve svaté. Nebylo také možno zjistit bez fantasie, co vlastně představují obrazy namalované na těch třech dílech. Jisto je, že to byl oltář, kterého by mohli stejně používat nějací pohani na Zambezi či šamáni Burjatů i Mongolů. Opatřen řvavými barvami, vypadal zdáli jako barevné tabule určené pro zkoumání daltonistů na železné dráze.

Sources: Wikipedia (en)


Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

12. A religious debate

Heine, Heinrichnn flag
*13.12.1797 Düsseldorf - †17.2.1856 Paris
Wikipedia czdeennnno Search

Sterne der Satire Nummer 79.

Heine is quoted by Feldkurat Katz in a poetic moment after a long and cheerful day.


Heine (born Harry, later christened Christian Johann Heinrich), was one of the most important German poets and journalists in the of the 19th century. He is often referred to as the last romantic poet and one who also survived the era. As a critical and politically engaged journalist and satirist, he was as much admired as feared. His Jewish background also underlined his role as an Aussenseiter (outsider) with many enemies.

Sterne der Satire

On 15 September 2015 Heine posthumously shared an unlikely stage with Jaroslav Hašek. Both were on this day inducted in the memory plaque gallery of Sterne der Satire in Mainz, as stars no. 78 and 79. respectively. Present on the occasion was Richard Hašek (grandson of the author) and several notabilities from German political and cultural life. The 80th and final star in the series was awarded to the comedian Dieter Hallervorden.

Die Lore-Ley

His most famous poem was Die Lore-Ley (1824). In [4.1] the first two lines are quoted by the drunk sergeant who interrogates Švejk in Dobromil.

Ich weiß nicht was soll es bedeuten, Dass ich so traurig bin; Ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten, Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.12] Polní kurát rozděloval své povinnosti s hýřením a přicházíval velice zřídka domů, umazaný, nemytý, jako kocour, když se mrňouká a dělá své výlety po střechách. Při návratu, mohl-li se vyjadřovat, hovoříval ještě se Švejkem, než usnul, o vznešených cílech, o zápale, o radosti z myšlení. Někdy se také pokoušel mluvit ve verších, citovat Heina.


Susanna in the bathnn flag
Wikipedia czdeensv Search Švejkův slovník

Painted by Lovis Corinth in 1890.


Humoristické listy25.8.1911.


Národní listy22.9.1911.


Kinematographische Rundschau4.1.1914.

Susanna in the bath decorates the wall above the bed of Feldkurat Katz and this is pointed to the pious field chaplain by when he complains there are no crucifixes in the room.


Susanna in the bath was a biblical character from the Book of Daniel. This part of the book is so-called "apochrypal" (of disputed origin) and not included in Protestant bibles. Susanna has been painted by many artists - Rembrandt, Rubens og van Dyck being amongst them. She is also the theme of a composition by Händel. Several theatre plays base on the theme have been performed over the years, some of them considered quite daring at the time.

The story revolves around Susanna, the beautiful wife of Joachim. Two elders (judges) get infatuated with her and try to blackmail her to have sex with them. One day when she is taking a bath they carry out the threat but she rejects their advances. They subsequently accuse her of infidelity and report her. She is given a death sentence but after prayers by Susanna God intervenes, informs the prophet Daniel about the real situation, and the case is reopened. The two elders are now interrogated separately and their explanations turn out to differ. The result is that Susanna is cleared and her two tormentors executed.

Jaroslav Hašek surely knew this story very well. One of his friends from Strana mírného pokroku v mezích zákona (Quodo Maria Vyskočil) for instance penned a story called "Miss Susanna in the Bath". It was published by publisher Vilímek in 1911. Around the same time a theatre play based on Susanna was performed in Smíchov.

Hašek also wrote the story Biblický případ koupající se Zuzany v novém světle that was never published during his lifetime. It is set in Samara and presumingly it was written after the author's return from Russia, i.e. in 1921 or 1922.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.12] Dnes přišel svého kolegu Katze uvésti na pravou cestu a promluvit mu do duše, což začal tím, že poznamenal: „Divím se, že u vás nevisí krucifix. Kde se modlíte breviář? Ani jeden obrázek svatých nezdobí stěny vašeho pokoje. Co to máte nad postelí?“ Katz se usmál: „To je ,Zuzana v lázni’ a ta nahá ženská pod tím je moje stará známost.

Also written:Zuzana v lázni cz Susanna im Bade de


Papin, Denisnn flag
*22.6.1647 Blos - †1712 London(?)
Wikipedia czdeenfrnn Search

Blätter für literarische Unterhaltung, 21.4.1838

Papin is mentioned indirectly by Feldkurat Katz in his description of the modern hell where pressure-boilers play a part in inflicting sufferings on the damned.


Papin was a French physicist, mathematician and inventor who is best known for having invented the pressure-boiler (machine à vapeur). It is this device that is mentioned in the novel and it was invented in 1769 in London (Papin had left France in 1675).

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.12] To jest místo obyčejných kotlů se sírou pro ubohé hříšníky papinské hrnce, kotle s velkou atmosférou, hříšníci se smaží na margarinu, rožně s elektrickým pohonem, po miliony let přejíždějí přes hříšníky stoje na válcování silnic, skřípání zubů obstarávají dentisti zvláštními přístroji, kvílení se zachycuje do gramofonů a desky se posílají nahoru do ráje k obveselení spravedlivých.
Brahms, Johannesnn flag
*7.5.1833 Hamburg - †3.4.1897 Wien
Wikipedia czdeennnno Search

Světozor, 30.4.1897


Světozor, 30.4.1897


Agramer Zeitung, 3.4.1897

Agramer Zeitung3.4.1897.

Brahms was, according to Feldkurat Katz, played so frequently in paradise that the righteous in the end wanted a transfer to hell.


Brahms was a German composer, conductor and pianist. He was discovered in 1853 by Robert Schumann who wrote a an ecstatic article about the young musical genius.

His big breakthrough happened in 1868 with Ein deutsches Requiem. Brahms spent 20 years on his first symphony but eventually more were produced. From 1872 until his death he lived in Vienna.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.12] To jest místo obyčejných kotlů se sírou pro ubohé hříšníky papinské hrnce, kotle s velkou atmosférou, hříšníci se smaží na margarinu, rožně s elektrickým pohonem, po miliony let přejíždějí přes hříšníky stoje na válcování silnic, skřípání zubů obstarávají dentisti zvláštními přístroji, kvílení se zachycuje do gramofonů a desky se posílají nahoru do ráje k obveselení spravedlivých. V ráji účinkují rozprašovače kolínské vody a filharmonie hraje tak dlouho Brahmsa, že raději dáte přednost peklu a očistci.


Saint Augustinenn flag
*13.11.354 Souq Ahras(Aghaste) - †28.8.430 Annaba(Hippo Regius)
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Augustine in Australia.

Saint Augustine is mentioned in the anecdote of Švejk about the church servant from Vlašim who, like Augustine, did not believe in the Antipodes. The quote in question was: "damned is he who believes in the Antipodes". The target of the anecdote was the pious filed chaplain who unannounced arrived at the door of his colleague Feldkurat Katz to have a stern word him.


Saint Augustine was a Church father and philosopher from North Africa and one of the greatest of the ancient theologians. He was regarded a saint soon after his death. In "De civitate Dei" he reveals his scepticism about the Antipodes:

Quod vero et Antipodes esse fabulantur, id est, homines a contraria parte terrae, ubi sol oritur, quando occidit nobis, adversa perdibus nostris calcare vestigia, nulla ratione credendum est ...

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.12] „U Vlašimě byl, poslušně hlásím, pane feldkurát,“ řekl Švejk, „jeden děkan a ten měl, když mu jeho stará hospodyně utekla s klukem i s penězi, posluhovačku. A ten děkan na stará kolena dal se do studování svatýho Augustina, kterýmu říkají, že patří mezi svaté otce, a dočet se tam, že kdo věří v protinožce, má bejt prokletej.

Also written:Svatý Augustin cz Sankt Augustin de


John the Baptistnn flag
Wikipedia czdeennnno Search

From Hagia Sofia in Istanbul

John the Baptist is mentioned when the pious field chaplain asks Feldkurat Katz if he believes that the thumb of John the Baptist is kept U Piaristů and if he believes in God at all.


John the Baptist is a character from the New Testament who baptised Jesus Christ in the river Jordan. He was also a martyr, having been executed at the order of herodes.

He also plays a role as a prophet in Islam, Judaism and the Bahai-relegion.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.12] Mžouraje očima, otázal se Katze: „Vy nevěříte v neposkvrněné početí panny Marie, nevěříte, že palec sv. Jana Křtitele, který se chrání u piaristů, je pravý? Věříte vůbec v pána boha? A když nevěříte, proč jste polním kurátem?“

Also written:Jan Křtitel cz Johannes der Täufer de Jochanan ben Sacharja hb


Saint Josephnn flag
Wikipedia czdeennn Search

Guido Reni, 1635

Saint Joseph is invoked by the religious field chaplain when he after several potent swigs bangs his fist on the table and proclaims that he regards Joseph a saint.

Later on in the novel, in Medzilaborce [III.3], his name is invoked by the repenting sinner Offiziersdiener Baloun. In this context Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek proclaims Joseph the patron saint of all deserters.


Saint Joseph is a figure from the New Testament who was married to the Virgin Mary and thus served the role as father of Jesus Christ. He is regarded a saint in Orthodox, Catholic and Anglican Christianity.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.12] Uhodil pěstí do stolu, až láhve poskočily: „Bůh je vznešená povaha, cosi nadpozemského. Je čestný ve svých záležitostech. Je to slunný zjev, to mně nikdo nevyvrátí. I sv. Josefa si vážím, všechněch svatých si vážím, až na sv. Serapiona. Má takové ošklivé jméno.“

Also written:Sankt Josef cz


Saint Serapionnn flag
*1179 London - †14.11.1240 Alger
Wikipedia deenes Search

Saint Serapion was not held in esteem as a saint by the religious field chaplain because he had such a repulsive name.


Saint Serapion was a monk and soldier from the age of the Crusades who suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Moors and was later canonized. He was a member of the Mercedarian Order for Redemption of Captives which goal was to release Christian prisoners in Moslem captivity. The background for this martyrdom was that he offered himself as a hostage in Alger in a prisoner exchange deal, but when the Moslem captives were not released in time he was mutilated and killed. Serapion was of British origin, probably born in London.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.12] Uhodil pěstí do stolu, až láhve poskočily: „Bůh je vznešená povaha, cosi nadpozemského. Je čestný ve svých záležitostech. Je to slunný zjev, to mně nikdo nevyvrátí. I sv. Josefa si vážím, všechněch svatých si vážím, až na sv. Serapiona. Má takové ošklivé jméno.“

Also written:Svatý Serapion cz San Serapio es


Saint Ludmilann flag
*860(?) Mělník - †15.9.921 Tetín
Wikipedia czdeen Search

Zlatá Praha, 31.10.1884


From Hašek's marriage certificate,
signed 28 December 1911

Saint Ludmila is also mentioned by the pious field chaplain during the religious debate with Feldkurat Katz.


Saint Ludmila was, according to legend, a Czech princess and married to the first Christian ruler of Bohemia, Bořivoj I of the Přemysl dynasty. She was the grandmother and custodian of Saint Wenceslaus. Ludmila is said to have been murdered on orders from her daughter-in-law, and became the first Czech saint.

Ludmila is an important person in the borderland between Czech mythology and history. Antonín Dvořák composed an oratorio to her honour, lyrics provided by Vrchlický. A red wine from Mělník is also named after her.

Ludmila also had a church in Vinohrady named after her: Kostel sv. Ludmily at Purkyňově náměstí (now Náměstí míru). It was here that Jaroslav Hašek married Jarmila Mayerová on 23 May 1910.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.12]Sv. Ludmilu mám rád, i sv. Bernardina,“ pokračoval bývalý katecheta, „ten zachránil moc poutníků ve sv. Gotthardě. Má na krku láhev s koňakem a vyhledává zapadlé sněhem.“

Also written:Svatá Ludmila cz Sankt Ludmilla de


Saint Bernhardnn flag
*996 ? Aosta - †15.6.1081? Novara
Wikipedia czdeenfrit Search

Saint Bernhard was held in high esteem by the religious field chaplain. Here he is called St. Bernardin but there is little doubt that the field chaplain refers to Saint Bernhard because he saved many pilgrims by Sankt Gotthard.


Saint Bernhard (Bernard of Aosta, Bernard of Menthon or Bernard of Mont-Joux) was a French missionary who operated in the Alpine region. He is the patron saint of Alpine dwellers and mountaineers. The chronological details of his life are unclear, including year of birth and death.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.12] „Sv. Ludmilu mám rád, i sv. Bernardina“, pokračoval bývalý katecheta, „ten zachránil moc poutníků ve sv. Gotthardě. Má na krku láhev s koňakem a vyhledává zapadlé sněhem.“

Also written:Svatý Bernard cz Bernardo di Mentone it


Herodnn flag
*73 Ashkelon ? - †4 Jericho
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Večery, 23.12.1911

Herod appears in the story through unkind words uttered by the God-fearing field chaplain who hates him.


Herod was a Roman vassal king of Judea, Galilee, Samara and the surrounding areas. Many historians regard him as an effective ruler who completed several large building projects, but he was also known as ruthless and tyrannical. He had several members of his family executed, amongst them one of his wives.

In the New Testament

Herod is best known through the Bible and the role he played after the birth of Jesus Christ. According to Matthew's gospel he gave the order to murder all boys in Betlehem of less than two years age. This was after the newly born Jesus, his perceived rival as "king of the Jews", had been brought into safety by his father Saint Joseph.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.12] Zábava dostala jiný směr. Nábožný polní kurát počal mluvit páté přes deváté: „Mláďátek si ctím, mají svátek 28. prosince. Herodesa nenávidím.

Also written:Herodes cz

Boccaccio, Giovanninn flag
*Certaldo 16.6 1313 - †Certaldo 21.12 1375
Wikipedia czdeenitnn Search

Josef Lada, 1955


J.J. Benešovský-Veselý, 1897


© Det norske samlaget, 1996

Boccaccio is mentioned because Švejk put Bocaccio's Decameron in the hand of the pious field chaplain who was legless and had fallen asleep. The soldier found the book on the night table of Feldkurat Katz.


Boccaccio was an Italian writer and poet. He is best known as author of the The Decameron, the book that is mentioned here. He is regarded as one of the all time greats of Italian literature.

The Decameron

This book was by some distance Boccaccio's most famous work. The plot is set during the times of the Black Death (1348) in the surroundings of Florence. It is a collection of 100 short stories, told by 10 people who have fled the city due to the plague. Each tell one story a day over 10 days, some of them very daring for their time. This was partly due to sexually explicit content, moreover satire directed at the church and it's institutions.

The Decameron is considered a key work in European literature, inspiring, amongst others, Geoffrey Chaucer and later Miguel de Cervantes and Lope de Vega.

The book was banned and censored on several occasions during medieval times, but more surprisingly the US postal services were from 1873 required by law not to ship it. The ban was lifted as late as 1926.


The novel has been translated into numerous languages, English translations abound. The first known was in 1620, and the first complete version was published in 1886 (translated by John Payne), and the most recent one appeared as late as 2013. The first Czech translation was published in 1881 (translated by Josef Fl. Karafiát), and in 1897 a new one followed.

Hašek and the Decameron

There are some striking similarities between Jaroslav Hašek's novel and Decameron. They are both satirical books, have been banned, and are fragmented in their composition. Another curious similarity is the large number of facts that are embedded: the Decameron mentions numerous places, people and institutions, just like Hašek's novel does.

Fifty years after Hašek's death three volumes of his short stories were published, exploiting the name of Boccaccio's famous book: Dekameron humoru a satiry (1968), Druhý Dekameron (1979) and Třetí dekameron: Reelní podnik (1977).

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.12] Nakonec ho uložili do postele. Než usnul, prohlásil, vztyčuje k přísaze pravici: „Věřím v boha otce, syna i ducha svatého. Přineste mně breviář!“ Švejk mu strčil do ruky nějakou knihu ležící na nočním stolku, a tak nábožný polní kurát usnul s „Decameronem“ G. Boccaccia v ruce.


Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

13. Švejk goes to provide the last rites

Němcová, Boženann flag
*4.2.1820 Wien - †21.1.1862 Praha
Wikipedia czdeenno Search

Pestrý týden19.1.1927.


České národní báchorky a pověsti, Díl I


Moravské noviny24.1.1862.


Das Vaterland26.1.1862.

Božena Němcová is mentioned when Švejk tells Feldkurat Katz that finding oil consecrated by a bishop is worse than finding the water of life in tales by Božena Němcová.


Božena Němcová was a prominent Czech writer who wrote short stories, poems and fairytales. Her best known work is however a novel: Babička (Grandmother), regarded as one of the classics of Czech literature. The well known film Three nuts for Cinderella (1973) is based on one her fairytale from 1845 called O Popelce (About Cinderella).

Water of life

One of the tales that Švejk refers to is surely About the talking bird, the water of life and the three golden apple trees. It was first printed in 1846 and has since been included in many compilations.[a]


Božena Němcová was born Barbara Pankl in Vienna but the family moved to Bohemia when she was a year old. Her father was a German (Austrian) coach driver, her mother a Czech maid. Němcová grew up in Ratibořice by Náchod and married the 15 year older civil servant Josef Němec when she was 17. The marriage was a result of pressure from her parents. The couple had four children but the marriage was an unhappy one, and Němcová had a number of extra-marital affairs.

In 1842 the family moved to Prague where she came in contact with leading figures in the Czech national revival movement. She started to write and in 1844 her first tales were published. Around this time she changed her first name to the more typical Czech Božena.

The family moved frequently and Božena Němcová suffered from poverty and illness during her last years. She was only 42 years old when she died on 21 January 1862. The funeral that took place three days later, and was a stark contrast to the penury of her later years. It was attended by a big crowd; amongst them were a number of Czech notabilities from literary and political circles. She was buried at Vyšehrad and her tomb is still there.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.13] Švejk vypravil se tedy na cestu za olejem posvěceným od biskupa. Taková věc je horší než hledání živé vody v pohádkách Boženy Němcové.


aO mluvícím ptáku, živé vodě a třech zlatých jabloníchBožena Němcová
Mr. Tauchennn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Tauchen was the shop clerk at Firma Polák. It was from him that Švejk purchased Hamp seed oil Nr.3 that was to be used by Feldkurat Katz for the last rites at Vojenská nemocnice na Karlově náměstí. It was required that the oil was consecrated by a bishop.


Tauchen is a name that also appears later in the novel when Švejk tells Rechnungsfeldwebel Vaněk about his apprenticeship at drogerie Kokoška. This second Tauchen is also a chemists assistant. Tauchen (in the slightly chnaged form Tauben) had alreday in 1909 played a part in stories by Jaroslav Hašek; he was an assistant at Kološka (read Kokoška) in the eight stories "From the old chemists" in Veselá Praha. It is very likely that these three varieties of Tauchen are inspired by the author's time as a chemists apprentice in 1898-99. To this day (2017) it has not been possible to find out who the real Tauchen was.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.13] Když Švejk přišel a přál si za deset korun olej posvěcený od biskupa, řekl šéf k příručímu: „Nalejou mu, pane Tauchen, deset deka konopného oleje čís. 3.“


Saint John Chrysostomnn flag
*347 Antiokia - †14.9.407 Komana Pontika
Wikipedia czdeennnno Search Švejkův slovník

Kniha sw. Jana Zlatoustého1828.

Saint John Chrysostom was quoted by Feldkurat Katz when addressing the persistent money lender: "He who honours the priest, honours Christ. He who persecutes the priest, persecutes Christ the Lord, whose representative happens to be that very priest".


Saint John Chrysostom was a Greek Church Father who was proclaimed a saint with 13 September as his memorial day. He was famous for his rhetorical capabilities. The name of Chrysostom, which is Greek for 'golden mouth', refers to this ability.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.13] „Vidíte, Švejku, jak to dopadá s takovým člověkem, který nectí kněze,“ usmál se polní kurát. „sv. Jan Zlatoústý řekl: ,Kdo ctí kněze, ctí Krista, kdo příkoří činí knězi, činí příkoří Kristu pánu, jehož zástupcem právě kněz jest.’

Also written:Sv. Jan Zlatoústý cz

Boušeknn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Adresář obce libeňské1896.

Boušek was a man from Libeň who was impossible to get rid of at U Exnerů. In one of his aptly chosen analogies Švejk compared him to the ever persisting money lender who pestered Feldkurat Katz.


There is no person carrying this name in the address book of Libeň from 1896, but on the other hand a couple of Bouček are listed. Nor in the police registers is there any trace of Boušek.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.13] „Poslušně hlásím, pane feldkurát,“ poznamenal Švejk, „že je to hotovej nezmar, jako nějakej Boušek z Libně. Vosumnáctkrát za večer ho vyhodili od ,Exnerů’, a vždycky se jim tam vrátil, že tam zapomněl fajfku.
Oberleutnant Janatann flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Verlustliste Nr. 8523.12.1914.

Janata was a senior lieutenant who fell by the Drina without having paid the 700 crowns he owed the moneylender who pestered Feldkurat Katz.


The name Janata appears several times in the list of casualties throughout the war. The database of fallen soldiers from the current Czech and Slovak republic contains 21 names[a], but none of them appear to have died by the Drina or even had the rank of senior lieutenant. Schematismus reveals only one Janata and he served in the navy[b].

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.13] Vytáhl zápisník z kapsy a pokračoval: „Mám to všechno zapsáno. Nadporučík Janata dluhoval mně 700 korun a odvážil se padnout na Drině.


aDatabáze padlých v 1. sv. válceVÚA
bSchematismus für das kaiserliche und königliche Heer ...K.u.k. Kriegsministerium1914
Leutnant Prášeknn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Prášek was a lieutenant who was captured by the Russian without having paid his debts to the money lender.


As with Oberleutnant Janata no Prášek can be found in the lists of fallen Czechs and Slovaks. Three persons with this name and from this area fell during the war. Many more were wounded according to Verlustlisten, but even between these it has not been possible to identify any lieutenant Prášek or similar who fell at the Russian front.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.13] Poručík Prášek upadl na ruské frontě do zajetí, a je mně dlužen na 2000 korun.


Hauptmann Wichterlenn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Wichterle was a captain who let himself get killed by his own soldiers at Rawa Ruska without having settled his debts to the money-lender.


No Wichterle is listed in the database of fallen from World War I (soldiers from the current Czech and Slovak republics). Nor is the name found in Verlustliste or in Schematismus from 1914. The only item that appears on searches for Wichterle at the time is a tools manufacturer in Prostějov.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.13] Hejtman Wichterle, dluhující mně stejný obnos, dal se zabít pod Ruskou Ravou vlastními vojáky.


Oberleutnant Macheknn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Schematismus ...1914.


Nachrichten über Verwundete und Verletzte, 21.1.1915

Nachricthen über Verwundete und Kranke21.1.1915.


Národní listy10.2.1915.

Machek was a senior lieutenant who was a prisoner of war in Serbia despite his unpaid debts of 1500 crowns.


In Schematismus from 1914 one Oberleutnant Viktor Machek is actually listed. That year he served at 3. Tyroler Kaiserjägerregiment. On 1 July 1915 he was promoted to captain and was still enlisted with the same regiment.

From the list of wounded 21 January 1915 it is evident that Machek was hospitalised in Vienna after having been shot in the lungs. It is also mentioned that he was born in Prague in 1886. In Verlustliste Nr. 116 from 29 January he is correspondingly listed as "Verwundet". The Czech version is however confusing. In Čech and Národní listy it may be interpreted as if he was captured. Národní politika however makes it clear that when nothing else is noted, the soldier mentioned in the list is wounded.

The rank fits, Machek was born in Prague and from Czech newspapers it's not entirely clear whether he was wounded or captured. Moreover his family lived in Vinohrady, a place Jaroslav Hašek knew very well. This indicates that the author may perhaps have linked his literary figure with the real Viktor Machek.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.13] Nadporučík Machek zajat v Srbsku, dluhuje mně 1500 korun. Je zde víc takových lidí.


Feldkurat Matyášnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Schematismus für das kaiserliche und königliche Heer..., 1914

Matyáš was a field chaplain from Brno who died in isolation hospital, he never got round to paying his debts before he pegged out.


A field chaplain Miklos Mátyás actually served in k.u.k. Heer in 1914 (as a reserve). The field chaplain was Hungarian and Hašek spells the name slightly differently (but phonetically correct). Whether he was from Brno or died there is not known. There is apparently no evidence in military documents about him being killed, captured or injured although several others with this name appear (but none of them were field chaplains).

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.13] Přistrčil polnímu kurátovi svůj zápisník pod nos. „Vidíte: Polní kurát Matyáš v Brně, zemřel v isolační nemocnici před týdnem. Já bych si rval vlasy. Nezaplatil mně 1800 korun, a jde do cholerového baráku zaopatřovat nějakého člověka, po kterém mu nic nebylo.“


Professor Zenger, Karel Václav Bedřichnn flag
*17.12.1830 Chomutov - †22.1.1908 Praha
Wikipedia cz Search

Karel V. Zenger


Národní politika2.10.1902.


Le Figaro6.7.1902.


Lidové noviny23.1.1908.

Zenger is mentioned indirectly as "one professor" when Švejk reveals his mishaps relating to sunspots. He claimed that when "that time the volcano Mount Pelée destroyed the entire island of Martinique a professor had written in Národní politika that he well in advance had warned about a big sunspot".


Zenger is by near certainty the professor that Švejk refers to in the conversation at Vojenská nemocnice na Karlově náměstí. It can however not be verified that Zenger wrote any article similar to the one Švejk mentions, but his studies of the connection between sunspots and seismic activity on earth makes him an obvious inspiration for the professor in the novel.

Zenger was a distinguished physician and meteroroloist and towards the end of his life he was even awarded the title "Hofrat". He published widely; in Czech, German and even French. He was particularly well known in French academic circles, but his name also appears in newspapers like Bergens Tidende (Norway).

He taught at the technical high school Česká technika (now ČVUT) in Prague and Jaroslav Hašek mixed a great deal with it's students and has surely been aware of professor Zenger and his theories.

Zenger observed an approximate ten year cycle on volcanic eruptions, and linked this to a corresponding cycle of high solar activity. The first eruption that was included in the statistics happened in 1732, and with only two exceptions there were repeated eruptions in years that ended in two. The two remaining happened in years that ended in three, amongst these were Krakatoa in 1883.

Národní politika

Some months after the disaster at Martinique an article was printed in the very Národní politika where Zenger's theories were linked to the mentioned eruption. The article quotes the newspaper L'Opinion from Martinique, but also other French newspapers wrote about Zenger and his theories.

Many years earlier Zenger had investigated the connection between solar activity and its effect on the earth. He coined the term "sun climate" and was an international capacity within this research. For instance he provided some statistic that indicate a link between low sun spot activity and seismic events on earth, and it may well be that Švejk had noticed this.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.13] Když tenkrát ta sopka Mont-Pellé zničila celý ostrov Martinique, jeden profesor psal v ,Národní politice’, že už dávno upozorňoval čtenáře na velkou skvrnu na slunci.


Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

14. Švejk as military servant to senior lieutenant Lukáš

Oberleutnant Lukáš, Jindřichnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

The author on Lukáš. © LA-PNP


A fateful encounter

Lukáš is named 315 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Lukáš first appears when Feldkurat Katz loses Švejk to him in a game of cards "twenty-one". Thus the good soldier becomes the servant of Oberleutnant Lukáš who from now onwards becomes one of the most important characters in the novel, and apart from Švejk the only one who figures in all four parts. He is also the only officer who is generally described in a sympathetic manner.

Švejk subjects Oberleutnant Lukáš to a number of ordeals during the time as an officer's servant. Amongst those is the theft of Fox (Max) that causes the transfer to the front, the mishap with the emergency brake by Tábor and the affair with Mr. Kakonyi in Királyhida.

From the moment when the good soldier is promoted to messenger their relationship improves and Oberleutnant Lukáš grows fond of his servant, although he is still irritated by the endless anecdotes. Švejk all the time reveals his loyalty and on a few occasions he even puts himself on the line for his superior. One example is when he devours the compromising letter to Etelka Kakonyi and then he downs a bottle of "cognac" in Humenné to protect Lukáš.

Introduced by the author

Jaroslav Hašek actually spends a couple of pages on introducing the reader to Oberleutnant Lukáš. This is an honour that no-one else apart from Feldkurat Katz benefits from, and to a much lesser degree. The other officers in the novel are only introduced through dialogues and the plot itself. The author informs us that Lukáš was Czech, born in a village in the south of Bohemia. In nationality questions he sympathises with the Czech cause but is careful to not express it publicly. One of his statements are: "let us be Czechs but non-one needs to know about it. I am also Czech".

He is portrayed as an amphibian who speaks German in society but reads Czech books. He treats his men strictly but fairly, he may raise his voice, but he never shouts at them. He is fearless and direct towards his superiors and this may even have cost him promotion to captain. He is well liked by his men, makes sure they are quartered properly during manoeuvres and also treats them with beer and appreciates that they sing when marching. He also knows how to put brutal lower rank officers in their place.

Otherwise he has over time been unfortunate with his servants who he hates and frequently replaces. Oberleutnant Lukáš is also fond of animals and keeps a canary bird and a cat. It is indirectly revealed that he has served for a while in Prague and that he teaches at a school for one-year volunteers (see Prager Einjährig-Freiwilligenschule). In the author's introduction it is not revealed which unit he served with in Prague.

Further information

As the novel progresses more details about Oberleutnant Lukáš are revealed. He was a friend of the ladies, a fact that is graphically illustrated through the encounters with Katy Wendler and Etelka Kakonyi. He was an instructor at a reserve officer's school in Vršovice, therefore probably serving with IR73. It is however unclear where he lived, but as he was walking the dog Max at the corner of Panská ulice and Na Příkopě he surely lived fairly centrally in Prague. This is however contradicted by the fact that Blahník handed over the stolen dog in Vršovice. He held his farewell party in Nekázanka ulice, very close to where he was caught with the stolen dog. Perhaps this was where he lived?

A fateful encounter

The affair with the stolen dog caused his transfer to IR 91, an important event as it leads the entire plot of the novel onto a track that in major parts runs in parallel to the author's own career in k.u.k. Heer. On the train to Budějovice where he has to answer Generalmajor von Schwarzburg it is revealed that he was educated at Infanteriekadettenschule Prag. During the conversation between Hauptmann Ságner and Bahnhofskommandant Zykán at the railway station in Győr it becomes clear that Oberleutnant Lukáš attended cadet school with Ságner. Lukáš is interested in culture and arts, and the other officers berate him that he doesn't want to mingle with them in his spare time. He detests the brutality he witnesses on the journey to the front. It culminates in Humenné where he gets an urge to get drunk to alleviate the painful feelings.

Oberleutnant Lukáš is part of the novel until the final scene in the uncompleted Part Four. Švejk is the officers servant of Lukáš in the first two books - in Part Three and four he serves Lukáš as his company messenger. Their relationship is often tense due to Švejk's repeated mishaps but deep down the soldier is very loyal to Lukáš and the officer slowly gets to like his subordinate, which is clear by the end of the novel. Before departure from Királyhida, Lukáš becomes commander of the 11th march company. Švejk is promoted to company orderly, and Offiziersdiener Baloun replaces him as putzfleck for Lukáš.


There is no doubt that the main prototype for Oberleutnant Lukáš was Rudolf Lukas, an Austrian, later Czechoslovak officer. Still he can't have been the only one as there is little in Part One where Lukáš has anything in common with his real-life counterpart. There is for instance every reason to believe that the author attached both biographical details and personal traits from the real life captain Čeněk Sagner to his fictional Lukáš.

Oberleutnant Lukáš is also mentioned in Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí but plays a minor role. Some of the incidents that the novel connects to Lukáš were then related to Fähnrich Dauerling (the dog theft and the Mr. Kakonyi affair).

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.1] Štěstí Švejkovo nemělo dlouhého trvání. Nelítostný osud přerval přátelský poměr mezi ním a polním kurátem. Jestli polní kurát až do té události byl osobou sympatickou, to, co nyní provedl, je s to strhnout s něho sympatickou tvářnost. Polní kurát prodal Švejka nadporučíkovi Lukášovi, lépe řečeno, prohrál ho v kartách. Tak dřív prodávali na Rusi nevolníky. Přišlo to tak znenadání. Byla pěkná společnost u nadporučíka Lukáše a hrálo se „jednadvacet“.
[II.4] Jest rozhodně povinností úřadů vyšetřiti tento zločin a optati se vojenského velitelství, které jistě již se touto affairou zabývá, jakou úlohu v tom bezpříkladném štvaní proti příslušníkům Uherského království hraje nadporučík Lukasch, jehož jméno uvádí se po městě ve spojitosti s událostmi posledních dnů, jak nám bylo sděleno naším místním dopisovatelem, který sebral již bohatý materiál o celé aféře, která v dnešní vážné době přímo křičí.
[II.4] Jest to známý český šovinista Lükáš, o jehož řádění bude podána interpelace naším poslancem Gézou Savanyú, který zastupuje okres királyhidský.“
Tinsmith Vejvodann flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Vejvoda is named 18 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Vejvoda was a plumber from the street Na Zderaze in Prague who always played "mariáš" in a pub behind Stoletá kavárna. According to an interminable anecdote by Švejk he won such an amount at cards that he had to seek police protection. In the story the main character is mentioned no fewer than sixteen times and this is arguably the longest anecdote in the whole novel. See also Hospoda za Stoletou kavárnou.

The story was told by Švejk to console Feldkurat Katz who had just played away the money Švejk had lent him so that he (Katz) could buy Švejk back from Oberleutnant Lukáš. This was after the field chaplain initially had gambled away his servant at a card game.


It has not been possible to link the story and Vejvoda himself to any real event. In the address book from 1907 there is no Vejvoda listed at Na Zderaze, nor is there any plumber with this name in entire Prague. The same goes for older address books.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.1] Na Zderaze žil nějakej klempíř Vejvoda a ten hrával vždy mariáš jedné hospodě za ,Stoletou kavárnou’. Jednou taky, čert mu to napískal, povídá: ,A což abychom si hodili jedníka o pětníček.’ Hráli tedy pětníčkovýho jedníka a on držel bank. Všichni se ztropili a tak to rostlo do desítky. Starej Vejvoda chtěl popřát taky druhýmu něco a pořád říkal: ,Malá špatná domů.’
Sancho Panzann flag
Wikipedia enesno Search

Sancho Panza is mentioned by the author in his reflections on the institution of military (officer) servants. Her Panza is described as a military servant of Don Quijote.


was the servant of Don Quijote in the classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Many literary scholars point to similarities between Panza and Švejk, but also add that Švejk as opposed to Sancho Panza was the main character in his novel.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.2] Jisto však je, že v době feudalismu vystupovali v té úloze žoldnéři rytířů. Čím byl Sancho Pansa Dona Quijota? Divím se, že historie vojenských sluhů nebyla dosud nikým sepsána.

Also written:Sancho Pansa Hašek


Don Quijotenn flag
Wikipedia czdeenesno Search

Les Nouvelles littéraires, 16.4.1932


Dagens Nyheter, 23.8.1926

Don Quijote is mentioned by the author in connection with Sancho Panza and the institution of officer servants. The author describes Sancho as Don Quijote's military servant, a position that the strictly speaking never had.


Don Quijote is the main character in the classic novel Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes. The novel is one of the greatest in the Spanish language ever, a universal classic, and one of the most translated.

Compared with Švejk

Don Quijote is a novel that The Good Soldier Švejk often has been compared to. On 23 August 1926 Swedish literary critic Carl-August Brolander wrote a review of the German translation of Part One for the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. Here he declared Jaroslav Hašek a "Czech Cervantes" and also compared him to Rabelais. The French critic Jean-Richard Bloch wrote a similarly enthusiastic review in Les Nouvelles littéraires in 1932.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.2] Instituce důstojnických sluhů je prastarého původu. Zdá se, že již Alexandr Macedonský měl svého pucfleka. Jisto však je, že v době feudalismu vystupovali v té úloze žoldnéři rytířů. Čím byl Sancho Pansa Dona Quijota? Divím se, že historie vojenských sluhů nebyla dosud nikým sepsána.

Also written:Quijote cz Don Quijote es Don Quichotte fr


Count de Almavirann flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Beaumarchais and his Figaro may partly have inspired Hašek


Nový velký ilustrovaný slovník naučný, 1929

Almavira is mentioned by the author as he is supposed to have eaten his servant Fernando without salt during the siege of Toledo.


Almavira is supposed to have been part of the defending party during the siege of Toledo but it is uncertain to what historic event or literary work the author refers.

Later in the novel [III.3] Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek mentions an almost identical episode, but the cannibalistic deed is now located to Madrid during the Napoleonic wars (there is no mention of any Almavira or Fernando here). Even this is doubtful as the siege in question was very short. It has not been possible to locate any place in Spain with the name Almavira so it is surely a spelling mistake or the person in question is someone entirely different.

It has not been possible to locate a place in Spain named Almavira so here it is probably a question of a typing error, mix-up, or pure invention.


The only Almavira a search reveals are roles in The barber of Seville by Rossini and The wedding of Figaro by Mozart. Both these build on a triology of plays about Figaro by Pierre Beaumarchais. Translator of Švejk to Spanish and Catalan, Monika Zgustová "corrects" Almavira to Almavida without solving the main question. Beaumarchais used the name Almaviva anyway.

It is still probable that the author was aware of and picked the idea from Figaro. The relation between master and servant fits, but the cannibalism and siege connection does not. Nor does the fact that the duke is supposed to have written his memoirs. The Napoleonic Wars started after Beaumarchais' death, so the chronological connection to the siege of Madrid is also broken. Hašek may well have mixed together multiple stories or invented new ones. Eating a servant may be only a grotesque intermezzo in line with detective Bretschneider's death [I.6] or the story about a dog who devoured a baby [I.3].

Lazarillo de Tormes

A doctoral thesis by Hamza Messari that compares Švejk and the 16th century Spanish picaresque novel Lazarillo de Tormes offers no further clue, although it mentions Almavira as "some duke".

Hamza Messari

Elementos picarescos en la novela „Las aventuras del valeroso soldado Schwejk“ de Jaroslav Hašek.Ya que hemos citado a Garcílaso y a la ciudad de Toledo; Hašek hace un homenaje al paje de un tal Conde de Almavira que durante el cerco de la ciudad, se dejó comer por su amo y Lazarillo alabando la misma ciudad...

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.2] Našli bychom tam, že vévoda z Almaviru snědl svého vojenského sluhu při obležení Toleda z hladu bez soli, o čemž vévoda sám píše ve svých pamětech, vypravuje, že jeho sluha měl maso jemné, křehké, vláčné, chutí podobající se něčemu mezi kuřecím a oslím.

Sources: Sergey Soloukh, Hamza Messari


Fernandonn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Světozor, 4.10.1907

Fernando was the servant of the Hertugen av Count Almavira. He is said to have been eaten by his master.


Fernando can not be identified until we know who the Hertugen av Count Almavira was (if he was a real person at all). But if the inspiration was Beaumarchais' plays, it could be argued that Figaro inspired the figure of Fernando. Still the grotesque cannibalism-story doesn't fit, and is rather the author's own invention.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.2] Mezi touto novou generací pucfleků nenajdou se tací obětaví tvorové, kteří by se dali sníst svými pány bez soli jako šlechetný Fernando vévody z Almaviru.
Hauptmann von Kaunitznn flag
Wikipedia czde Search

Kaunitz was a captain who like Švejk had been superarbitrated due to idiocy. He had the habit of walking around with one finger up each nostril. This is what Švejk tells Oberleutnant Lukáš when the latter mentions Švejk's reported mental limitations, thus innocently making the point that officers may also be retarded.


No officer with the name von Kaunitz exists in the address books of Prague nor in Armeeschematismus.

The Czech noble family Kaunitz (cz. Kounice) was however well known and it could be that the author borrowed the name from them. There were also a few Kaunitz (without the noble prefix) serving in k.u.k. Heer thourgh the years but it is unlikely that the author was aware of them.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.3] Od regimentu nás kvůli tomu pustili dva, mě, a ještě jednoho pana hejtmana von Kaunitz. Ten s dovolením, pane nadporučíku, když šel po ulici, tak se současně pořád dloubal prstem levé ruky v levej nosní díře a druhou rukou v pravé dirce, a když šel s námi na cvičení, tak nás vždy postavil jako při defilírungu a říkal: ,Vojáci, éh, pamatujte si, éh, že je dneska středa, poněvadž zejtra bude čtvrtek, éh. ‘„
Teacher Mareknn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Zlatá Praha, 4.3.1892


Výroční zpráva vyššího gymnasia v Pelhřimově za školní rok 1896-1897

Marek was a teacher from a village beyond Pelhřimov who was pursuing the daughter of gamekeeper gamekeeper Špera. He is part of a story Švejk tells Oberleutnant Lukáš to underline that nothing is worse than lying and uses teacher Marek as an examlpe of how disastrously this might end.

This Marek should not be confused with Marek who becomes one of the main characters in the plot from [II.2] onwards.


In the village of Chvojnov by Pelhřimov actually lived a teacher Karel Marek. In Zlatá Praha (Golden Prague) from 1892 it is revealed that he had won in a logical puzzle. In the yearly report of the gymnasium in Pelhřimov (1896-1897) another Karel Marek from a village nearby is mentioned. This time it is in Horní Cerekev, but whether it is the same person or if Hašek may have known about him/them is pure speculation.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.3] „Poslušně hlásím, pane nadporučíku, že rozumím. Není nic horšího, než když člověk lže. Jak se začne zaplítat, tak je ztracenej. V jedný vesnici za Pelhřimovem byl nějaký učitel Marek a ten chodil za dcerou hajnýho Špery, a ten mu dal vzkázat, že jestli se bude s holkou scházet v lese, že mu, když ho potká, postí do zadnice z ručnice štětiny se solí.
Gamekeeper Šperann flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Špera was a gamekeeper from a village near Pelhřimov who resented that the teacher Marek pursued his daughter. This was according to a story Švejk told Oberleutnant Lukáš when they first met.


It has not been possible to identify anyone who could have inspired this character.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.3] „Poslušně hlásím, pane nadporučíku, že rozumím. Není nic horšího, než když člověk lže. Jak se začne zaplítat, tak je ztracenej. V jedný vesnici za Pelhřimovem byl nějaký učitel Marek a ten chodil za dcerou hajnýho Špery, a ten mu dal vzkázat, že jestli se bude s holkou scházet v lese, že mu, když ho potká, postí do zadnice z ručnice štětiny se solí.
Balabánnn flag

Čechoslovan19.2.1917 (2.3).


In "The Good Soldier Švejk in captivity" Balabán was a Boxer who Švejk stole for the benefit of Dauerling.

Balabán was an unusually ugly dog of mixed race that Švejk once had bought. The dog is mentioned in the kynological discourse he subjects his superior Oberleutnant Lukáš to on the day the two first met.


This dog appears in several of Jaroslav Hašek's stories. It was so ugly that dogs, other animals and people avoided him. From one of the stories, Kolik kdo má kolem krku, it is apparent that the author actually owned a dog called Balabán.

Balabán also appears in Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí (1917), the second version of the good soldier. Here it is the name of the dog that Švejk stole in Bruck for the benefit of Fähnrich Dauerling. In this story the dog is a Boxer and even Kadett Biegler gets involved with him.

Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí

Tak ho přitáhl k Dauerlingovi, který vyjasnil tvář. Nijak mu nevadilo zoufalé vzezření boxerovo. Ptal se, jak jmenuje. Švejk pokrčil rameny: "Já mu říkal po cestě Balabán." "Ty hlupáku," rozkřikl se Dauerling, "takový pes se musí jmenovat nějak vznešeně, počkáme, až přijde Biegler, to je chytrá hlava, ten si něco vymyslí."

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.3] Já jsem jednou koupil takovýho psa Balabána, von byl po těch svých tátech tak vošklivej, že všichni psi se mu vyhýbali, a já ho koupil z lítosti, že je takovej vopušténej.


Sultan Mehmet V. Reşatnn flag
*2.11.1844 Istanbul - †4.7.1918 Istanbul
Wikipedia deennotr Search Švejkova cesta

The Emperor and the Sultan in 1914


Neue Freie Presse10.3.1915.




Nieuwe Venlosche courant30.3.1915.

Mehmet V. Reşat is mentioned indirectly when Švejk reads in a newspaper that the Sultan has honoured Kaiser Wilhelm II. with a war medal and he himself didn't even have a small silver medal. The sultan is thus not mentioned directly by name.


Mehmet V. Reşat was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (see Turkey) from 1909 to 1918. He ascended the throne after the coup by the Young Turks but had limited power. His only significant political act was to formally declare Jihad against the Allies on 11 November 1914. He was the empire's Sultan no. 35 and died only months before the empire collapsed.

His reign was marked by enormous territorial losses for The sick man of Europe. North-Africa except Egypt and almost all of the Balkans was lost from 1912 to 1913. During World War I the Arab territories and Cyprus followed.

War medal

Circumstances strongly suggest that the decoration that Švejk read about took place in March 1915 as a quote from Roskvět's "Brief Chronicle of the World War" is to the letter reproduced in the novel. The content of the "Chronicle" also appeared is newspapers like Národní politika, and many of these brief quotes appear throughout this chapter of the novel. The chronicle refers to the date of decoration as 24 March 1915.

Already on 9 March 1915 the Turkish news agency Agence Milli reported that the Sultan had telegraphed the Emperor and congratulated him on the great victories in the east. In the same telegrammme it is revealed that the Emperor will be offered the Imtiaz War Medal as an expression of the Sultans admiration.

On 25 March Agence Milli reported that Goltz Paşa had left Constantinople for Berlin in order to personally forward the award. It also added that the war medal was specially issued for the Emperor.

In April it was revealed that the Emperor had responded by awarding the Sultan the Iron Cross 1st Class. Again Goltz Paşa performed the formal decoration. He actually brought the medal back with him from the trip to Berlin, and the Sultan received the medal on 11 April.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.3] „Tak vida,“ řekl pro sebe Švejk, sleduje se zájmem přehled denních událostí, „sultán vyznamenal císaře Viléma válečnou medalií, a já nemá dosud ani malou stříbrnou.“

Sources: Hans-Peter Laqueur, Petr Novák, Jaroslav Šerák


Cukrář Bělčickýnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Confectioners near U kalicha in 1910


Bělčický was a confectioner who is mentioned by Švejk when he refuses to let Katy Wendler into the flat of Oberleutnant Lukáš. cukrář Bělčický let in a stranger who had then run away with the cash till. It is clear that the confectioners shop was located in the street where Švejk lived.


cukrář Bělčický probably has a real model and there were several confectioners in the area where we assume the Good Soldier lived. Na Bojišti had two in 1910, and there was also one in Vávrova třída. Still none of them are listed with Bělčický as proprietor, and even when including all of Prague there appears to be no confectioner with this name.

A certain Václav Pospíšil owned several confectioner shops in this area, one of them in No. 10, two houses down from U kalicha. It is therefore possible that some cukrář Bělčický was the branch manager here.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.4] Teď zavřu byt, tak bych prosil, abyste laskavě vodešla. Mně není nic oznámenýho a žádnou cizí osobu, kterou neznám, zde nemůžu nechat v bytě. Jako jednou u nás v ulici u cukráře Bělčickýho nechali jednoho člověka a on si votevřel šatník a utek.


Erzherzog Karl Franz Josephnn flag
*17.8.1887 Persenbeug-Gottsdorf - †1.4.1922 Funchal
Wikipedia czdeenhuno Search Švejkův slovník



Neue Freie Presse20.4.1915.


Světová válka 1914-1915 slovem i obrazem s. 555.


Illustrierte Geschichte des Weltkrieges 1914-15..

Karl Franz Joseph is mentioned indirectly as "the Austrian heir to the throne" when Švejk escorts Katy Wendler to the barracks where Oberleutnant Lukáš teaches. The soldier enters a conversation with the guard and wears an expression as stupid as that seen on a picture with the Austrian heir to the throne in Kronika světové války.

He enters the plot again in [I.15] in a horrible dream Oberleutnant Lukáš suffers after the dog theft. In [III.1], during the dream of Kadett Biegler on the way to Budapest, he is mentioned under his full name. There is a portrait of him hanging on the wall at k.u.k. Gottes Hauptquartier.


Karl Franz Joseph (baptised Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Marie von Habsburg-Lothringen) was in 1915 heir to the Austrian and Hungarian thrones. He was the eldest son of Archduke Otto, brother of Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand. He became emperor and king when Kaiser Franz Joseph I. died on 21 November 1916.

His reign was less repressive than his predecessor's as he gave an extensive amnesty to political prisoners. He also tried to negotiate a separate peace with the Entente, albeit without notifying his allies. Karl was the last emperor of the Habsburg family. He was beatified in 2004.

Karl and the pilots

Before he ascended the thrones he visited the front frequently, and he often featured in illustrated magazines like Wiener Illustrierte Zeitung. In the context of The Good Soldier Švejk the most important photo of him is one that was printed in Kronika světové války in 1915 and is reproduced verbatim in the novel.

The picture shows the heir to the throne together with two pilots who have downed a Russian plane. It was printed also in other newspapers, and then with additional explanatory details. The two airmen shown were the Germans Johann Offermann and Erwin von Sprungmann. The photo was taken by Czernowitz in Bukovina (now Чернівці in Ukraine) and hails from the first half of 1915. The heir to the throne visited Černovci on 19 April 1915 and the photo was probably taken during this visit.

The good soldier Švejk in captivity

In Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí the heir to the throne (now in 1917 emperor and king) is simply classed as brain-damaged.[1]

A císař Karel, ještě když byl arciknížetem, prohlásil na rautu, že srovná se zemí celé Rusko.

Karel I. v útlém mládí byl stižen vodnatostí dutin mozkových a ošetřován byl ve vodoléčebném ústavě dr. Guggenbühla na Abenbergu u Interlakenu ve Švýcařích.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.4] Tím byl nadobro ukončen pokus dohovořit se se Švejkem a další cesta do kasáren šla v naprostém mlčení. Jedině když již stáli u kasáren, Švejk vyzval mladou dámu, aby počkala, a dal se do hovoru s vojáky ve vratech o vojně, z čehož musela mít mladá dáma náramnou radost, poněvadž chodila nervosně po chodníku a tvářila se velice nešťastně, když viděla, že Švejk pokračuje ve svých výkladech s tak hloupým výrazem, jaký bylo možno vidět též na fotografii uveřejněné v té době v „Kronice světové války“: „Rakouský následník trůnu rozmlouvá se dvěma letci, sestřelivšími ruský aeroplán“.
[I.15] Šel též spat a v noci se mu zdálo o Švejkovi, že Švejk ukradl také koně následníkovi trůnu, přivedl mu ho a následník trůnu že toho koně při přehlídce poznal, když on, nešťastný nadporučík Lukáš, na něm jel před svou rotou.
[III.1] Uprostřed pokoje, ve kterém po stěnách visely podobizny Františka Josefa a Viléma, následníka trůnu Karla Františka Josefa, generála Viktora Dankla, arcivévody Bedřicha a šéfa generálního štábu Konráda z Hötzendorfu, stál pán bůh.

Sources: Milan Hodík


1Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetíJaroslav Hašek1917
General Kusmanek von Burgneustädten, Hermannnn flag
*16.9.1860 Sibiu (Hermannstadt) - †7.8.1934 Wien
Wikipedia deenhunlplru Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Österreichische Illustrierte Zeitung15.8.1915.


Kuryer Lwowski1.2.1914.

Kusmanek is mentioned by Švejk in a conversation about how the war progresses. Kusmanek is said to have arrived in Kiev. This conversation takes place whilst awaiting orders from Oberleutnant Lukáš about what to do with Katy Wendler. Švejk refers to him as General Kusmanek.


Kusmanek was an Austrian infantry general and commander of the Przemyśl fortress during the two Russian sieges in 1914-1915. He was considered one of the more capable Austrian commanders and earned the nickname "The Lion of Przemyśl" in 1914. After the capitulation of the fortress on 22 March 1915 he and the nearly 120,000 strong garrison became prisoners of war in Russia.

Before the war

Kusmanek was the son of a highranking police officer, Josef Kusmanek, who for many years headed the security police in Vienna. Already as a 19-year old he graduated from the military academy in Wiener Neustadt. His career then progressed via, amongst others: Infanterieregiment Nr. 63, k.u.k. Kriegsministerium, IR73 and from 1903 k.u.k. Generalstab. On 16 February 1906 Oberst Kusmanek was even invited to an official dinner by Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand.

In 1908 he became commander of Infanteriebrigade Nr. 65 in Győr, and from 4 May 1910 by Infanteriedivision Nr. 3 in Linz, From February 1911 he was head of Infanteriedivision Nr. 28 in Ljubljana (Laibach). In Linz he was replaced by Erzherzog Joseph Ferdinand, a member of the imperial family. Kusmanek thus had an unusually short term here, and it is tempting to suggest that he was transferred to make way for a Habsburger.

Kusmanek was promoted to Feldmarschall-Leutnant on 1 November 1910 (with a resulting audience with the Emperor). he was knighted on 1 November 1913 and chose the post-fix "von Burgneustädten". He became fortress commander in Przemyśl on 1 February 1914, a transfer that was to determine his fate.

Authentic quote

Národní Politika4.4.1915.

The information Švejk gives refers to events on 26 March 1915, connected to Kusmanek's arrival in Kiev as prisoner of war. The author has clearly used news items for this passage, and at first glance they seem to be from Národní politika who 4 April printed a snippet that was almost identical to the quote in the novel.


Světová válka 1914-1915 slovem i obrazem, s. 505

The book Světová válka 1914-1915 slovem a obrazem, page 505, contains the same quote and here it is to the letter identical to the wording in the novel. That this is indeed the author's source is confirmed by the sub-title of the page: Kronika světové války. To remove any doubt this page even contains a picture of the successor to the throne Erzherzog Karl Franz Joseph, with subtitles exactly as those used in the novel a few lines earlier.

Prisoner of war



Illustrierte Kronen-Zeitung22.4.1916.

Newspapers provided more comprehensive information. Kusmanek arrived in Kiev on an express train, first class, on 25 March. This was only three days after the capitulation of Przemyśl. He was very well treated in Kiev and even stayed as a guest of the governor. Furthermore his stay in Kiev was of a temporary nature, he was to be sent to the inner parts of Russia for permanent internment.

Reports in the Finnish press (and later also in Austria-Hungary) reveals that we was interned in Nishny Novgorod. He arrived here in late April via Moscow. In April there were also reports the he was internet in the Voronesh Gubernate but this is probably not true.

In Nishny Novgorod the authorities provided rented accommodation and he was allowed to move freely two hours every day. In the beginning he reportedly lived in a hotel. As a prisoner of war he was not allowed to visit public houses, but other reports claimed he was able to move around more or less freely.

In the beginning the conditions were good but deteriorated towards the end of the war. In February 1916 he complained to the Red Cross that the authorities had confiscated material he had prepared about the reasons for the fall of Przemyśl. He had collected the material in anticipation of an investigation on returning to his homeland.

Returning home

Pester Lloyd19.2.1918.

In early 1918 Austria-Hungary and Russia negociated a prisoner exchange where a number of higher officers were involved, amongst them those captured at Przemyśl. On 12 February 1918 Kusmanek left Nishny Novgorod and travelled via Moscow, Petrograd, Vilnius and Warsaw to Vienna. On the 18th he arrived at Nordbahnhof and was greeted by several dignitaries and high ranking officers.

In January 1918 news articles appeared, claiming that he had travelled to Stockholm. Allegedly he and other generals stayed there in anticipation of the conclusion of the peace treaty with Russia, but this is only one of several false news stories regarding his whereabouts during the war.

Three days after returning Kusmanek stood before a military court of honour, a formal investigation that all repatriated officers had to go through. As expected the court cleared him of any wrongdoings. The day before (20 February) he had been invited to see the Emperor, and in March he was awarded the honorary title Geheime Rat. During the war he had in absentia been promoted to Generaloberst.

His latter years

Kusmanek settled in Vienna after the war but was not very active in public life. In 1920 rumours circulated that he had become commander of the Ukrainian Boslhevik's 6th army, a rumour that was soon refuted. In 1923 he suffered a stroke from which he never recovered. The last years of this life he was very ill. Kusmanek died in 1934 and is buried at Wien Zentralfriedhof.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.4] Švejk posadil se na lavici ve vratech a vykládal, že v bitevní frontě karpatské se útoky vojska ztroskotaly, na druhé straně však že velitel Přemyšlu, generál Kusmanek, přijel do Kyjeva a že za námi zůstalo v Srbsku jedenáct opěrných bodů a že Srbové dlouho nevydrží utíkat za našimi vojáky.


Katy Wendlernn flag
Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Katy Wendler was the wife of the hops wholesaler Mr. Wendler and one of the ladies of Oberleutnant Lukáš. She played a prominent role in this chapter as she appears out of the blue to visit the lieutenant when he in turn is expecting Mrs. Micková from Třeboň.

In this delicate situation Švejk comes up with the idea to send a telegram to her husband mentioning her whereabouts. This works and Mr. Wendler comes and fetches the young Katy Wendler, which leads to a long and detailed conversation with Oberleutnant Lukáš about the war and international hop trading in times of crisis.

Before this happens Katy Wendler had commanded the good soldier to turn the residence of Oberleutnant Lukáš inside out and had also enjoyed his company in the bedroom after he had rearranged the flat to her liking. Švejk had received strict orders to please the lady in all her wishes and in this respect he only carried out his duty as a soldier and gentleman.


It has not been possible to identify any real-life model for Katy Wendler although Jan Berwid-Buquoy makes an unconvincing attempt to link her to some Anna Wendler from Liberec. Rudolf Lukas allegedly had a relationship with her in Budějovice in 1915. The story has not been confirmed but it is altogether possible because Lukas spent time in the city between 1 April 1915 and 1 June 1915, recovering after having been wounded in the Carpathians on 15 March. There are however many discrepancies: this lady was not the wife of a hop trader and she wasn't even married. The only connection to some Wendler was her uncle who allegedly was co-owner of a brewery. If there is substance to this theory it is unlikely to be more than a borrowed name. It can be added that there was no Wendler associated with the city's two breweries in 1914 (the uncle could of course have been the brother of Anna's mother). Indeed there were no Wendlers in the address book at all.

If there is substance to this theory it is unlikely to be more than a borrowed name , and more likely gossip or pure invention. If the episode with Katy Wendler is inspired by some real events, it probably has nothing to do with Rudolf Lukas at all. Note that other episodes involving the senior lieutenant like the dog theft are found also in Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí. Here they don't involve Oberleutnant Lukáš but rather Fähnrich Dauerling and the same goes for the scandal with Etelka Kakonyi.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.4] Švejk se právě chystal, že se půjde poohlédnout po nějakém stájovém pinči, když mladá dáma zazvonila a přála si mluvit s nadporučíkem Lukášem
[I.14.4] Lieber Heinrich!

Mein Mann verfolgt mich.
Ich muß unbedingt bei Dir ein paar Tage gastieren.
Dein Bursch ist ein großes Mistvieh. Ich bin unglücklich.

Deine Katy

Sources: Jan Berwid-Buquoy

Mrs. Mickovánn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Micková was a lady from Třeboň who Oberleutnant Lukáš expected a visit from just when Katy Wendler appeared.


It has not been possible to identify any real-life model for Mrs. Micková.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.4] Milý Jindřich byl určitě v ošklivé situaci. Manželka pronásledovaná manželem přijede k němu na několik dní na návštěvu, právě když má přijeti paní Micková z Třeboně, aby po tři dny opakovala to, co mu pravidelně poskytuje každého čtvrt roku, když jede do Prahy dělat nákupy.
Mr. Wendlernn flag
Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Wendler is named 2 times in The Good Soldier Švejk.

Wendler was an intelligent hop merchant, married to Katy Wendler. He came to visit Oberleutnant Lukáš to fetch his wife who had ran away from home. First, Wendler listen impatiently to Lukáš and his description of the war effort, went on to complain about Katy and then ended up describing the hopeless situation in the European hop market now just before Christmas in 1914. Still in the end his wife went home with him!


Wendler does not have any obvious model, but many details from the conversation with Oberleutnant Lukáš have a direct relation to events that took place in late March and early April 1915. Even literal quotes from the newspapers found their way into this conversation, mainly from official battle reports.

All the place names from the Western Front that Wendler mentions appeared in official bulletins and newspaper summaries between 26 March and 4 April 1915, so the author has obviously had access to newspapers or magazines from this period. The main source is no doubt Kronika světové války.

No reliable traces

The address books of Prague do not show up any Wendler who had any connection to hop trade. There were in fact very few people named Wendler in the Czech capital before World War I. The best known Wendler was Antonín who owned a factory that produced gates and fences. He also made equipment for the brewing industry. That said it is clear from the context that the couple didn't live in Praha as Wendler told his wife that the train leaves at 2:20. He had arrived the same morning. See Katy Wendler for a possible connection to some Wendler in Budějovice.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.5] Telegram, který odeslal, byl velice úsečný, obchodní: „Nynější adresa vaší choti je...“ Následovala adresa bytu nadporučíka Lukáše. Tak se stalo, že byla paní Katy velice nepříjemně překvapena, když se vhrnul do dveří obchodník s chmelem. Vypadal velice rozšafně a starostlivě, když paní Katy, neztrácejíc v tom okamžiku rozvahy, představila oba pány: „Můj muž - pan nadporučík Lukáš.“ Na nic jiného nevzpomněla. „Račte se posadit, pane Wendler,“ vybídl přívětivě nadporučík Lukáš, vytahuje z kapsy pouzdro s cigaretami, „není libo?“
[I.14.5] Seděli všichni chvíli mlčky proti sobě, až uznal nadporučík za vhodné přerušit trapnou situaci slovy: „Kdy jste přijel, pane Wendler?“


Hali Beynn flag
*1874 Milas - †2.4.1948 Milas
Wikipedia entr Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Halil Bey in Berlin


Pester Lloyd29.3.1915.


Světová válka slovem i obrazem.


Das interessante Blatt2.12.1915.



Hali Bey is mentioned by Oberleutnant Lukáš when he describes the positive war situation for hop-trader Mr. Wendler. Lukáš could inform his guest that Hali Bey, speaker of Turkish Parliament, had arrived in Vienna accompanied by Ali Bey.


Hali Bey (correct Halil Bey, later he took the name Halil Menteşe) was a Turkish politician and one of the leaders of the Young Turk Movement, and for a while chairman of the associated Committee of Union and Progress. Halil served as MP from 1908 to 1918. He was educated as a lawyer, and completed part of his studies in France.

Some time before December 1909 he became chairman of the Committee, the de-facto ruling party after the Young Turk Revolution (1908). In February 1911 he accepted the post of minister of the interior after some deliberation. It was a critical period with considerable unrest amongst the minorities of the empire. His first task was to deal with a Albanian rebellion, and he strived to alleviate the tension by allowing the Latin alphabet to be used in Albanian schools. On 15 May 1912 he became speaker of the lower chamber of Turkish Parliament (re-elected 13 May 1914), on 24 October 1915 foreign minister and in 1917 minister of justice.

According to US ambassador Henry Morgenthau Halil didn't approve of the genocide of the Armenians, but still defended it officially. In an interview with Berliner Tageblatt in 1915 he stated that "the Armenians are traitors, we must finish with them". Halil was politically active also in the new Turkish republic that was formed after the collapse of the Ottoman empire.

Journey to Vienna

In March 1915 he set out on a journey to capital cities on the Balkans and in Central Europe. On this journey Halil Bey stopped in Sofia (14 March), Bucharest (15 March), Budapest (16 March), Vienna (18 March), Berlin (from 19 March), and again in Vienna (28 March). The main purpose of the journey was to meet leading foreign policy makers in person, particularly in Berlin where he stayed for a longer period.

Quotes from periodicals

It is the visit to Vienna on 28 March 1915 that is directly referred to in the novel. Everything indicates that the author fetched the fragment about Hali Bey and Ali Bey and their arrival in Vienna directly from Světová válka slovem i obrazem (see Kronika světové války). On page 506 in this publication the phrase that is used in the novel can be found, including the erroneous spelling of Halil (in "Kronika" and in the novel he is "Hali"). The same quote also appeared in Rozkvět on 10 April and in Národní politika on 4 April. In the two latter publications the wording is however slightly different and Halil is here correctly spelled.

Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, Henry Morgenthau, 1919

Soon after this interview Saïd Halim ceased to be Minister for Foreign Affairs; his successor was Halil Bey, who for several years had been Speaker of the Turkish Parliament. Halil was a very different type of man. He was much more tactful, much more intelligent, and much more influential in Turkish affairs. He was also a smooth and oily conversationalist, good natured and fat, and by no means so lost to all decent sentiments as most Turkish politicians of the time. It was generally reported that Halil did not approve the Armenian proceedings, yet his official position compelled him to accept them and even, as I now discovered, to defend them. Soon after obtaining his Cabinet post, Halil called upon me and made a somewhat rambling explanation of the Armenian atrocities. I had already had experiences with several official attitudes toward the persecutions; Talaat had been bloodthirsty and ferocious, Enver subtly calculating, while the Grand Vizier had been testy. Halil now regarded the elimination of this race with the utmost good humour. Not a single aspect of the proceeding, not even the unkindest things I could say concerning it, disturbed his equanimity in the least. He began by admitting that nothing could palliate these massacres, but, he added that, in order to understand them, there were certain facts that I should keep in mind.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.5] „Turci se drží dobře,“ odpověděl nadporučík, uváděje ho opět ke stolu, „předseda turecké sněmovny Hali bej a Ali bej přijeli do Vídně.

Sources: Hans-Peter Laqueur, Petr Novák

Also written:Hali bej Hašek


Ali Beynn flag
Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

EMIR ALI PASHA Vice President of the Turkish Parliament, Who Was Sent to Berlin to Take Back to Turkey Mohammedan Prisoners Captured from the Allies.(Photo from Press Illustrating Co.)

The New York Times Current History March 1915.


Pilsner Tagblatt 29.3.1915.


Wiener Zeitung30.3.1915.



Ali Bey is mentioned by Oberleutnant Lukáš when he explains Mr. Wendler Turkey's role in the war. He could inform his guest that the Turks are holding their ground and that Ali Bey and Hali Bey had arrived in Vienna.


Ali Bey no doubt refers to Emir Ali Paşa. The author uses the term "bej" but this is an misquote that appeared in some Czech newspapers, amongst them Národní politika, Rozkvět and Kronika světové války.

Emir Ali was the son of the Algerian national hero Abd El-Kader El Djezairi, who from 1855 lived in Damascus. Emir Ali Paşa was from May 1914 member of the Lower Chamber of Turkish Parliament and at the same time he was first vice-chairman of the chamber.

In mid March 1915 he travelled to Berlin to negotiate about transfer of British and French Muslim prisoners of war to the Ottoman Empire. The plan was to employ them in the war against Great Britain. On the way back he stopped in Vienna. The stay lasted from 28 to 30 March 1915 and he stayed at Hotel Bristol. He travelled from Berlin to Vienna together with Halil Bey. From Vienna he returned directly to Constantinople.

Quote from the press

The quote from Národní politika, Rozkvět and Kronika světové války is nearly identical to the quote in the novel and several other snippets from the same pages appear in the conversation with Mr. Wendler. It is this brief news item about the visit in Vienna that six years later found its way into a world famous novel. The incorrect news items in the Czech press that the author made use of complicated the effort to identify Emir Ali, but a comparison with similar quotes from the Viennese press puts all doubt to rest.

Hans-Peter Laqueur

Yusuf Hikmet Bayur, Türk İnkılabı Tarihi, vol 3, part 3 (Türk Tarih Kurumu yayınları, VIII. dizi, sayı 14, Ankara 1991 [last reprint]) p. 422 states that Emir Ali Paşa, deputy chairman of the Meclis-i Mebusan, was the eldest son of Abd el-Kader. The author, historian, born 1881, was an „eye-witness“, he was in his adult life when Emir Ali was elected in 1914, and his account seems reliable enough for me to say that Emir Ali must have been the son of Abd el-Kader.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.5] „Turci se drží dobře,“ odpověděl nadporučík, uváděje ho opět ke stolu, „předseda turecké sněmovny Hali bej a Ali bej přijeli do Vídně.

Sources: Petr Novák, Hans-Peter Laqueur

Also written:Ali bej Hašek


Marschall Liman von Sanders, Otto Viktor Karlnn flag
*17.2.1855 Stolp (Słupsk) - †22.8.1929 München
Wikipedia deennotr Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Middagsavisen, 6.4.1915


Světová válka 1914-1915 slovem i obrazem, s. 506


Venkov, 25.8.1929

Liman von Sanders has according to Oberleutnant Lukáš been appointed supreme commander of the Turkish army of the Dardanelles. This was in the conversation with Mr. Wendler. Lukáš could also inform that Liman held the rank of marshal.


Liman von Sanders was a German cavalry general and Turkish marshal, best known for his role as advisor and military commander in Turkey. He was instrumental in thwarting the British-French expedition force by the Dardanelles in 1915.

In 1913 he was given the task of re-organizing the Turkish army after the disastrous setbacks in the Balkans Wars of 1912 and 1913. Initially he was corps commander of Constantinople but was on 24 March 1915 appointed commander of the newly formed 5th Army and it is the news of this appointment that appears in The Good Soldier Švejk with the words of Oberleutnant Lukáš.

Towards the end of the war he was commander of the Asia-Corps, and after the war he was arrested by the British, accused of war crimes against Armenians and Greeks, but released due to lack of evidence. He returned to Germany in 1919 and settled in Munich where he lived for the rest of his life.

Time shift

The timing of the appointment mentioned by Lukáš is at odds with historical facts. It seems that Hašek used printed material from 1915 to construct this part of the plot, but "moved" the event to December 1914. The phrase that Lukáš uses is to the letter identical to that found in Národní politika 4 April 1915 and also in Kronika světové války.

Similar time-shifts occur elsewhere in the novel. See Siedliska.

Hans-Peter Laqueur

When explaining the war situation to Mr. Wendler (December 20th, 1914), Lukasch mentions that Field Marshall Liman von Sanders has been made commander in chief of the Turkish Army at the Dardanelles: Otto Liman von Sanders was a Prussian General, and Ottoman Marshall, he was made CiC of the Ottoman 5th army (Dardanelles) March 24th, 1915 (cf. Liman von Sanders, Fünf Jahre Türkei, G(Berlin) 1920, p. 77).

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.5] „Turci se drží dobře,“ odpověděl nadporučík, uváděje ho opět ke stolu, „předseda turecké sněmovny Hali bej a Ali bej přijeli do Vídně. Vrchním velitelem turecké armády dardanelské jmenován maršálek Liman šl. Sanders. Goltz paša přijel z Cařihradu do Berlína a naším císařem byli vyznamenáni Enver paša, viceadmirál Usedom paša a generál Dževad paša. Poměrně hodně vyznamenání za tak krátkou dobu.“


Goltz Paşa, Colmar von dernn flag
*12.8.1843 Adlig Bieken-feld (Labiau) - †19.4.1916 Bagdad
Wikipedia deennotr Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Das interessante Blatt13.8.1914.


Světová válka 1914-1915 slovem i obrazem, s. 506


Světová válka 1914-1915 slovem i obrazem, s. 529


Pester Lloyd22.4.1916.

Goltz Paşa has according to Oberleutnant Lukáš arrived in Berlin from Constantinople. This is at least what he comforts Mr. Wendler with his account about the situation in the war.


Goltz Paşa was a German general, military historian and author. From 1883 he was responsible for reorganizing the Turkish army, and after returning to Germany in 1895 he held several high positions; amongst them army corps commander and army inspector. In 1914 the now retired general was appointed military governor in occupied Belgium, and from December he became an adviser to Turkey.

Travel to Berlin

The trip that Oberleutnant Lukáš refers to actually occurred: Goltz arrived in Berlin from Constantinople on 29 March 1915. The phrase about Goltz is word by word identical to an item in Kronika světové války in 1915, and then in Národní politika on 4 April 1915. This is one of many items from the conversation between the hop trader and the officer that are be borrowed from the same source.

He returned to Constantinople on 4 April 1915 and stopped in Vienna for a conversation with Kaiser Franz Joseph I..

Hans-Peter Laqueur

Goltz died in Baghdad 1916 of typhus and was buried there immediately, as the transport of a body died from an infectious disease was prohibited. After a couple of months(?, still in 1916) a solution was found and his coffin was transferred to Istanbul and re-buried in the German military cemetery at G(Tarabya), in the grounds of the German Embassy's summer residence. In 1918 the Kaiser visited the grave there. It had been planned to move the coffin to Germany after the war, but this did not happen and his grave is still there.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.5] „Turci se drží dobře,“ odpověděl nadporučík, uváděje ho opět ke stolu, „předseda turecké sněmovny Hali bej a Ali bej přijeli do Vídně. Vrchním velitelem turecké armády dardanelské jmenován maršálek Liman šl. Sanders. Goltz paša přijel z Cařihradu do Berlína a naším císařem byli vyznamenáni Enver paša, viceadmirál Usedom paša a generál Dževad paša. Poměrně hodně vyznamenání za tak krátkou dobu.“

Sources: Hans-Peter Laqueur

Also written:Goltz paša Hašek


Enver Paşann flag
*22.11.1881 Istanbul - †4.8.1922 Baldusjan (Tadjikistan)
Wikipedia czdeennotr Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Světová válka 1914-1915 slovem i obrazem s. 507.


Norwich Bulletin 18.8.1922.

Enver Paşa is one of several Ottoman politicians and officers that Oberleutnant Lukáš mentions when trying to reassure Mr. Wendler about the war contribution of the Ottoman Empire. He can reveal that Enver has been decorated by the emperor.


Enver Paşa (İsmail Enver) was a Turkish politician and general. He was minister of war during World War I, and by some regarded as de facto dictator. In retrospect he is seen as a poor military leader; the war against Russia was not a success. He is also largely held responsible for the mass killings of Armenians in 1915, whom he had accused of being fifth columnists.

When the war ended, he fled to Germany and later to Russia. After first having co-operated with the Soviet government he turned against them and in Tajikistan he was killed fighting the Red Army.

Decorated by Franz Josef

Enver was indeed decorated by Kaiser Franz Joseph I. together with Usedom Paşa and Cevat Paşa, exactly as Oberleutnant Lukáš told Mr. Wendler. The decoration was announced on 30 March 1915. He was awarded the medal Militärverdienstkreuz 1. klasse. There was also a fourth decorated officer mentioned in the official news. Kontreadmiral Merten was however left out by the author.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.5] „Turci se drží dobře,“ odpověděl nadporučík, uváděje ho opět ke stolu, „předseda turecké sněmovny Hali bej a Ali bej přijeli do Vídně. Vrchním velitelem turecké armády dardanelské jmenován maršálek Liman šl. Sanders. Goltz paša přijel z Cařihradu do Berlína a naším císařem byli vyznamenáni Enver paša, viceadmirál Usedom paša a generál Dževad paša. Poměrně hodně vyznamenání za tak krátkou dobu.“

Also written:Enver Paša cz Enver Pascha de Enver Paşa tr


Usedom Paşa, Guido vonnn flag
*2.10.1854 Quanditten (Sinjavino) - †24.2.1925 Schwerin
Wikipedia denotr Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Feldblatt 1.4.1915.


Světová válka 1914-1915 slovem i obrazem s. 507.


Hašek's manuscript: Merten nearly had his name mentioned in Švejk (page 156)


Usedom Paşa is mentioned when Oberleutnant Lukáš tries to reassure Mr. Wendler about the war situation. He can reveal that vice-admiral Usedom Pasha has been decorated by our emperor (i.e. Kaiser Franz Joseph I.).


Usedom Paşa was a German naval officer and ultimately vice-admiral who from August 1914 led the special command of the German navy in Turkey (Sonderkommando Kaiserliche Marine Türkei). He also led the Turkish forces in the Battle of the Dardanelles and was given a large share of the credit for repealing the Allied invaders.

Decorated by the Emperor

Like with the other names that Oberleutnant Lukáš mentions for Mr. Wendler regarding the Turkish war effort the quote is cut directly from Kronika světové války. The background is the fact that Usedom on 30 March 1915 was awarded the medal Militärverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse by Kaiser Franz Joseph I., together with two other Turkish officers: Enver Paşa and Cevat Paşa.

Johannes Merten: the man Lukáš overlooked

In the decorations mentioned by Kronika světové války, Národní politika and other publications, a fourth Turkish officer appear. He was rear admiral Mertens but unlike the three others he is never mentioned by Oberleutnant Lukáš.

Studies of the novel's manuscript however reveal that the admiral was extremely close to achieve a place in world literature. In the manuscript, after "Dževad paša", can be seen the letters "a kon" but these have been crossed over so the author obviously changed his mind at the last moment. There is no doubt that "kon" here is the start of "kontredmirál" which is the exact wording in Kronika světové války.

It could also be added that Mertens is misspelt and that his rank in 1915 was Vizeadmiral and not Konteradmiral (rear admiral). The real name of this German naval officer serving in the Ottoman armed forces was Johannes Merten (1857-1926). He was pensioned in 1910 but after the outbreak of war he took up a command in the Turkish army by the Dardanelles. He was also a well-known pilot and in 1912 newspapers refer to him as president of the German airmen association.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.5] „Turci se drží dobře,“ odpověděl nadporučík, uváděje ho opět ke stolu, „předseda turecké sněmovny Hali bej a Ali bej přijeli do Vídně. Vrchním velitelem turecké armády dardanelské jmenován maršálek Liman šl. Sanders. Goltz paša přijel z Cařihradu do Berlína a naším císařem byli vyznamenáni Enver paša, viceadmirál Usedom paša a generál Dževad paša. Poměrně hodně vyznamenání za tak krátkou dobu.“

Also written:Usedom paša cz Usedom Pascha de


Cevat Paşann flag
*14.9.1870 Istanbul - †13.3.1938 Istanbul
Wikipedia entr Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Das interessante Blatt9.9.1915.


Světová válka 1914-1915 slovem i obrazem s. 507.

Cevat Paşa was according to Oberleutnant Lukáš a Turkish general who had been decorated by our emperor.


Cevat Paşa (Cevat Çobanlı) was a Turkish general and commander of the Gallipoli fortress who distinguished himself in the battle of the Dardanelles on 18 March 1915. He was also given the nick-name Hero of 18 March. Cevat was awarded the title Paşa after the battle, was congratulated by Kaiser Wilhelm II., and from newspaper clips it is obvious that he was educated in Germany.


At the end of the month he was awarded Militärverdienstkreuz 2. klasse by Kaiser Franz Joseph I. and this is the event that Oberleutnant Lukáš refers to. The entire sequence about the decorations has been cut from Kronika světové války.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14] „Turci se drží dobře,“ odpověděl nadporučík, uváděje ho opět ke stolu, „předseda turecké sněmovny Hali bej a Ali bej přijeli do Vídně. Vrchním velitelem turecké armády dardanelské jmenován maršálek Liman šl. Sanders. Goltz paša přijel z Cařihradu do Berlína a naším císařem byli vyznamenáni Enver paša, viceadmirál Usedom paša a generál Dževad paša. Poměrně hodně vyznamenání za tak krátkou dobu.“

Sources: Hans-Peter Laqueur

Also written:Dzevad pasha en Dževad paša cz Dschewad pascha de


Marchese di San Giulianonn flag
*10.12.1852 Catania - †16.10.1914 Roma
Wikipedia deenitsv Search Švejkův slovník

Bergens Tidende, 13.10.1914


Světová válka 1914-1915 slovem i obrazem, s. 511

San Giuliano was mentioned by hop trader Mr. Wendler who evidently did not know that San Giuliano had died earlier in the year. Wendler is annoyed because Italy as an ally of the Central Powers still sticks to her neutrality, and he wonders if San Giuliano is asleep. He had after all renewed the treaty woth the Central Powers in 1912.

The conversation between Mr. Wendler and Oberleutnant Lukáš took place shortly before Christmas in 1914, two months after the death of the Italian foreign minister, so San Giuliano was definitely "asleep".


San Giuliano was an Italian politician who held the post of foreign secretary when the war started. He advocated neutrality but was already dead when Italy entered the war on the side of the Entente, on 23 May 1915. His real name was Antonino Paternò Castello.

Paternò-Castello originated from a noble family on Sicily, and received a good education in Vienna, London and Catania. From 1882 he was a member of the national assembly, from 1889 minister of various ministries, and from December 1905 foreign secretary. Politically he was liberal and anti-clerical, in foreign affairs he tried to balance between the blocks to the benefit of Italy. Before he became minister of foreign affairs he had been ambassador to London and Paris.

His successor as foreign secretary was Sidney Sonnino who was one of the politicians who eventually led Italy to declare war on her former partners.

Kronika světové války (Chronicle of the World War)

Many fragments from the conversation between the hop trader and the officer are picked from Kronika světové války, and probably this also applies to details around San Giuliano. In this case it is from page 511 where the chronicle mentions he as foreign minister renewed the Triple Alliance treaty in 1912, exactly as Mr. Wendler says.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.5] Chmel mně ve skladištích hnije, uzávěrky domácí jsou slabé, export rovná se nule, a Italie zachovává neutralitu. Proč Italie obnovovala ještě v roce 1912 s námi trojspolek? Kde je italský ministr zahraničních záležitostí markýz di San Giuliano? Co dělá ten pán? Spí nebo co? Víte, jaký jsem měl do vojny roční obrat a jaký mám dnes?


Blahníknn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Blahník was a dog-trader who conspired with Švejk in the attempt to steal a dog for Oberleutnant Lukáš, and he actually stole the stable pincher Fox in [I.15]. The dubious deed was planned in a small pub by the Zámecké schody in Malá Strana. See Malý výčep piva.

About Blahník it is revealed that he had worked at a kennel above Klamovka. As opposed to Švejk he stole the dogs, but was only interested in thoroughbreds. He knew all the dogs in Prague and surroundings and was a master at his dark art, and had been in court many times. Once he had been bitten by a dog, was infected with rabies, sent to the Pasteur-Institut in Vienna where he felt quite at home. Before the war when Švejk still made a living by selling dogs, it was Blahník who provided him with animals. Blahník is mentioned 12 times in the novel, all in connection with the dog theft and the planning of it.


is not a very frequent family name, and only four entries appear in the Prague address book from 1910. None of those can conceivably be linked to animal trade or any similar activity. Thus we must assume that any model for Blahník was a person with another surname, trading in dogs, and associated with Psinec nad Klamovkou.

Ladislav Čížek

Jednou za čas, Josef Mach, June 1918

Some of Hašek's stories set at Klamovka give useful clues. Můj obchod se psy (My trade with dogs) features a man who bears many similarities with Blahník, a certain Ladislav Čížek from Košíře. Čížek also plays an important role in the story Má drahá přitelkyně Julča (Me dear friend Julie) where he actually works for the kennel of Mr. Fuchs above Klamovka.

Čížek is also mentioned in Strana mírného pokroku v mezích zákona, again as a servant at the kennel of Mr. Fuchs. Here he is described as a brute who beats the animals at will. Hašek even signed a couple of stories using his name, although these were not related to animals.

All in all there is little doubt that Ladislav Čížek is the main inspiration for Blahník.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.6] „Je to opravdu stájový pinč? Můj obrlajtnant jinýho nechce.“ „Fešák stájovej pinč. Pepř a sůl, dovopravdy čistokrevnej, jako že ty jseš Švejk a já Blahník. Mně jde vo to, co žere, to mu dám a přivedu ti ho.“
[I.14.6] Oba přátelé si opět ťukli. Ještě když Švejk se živil prodejem psů do vojny, Blahník mu je dodával.

Sources: Jaroslav Šerák, Radko Pytlík


Puntíknn flag

Dva tucty povídek, 1927

Puntík (Spotty) was a black spitz dog from Klamovka, mentioned in the conversation between Blahník and Švejk as they were planning the dog theft. Puntík was a dog that Blahník stole and handed in at PBK. This dog was very choosy when it came to food so the thief tried out several delicacies before he finally got him on a lead. The whole operation lasted for three days.


Puntík is like many other names in the novel re-use of a theme from one of Hašek's Pre-war stories. He and the cat Balíček are the main characters in the story Kaťouráci, first printed in Světozor 31 December 1914.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.6] Tak jsem musel koupit kotletu. Dal jsem mu ji očichat a běžím, pes za mnou. Paní křičela: ,Puntíku, Puntíku,’ ale kdepak milej Puntík. Za kotletou běžel až za roh, tam jsem mu dal řetízek na krk a druhej den už byl v psinci nad Klamovkou.


Foxnn flag
Search Švejkova cesta Švejkův slovník

Prager Tagblatt31.3.1915.


Prager Tagblatt31.3.1915.

Fox was the stable pincher who was to be stolen by Blahnik and Švejk and given to Oberleutnant Lukáš. He was renamed Max when he got a new owner and a new impressive pedigree. Fox is first mentioned when Švejk ingratiatingly asks the maid of the dog owner (Oberst Kraus) about the animals eating habits.


The dog stories have like most elements in The Good Soldier Švejk clear connections to the authors own life and experiences. For a short while in 1910-11 Jaroslav Hašek ran his own Cynological institute below Klamovka (see Psinec nad Klamovkou). He allegedly falsified pedigrees, just like Švejk did (or his assistant more likely did).

On 31 March 1915 Prager Tagblatt printed a small advert that asked for news about a stolen dog. The advert has some striking links to the dog story in the novel. It requested information about the dog to be delivered for a 30 crown at Hotel Black Horse at Na Příkopě. This is the very street were Oberst Kraus encountered his stolen pet.

We know that Jaroslav Hašek made use of newspaper items from exactly this period when he wrote this chapter. Several snippets from these publications are more or less literally quoted in the novel, particularly in the conversation between Mr. Wendler and Oberleutnant Lukáš. See Kronika světové války for more on this theme.

Ivan Štern, Český rozhlas

Z románu víme, že plukovník inzeroval v obou v Praze německy vycházejících listech. V Bohemii a v Prager Tagblattu. A vskutku: Z vydání Prager Tagblattu z 31. března 1915 se na nás obrací zoufalé inzerentovo volání: „Pes, stájový pinč, hrubosrstý, byl odcizen. Odměna 30 K tomu, kdo o něm poskytne zprávu do hotelu „Černý oř“, Praha, Příkopy.“

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.6] „Tak to je tedy váš pejsek,“ přerušil ji Švejk, „to je škoda, že můj obrlajtnant nemůže žádnýho psa vystát, já mám velice rád psy.“ Odmlčel se a náhle vyrazil: „Každej pes ale taky všechno nežere.“ „Náš Fox si strašně vybírá, jeden čas nechtěl vůbec jíst maso, až teď opět.“ „A co žere nejradši?“„Játra, vařená játra.“


Butcher Pejcharnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Chytilův adresář 1915.


Pejchar is mentioned when Švejk talks to the maid of Oberst Kraus, who is out walking the soon to be stolen dog. Švejk asks her if she knows the butcher Pejchar at Protivín náměstí. She answers that he is actually her brother.


In the address book of 1915 no Pejchar is listed in Protivín. According to 1910 census there were two butchers at Protivín náměstí but none of them were named Pejchar[a].

The surname is today quite rare in Bohemia and totally absent in Protivín, Písek, Budějovice and other places in the south. By far the highest density is actually in the region of Světla nad Sázavou that includes Lipnice[b]. This indicates that Hašek may have picked up the name after arriving at Lipnice. This hypothesis is however weakened by the fact the this sequence of the novel appears so early that one assumes that the author still lived in Prague (he arrived at Lipnice on 25 August 1921). The exact dates of the publishing of the various instalments of The Good Soldier Švejk are however unknown.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.6] „Tak jsme nedaleko od sebe,“ odpověděl Švejk, „já jsem z Protivína.“ Tato znalost místopisu českého jihu, nabytá kdysi při manévrech v tom kraji, naplnila srdce dívky krajanským teplem. „Tak znáte v Protivíně na náměstí řezníka Pejchara?“
aPo cestách Švejkovy budějovické anabázeMiroslav Vítek2020
bPříjmení, počet výskytů v celé ČRKdeJsme.cz2011 - 2023
Jareš z Ražicnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Jareš z Ražic (Jareš from Ražice) is mentioned when Švejk is in a conversation with the maid of Oberst Kraus, trying to find out as much as possible about the dog that he and Blahník plan to steal. Švejk's alleged father was from Ražice, was 68 years old, and delivered beer.


This person and three like named figures from the novel are not doubt inspired by the author's grandfather. See pondwarden Jareš.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.6] „Toho tam mají u nás všichni rádi,“ řekl Švejk, „von je moc hodnej, úslužnej, má dobrý maso a dává dobrou váhu.“ „Nejste vy Jarešův?“ otázala se dívka, začínajíc sympatisovat s neznámým vojáčkem. „Jsem.“ „A kterýho Jareše, toho z Krče u Protivína, nebo z Ražic?“ „Z Ražic.“


Factory owner Vydra, Františeknn flag
*20.4.1869 Vráž - †29.9.1921 Praha
Wikipedia cz Search Švejkův slovník

Frantíšek Vydra

Vydra was a factory owner who had his Saint Bernhard dog stolen by Blahník. This is evident from a conversation between Švejk and Blahník as they are planning to steal a dog for Oberleutnant Lukáš.


Vydra surely was, as most seemingly fictional persons in The Good Soldier Švejk, a real person. In this respect a candidate would be Frantíšek Vydra (1869-1921), a factory owner and inventor that Hašek surely knew about.

Vydra was educated as a brewer and in 1893 he bought the brewery in Dobrovíz but soon converted it to a foodstuff factory. In 1898 he moved production to a former sugar refinery at Na Rokosce in Libeň that he converted and expanded. The official name was Vydrova továrna požívatin. It manufactured nutrition products, amongst them coffee substitutes, grog, fruit juice, baking powder soup tins etc. The factory advertised regularly and seems to have been well known at the time. In it's most successful period before World War I Vydra employed close to 300 people. Their best known product was a coffee substitute made from rye malt.

Whether or not Vydra at some time owned a St. Bernard dog and if the animal ever was stolen has not been confirmed!

Today the building houses the Institute of rock structure and mechanics (Ústav struktury a mechaniky hornin).

Misuse of brand names

In 1901 the company Kathreiner Malzkaffeefabriken from Munich successfully sued Vydra and other companies for having branded their own products illegally. Vydra was fined 200 crowns and ordered to destroy all goods labelled with the "Kathreiner" brand. The Bavarian company had throughout the year warned in adverts that illicitly branded products were circulating in the marked.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.6] „Pohostím ho hovězíma,“ rozhodl se Blahník, „na ty jsem už dostal bernardýna továrníka Vydry, náramně věrný zvíře. Zejtra ti psa přivedu v pořádku.“

Sources: Bohumil Tesařík


Stationer Fuchsnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Adresář ... 1910, Papírníci.


The retail outlet in Melantrichova 465/11, Praha I.


Adresář ... 1910


Hynek Fuchs in Staré město (Old town)


Almanach der k. k. österreichischen Staatsbahnen, 1915/1916

Fuchs was a stationer from whom Blahník bought a blank pedigree form for dogs. He then instructed Švejk on how to fill it in with invented names of the forefathers of the stolen dog Fox (now renamed Max).


Fuchs no doubt refers to a real stationer but it is difficult to say exactly what enterprise Blahník refers to. One must anyway assume that it was a specialist shop because pedigree forms for dogs were surely not available in common stationer's shops.

The surname Fuchs was very common in Prague, but there is only one stationary shop Fuchs listed in the address book. Listed is also a paper factory in Česká Kamenice with head offices in Mikulášská třída in Praha. Both are places where Blahník may have bought the blank pedigree forms, but with the former as the prime candidate.

Hynek Fuchs

Closer investigations reveal that both firms had the same roots. They were owned by two brothers and had existed as a single enterprise until 1908. The company can be traced back to 1793, but it was the father of the brothers, the Jewish businessman Ignaz Fuchs (cz. Hynek) (1824-1890), who led the company to become one of the leaders in this market segment.

In 1868 Fuchs bought a paper factory in Česká Kamenice that he modernised and expanded. When he died the number of employees was nearly 1000 and Fuchs had manufacturing facilities in Prague, Böhmisch Kamnitz (Česká Kamenice), and Vienna. Already from 1873 the firm was recognized as official purveyor to the court. By 1891 stores and offices could be found in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Madrid, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Berlin, Moscow, Petrograd and New York. That year the company had its own pavilion at the country exhibition in Praha, built as a Swiss cottage.

In 1888 the sons Robert (1854-1925) and Artur (1862-1940) took over as owners of the company. In 1908 the Fuchs brothers decided to split and they divided the company in two parts. Robert now owned the factory in Česká Kamenice and an office in Prague whereas the rest remained with Artur who also retained the brand name Hynek Fuchs. Both enterprises remained official purveyors to the court.

In Prague

The main office with a factory and store was located in Michálska 460/31 in Staré město. In the immediate neighbourhood, in Melantrichova 465/11, the company had a retail outlet. It was here in this house U pěti korun the company had its origins. The book printing was located at Václavské náměstí 819/51, and in 1912 a new and larger factory was built in Strašnice.

Range of goods

The range of good was extensive, as witness by a whole-sale catalogue of 670 pages. The company didn't only trade in paper products, they offered a whole range of office and school equipment. They also manufactured various forms but he mentioned catalogue did not include blank pedigrees. On the other hand it refers to detailed price lists for retail goods, so one would assume that empty pedigree forms belonged in this category.

After 1918

In inter-war Czechoslovakia the firm still flourished and the branches in Vienna and Hamburg also continued to operate. After 1922 the Hamburg branch was "aryfied" by the Nazis and the entire comany suffered the same fate after the Nazi occupation of the Czech lands in 1939. Artur Fuchs committed suicide in 1940 and several members of the Fuchs family became victims of Holocaust. What happened to the company Hynek Fuchs after World War II is not known. The paper factory of Robert Fuchs in Česká Kamenice is still operating but it is not clear if production has gone on continuously.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.6] Pak jsem ho, když se nažral, uvázal na řetízek a táh jsem ho přes Václavské náměstí na Vinohrady, až do Vršovic. Po cestě mně vyváděl pravé divy. Když jsem přecházel elektriku, lehl si a nechtěl se hnout. Snad se chtěl dát přeject. Přines jsem s sebou taky čistý rodokmen, kterej jsem koupil u papírníka Fuchse. Ty umíš padělat rodokmeny, Švejku.


Arnheim von Kahlsbergnn flag

Volksfreund, 30.11.1912


Arnheim von Kahlsberg the fictional father of the dog Max (previously Fox), from Hundezwinger von Bülow in Leipzig. He held a first price from the stable pincher exhibition in Berlin in the year of 1912. His name was invented by Blahník for Švejk to use on the stolen dog's pedigree form.


Even if this name (as the rest of the dog- and kennel names) are inventions, it may be that the name Kahlsberg in itself inspired the author. Such a candidate is Schloß Kahlsberg (now Kahlsperg) by Salzburg, but even this is unlikely.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.6] „To musí bejt tvou rukou napsaný. Napiš, že pochází z Lipska, z psince von Bülow. Otec Arnheim von Kahlsberg, matka Emma von Trautensdorf, po otci Siegfried von Busenthal. Otec obdržel první cenu na berlínský výstavě stájových pinčů v roce 1912. Matka vyznamenána zlatou medalií norimberskýho spolku pro chov ušlechtilých psů. Jak myslíš, že je starej?“
Emma von Trautensdorfnn flag

Svět zvířat, 1.6.1910

Emma von Trautensdorf was the fictional mother of the stolen dog Max. She had earned a gold medal from the Nuremberg society for the breeding of thoroughbred dogs.


This name is, like the other names on Max's pedigree (see Fox), surely invented. It is logical to assume that Hašek, when he wrote down these names, drew inspiration from his own experiences, namely as editor of Svět zvířat (1909-1910) and as owner of a Cynological Institute (1910). See Psinec nad Klamovkou.

During Hašek's editorship of Svět zvířat there is a note in the magazine about a dog exhibition in Berlin, where a dog owner Karolina von Welminsdorf, is mentioned. Although her name and information about the dog exhibiton don't correspond to the details from the novel, there is still an air of similarity. More on the theme under Berliner Stallpinscherausstellung .

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.6] „To musí bejt tvou rukou napsaný. Napiš, že pochází z Lipska, z psince von Bülow. Otec Arnheim von Kahlsberg, matka Emma von Trautensdorf, po otci Siegfried von Busenthal. Otec obdržel první cenu na berlínský výstavě stájových pinčů v roce 1912. Matka vyznamenána zlatou medalií norimberskýho spolku pro chov ušlechtilých psů. Jak myslíš, že je starej?“
Siegfried von Busenthalnn flag

Siegfried von Busenthal was the fictional grandfather of the stolen stable pinscher Max (formerly Fox). The name was proposed for Švejk by the dog thief Blahník when the two sat down to write a false pedigree form for "Max".


As an obviously invented name for the dog, the place name Busenthal is the only item left to investigate. It is an extremely rare geographical name, on modern maps it can't be located at all. The similar Busental[1] does however exists by Graz and also by Trier in Germany. Both are names of minor valleys, so it is unlikely that the name could have inspired Blahník to invent the name of Max's grandfather. A more likely source would be one of the German words for breast cleavage: Busental.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.14.6] „To musí bejt tvou rukou napsaný. Napiš, že pochází z Lipska, z psince von Bülow. Otec Arnheim von Kahlsberg, matka Emma von Trautensdorf, po otci Siegfried von Busenthal. Otec obdržel první cenu na berlínský výstavě stájových pinčů v roce 1912. Matka vyznamenána zlatou medalií norimberskýho spolku pro chov ušlechtilých psů. Jak myslíš, že je starej?“
1. Busental is a modern spelling of Busenthal.
Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

15. Catastrophe

Oberst Kraus von Zillergut, Friedrichnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Kraus, Lukáš and Fox/Max, as envisaged by Josef Lada.

Kraus was a colonel at some barracks in Prague (presumably Karlín), he originated from the Salzburg area. He was the owner of the stolen dog Fox (who was named Max for the short period he belonged to Oberleutnant Lukáš).

Kraus was a price idiot and also had plenty of other despicable qualities. He was probably the most stupid of the many officers that are described in the novel. He had a habit of explaining the most obvious things, which drove his colleagues to insanity. Despite of all this he had advanced in the military hierarchy thanks to good connections, a fact the author uses to emphasise the rottenness of the Habsburg Empire.

After running into Oberleutnant Lukáš who was promenading with Fox/Max, Kraus made sure that Lukáš and Švejk were sent to the front. This was an important turning point in the novel which from now on mostly uses military life as a backdrop to the plot.


Colonel Kraus does not have any obvious model from real life, and the author gives little biographical information that could help to identify him. With his grotesque stupidity one must assume that the colonel is a caricature, but some of his character traits may well have been borrowed from officers or other people that Hašek knew. Not even the geographical name Zillergut gives any clue as no such place can be identified, be it on modern maps or in historical newspapers.

The theories of Augustin Knesl

Augustin Knesl, Večerní Praha, 1983


Adresář ... 1910

Seemingly Augustin Knesl is the only researcher that has made a serious attempt at identifying a model for the idiotic colonel. Allegedly he is inspired by a certain Friedrich Kraus who studied civil engineering at the German technical high school in Prague. This Kraus was born in 1880 and Knesl claims that he was a colonel and served at the Prague garrison. Knesl also maintain that Kraus had a mania for explaining the most obvious things.

Unfortunately Knesl's conclusions are unconvincing. As usual he naively accepts information from the novel as facts, and thus concludes that Kraus was a colonel in Prague. However no trace of such a colonel exist, be it in Schematismus (1914) or in the Prague address books. The closest are some reservists, but none of them served in Prague in 1914. Not even in k.k. Landwehr can any such officer be traced.

Friedrich Kraus was a quite common name, so Hašek may well have known a few of them, and there is good reason to believe that Knesl's engineering student actually lived. Apart from this there is little tangible information and the parallel to Knesl's write-up on Feldkurat Katz is striking: the researcher dug out a person with some similarities to the literary figure, but then assumed that additional information can be deduced from The Good Soldier Švejk.

A fellow student

One Kraus who Hašek may have known was Bedřich (Friedrich), a fellow student at the gymnasium in Žitná ulice from 1893 to 1896. This Kraus hailed from Karlín and studied five years above Hašek, so he would probably have been no more than a peripheral acquaintance.

Rector Řežábek

In the Hašek biography The Bad Bohemian, Cecil Parrott notes that rector of Obchodní akademie, Řežábek was detested by the author who targeted him in a scathing satire printed in Karikatury in 1908. Parrott observed that Řežábek, like colonel Kraus, demanded that "sub-ordinates" greet him already at distance and woe betide he who didn't!

Cecil Parrott: "The Bad Bohemian"

Režábek's insistence that the students should greet him from a long way off recalls Colonel Kraus von Zillergut in "The Good Soldier Švejk". Woe betide anyone who failed to notice him! The culprit was given a dressing down before the whole class and his crime was recorded in the class book. In addition his marks for good behaviour were slashed and he was led off to the Rector's office, where he got a second dressing down and his parents were told of his unheard of behaviour.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.15] P(Plukovník Bedřich Kraus), mající též přídomek von Zillergut, po nějaké vesničce v Solnohradech, kterou jeho předkové prožrali již ve století osmnáctém, byl úctyhodným pitomcem.
[I.15] Scházela mu polovička levého ucha, kterou mu usekl jeho protivník za mládí v souboji kvůli prostému konstatování pravdy, že P(Bedřich Kraus von Zillergut) je prachpitomý chlap.
[I.15] Před nadporučíkem stál P(plukovník Kraus von Zillergut). Nadporučík Lukáš zasalutoval a stál před plukovníkem, omlouvaje se, že neviděl.
[I.15] "Pane nadporučíku," hrozným hlasem řekl P(plukovník Kraus), "nižší šarže musí vždy vzdát čest vyšším. To není zrušeno.

Sources: CP, Augustin Knesl

Also written:Bedřich Kraus von Zillergut cz


Mannlicher, Ferdinand Karl Adolf Josefnn flag
*30.1.1848 Mainz - †20.1.1904 Wien
Wikipedia deenno Search Švejkův slovník

Austro-Hungarian Land Forces 1848-19182016.


Nauka o střelbě, Karel Kuhn 1908.


Leitmeritzer Zeitung 23.1.1904.

Mannlicher is indirectly referred to by the Mannlicher rifle, called manlicherovka in the novel. The theme here is Oberst Kraus who was obsessed with this rifle and therefore got the nickname "Mannlicher idiot" (Manlichertrottel).


Mannlicher was an Austrian inventor and small armaments designer, best known for M1895, a series of automatically loading rifles that became the standard hand gun in k.u.k. Heer. The term manclicherovka refers to this gun. The most common version was Infanterie Repetier-Gewehr M1895. The rifles were produced in Steyr and later also in Budapest.

Mannlicher, who hailed from a family in Brüx (now Most) in Bohemia, moved with them to Vienna in 1857. Here he studied machine engineering and made a career as a railway engineer. In 1876 he travelled to Philadelphia for a railway equipment exhibition, and on the side he had a chance to study the patents of various small-arms designs. This was probably the impetus for his career as a small arms designer.

In 1879 his first design for an 11 mm repeater rifle was ready. It underwent several improvements over the next few years, until it in 1886 was introduced in k.u.k. Heer. Two years later the M88, with calibre 8 mm, was introduced, and several models followed until the flagship M1895 was introduced in 1895. Mannlicher also designed pistols and hunting guns. Mannlicher firearms were also widely exported. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest small arms designers in history.

Personal details

Mannlicher remained employed by the railways until 1887 when he finally took up a full position at the Steyr armaments factory, Österreichische Waffen-fabriksaktiengesellschaft. He was by now famous, repeatedly decorated, and in 1892 he was ennobled, choosing the name Ritter von Mannlicher. In 1899 he was awarded life long membership of Herrenhaus, the upper chamber of Reichsrat (the parliament of Cisleithanien). Mannlicher was married with two daughters. In 1904 he died of a heart attack, still only 55.

Hašek and "manlicherovka"

Mannlicher's famous rifle is mentioned by Hašek already in the story "Smrt Horala" (The death of Horal). It was published first in Národní listy on 8 April 1902 and also appeared across the Atlantic in Národní noviny, Baltimore, on 3 May. This was surely the first time ever that Hašek had a story published outside Bohemia.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.15] Při přehlídkách pluku dával se do hovoru s vojáky a ptal se jich vždy jedno a totéž: „Proč se ručnici, zavedené ve vojsku, říká manlicherovka?“ U pluku měl přezdívku „manlichertrottel“. Byl neobyčejně mstivý, ničil podřízené důstojníky, když se mu nelíbili, a když se chtěli ženit, tu posílal nahoru velmi špatná doporučení jejich žádostí.


Schiller, Friedrichnn flag
*10.11.1759 Marbach - †9.5.1805 Weimar
Wikipedia czdeenno Search Švejkův slovník

Schiller is mentioned because Oberst Kraus passed idiotic remarks when his officer colleagues talked about Schiller at a banquet.


Schiller was a world-famous German composer, poet, historian and philosopher. He belonged to the Romantic era and was strongly associated with Goethe and Weimar. His full name his was Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.15] Týž spád řeči, táž zásoba největší naivnosti. Na jednom banketu v důstojnickém kasině plukovník Bedřich Kraus von Zillergut z čista jasna pronesl, když byla řeč o Schillerovi: „Tak jsem vám, pánové, včera viděl parní pluh hnaný lokomotivou. Považte si, pánové, lokomotivou, ale ne jednou, dvěma lokomotivami. Vidím kouř, jdu blíž, a ona to lokomotiva a na druhé straně druhá. Řekněte mně, pánové, není-liž to směšné? Dvě lokomotivy, jako by nestačila jedna.“
Poet Vierordt, Heinrich Wilhelmnn flag
*1.10.1855 Karlsruhe - †17.6.1945 Triberg
Search Švejkův slovník

Badische Landeszeitung 29.8.1914.


L'Homme enchaîné 18.10.1914.


The Tucumcari News 6.6.1918.

Vierordt is mentioned when the author of The Good Soldier Švejk describes Oberst Kraus. The stupid colonel has ideas that align with those of Vierordt as expressed in a poem where he urges "Germany to hate and to slaughter millions of French devils with an iron soul". He is thus spiritually in line with the attitudes of the colonel who wanted to kill all prisoners, burn all Serbs and kill their children with bayonets. Hašek flawlessly translated two lines from the poem, whereas his introduction to it is less accurate.


Vierordt was a poet from Karlsruhe who soon after the outbreak of World War I wrote an infamously bloodthirsty poem in ten verses: Deutschland, Hasse! (Germany, Hate!). From this poem, verse seven is no doubt the one that Hašek refers to in The Good Soldier Švejk. Vierordt otherwise wrote patriotic poetry and ballads, praising the virtues of his home area and his nation. After the Nazi take-over, he associated himself with the party and even wrote poems glorifying Hitler[1]. Vierordt was married and had one daughter. On his 50th birthday, he was awarded the title Hofrat.

A grotesque poem

The poem first appeared in Badische Landeszeitung[2] on 29 August 1914[d]. In October it was published as a single sheet title Deutschland hasse! Kriegsruf by Verlag Müller & Gräff in Karlsruhe and sold for the benefit of the Red Cross for 10 pfenning[b]. Best known are the last four verses that made the poem infamous and caught the attention both at home and abroad. These verses have later frequently been mentioned in articles and books that deal with the theme of war propaganda. The mentioned sheet probably contained only these verses.

Also in Austria the poem was printed and discussed, for instance by he newspaper Arbeiterwille in 1914 and 1915. The text published on the front page of this paper 25 November 1914 is an extract and differs slightly from the original. The same paper mentioned the poem again on 22 April 1915 and now clearly distanced itself from the content[a]. They might have done so already in November 1914, but as most of the surrounding text was removed by censorship, it is difficult to judge the context.


The poem was controversial from the beginning, even in Germany. It was eventually banned by German General Staff. The Red Cross in Baden refused to use it in its promotional material. Already in November 1914 it provoked a counter-poem named Deutschland, Hasse nicht![c].

Inevitably Vierordt's abnormal literary outburst was noticed abroad, notably in France where future Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau translated two verses and commented on them in his newspaper L'Homme enchaîné[e]. He dryly observed that Vierordt as late as the previous year had visited France and praised the country in glowing terms! Amongst others who reacted were the writers Karl Kraus and Erich Mühsam and the German pacifist/feminist Helene Stöcker.[f].

After the USA entered the war extracts of the poem were translated and appeared in some newspapers as an example of "Hun" bestiality and anti-culture. Already in 1915 it was partly translated and observed in the Dutch newspaper De Preangerbode[g].


The poem has also in recent times appeared in books that deal with war propaganda and is often emphasized as one of the most grotesque ones. The author himself had a street Vierordtstrasse named after himself in 1974, but in 2017 discussions were held about a possible renaming due to the author's war poetry. It was decided to keep the surname but rather associate it with his grandfather (1797-1867) of the same name, a local banker and benefactor.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.15] Nebyl o nic horší než německý básník Vierordt, který zveřejnil za války verše, aby Německo nenávidělo a zabíjelo s železnou duší miliony francouzských ďáblů:
  Ať až k oblakům nad hory
  hromadí se lidské kosti a kouřící se maso.

Sources: Hans-Peter Laqueur, Georges Clemenceau, Johannes Werner

1. "Du bist mehr als König und Kaiser / Du bist des deutschen Volkes Festzusammenschweißer" (1938). Ref. Werner, "Ein schreckliches Gedicht".
2. Some studies claim that the poem was published in Welt om Sonntag on 20 November 1914. In view of the above mentioned information this is obviously not true and moreover this date fell on a Friday (Hans-Peter Laqueur)! Nor have I have succeeded in identifying any newspaper named Welt om Sonntag from 1914. Ref. Werner, "Ein schreckliches Gedicht".


bEin interressanter VortragsabendBadische Landeszeitung29.10.1914
cDeutschland hasse nicht!Karlsruher Tagblatt14.11.1914
dDeutschland, Hasse!Badische Landeszeitung29.8.1914
eHais, Allemagne!Georges Clemenceau, L'Homme enchaîné18.10.1914
fEin schreckliches GedichtJohannes Werner, Badische Heimat1/2017
gVan den dagDe Preangerbode18.6.1915
Bagmaker Kunešnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

The only bag maker in Spálená ulice in 1907.

Kuneš was a bagmaker in Spálená ulice, described by Švejk when he tries to explain the dog theft to the furious Oberleutnant Lukáš. bagmaker Kuneš had the habit of losing his dogs whereever he ventured.


Address books from 1907 and 1910 do not show up any bag-maker bagmaker Kuneš in the Prague. There was a one person listed with this occupation in Spálená ulice No 35, but his name was Bohumír Vavroušek. In 1896 two bag makers were registered in the street but none of them were named Kuneš.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.15] Ve Spálený ulici je nějakej brašnář Kuneš a ten nemoh jít se psem na procházku, aby ho neztratil. Vobyčejně ho nechal někde v hospodě nebo mu ho někdo ukrad nebo si ho vypůjčil a nevrátil


General von Laudon, Ernst Gideonnn flag
*2.2.1717 Ļaudona (Tootzen) - †14.7.1790 Nový Jičín
Wikipedia czdeennn Search

Rozkvět, 25.11.1911


Neue Freie Presse2.12.1914.

Laudon is mentioned indirectly through the powerful expression Himllaudon that Oberleutnant Lukáš used when he verbally wiped the floor with Švejk after discovering that Max was stolen.

The same expresssion is used by Fähnrich Dauerling when he pesters the Czech recruits in 11. Kompanie. Feldoberkurat Lacina uses the expression Krucilaudon when he wakes up on the train to Bruck and doesn't know where he is.

His name reappears in the in the final chapter when the author describes Oberst Gerbich.


Laudon was an Austrian field marshal of German Baltic origin, and one of the most successful Austrian commanders of the 18th century. He fought in the Seven Years' War, the War of the Bavarian Succession and wars against Turkey. His troops captured Belgrade in 1789.

Born in a family of nobles in current Latvia, Laudon first served in the Russian army before offering his services to Prussia where he was rejected. He had more luck in Austria but in the beginning he was assigned to the irregular troops of the infamous Baron von Trenck, the so-called Panduren. When these were dissolved he joined the regular army.

During the Seven Year War (1756-1763) his exploits in the campaign against Prussia made him famous. Many of the battles took place on Czech territory and this is no doubt the main reason for his legend status in the Czech lands. Here the well-known folk song Generál Laudon jede skrz vesnici bears his name and his fame lingers on in the expletive himmellaudon!, the very one that Oberleutnant Lukáš used in the novel.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.15] „Švejku, dobytku, himmellaudon, držte hubu! Buď jste takový rafinovaný ničema, nebo jste takový velbloud a blboun nejapný. Jste samý příklad, ale povídám vám, se mnou si nehrajte. Odkud jste přived toho psa? Jak jste k němu přišel? Víte, že patří našemu panu plukovníkovi, který si ho odvedl, když jsme se náhodou potkali? Víte, že je to světová ohromná ostuda? Tak řekněte pravdu, ukrad jste ho, nebo neukrad?“
[II.2] Náš nejvyšší vojenský pán je taky Němec. Posloucháte? Himmellaudon, nieder!’
[II.3] Vrchní polní kurát prděl a krkal na lavici a hřmotné zíval na celé kolo. Konečné se posadil a udivené se tázal: "Krucilaudon, kde to jsem?"


Božetěchnn flag
Search Švejkův slovník

Božetěch was a man from Košíře who specialized in stealing dogs and then claimed reward on the basis of newspaper ads from the owners of the missing animals. Švejk found it appropriate to mention this for Oberleutnant Lukáš in the midst of the severe reprimand he was subjected to after the senior lieutenant got to know that Max was stolen. Not to be confused with bookbinder Božetěch.


Božetěch[1] is a very rare surname and is first and foremost found in Moravia. In 1910 not even a single person with this family name was listed in the Prague address directory.

1. Božetěch is more common as a first name than as a surname.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.15] Nějakej Božetěch z Košíř, ten se jen tak živil. Ukrad vždycky psa, pak hledal v inserátech, kdo se zaběh, a hned tam šel.
Graf Folliot de Crenneville, Franznn flag
*22.3.1815 Sopron - †22.6.1888 Gmunden
Wikipedia de Search Švejkův slovník

Folliot-Crenneville-Poutet Franz Graf.


Wiener Zeitung10.8.1888.


Vojenský zpěvník 1914.

Crenneville is mentioned in a song Švejk sings about Grenevil, who marched through Prašná brána.


Crenneville was an Austrian count, Feldzeugmeister, Geheimer Rat, imperial Generaladjutant and Oberstkämmerer. He hailed from a renowned military family of French decent and entered the army as a boy. He became a lieutenant when he was only 16 and captain when he was 22. He distinguished himself in the wars against Italy and was repeatedly decorated. During the battle of Solferino 24 June 1859 he was severely wounded. In between his military duties he also held a post at the court of Kaiser Ferdinand I. In 1860 he was named Inhaber[1] of Infanterieregiment Nr. 75.

After having withdrawn from ative military service after Solferino, he was employed at the Imperial Court and was in charge of the imperial art collection. He remained a promoter of the arts throughout, also after his retirement in 1884. From this year and until his death he lived in Gmunden. Crenneville was married and had three sons.

1. Regiments-Ihaber (regiment proprietor) was by 1880 a pure honorary title and the person had no function in the military command chain. His name would then appear attached to the standard name of an infantry regiment in the official Schematismus. Usually the "owner" was a higher military commander, a nobleman or a foreign monarch. The title was life-long.

The song

The song about Crenneville had already been introduced by Hašek in the stories Dobrý voják Švejk působí u aeroplánu (1911), Číslo patnáct (1912) and Povídka o pořádnem člověku (1914). Here the name is however spelled "Grenewil", Grenewill" and "Greenewill" respectively but there is no doubt that he refers to the same song.

Hašek thus managed to spell the name "Grenevil" in four different ways in four publications and it doesn't stop there. In 1968 Václav Pletka published the album Písničky Josefa Švejka (with a booklet of remarks attached). Here another variation is introduced. The name is "Grenevír" (which rhymes with špacír) and the rest of the verse is also altered (there is no reference to Prašná brána).

The source of Pletka's lyrics is unknown. Searches in the Czech National Library doesn't show a single hit on any of these variations but there are similar songs in the book Vojenský zpěvník (Army Songbook), published in 1914 by some captain Beran from Vysoké Mýto. In one of the songs General Benedek seems to take the place of "Grenevil", a fact that is also mentioned by Pletka.

Quote(s) from the novel
[I.15] Nadporučík se odvrátil, vzdychl a uznal za vhodné místo se Švejkem obírat se raději bílou kávou. Švejk šukal již v kuchyni a nadporučík Lukáš slyšel zpěv Švejkův:
Mašíruje Grenevil
Prašnou bránou na špacír,
šavle se mu blejskají,
hezký holky plakají

Sources: Milan Hodík, Václav Pletka


Index Back Forward I. In the rear Hovudpersonen

Afterword to the first volume, "In the rear"

Doctor Guth, Jiřínn flag
*23.1.1861 Heřmanův Městec - †8.1.1943 Náchod
Wikipedia czde Search Švejkův slovník

Český svět, 20.1.1921