The battle of Chorupan

Chorupan in 2010

The principal aim of this article is to investigate how the battle of Chorupan[1] and Jaroslav Hašek's experiences before and after the battle may have been reflected in "The Good Soldier Švejk". The study is largely based on his regiment's Verlustliste (casualty list) from 24 September 1915, a list that contains many names that appear in the novel and also the names of two men who more than half a century later contributed to "Haškology".

In the context of "The Good Soldier Švejk" Chorupan is of interest because Jaroslav Hašek was taken prisoner here[2]. If he had NOT been captured he most likely would have followed his IR. 91[3] to the Italian front in mid-November. He would thus not have had five years of life in Russia behind him when he in 1921 started to write his famous novel and "The Good Soldier Švejk" might have taken an entirely different direction, or may never have been written at all.

The hypothetical road to Italy aside: What remains a fact is that IR. 91 according to loss lists stored at Vienna's Kriegsarchiv was decimated by a staggering 1050 men that day, and amongst the 917 that were not accounted for (Vermisst) was the author of "The Good Soldier Švejk".

Verlustliste for IR. 91, 24 September 1915, signed Wenzel. ÖStA/Ciglbauer

The Verlustliste[4] from Chorupan is an important source when looking for possible names that could have found their way into the novel. The reason is that some of these soldiers may have served with Jaroslav Hašek already from 1 June 1915 when the 12th March Battalion was formed in Királyhida and possibly even earlier in Budějovice. Even more importantly: the prisoners were driven on foot for three weeks until they reached the assembly camp at Darnitsya (Дарниця) by Kiev. This would have provided scope for further acquaintances and in Darnitsya they spent some time (Hašek three days) before being distributed to camps across the vast Russian empire. Some of them were, like Hašek, registered as prisoners in Penza (Пе́нза) and some even ended up in Totskoye (Тоцкое), the camp by Buzuluk (Бузулу́к) where the author of "The Good Soldier Švejk" was interned from late October 1915 to 7 July 1916. Like Hašek some of the men on the list later joined the Czechoslovak Legions.

Credits: Jan Ciglbauer for providing photos of IR. 91's Verlustliste from 24 September 1915.

Related literature

Olomouc, 9 January 2021, Jomar Hønsi

The battle


The battle at Chorupan on 24 September 1915 was part the so-called Schwarz-Gelbe offensive that Austria-Hungary launched onto Russian territory on 27 August. The offensive enjoyed some early success and the city of Luck was soon in Austrian hands. On 8 September the Russians abandoned the fortress of Dubno on the west bank of the river Ikva. The 9th infantry division to which IR. 91 belonged advanced as far as Pogorelcy east of the river. A Russian counter-attack in mid-September made their position untenable and during the night to the 18th the division withdrew to positions south of the river, north-west of the villages Chorupan (Хорупань) and Golowczycy (Головчицы) where they dug themselves in.

During the next few days, some enemy activity north of the river was observed and the Russians crossed the river although didn't approach the lines of the Austrians due to the marshes separating them. Positions were fortified and apart from a few skirmishes with patrols little activity was reported. On the 23rd the 9th Division commanders even believed that the enemy was preparing a retreat, and didn't put the division on alert (Kejla). Their negligence would soon prove costly.

The area of the battle. © ÖStA/KA

Early on the morning of the 24th the Russians attacked, and under the cover of thick fog they broke through north of Chorupan in a section held by the 12th Landsturm regiment (Čáslav), and attacked the 91st regiments flank. Caught in their sleep some escaped but a vast number had no choice but to surrender. The diaries of Jan Ev. Eybl, P(Josef Novotný), Jan Vaněk, and the reminiscences of Jaroslav Kejla all bear witness to the chaos and ensuing panic during the attack. Field chaplain Eybl wrote that even the regiment HQ was in danger of being overwhelmed and the staff escaped by the skin of their teeth. Officers like Vinzenz Sagner and Rudolf Lukas fled in panic and even the fearsome Hans Wurm followed suit.

The Russian attack was eventually repelled but at an alarming cost: 1050 soldiers disappeared from the ranks of IR. 91 (some later found their way back), not to mention the losses of the neighbouring units. Russian war bulletins claimed that around 1600 were captured during the battle, which seems a reasonable estimate considering they faced two Austro-Hungarian divisions. Particularly decimated was Sagner's 3rd battalion (where Hašek served), a unit that was nearly wiped out. The number of missing and prisoners was astoundingly high so it is obvious that many gave up without offering much resistance. This is confirmed by Kejla who was one of those put his weapons down and later provided valuable information about the battle. Kejla wrote that morale at this stage was very low and many saw captivity as preferable to fighting on.

Hufvudstadsbladet, 27.9.1915 - Russian communique

IR. 91's disaster at Chorupan bore many similarities to the much publicised "desertion" of IR. 28 in the Carpathians near Bardejov on 3.4.1915. This incident is mentioned in "The Good Soldier Švejk" in [III.1]. In both cases, the regiments were attacked by numerically superior enemy forces early in the morning. Threatened with encirclement the soldiers laid down their weapons in droves. IR. 91 also had a similar experience by Zolobina (Velký Žolobin) in eastern Slovakia on 23 March 1915 where three companies surrendered after having been caught in their sleep. In this case, even the guards had fallen asleep.

Chorupan was the last major battle IR. 91 took part in on the eastern front. In November the U(9th infantry division) was transferred to the Isonzo-front, to the Karst-plateau in current Slovenia, east of Monfalcone.

Officer's servants

"Sterb-Register": 21 year old officer's servant Hubert Jungbauer was shot in the head at Chorupan

The battle itself is not directly mentioned in "The Good Soldier Švejk" but the author touches on the circumstances of his own capture when he in [I.14.2] describes officer's servants in general terms. It is clear that he doesn't value them much, and gives an example where one takes his master's provisions with him into captivity and drags it all the way to Tashkent where he pegs out from typhus on top of it.

Seven officer's servants appear on the casualty list from Chorupan. These are the names as given in the list (Germanised first names): Karl Neukam, Karl Pisačka, Franz Schanilec, Franz Strašlipka, Johann Paulik, Hubert Jungbauer, and Sylvester Turczinsky. Which of the seven were known to Jaroslav Hašek is a guess but Strašlipka was definitely one of them. Hašek even mentions him in a poem saying "there's nothing worse than Strašlipka's old anecdotes". This together with the fact that he was the servant of Oberleutnant Lukas, from 12 July 1915 commander of Hašek's 11th field company, indicates that at least Švejk's incessant story telling was inspired by him (otherwise his military career was very different from that of Hašek's literary hero). There is also a parallel between Strašlipka and the unnamed officer's servant mentioned in "The Good Soldier Švejk". Strašlipka took, according to Morávek, Lukas' provisions with him into captivity[5] but there the similarity ends. Strašlipka did not die from typhus in Tashkent (he lived until 1949). There is no obvious literary connection to the other Putzflecks on the list. Five were interned in Russian camps (Neukam, Pisačka, Schanilec, Strašlipka, Turczinsky), one killed during the battle (Jungbauer) and the fate of Paulik is not known. Turczinsky will be discussed later.

Overlapping names

IR. 91's Verlustliste of 24 September 1915 contains many surnames that readers of "The Good Soldier Švejk" will be familiar with. Some of them are very common and thus give few clues unless they can be linked to the novel through additional information like rank, profession, first name or geographical reference.

Teacher Herál

Peter Heral. IR. 91 Verlustliste 24.9.1915. ÖStA/Ciglbauer

Peter Heral is a possible inspiration for the teacher Herál that Švejk tells about in an anecdote in [II.4]. He was born in 1886 with Heimatrecht[6] in Boršov nad Vltavou (okres Budějovice) and was promoted to lieutenant (in the reserve) on 1 March 1915. In his diary field chaplain Eybl notes that Heral was wounded by shrapnel on 12.3.1915. It is therefore conceivable that he could have returned to the front in July with Hašek's 12th march battalion. In the novel Heral is a teacher but this is in itself no contradiction. Many teachers were also reserve officers, the notorious Lieutenant Dub is a direct example from the novel. What remains to be investigated is whether Peter Heral's civilian profession indeed was teacher. He was interned in Yelabuga (Ела́буга), Vyatka province. Ref. Verlustliste Nr. 522.

Vojtěch Rous

Adalbert Raus. IR. 91 Verlustliste 24.9.1915. ÖStA/Ciglbauer

In [II.1] this name appears in an anecdote Švejk tells Lukáš on the ill-fated train journey from Prague to Budějovice. In Verlustliste there is indeed a name that corresponds, apart from one letter. He is listed as Adalbert Raus (Adalbert is the German equivalent of Vojtěch). That 'a' and 'o' are swapped is within the lexicographical margin of error both in "The Good Soldier Švejk" and in Verlustliste. Moreover Raus/Rous is not a particularly common surname. Little is known about Adalbert Raus apart from that he was from Budějovice and was reported as prisoner of war rather than the more common Vermisst (missing). Where he was interned is not revealed. Ref. Verlustliste Nr. 330.

Korporal Matějka

Adolf Matějka. IR. 91 Verlustliste 24.9.1915. ÖStA/Ciglbauer

In [III.1] this junior officer had stuffed his stomach on the way to the front in Serbia. In the Verlustliste there is actually a Korporal Matějka. His first name was Adolf and he was from Výškovice (now part of Vimperk), okres Prachatice. He entered military service in 1904 which indicates that he was born in 1883 like Jaroslav Hašek. There were two more Matějka who disappeared during the battle (Josef and Leopold) but these were ordinary Landsturm infantrymen and would have been called up later.

Putzfleck Kunert

Anton Kunert. IR. 91 Verlustliste 24.9.1915. ÖStA/Ciglbauer

In [III.3] Kunert was Leutant Dub's unfortunate servant who Švejk stood up for against his tyrant master. The surname Kunert indeed appears in the casualty list but not as an officer's servant. Anton Kunert had right of domicile in Kačice in okres Slány and listed as Infanterist. He was enrolled in the army in 1914, indicating that he may have been in active service when the war broke out. Interestingly he was not from the recruitment district of IR. 91 and according to his Heimatrecht he should have served with k.u.k. Infanterieregiment Nr. 28 and it was unusual for a rank and file soldier not to serve with his house regiment. The explanation could be that he actually was an officer's servant despite being listed as an infantryman in the loss list. The servants presumably followed their masters and were thus not bound by the regiment's geographical affinity. Amongst the seven Putzflecks that were reported missing at Chorupan, two had Heimatrecht outside IR. 91's recruitment district (Strašlipka and Turczinsky).

Šimek from Budějovice

In [III.2] Šimek was some unshaven soldier from Budějovice who in Budapest was patted on the cheek by a lady from The Association for welcoming Heroes. He didn't appreciate the approach and commented that the "whores here are cheeky". There are four Šimek and one Schimek in the Verlustliste, and four of them were from okres Budějovice, although none from the city itself.

Gefreiter Müller

In [II.2] this figure appears when Marek tells Švejk about the conditions in the regiment. He was a teacher in civilian life, a German from Kašperské Hory who used to call Czech recruits "stinkbags". The surname Müller appears five times in the list, four of them from okres Krumlov, the other one from Prachatice. All five were rank and file soldiers and there is little reason to believe that Hašek was inspired by any of them. Müller was a very common surname so he could have picked it from anywhere or even at random.

It should be noted that not a single soldier amongst the 1050 on the list were from Kašperské Hory, and this is easily explained. This town in Šumava is located within the former Heeresergänzungsbezirk Nr. 11 (army recruitment district) so ordinary soldiers from here would have served in IR11 (Písek).

Jungwirth, Wagner and other names

Jungwirth, Wagner, Houska, Braun, Fuchs, Blážek, Mráz and Kříž are all names that are found in both "The Good Soldier Švejk" and in Verlustliste. The first two are mentioned in Švejk's anecdote from Svitavy in [II.1] and the names may conceivably have been borrowed from the ranks of IR. 91. These names were however very common. On 24 September 1915 no less than three Jungwirth, five Mráz and seven Wagner were lost. Hašek's choice of names often had nothing to do with the literary figure it was attached to (e.g. Břetislav Ludvík) and in some cases they were clearly jokes. One such example is Sondernummer (Special number), a surname that one would struggle to find in family name databases.

The Pole from Kołomyja

Turczinsky Sylvester. IR. 91 Verlustliste 24.9.1915. ÖStA/Ciglbauer

In [III.3] when Švejk's march company stopped in SátoraljaúJaroslav Hašekely Hašek notes that for some mysterious reason a Pole from Kołomyja served in IR. 91. That a Pole would find his way into a Bohemian regiment was indeed a rarity, but it could happen if he was an officer or a one-year volunteer (these could to a degree choose in which unit to serve). But in this case the Verlustliste not only confirms that it was possible but also identifies the soldier. He was indeed the above mentioned Offiziersdiener Sylvester Turczinsky and the list even has him hail from Galizien, Kolomea, Osuchlive! That any other Pole from Kołomyja served together with Hašek and even fell into captivity on the same day as him is virtually inconceivable.

Verlustliste Nr. 543

The printed casualty list Verlustliste Nr. 543, 27.5.1917 has additional information. Here his domicile is the district Kozman, village Oszechliby in Bukovina. This is not far from Kołomyja but it is unclear why another location is given in the official records (these amendments frequently happened). The change does however not detract from the fact that whoever wrote the list in the field had him come from Kołomyja, signed Im Felde, 5. Oktober, Wenzel Oberstleutnant. In the printed list the name is modified to Polish as Turczyński and his rank is given as Infanterist with Offiziersdiener in brackets. So Sylwester Turczyński was by near certainty the inspiration for the unfortunate Pole from Kołomyja! Turczyński was born in 1890 and was interned in Yelabuga (Ела́буга), Vyatka province. It is also noted that he was assigned to the regiment's staff, i.e. he was the servant of one of the senior officers, perhaps interim regiment commander Wenzel? In that case he would also have been in Hašek's 12th march battalion already from 1 June (the battalion was commanded by Wenzel).


Several of the models for characters in "The Good Soldier Švejk" were involved in the battle at Chorupan. As mentioned above Oberleutnant Rudolf Lukas, Hauptmann Vinzenz Sagner and Hauptmann Hans Wurm were all observed fleeing the battlefield. At regiment staff interim commander Oberstleutnant Franz Wenzel and Feldkurat Jan Ev. Eybl also escaped. Heral has already been mentioned and several others, including Leutnant in der Reserve Michálek were also captured. According to Jan Morávek the latter was the one who used the term "You know me perhaps from the good side, but wait until you get to know me from the bad side" (in the novel used by Leutnant Dub). In 1918 Michálek joined the Czechoslovak Legions so unlike Dub he was seemingly not an ardent Habsburg patriot (but may have been an opportunist). Stabsfeldwebel Jan Vaněk was one of the lower charges who escaped and was one of the last who got a glimpse of Hašek.

The Marxist philosopher

Kollmann Ernst. IR. 91 Verlustliste 24.9.1915. ÖStA/Ciglbauer

Jaroslav Hašek was not the only "celebrity" who was captured at Chorupan. On page 10 of IR. 91 Verlustliste 24.9.1915 is listed Einjährig Freiwilliger Korporal Kollmann Ernst, Assentjahr 1914, Heimatzuständig Königliche Weinberge. This young one-year volunteer corporal turns out to be none other than Arnošt Kolman (1892-1979), better known as a Czech/Soviet philosopher and mathematician who after 58 years as a Communist party member defected to Sweden.

Nordlys, 8.10.1976. Letter to Brezhnev.

Kolman was born in Královské Vinohrady on 5 December 1892 as Ernst Kollmann[8], the oldest son of Salomon Kollmann and Julie (born Rosenfeld). He was from a Jewish family and was a cousin of Hašek's friend and later biographer František Langer. He studied at Karlova Univerzita where he even attended the lectures of Albert Einstein.

Kollmann was at the outbreak of war in 1914 called up for service with IR. 91 in Budějovice as an Einjährigfreiwilliger. After completing the school for reserve officers he served with the regiment in the Carpathians where he was wounded. After a period of convalescence he returned to the front in Galicia and Volhynia where he was taken prisoner. He never joined the Czechoslovak Legions and remained in various Russian prisoner's camp until after the October Revolution. Then he joined the Bolsheviks and he soon rose in the hierarchy, and became head of the international political department of the 5th Army (of the Red Army). He also met Lenin in person. He was then sent to Germany to carry out underground activities. In the Stalin period he served in various positions but is best known as an "ideological watchdog" in the Soviet scientific community, and is claimed to have directed smear campaigns against fellow scientists.

After WW2 he returned to Prague and held high positions in the Communist party's propaganda apparatus. Like in the Soviet Union he was tasked with reigning in the scientific community. In 1948 he criticized party luminaries Rudolf Slánský, Jan Kopecký for sins like right-wing deviation, social democracy, ideological concessions etc. After this he was called back to Moscow and imprisoned until 1952. From 1959 to 1963 he again lived in Czechslovakia but returned to Russia on his retirement.[9] Throughout his life he published a number of books with scientific and political content, amongst them one with the intriguing title Lenin a současná fyzika (Lenin and contemporary physics) (1959).

In 1976 he was granted political asylum in Sweden and formally left the Soviet Communist party, taking farewell to his past with an open letter to Brezhnev.[10]

Arnošt Kolman in the Bolshevik 5th Army in 1921

Kolman on Hašek

In 1979 he published the book Die verirrte Generation (The misguided generation), an autobiography where he mentions Jaroslav Hašek on a three occasions. Together with his cousin František Langer he met Hašek already in 1911 during meetings of Hašek's mock "Party of moderate progress within the limits of the law". From the text it appears that he didn't meet the author of "The Good Soldier Švejk" in Budějovice, but heard many amusing stories about him, and claims that Hašek had already been sent to the front. Kolman was however transported to the Carpathians in the spring (Hašek in early July) which excludes the possibility that Hašek was already gone. In the Carpathians he was soon wounded during a Russian breakthrough where the entire regiment fled in panic. Kolman gives few specific details like dates when he describes the time with IR. 91 but he seems to have arrived at the front with the 7th march company in March and was injured shortly after, probably on 23 March when IR. 91 was badly decimated during a surprise Russian attack (Eybl).

Then followed many months of recuperation and it is probably during this period that he heard the above-mentioned stories about Hašek. Kollmann was then sent back to the front, probably with the 13th march battalion in August. In the book he notes that he was captured during a sudden Russian attack west of the river Ikva (the circumstances dictates that it was by Chorupan), and was herded on foot to the transit camp at Darnica, a journey that took over a month. He does not seem to have known that Hašek was captured the same day, that they were part of the same prisoner transport, and that they had served together in IR. 91 also at the front. He also mentions the recruitment activities of the "Legions" (at the times still Česká Družina) and that he refused to join them. Logically Jaroslav Hašek would also have refused, otherwise he wouldn't have been sent on to the camp in Totskoye where he remained until 7 July 1916. Kolman also comes up with a couple of nonsensical claims: that some field chaplain Katz served in Budějovice and that the entire regiment of 5000 men was captured together with him (the regiment consisted of 2200 men at the time and lost in excess of 900 that day).

Finally Kolman and Hašek met again as Bolshevik agitators in the international section of the Red Army in Omsk, Krasnojarsk and Irkutsk in 1919 and 1920. Kolman was in his capacity as head of the 5th Army's political department Hašek's supervisor.[11] Kolman noted that Hašek was mostly in a good mood, that it was difficult to tell if he was joking or not, didn't touch alcohol, dreamt of home, cooked well, had married a Russian woman and that the language skills attributed to him by Hašek-experts was a legend, that even his German and Russian was rather poor, for "kitchen use". He also gives an amusing account on how Hašek in Irkutsk went about publishing the first ever newspaper in the Burjat language. Finally he noted that he had taken steps to stop Hašek's return to Czechoslovakia, fearing he would return to his old drinking habits. Finally Kolman somewhat inaccurately concludes that Hašek drank himself to death.

The Czechoslovak air force general

Kejla Jaroslaus. IR. 91 Verlustliste 24.9.1915. ÖStA/Ciglbauer

Jaroslav Kejla (1892-1977) was in 1915 a reserve corporal who served together with Hašek both in Budějovice and at the front and was captured the same day. He was also interned in the Russian prisoner's camp at Totskoye together with the author of "The Good Soldier Švejk" and they are on the same prisoner's transport all the way from Chorupan via Kiev to the camp. As late as 1972 he published an article that challenged many of the established myths about Jaroslav Hašek and his capture at Chorupan.

Jaroslav Kejla convincingly refuted the notion that Hašek deserted/crossed over at Chorupan.

Crossed over, deserted, surrendered?

One of the most persistent claims about Hašek is that he defected to the Russians (přebehl k Rusům) at Chorupan, alternatively that he deserted. As we have seen already the circumstances of the battle were so chaotic that he can hardly have crossed over or even deserted, it would have been too dangerous. Jaroslav Kejla convincingly argued that he simply surrendered or let himself get captured, like many hundred of his fellow soldiers in IR. 91 that day. Not even the Austrian authorities accused him of desertion. It is true that his conduct was investigated by k.u.k. Divisionsgericht in Vienna but not because of the circumstances of his capture. Rather he was accused of Majestätsbeleidigung (defamation of His Majesty) due to a story he wrote in Čechoslovan in Kiev in July 1916.

It was probably Hašek himself who first opened the door for claims that he deserted. In "The Good Soldier Švejk" [II.1] at Tábor station Švejk is asked to greet the brewer Zeman in Zdolbunov in case he gets captured. He is also urged to be clever and not to stay for long at the front. Švejk retorts that it is always interesting to visit foreign lands for free. The role of deserters in [II.2] also fuels this speculation.

Jan Morávek

In 1924 Večerné České Slovo published a 16-part series about Jaroslav Hašek and "The Good Soldier Švejk" by Jan Morávek[12]. It is based on interviews with Rudolf Lukas, Jan Vaněk a.o. and also the latter's diaries. The series has been much quoted by Haškologist over the years, and seemingly without scepticism. The battle at Chorupan and the circumstances are described and both Lukas and Vaněk noted that Hašek and Strašlipka stayed behind when the first two fled. Hašek had a swollen leg and had slept with his boots off, contrary to regulations. He was reportedly not in a hurry to get away. Morávek used the word "deserters" about Hašek and Strašlipka but the situation he describes simply indicates that the two stayed behind whereas Vaněk and Lukas fled. Morávek also wrote that Hašek had tried to desert a few times when still in the hinterland. He mentions that Franz Wenzel wanted Hašek punished in Bruck/Királyhida but Lukas had held his hand over the author.

Der Soldat. Seine Pflichten und Rechte : Ursachen und Zweck des Krieges, 1916

Morávek then comes up with an improbable story: Hašek had allegedly been given a three year sentence for desertion, but this superiors had asked it to be reversed because he in the night between 17 and 18 September had led the entire battalion across the river Ikva after having used his skills in Russian to ask local people where the ford was. Jaroslav Kejla dismisses this story as a complete invention, and he was like Hašek part of the 3rd battalion.

Apart from Kejla's testimony there are other reasons to distrust the story. Hašek's Vormerkblatt has no mention of any sentence, moreover Jan Morávek had a tendency to spice up his story (Hašek allegedly decorated for having "captured" 300 prisoners is a prime example). It is also doubtful that there were any civilians left in the war zone at all, the local population was usually evacuated or had fled from the front line. And finally: desertion (absence without the intention to return) explicitly carried a death sentence, not a three year prison term.

Václav Menger

In 1933 Václav Menger published a series of feuilletons on Hašek in Lidové noviny and in one of those (Dobrý voják Hašek, 11.6.1933) he takes the story one step further. Menger claimed that Hašek's "crossed over to the enemy" (zběl k nepříteli) and that the Divisional Court in Vienna investigated the case and added Hašek to the album of traitors.[7] Menger even claimed that the entire 9th division was captured.[13]

Zdena Ančík

I found the most nonsense, untruths and distortions in the mentioned book by Zd. Ančík. The writers who drew from it spread them further.

Jaroslav Kejla, 1972.

In 1953 Zdena Ančík[14] published the book O životě Jaroslava Haška (About the life of Jaroslav Hašek). Despite containing many errors and being marred by tiresome ideological interpretations it is regarded the first scholarly biography on Hašek. The "fact" about Hašek's "desertion/defection" at Chorupan is repeated and from here it found its way into what during Communist rule became an avalanche of literature about the author of "The Good Soldier Švejk". Also Radko Pytlík followed up in his many books but eventually removed the terms desertion/defection and replaced them with "let himself get captured", presumably after Jaroslav Kejla had his paper published in 1972.


Even today (2021) the myth about Hašek and his "desertion/crossing over" persists both on internet and in recently printed material. While there are indications that he at least went AWOL (absent without leave) in Budějovice and in Bruck/Királyhida, it can be as good as ruled out that he "deserted" or "crossed over" at Chorupan or anywhere else. If he had suddenly disappeared alone or as part of a smaller group the claim about desertion would carry some weight, but this was not the case here. Finally: Hašek had an early chance to join the Russian army via the predecessors to the Legions already at Darnica. He did however prefer captivity for the time being.


[1] Chorupan (Хорупань) is a village north of Dubno (Ду́бно) in Ukraine, then in Imperial Russia. On 24 September 1915 it was the scene of a bloody battle between units from the Austro-Hungarian 1st army (Puhallo) and the Russian 8th army (Brusilov).

[2] Unproven claims that Jaroslav Hašek deserted (even crossed over) exist up to this day, be it in printed literature and on internet pages. See discussion above.

[3] K.u.k. Infanterieregiemnt Nr. 91, established in 1883, one of 102 infantry regiments in the common army (k.u.k. Heer). It was recruited from Ergänzungsbezirk Budweis, i.e. the districts Budweis (Budějovice), Moldautein (Týn nad Vltavou), Prachatitz (Prachatice), Krumau (Krumlov), and Kaplitz (Kaplice). Bohemian Germans made up 54 per cent of the manpower, Czechs the rest. During the war the regiment fought in Serbia (August-December 1914), the Carpathians (February-May 1915), Galicia (May-August 1915), Volhynia (August-November 1915), Italian front (November 1915 - September 1918) and again in Serbia (October 1918).

[4] Verlustliste (lit. loss list, casualty list) in this context refers to handwritten unsorted overviews of fallen, wounded, captured and missing soldiers, assembled per regiment in the field. The lists could vary in format but the example studied here contained the soldier's surname, name, draft year, service record number, right of domicile, and a remarks column. It would also state the type of casualty: Tot, Gefangen, Verwundet or Vermisst. This list should not be confused with the printed Verlustliste that were regularly issued by k.u.k. Kriegsministerium. These contained data from the entire armed forces, were edited and sorted by surname, and in the case of prisoners it could contain information on where the prisoner was interned.

[5] "Když brzo poté protiútokem přišlo se opět v ta místa, nalezl tu nadpor. Lukáš pouze svou rozřezanou koženou tašku, v niž nosil mu Strašlipka proviant".

[6] Heimatrecht, cz. domovské právo. Right of domicile. This didn't always correspond to where a person was born. Jaroslav Hašek for instance had right of domicile in Mydlovary because this was where his father was born.

From German Wikipedia: Die traditionelle Bedeutung besteht in der Gewährung der Garantie des Aufenthalts einer Person in Verbindung mit sozialstaatlichen Zusagen der öffentlichen Hand. In vielen Regionen bzw. Staaten war dafür zeitgenössisch auch der heute anders besetzte Begriff „Bürgerrecht“ üblich. Amtliche Bescheinigungen dieses Rechtsstatus wurden dementsprechend als „Heimatschein“ oder „Bürgerschein“ bezeichnet. In modernen Staaten wurden diese Garantien durch das Recht auf Freizügigkeit und das Sozialstaatsprinzip abgelöst.

[7] The album of traitors that Menger refers to is surely Betreffend: Hochverräterische Umtriebe von österr. Čechen im Auslande (k.k Polizeidirektion, Prag, 1917). Hašek is indeed entered here but as mentioned above: due to a story he wrote in Čechoslovan in 1916 about a tomcat who impertinently soiled some pictures of His Majesty.

[8] Kolman's birth record: Židovské matriky, Kollmann Ernst, 5.12.1892.
Police registers: Meldebuch 1910 - Kollmann Arnošt

[9] Dictionary of Czech philosophers: Arnošt Kolman Slovník českých filosofů.
Wikipedia: Ernst Kolman.
"The memories of an old Bolshevk": Paměti starého bolševika SeniorTip.

[10] "Veteran Leninist blowing out" Gammel leninist synger ut, Lofotposten, 8.10.1976.
"The Soviet Union is lacking the most basic human right": Sovjet mangler den mest elementære menneskerett, Nordlys, 8.10.1976.

[11] "The misguided generation": Die verirrte Generation Arnošt Kolman, 1979. Autobiography, also translated into Swedish, Danish and Czech.
Jaroslav Hašek in Siberia. Jaroslav Hašek na Sibiři Národní osvobození, 28.6.1928

[12] "Jaroslav Hašek - The Good Soldier Švejk": Jaroslav Hašek - dobrý voják Švejk Jan Morávek, Večerní České Slovo, 1924

[13] "The Good Soldier Hašek": Dobrý voják Hašek. Václav Menger, Lidové noviny 11.6.1933.

[14] Zdena Ančík (1900-1972). Czech journalist and author who is regarded the main architect of the official Communist canonisation of Hašek after 1948. He collected a huge amount of information about the author, published one book about him, and also wrote numerous newspaper articles. Throughout the 1950ies he wrote introductions and edited explanations to editions of "The Good Soldier Švejk". The explanations were originally provided by Hůla. His writing is heavily coloured by Communist ideology.