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The Good Soldier Švejk

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Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand and Herzogin 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 persons the novel refers to; from Napoléon in the introduction to Hauptmann Ságner in the last few lines of the unfinished Book Four. The list is sorted in to 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 characters 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 numerous 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 This means that Captain Ságner is still referred to as Hauptmann although the term is now obsolete, having been replaced by Kapitän.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 II. At the front Hovudpersonen

4. New afflictions

Saint Stephen Inn flag
*967-978 Esztergom - †15.8.1038 Esztergom? Székesfehérvár?
Wikipedia czdeenhuno Search

Saint Stephen I is mentioned in the article in Pester Lloyd that Oberleutnant Lukáš reads out for Oberst Schröder. The reference is done indirectly through the expression The Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen, i.e. the Kingdom of Hungary.


Saint Stephen I is the patron saint of Hungary and regarded as founder of Hungary. Until the break-up of Austria-Hungary, the Hungarian part of the empire was officially called The Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Současně však očekáváme úřední zprávu o királyhidském zločinu, spáchaném na maďarském obyvatelstvu. Že se věcí bude zabývat pešťská sněmovna, je na bíle dni, aby nakonec se ukázalo jasně, že čeští vojáci, projíždějící Uherským královstvím na front, nesmějí považovat zemi koruny svatého Štěpána, jako by ji měli v pachtu.

Also written:Štěpán I. Svatý cz I Szent István hu

Editor Barabás, Bélann flag
*12.12.1855 Arad - †28.5.1934 Arad
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Národní listy6.5.1915.


Pester Lloyd6.5.1915.

Barabás was the editor and member of parliament who signed the infamous article which had appeared in Pester Lloyd and Pesti Hírlap. According to Oberst Schröder he was a known as a bastard.


Barabás was a lawyer, editor and politician, member of the Hungarian Parliament (Independence party) before and during the war.

After the outbreak of war he appeared on the front page of many newspapers because he and some other Hungarian MPs were arrested in France. Because of his relatively high age he was released and travelled back home via Brest, Amsterdam and Cologne.

There is no evidence that he wrote chauvinistic articles in Pester Lloyd or Pesti Hírlap, although it is likely that Hašek drew inspiration from something that had been written along these lines.

Inspired by a budget debate?

One possible influence is a budget debate in the Hungarian parliament on 5 May 1915 where Barabás openly accused Austria of not doing it's duty with regards to military efforts, that a lot of Austrian personnel fit for military service had not yet been called up. He also questioned the trustworthiness of "certain Austrian nations" (read Czechs). He also emphasized the patriotism and will to sacrifice amongst the Hungarian troops, and in the Hungarian parliament.

Then he asked for the same attitude amongst the Austrian troops and some patriotic statement from Reichsrat (see Parlament). The debate was covered by most newspapers and it is very likely that Jaroslav Hašek who at the time had reported sick in Budějovice knew about the controversy and that he had noted the attitudes of Barabás.

In the same debate Honvéd-minister Hazai answered the accusations from Barabás and stated that he, from first-hand knowledge could confirm that patriotism was every bit as strong in Austria as in Hungary.

Not part of the previous version of Švejk

Although the brawl in Királyhida also features in Dobrý voják Švejk v zajetí, there is no mention of Barabás in this second version of The Good Soldier Švejk from 1917. Despite the two versions of the story being roughly similar, many details also apart from Barabás are also changed. This mainly applies to names and roles.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] „Kdo je podepsán pod článkem, pane nadporučíku?“ „Béla Barabás, redaktor a poslanec, pane plukovníku.“ „To je známá bestie, pane nadporučíku; ale dřív, nežli se to dostalo do ,Pester Lloydu’, byl již tento článek uveřejněn v ,Pesti Hírlap’. Nyní mně přečtěte úřední překlad z maďarštiny článku v šoproňském časopise ,Sopronyi Napló’.“


Deputy Savanyú, Gézann flag

Savanyú would raise the issue of the letter scandal in the Hungarian Parliament.


Savanyú was according to the novel representing Királyhida in Parliament. He is almost certainly a pure invention as Királyhida was no electoral district. Nor has there been any success in identifying where the author picked the name from.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Toto se týká zejména jednoho pána, který se dle doslechu zdržuje doposud beztrestně ve vojenském táboře a stále ještě nosí odznaky svého ,papageiregimentu’ a jehož jméno bylo též uveřejněno předevčírem v ,Pester Lloydu’ a ,Pesti Napló’. Jest to známý český šovinista Lükáš, o jehož řádění bude podána interpelace naším poslancem Gézou Savanyú, který zastupuje okres királyhidský.“

Sources: Klara Köttner-Benigni

Painter Panuška, Jaroslavnn flag
*3.3.1872 Hořovice - †1.8.1958 Kochánov
Wikipedia cz Search

Lidové noviny 4.1.1928.

Panuška enters the plot when Švejk during interrogation defends himself by quoting servant Matěj, the servant of Panuška.


Panuška was a Czech painter and a friend of Jaroslav Hašek. It was he who persuaded Hašek to move from Prague to Lipnice on 25 August 1921. That day they travelled there together and later he visited the author from time to time. Zdeněk Matěj Kuděj and Josef Lada also belonged to their common circle of friends.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Tak na př. na otázku, proč se nepřizná, odpověděl dle protokolu: ,Já jsem zrovna v takový situaci, jako se voctnul jednou kvůli nějakejm obrazům panny Marie sluha akademického malíře Panušky. Ten taky, když se jednalo o nějaký vobrazy, který měl zpronevěřit, nemoh na to nic jinýho vodpovědět než: »Mám blít krev? «


Rechnungsfeldwebel Vaněknn flag

Vaněk is the accounting sergeant at the staff of the 11th march company, in civilian life a chemist from Kralupy. He is depicted as a rather cynical reserve officer, looking after himself first and foremost. He is frequently involved in the plot from now on. It is later revealed that he has served with three march companies already, in Serbia and the Carpathians.

He is first mentioned when Oberst Schröder gives him the task to find a new servant for Oberleutnant Lukáš after Švejk's promotion to company messenger. Vaněk's first words in the novel are uttered after receiving the news about the change of roles: "May God help us all!".


The prototype of Vaněk is without doubt the real life "drogista" VaněkJ from Kralupy.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Nadporučík Lukáš po celé cestě domů si opakoval: „Kompaniekomandant, kompanieordonanz.“ A jasně před ním vyvstávala postava Švejka. Účetní šikovatel Vaněk, když mu poručil nadporučík Lukáš, aby mu vyhledal nějakého nového sluhu místo Švejka, řekl: „Já myslel, že jsou, pane obrlajtnant, spokojenej s tím Švejkem.“ Uslyšev, že Švejka naznačil plukovník ordonancí u 11. kumpanie, zvolal: „Pomoz nám pán bůh!“

Sources: Morávek, Bohumil Vlček

Nemrava, Wilhelmnn flag
*Hněvotín 10.4.1882 - †Olomouc 6.5.1948

Birth and baptism record, Hněvotín, 1882


Les Temps nouveaux 25.11.1905.


Grazer Volksblatt22.6.1907.


Hlas 23.6.1907.


Čech 20.11.1907.


Venkov 3.6.1915.


Prager Tagblatt16.10.1930.


Lidové noviny 4.6.1931.

Nemrava was a man who before the war lived in Moravia and who refused to carry arms and was repeatedly imprisoned because of this. This is mentioned by Švejk in a conversation when he and Sappeur Vodička are locked up after the scandal with Mr. Kákonyi.


Nemrava and the conversation in Királyhida has a factual background and what Švejk says is indeed authentic. On 1 November 1904 the recruit Vilém Nemrava from k.k. Landwehrinfanterieregiment Nr. 13 in Olomouc refused to swear oath to the flag and was sentenced to a 5 month prison term. Back with his regiment after his release he again refused to obey orders. According to his conviction he refused to carry a gun. In his own words he was inspired by Tolstoy. Nemrava was a member of the religious pacifist Nasaren sect.

For this repeated act of insubordination he was given two more years that he sat out in Terezín under cruel conditions. The case was widely reported all over Austria-Hungary and even reached the State Council (see Parlament).


After his second release from prison there is an interesting parallel to Švejk. On 15 November 1907 a military commission in Brno declared Nemrava insane and he was super-arbitrated (dismissed from the armed forces). Defence secretary in Cisleithanien, Friedrich von Georgi, had the following answer when he was asked about the case in Parlament: he was released from duty because he was "psychopathic, twisted and suffered from weird perceptions".

In the spring of 1914 Nemrava briefly reappears in the newspaper, now as a "trader from Kroměříž". On this occasion he had refused to swear the oath to a civilian court in Olomouc!

The first world war

At the start of June 1915 Národni listy, Venkov and other newspapers wrote that Nemrava had turned around and now fought at the front with IR54. The information was reportedly taken from a letter he sent to the newspaper Pozor in Olomouc.

On the other hand several newspapers, including Prager Tagblatt in 1930, wrote that he presisted in his refusal to do military service also during the war and that he was imprisoned for three more years. These contradictory statements can not be clarified without access to his military documents (see the final paragraph).

Hašek and Nemrava

The few lines in The Good Soldier Švejk was not the first time that Jaroslav Hašek wrote about the famous conscientious objector from Moravia. In the story "The Nasarens" from 1908 the author mentions both the religious sect and Nemrava himself. It should also be added that censorship ensured that the story never was published. Hašek also notes that Nemrava was dismissed from the army due to madness.

Thief and dealer in stolen goods

His name reappears in the newspapers in 1924 and now it turns out that the idealist has turned into a criminal, although his official occupation was a trader. In the early 1920's he was involved in several major burglaries and is also a key person in pulling the threads and selling stolen goods.

In 1930 he is caught again, now as an art- and antique-dealer from Svatý Kopeček by Olomouc. He committed major fraud with valuable paintings and was handed a 6 month prison term. The case is widely reported, also in the national press.

Thereafter his traces disappear but church records reveal that he died in 1948 in Nová ulice, a suburb of Olomouc. The same source reveals that he was born on 6 May 1882 in house number 83 in Hněvotín, a village just south-west of Olomouc.

A well known conscientious objector

Nemrava was one of the first and best known people conscientious objectors and the case was noticed even abroad. Nemrava himself corresponded with Tolstoy's doctor and Karel Čapek, Klofáč and Professor Masaryk followed the case. Karl Liebknect had also noticed the events, and even in the French press a notice appeared. In 2009 the case was written about in the book Vojáku Vladimire by Zdeněk Bauer which amongst other sources is based on Mr. Čapek's correspondence. In 2014 the council of Hněvotín (Milan Krejčí) published a thorough article about the towns once famous son, largely extracts from Bauer's book.

Willy Nemrawa in Infanterieregiment Nr. 54


Access to military service record at VÚA (March 2018) sheds light on the conflicting information from Národní listy (1915) and Prager Tagblatt (1930). During the Territorial Army drafts (Landsturmmusterungen) in 1914 Nemrava was called up again. He was found fit for service on 22 November 1914 by the draft commission in Povel (now a suburb in the south of Olomouc), and enrolled in Infanterieregiment Nr. 54 as an armed Landsturminfanterist on 16 February 1915.

The documents don't contain any information about a new sentence and three years in prison. Rather the contrary: he was promoted to "Landsturm-Gefreiter" in 1916, which surely would not have happened if he was in prison. In his service record he is listed as Willy Nemrawa, but otherwise the details correspond to those found in the church records. It is also revealed that he was blond and small in stature (164 cm). His father was Josef Nemrava from Loučany and the mother Marie Kreuzer from Hněvotín. Nemrava spoke Czech, German and Polish. He was enlisted as a reserve in the Czechoslovak army on 21 December 1919.

Militarismus und Antimilitarismus, Karl Liebknecht, 1907

In Prag wurde eine Arbeiterakademie unter zahlreicher Beteiligung gegründet. Die nationalen Konflikte mit dem Militarismus (Sprachen-frage und die Vergewaltigung einzelner Soldaten) belebten die antimilitaristischen Tendenzen. Besonders hervorgehoben sei hier der Fall Nemravas, eines Soldaten, der sich weigerte, die Waffen zu tragen, und dafür bestraft wurde.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Před vojnou žil na Moravě nějakej pan Nemrava, a ten dokonce nechtěl vzíti ani flintu na rameno, když byl odvedenej, že prej je to proti jeho zásadě, nosit nějaký flinty. Byl za to zavřenej, až byl černej, a zas ho nanovo vedli k přísaze. A von, že přísahat nebude, že je to proti jeho zásadě, a vydržel to.“

Sources: VÚA, Zdeněk Bauer, Milan Krejčí


zu Pappenheim, Gottfried Heinrichnn flag
*8.6.1594 Treuchtlingen - †17.11.1632 Leipzig
Wikipedia czdeensv Search

Pappenheim is mentioned through the expression "we know our Pappenheimers". The quote is from Friedrich Schiller and his trilogy on Wallenstein.


Pappenheim was field marshal of the Catholic League in the Thirty Years' War. He was known as a capable military leader but also for his brutality. He took part in the battle of Bílá Hora, and fell in the battle of Lützen. Pappenheim is buried in Strahovský klášter.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Učitel si povzdechl: „Když ten pan auditor neumí dobře česky. Já už jsem mu to také podobným způsobem vysvětloval, ale on na mne spustil, že sameček od vši se jmenuje česky ,vešák’. ,Šádný fšivák,’ povídal pan auditor, ,vešák. Femininum, Sie gebildeter Kerl, ist ten »feš«, also masculinum ist »ta fěšak«. Wir kennen uns’re Pappenheimer.“
Gipsy Janeček, Jannn flag
*19.10.1840 Chotína - †9.9.1871 Plzeň

Neues Fremden-Blatt22.9.1869.


Český lev25.5.1871.


Wiener Zeitung31.5.1871.


Prager Abendblatt9.9.1871.


Český lev10.9.1871.

Janeček was a gypsy from Plzeň who was sentenced to death for a double murder, had his execution postponed by a day due to the birthday of the Emperor, then posthumously rehabilitated because it was discovered that the guilty was another Janeček. This is on of Švejk's stories in the Divisional arrest in Brucker Lager.


Janeček (real name Jan Serinek) was a criminal born near Plzeň who first hit the headlines in 1869 when he and three family members were sentenced to long prison terms for robbery and murder. The trial took place in c.k. zemský trestní soud in September and the verdict was given on the 25th. The 30 year old Jan and his 18 year old brother Josef (sometimes quoted as cousin) were given 18 years. Two younger female family members (both named Josefa) were given five and four years respectively. The fifth gang member, the 45 year old bricklayer Andreas Holler, was given life imprisonment. In November the Janeček brothers were sent to Kartouzy to serve their sentence.

Escape, robbery and murder

On 24 April 1870 the brothers and a Polish gypsy, Franticzek Janeczka, managed to escape. Already the next night they committed three assaults in the area between Turnov and Jičín. Their first victims were three women who were brutally assaulted and robbed at two in the afternoon. This was the start of a rampage that left three people dead and numerous other's victims of theft, assault and robbery. The three escapees joined with other clan members and operated in various regions, amongst them the Poděbrady area and also around Plzeň. On 2 June they avoided an attempt to arrest them near Klatovy. The first murder was committed 9 August by Sokoleč, okres Poděbrady. The next murder took place 21 October by Strojetice (same district) and three days later yet another one: in Chrást near Plzeň. The latter two crimes were also robberies.

Arrest, trial and sentence

After six months on run, the gang was gradually rounded up and arrested in their home area east of Plzeň. Josef was arrested on 26 October in Horomyslická hospoda but Jan escaped through a window. He was finally caught four days later by Lhota on the southern outskirts of Plzeň. The trial took place in Plzeň at the end of May 1871. The accused numbered 11 in total and there was no less than 26 items on the list. The verdict was passed on the 31st and Janeček (Jan) was the only accused who was sentenced to death. Josef was handed a life sentence and the others between one and eight years in prison.


It took more than three months from the sentence was passed until the execution took place. After the final approval was given by the emperor, the outcome was communicated to Janeček on 7 September and there was also some delay due to disagreements with the executioner Piperger. In the morning of 9 September 1871 a huge crowd (tens of thousands) were gathered at the execution ground and witnessed the last public execution in Bohemia during the time of Austria-Hungary.

Švejk mystifies

The good soldier had a less than adequate grasp of the facts in this anecdote. Janeček was executed in 1871, not in 1879. Nor was the execution postponed due to the emperor's birthday (18. august), and there was no questions of any posthumous rehabilitation due to the wrong man having been hanged.

Ich bin Serinek, ein Deutscher

In 1911 Jaroslav Hašek wrote a story about a Serinek "gypsy gang" that is obviously related to the executed criminal, there is no direct connection to the events Švejk describes in the novel. It is about a Serinek family of 18 who travel from village to village around Liberec (Reichenberg) and offer to register as Germans in return for some money, beer and sausages. Here the main character is Serinek, a senior clan leader. He can not have been identical to the executed person that Švejk talks about, but could have been his alleged father, also named Jan Serinek.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] „Zkrátka a dobře,“ řekl Švejk, „je to s vámi vachrlatý, ale nesmíte ztrácet naději, jako říkal cikán Janeček v Plzni, že se to ještě může vobrátit k lepšímu, když mu v roce 1879 dávali kvůli tý dvojnásobný loupežný vraždě voprátku na krk. A taky to uhád, poněvadž ho vodvedli v poslední okamžik vod šibenice, poněvadž ho nemohli pověsit kvůli narozeninám císaře pána, který připadly právě na ten samej den, kdy měl viset.


Servant Matějnn flag

Matěj was the servant of painter Panuška.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] „To ale nebyla moje slova, to vykládal sluha malíře Panušky Matěj jedné staré bábě, když se ho ptala, jak vypadá růže z Jericha.
Kovář Křížnn flag

Kříž was a blacksmith Sappeur Vodička tells about in an anecdote where he illustrates how nebulous he thinks Švejk's many stories are.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Když se ho auditor ptal, čím je v civilu, tak říkal: ,Dejmám u Kříže.’ A trvalo to přes půl hodiny, než auditorovi vysvětlil, že tahá měch u kováře Kříže, a když se ho potom zeptali: ,Vy jste tedy v civilu pomocnej dělník,’ tak jim odpověděl: ,Kdepak ponocnej, ten je Franta Hybšů.’“
Hybšů, Frantann flag

Hybšů was a night crier Sappeur Vodička tells about in an anecdote, see kovář Kříž.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Když se ho auditor ptal, čím je v civilu, tak říkal: ,Dejmám u Kříže.’ A trvalo to přes půl hodiny, než auditorovi vysvětlil, že tahá měch u kováře Kříže, a když se ho potom zeptali: ,Vy jste tedy v civilu pomocnej dělník,’ tak jim odpověděl: ,Kdepak ponocnej, ten je Franta Hybšů.’“
Moudrá, Pavlann flag
*26.1.1861 Praha - †10.9.1940 Praha
Wikipedia cz Search

Králikář českoslovanský, 1.2.1912


Ženský svět, 25.4.1918

Pavla Moudrá is mentioned by Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek when he tells about how he got locked up for mutiny after refusing to clean the latrines.


Pavla Moudrá was a Czech writer and translator (Victor Hugo, Twain, Kipling a.o). In the novel she is mentioned as an author of children's literature. She was also an early peace activist, animal activist and feminist, and also briefly edited the journal Lada. She also contributed to the animal magazine Svět zvířat, for instance in the Christmas issue from 1911.

She was also active in the struggle against alcoholism and lectured for the Czechoslovak abstinent's association together with Doctor Batěk and others. Jaroslav Hašek also mentions here in a satirical story about the Salvation Army from 1921: Zápas s Armádou spásy.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] A tak to šlo pořád: ,Budete pucovat?’ ,Nebudu pucovat.’ Hajzly lítaly sem a tam, jako by to bylo' nějaké dětské říkadlo od Pavly Moudré. Obršt běhal po kanceláři jako pominutý, nakonec si sedl a řekl: ,Rozvažte si to dobře, já vás předám divisijnímu soudu pro vzpouru. Nemyslete si, že budete první jednoroční dobrovolník, který byl za této války zastřelen.


Supák Solperann flag

Solpera was a kitchen officer Švejk tells Sappeur Vodička about.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] „Já jsem zas docela spokojenej,“ řekl Švejk, „to ještě před lety, když jsem sloužil aktivně, tak náš supák Solpera říkal, že na vojně musí bejt si každej vědom svejch povinností, a dal ti přitom takovou přes hubu, žes na to nikdy nezapomněl.
Oberleutnant Kvajsernn flag

Kvajser was an objrlajtnant mentioned in the same story as supák Solpera.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Nebo nebožtík obrlajtnant Kvajser, když přišel prohlížet kvéry, tak vždycky nám přednášel, že každej voják má jevit největší duševní votrlost, poněvadž vojáci jsou jenom dobytek, kerej stát krmí, dá jim nažrat, napít kafé, tabák do fajfky a za to musí tahat jako volové.“
Teacher Herálnn flag

© ÖStA


© ÖStA


Nachrichten über Verwundete und Kranke ausgegeben am 1./5. 1915


Sčítání lidu 1910, Boršov nad Vltavou

Herál was a teacher mentioned in yet another story that Švejk told Sappeur Vodička. Herál had explained the practices in military courts during the reign of Maria Theresa.


Reserve lieutenant Petr Heral actually served in Infanterieregiment Nr. 91 together with Jaroslav Hašek. He was born in 1886 with Heimatrecht in Boršov nad Vltavou and was promoted to Leutnant on 1 March 1915[b]. He was taken prisoner by the Russians on the same day as the author, at Chorupan 24 September 1915.[a] Hašek may thus have known Heral not only from IR 91 but also from the three week prisoner transport to Darnitsa, maybe even further. The loss lists also reveal that he held a degree in law and that he served in the 6th company (i.e. in the 2nd battalion) at the time of his capture.

Whether or not he inspired the author to create the teacher Švejk tells about can obviously not be verified, but it remains an open possibility. If it could established that Heral actually was a teacher, it would be a near certainty.

The 1910 census

The census carried out in 1910 reveals more about Heral[c]. He was born in Boršov 16 June 1886 in house number 11, in a family of farmers, living there with three siblings and his mother Anna (1851) who also owned the house. He is listed as single, Roman-Catholic and with Czech as his mother tongue. As usual in the census record it was stated that he could read and write. At the end of 1907 Heral was studying at C.k. vyšší realka in Budějovice and graduated that year. By 1910 he had completed a course at C.k. cejchovní úřad (gauging office) but at this stage there is no information about any employment.

This link to the gauging office facilitates further research. His obituary reveals that he was employed by the gauging office in Prague and that he returned from Russia (captivity) with malaria. The condition affected his heart and in the end this proved fatal. He died in Prague on 4 May 1938 and was buried in Boršov the next day[d].


Heral is a rare surname (69 persons in the Czech Republic in 2020) so Hašek wouldn't have known many of them. That he knew Peter Heral from IR 91 is very likely, but the latter was already working at the gauging office in 1913[e] so it is unlikely that he was also a teacher.

Other inspirations are possible but less likely than Peter Heral. In the Prague address book from 1910 only 2 Heral's are listed and they were not teachers. Nor do the police registers reveal any combination of name and occupation that fits.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Sloužil ti u nás v aktivu učitel Herál a ten nám jednou na kavalci vykládal, když jsme všichni v cimře dostali kasárníka, že je v pražským museu jedna kniha zápisů takovýho vojenskýho soudu za Marie Terezie.

Sources: Karl Wagner von Wagenried, Jan Ciglbauer


aThe battle of ChorupanJomar Hønsi2021
bRanglisten der kaiserlich und königlichen Heeres 1918K.K. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei
cSčítání lidu Boršov nad VltavouSOkA České Budějovice1910
dBoršov - Matriční přehledFarní věstník pro Č. Budějovice a okolní osady1938
e Reznik, který na kus masa nehledíNová doba5.3.1913
Maria Theresann flag
*13.5.1717 Wien - †29.11.1780 Wien
Wikipedia czdeenhunn Search

Maria Theresa is mentioned in the same story as the teacher teacher Herál.


Maria Theresa was ruling archduchess of Austria, queen of Hungary, queen of Bohemia and head of state of several other areas: Croatia, Galicia, Mantua etc.

Her father prepared the way for her ascension to the throne by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, also mentioned in the novel. This law gave women hereditary rights to the throne.

Maria Theresa introduced progressive reforms in the penal code and in education, but was also known for her religious intolerance. The fortress Terezín is named after her, and so is Theresianische Militärakademie.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Sloužil ti u nás v aktivu učitel Herál a ten nám jednou na kavalci vykládal, když jsme všichni v cimře dostali kasárníka, že je v pražským museu jedna kniha zápisů takovýho vojenskýho soudu za Marie Terezie. Každej regiment měl svýho kata, který popravoval vojáky svýho regimentu, kus po kusu, za jeden tereziánskej tolar. A ten kat podle těch zápisů vydělal si někerej den až pět tolarů.

Also written:Marie Terezie cz Mária Terézia hu

Bělounnn flag

Běloun was a soldier who strangled a gipsy by the Drina after the latter had been caught with cigarettes he had received as a reward for hanging Serbian resistance fighters. This is one of the stories Sappeur Vodička tells from the front.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] „Když jsem byl v Srbsku,“ řekl Vodička, „tak u naší brigády věšeli, kteří se přihlásili, čúžáky za cigarety. Kerej voják pověsil chlapa, ten dostal deset športek, za ženskou a za dítě pět. Potom začlo intendantstvo spořit a vodstřelovalo se to hromadně. Se mnou sloužil jeden cikán a vo tom jsme to dlouho nevěděli. Bylo nám to jenom nápadný, že ho vždycky na noc někam volali do kanceláře. To jsme stáli na Drině. A jednou v noci, když byl pryč, tak někomu napadlo šťourat se v jeho věcech, a pacholek měl v ruksaku celý tři krabičky po stovce športek. Potom se vrátil k ránu do naší stodoly a my jsme s ním udělali krátkej soud. Povalili jsme ho a nějakej Běloun ho uškrtil řemenem. Měl ten pacholek tuhej život jako kočka.“
Auditor Rullernn flag

Ruller was a military judge who interrogated Švejk and Sappeur Vodička and reluctantly had to release them on orders from Oberst Schröder. Ruller is more interested in the drawings in a book on the historical development of sexual morals than by performing his duties at the Divisional Court. The situation has similarities with the description of the judge in The Trial by Franz Kafka.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Vstoupili právě do baráku s kancelářemi divisijního soudu a patrola je ihned odvedla do kanceláře čís. 8, kde za dlouhým stolem s haldami spisů seděl auditor Ruller. Před ním ležel nějaký díl zákoníku, na kterém stála nedopitá sklenice čaje. Po pravé straně na stole stál krucifix z napodobené slonoviny, se zaprášeným Kristem, který se zoufale díval na podstavec svého kříže, na kterém byl popel a oharky z cigaret. Auditor Ruller oklepával si právě k nové lítosti ukřižovaného boha novou cigaretu o podstavec krucifixu a druhou rukou nadzvedal sklenici s čajem, která se přilepila na zákoník. Vyprostiv sklenici z objetí zákoníku, listoval se dál v knize vypůjčené z důstojnického kasina. Byla to kniha Fr. S. Krause s mnohoslibným názvem „Forschungen zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der geschlechtlichen Moral“.
Krauss, Friedrich Salomonnn flag
*7.10.1859 Požega - †29.5.1938 Wien
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Porträt des Krauss, Friedrich Salomon [1859-1938]



One of the naive drawings that auditor Ruller may have had a closer look at in Királyhida. Collected by Georges-Henri Luquet.

Anthropophyteia. VII. Band 1910..

Krauss is mentioned because advocate Auditor Ruller is browsing the book Forschungen zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der geschlechtlichen Moral by Krauss just as Sappeur Vodička and Švejk appear. He is studying some naive drawings of male and female reproductive organs, with suitable verses, as observed in the toilets at Berlin Westbahnhof by the learned Fr. S. Kraus himself.


Krauss was a ethnographer, sexologist, folklorist, and Slavist of Croatian/Jewish origin, resident in Vienna. Early in his career he received funding from crown prince Crown Prince Rudolf for his ethnographic research amongst the south Slavs and later he worked with Sigmund Freud. He became a pioneer of "ethno-sexology", but a succession of obscenity trials hampered his work and had by 1913 ruined him financially.

The author is imprecise in describing Krauss and his publication. It was not a book, but rather a series of annual publications which appeared 10 times between 1904 and 1913. Krauss was the publisher of the series, not the author as Hašek suggests.


The work in question is no doubt Anthropophyteia. Jahrbücher für Folkloristische Erhebungen und Forschungen zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der geschlechtlichen Moral. It was a series of scientific yearbooks, containing articles and studies from a number of scholars, and Krauss himself contributed some of it. The books were never publicly for sale, as they were intended for research only. The illustrations were limited to some pages at the end of each volume.

Drawings that fit the description Hašek gives in the novel are found in Vol. VII. (1910), page 529 to 535. They refer to a study published on pages 197 to 203, authored in French by Luquet[1]. He does not mention Berlin or any railway station toilet but in the same volume (p. 403) there is a section about scribbled verses in Berlin toilets (with examples). It may therefore be that Hašek composed the sequence from these two elements. In any case: nowhere in the ten volumes do we find drawings next to verses as described in the novel.

1. Georges-Henri Luquet (1876-1965). French philosopher and ethnologist. Pioneer on the research on children's drawings.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Vyprostiv sklenici z objetí zákoníku, listoval se dál v knize vypůjčené z důstojnického kasina. Byla to kniha Fr. S. Krause s mnohoslibným názvem „Forschungen zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der geschlechtlichen Moral“. Zadíval se na reprodukci naivních kreseb mužského i ženského pohlavního ústroje s přiléhajícími verši, které objevil učenec Fr. S. Krause na záchodcích berlínského Západního nádraží, takže neobrátil pozornost na ty, kteří vstoupili.

Also written:Fr. S. Krause Hašek


von Humboldt, Alexandernn flag
*14.7.1769 Berlin - †6.5.1859 Berlin
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Humboldt is quoted by Einjährigfreiwilliger Marek when he gets the news that Švejk is off to the front in Galicia: In the whole world have I seen nothing more magnificent than this stupid Galicia).

The quote could also originate from his brother Wilhelm. It may also refer to Galicia in Spain, an area both Humboldt brothers visited.


Humboldt was a German naturalist and explorer who undertook extensive research expeditions in Latin America and Central Asia. He is regarded as the co-founder of geography as empirical science. He was the brother of Wilhelm von Humboldt, founder of Berlin's Humboldt University.

Humboldt visited Galicia (Poland) in 1792/93 and Galicia (Spain) in 1799.

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Budete se v dálné cizině cítiti jako doma, jako v příbuzném kraji, ba skoro jako v milé domovině. S city povznesenými nastoupíte pouť do krajin, o kterých již starý Humboldt pravil: ,V celém světě neviděl jsem něco velkolepějšího nad tu blbou Halič.’
Lawyer Bas, Otakarnn flag
*21.3.1879 Hradec Kralové - †18.3.1939 Praha
Wikipedia cz Search


Bas is a lawyer who is mentioned by Švejk after he and Sappeur Vodička had been interrogated by Auditor Ruller.


Bas was a Czech radical lawyer who received his license in 1908 and specialised in defending opponents of the Habsburg regime. Already as a young candidate lawyer he was active in Sokol and also in politics. After the war he at one stage held the post as Vice President of the Czechoslovak Senate. He committed suicide shortly after the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939.

That this is the person the novel refers to, is information from Antonín Měšťan and is almost certainly true (minor spelling mistakes like Bas-Bass are quite common throughout the novel).

Quote(s) from the novel
[II.4] Já jsem se u vejslechu, to je pravda, vymlouval všelijak, to se musí dělat, to je povinností lhát, jako říká advokát Bass svým klientům.


Index Back Forward II. At the front Hovudpersonen

4. New afflictions

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