Good soldier Schweik is one hundred years

“Humbly report, I’ve been here,” said stunned readers of švejk in the summer of 1917. It was at that landmark, a vague and dusty summer of 1917 in Kiev, he published the novel by Jaroslav Hasek “the good soldier švejk in captivity”.

In fairness I should add that Svejk was born even earlier — in 1912, in two small stories. But that Svejk and Svejk “From captivity”, even though they have the same name, two completely different characters.

Written as was the story in the garrison jail in Borispol, where a cheerful soldier Hasek went down for 11 days for a mere trifle — a fight with the officer, on whose head the writer broke the bottle. On the benches Hasek time in vain did not lose: he smoked a lot and wrote. And wrote his text almost is not right! And when Yaroslav with a clear conscience was released, according to the famous researcher of antiquity Viktor Kirkevich, after a week of “švejk in captivity” “was printed as a separate book in the printing house “Czechoslovaka”, located in Kiev, in the district Yaroslavov Val”. In what-than, and efficiency Hasek will not be denied!


Classic illustrations for the novel are the work of Czech artist Josef Lada. That’s the fun paintings decorate the numerous editions of books in all languages, including Arabic, Japanese, English, and that he visualized the look of Schweik for readers.

“In 1922, Hasek came to me and asked me to draw the cover for some editions “of the Adventures of the good soldier Svejk during the world war,” recalled much later Lada. — I started. The basis of the image Schweik I have not any certain person, but used the descriptions made by Hasek in the novel. I drew Schweik, puffing his tube with the bullets flying and grenades exploding shrapnel. Good-natured face, calm expression on which it is clear that he is on your mind, but if necessary, can pretend to be a fool. This cover I brought Hasek to the appointed day in the cellar “Magalski”. By the way, a little later, the publisher went bankrupt, and Lada in royalties received by the cover… “a few pieces of underwear and socks.”

Josef Lada. It works to “Schweik” is considered a classic

Lada. Self-portrait


Cover cover, but the illustrations, which became a classic, appeared a little later, in 1924, a year after the writer’s death. “Working in the “Czech word” — nostalgically reminisced the artist — began to print in the Sunday Supplement “adventures of Schweik”. Each room I was given six black figures, which were printed fit me for this purpose, a short text Hasek. In General, there was something around 500 drawings! I am sure that the portraits of all the main actors I drew those notions which must have been from Jaroslav Hasek when he wrote his novel. Sorry friend Hasek didn’t wait for an illustrated “Schweik”; he would, of course, the best and most stringent critic, and believe he would be pleased with my drawings. I pay him a great debt for his comic novel, received the now world famous”.

First cover. So Schweik saw the Lada and the whole world

From the magazine “Crocodile”. Svejk and Terkin — two soldiers


To pass such a colorful character, švejk is simply impossible. Because of the way the brave lover of beer and dumplings who has not taken! So, fans highly respect the work of such Soviet greats as Ivan Semenov (his set of postcards with color illustrations to the book — a real rarity), Evgeny Vedernikov and Boris Efimov. By the way, Boris Yefimovich Yefimov — from Kiev, he was born on Podol, in the house №5 on the Mezhigorskaya street (memorial plaques, alas, is not there). Remember the Soviet sinister caricatures: fat bourgeois sitting on a nuclear missile?! Faces of evil on the heads, the cylinders… So, it’s all brilliant Efimov, lived — scary thought — 108 years!

Of his contemporaries highlighted the ambiguous work of Sergei lemehov: it shows how expensive the VIP edition, but his drawings, that is, on the fan.

Sergey Plowshares. Amateur

From fellow Hasek is to provide a Czech cartoonist Petr urban (his švejk always like “tipsy”) and the Czech artist Karel Klos (his švejk is executed in a classical manner typical of cartoons).

Czech Republic. Peter Urban

Special mention are the Yugoslavian comics artist Ivan Shenshin, shot by the Germans in 1944. This is a masterpiece. According to the scholar, Shenshin Irina Antanasijevic, his lyrics — “it’s not so much a retelling of the classic story how the original author’s improvisation on a given topic. Especially strongly it is felt in the novel “Brave soldier Svejk” (“Brave wont Svec”) based on the novel by Jaroslav Hasek, a favorite with readers because the full “on” Schweik in the Balkan realities”.

Peace Svejk beer. View artist Michael Evshina


The author of these lines first discovered Schweik in the book of the Kharkov publishing house “Prapor”. And black-and-white drawings, adorned this “brick” 600-odd pages, was artfully executed by Ukrainian artist Anatoly Bazilevich (he brilliantly illustrated the works of Shevchenko and Kotliarevsky). Because Svejk Bazilevich for me — the right švejk in the world!

“Dad loved to paint from life,” recalls the artist’s son, Alexei (the artist passed away in 2005). So for your Schweik Bazilevich very long searched for a sitter. And we found it! Ukrainian Schweik was textured man encountered by the artist on the streets. After some soul searching: “How do I get it out?” — everything happened in the best way. It turned out that the man with the sonorous name — Stanislav L. Lupinski — lived next door and worked as a cook in one of Kiev restaurants.

Bazilevich. Our classic

“This does not mean that he just took and copied from him of the brave soldier, no. He used it rather a way to come up with your own unique Schweik,” says Alex Bazilevich. And work managed: brave cheerful soldier Bazilevich like meticulous, even to the Czechs.

In our time, in 2007, another talented Ukrainian artist Konstantin lavro, he created his own color version of Schweik. In his interpretation of “little child Hasek” slightly younger and much plump. Not all fans of the novel were delighted from such interpretation of the image of Svejk, but in General treated it with great sympathy.

Later, two years later, in the Lviv publishing “Calvary” was released two volumes of “Svejk” illustrations by Michael Evsina. I must give credit to the artist — he has done a Herculean job created 150 new illustrations! Svejk from Ivshina became more… cartoon-baby. Feels like it was drawn by a child (not in the sense of quality and sense perception). And this is getting into the insides Schweik, which, in fact, remained a big kid. Brilliant!

The pattern of “Svejk in captivity”

Czech Republic. Ivan Semenov

Illustration Eugenia Vedernikova


The first Ukrainian translation of Svejk appeared in 1932. Translated the novel Nicholas Zorko. But his translation is interesting today is that “swalowed”. A true classic, a model translation is the translation of Stepan Malaka (pictured), released in 1958 (and reissued to this day). Here are a couple of winged gems “from Malaka”:

  • W tsogo beer will not a diva.
  • On the mi I Soldati, to target all of us matter people, dwellers if vzhe tagName viyskovi of mundiri, we pokli on corki.
  • Hoch won the first pedunculata, nonetheless, can be Timati-Yak reigning Posada.


The world’s first monument to the gallant lover of beer was opened in 1998 in Donetsk, the second — in 2000, in Humenne (Slovakia). Ukraine does record the number of monuments Schweik: in our country there are about a dozen more than in any other country in the world!
Thus, until recently, no one Schweik was not in… the Czech Republic! And all because many Czechs earnestly believed that in his book, Hasek showed Chekhov “total idiots” — which, by the way, Hasek wrongly accused during his lifetime. Fortunately, not everyone was so narrow-minded, and just a couple of years in the Czech Republic appeared immediately two sculptures dedicated to Josef Schweik.

So, the first Czech monument was opened in 2014 in the small Czech village of Putim. Who does not remember, it was in Putim wandered Svejk on the way to the Czech budějovice.
And the second, the last Czech monument was opened in may 2017 in the city of Kralupy nad Vltavou. Svejk it portrait similar to Czech actor Rudolf hrušínský, who is considered the best performer of the role of the good soldier, sitting on a bench, hugging the left hand of the dog.

Brave. In Potime

Of the new Ukrainian monuments can remember Schweik in Odessa. However, it… kidnapped! And only a few days the police found the thief: the lady was going to take a brave Schweik for scrap…

Odessa. Was stolen