The fourth, last volume of the novel by J. Hašek "The Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk", entitled "The famous thrashing continued" is almost entirely devoted to the adventures of the hero in Przemyśl after the recapture of the fortress in July 1915. Let’s follow the traces of the good soldier. Švejk was seized by a gendarmerie patrol as a fugitive Russian prisoner of war due to the fact that, out of curiosity, he put on a Russian uniform which he had found by the lake. Initially treated as a fugitive prisoner, he was soon classified as a Russian spy and escorted on foot from Dobromil to Przemyśl.
"... it was not until they reached Przemyśl that, when, in the evening, the prisoners were rounded up in a destroyed fort, Švejk was able to rest in one of the stables of the fortress artillery..." (J. Hašek "The Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk", volume 4)
The Good Soldier Švejk Alley
On the 6 May 2006, during the Subcarpathian Tourist Fair, a plaque was unveiled with the name of the new street in Przemyśl, that is, the Good Soldier Švejk Alley. The ceremony was conducted jointly by the Mayor of the City of České Budějovice, the President of the City of Przemyśl and the President of the Przemyśl Society of Friends of the Good Soldier Švejk, Jan Hołówka. A fragment of "The Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk" was read aloud. Obviously, the President Robert Choma read the Czech version and the Mayor Miroslav Tetter – the Polish version. The ceremony was also attended by the participants of the 2nd Fortress Bicycle Route Rally.
On the 12 July 2008, on Saturday, the celebration of unveiling the monument of the Imperial and Royal Good Soldier Švejk, sitting on the ammunition box, took place. The monument was made by a sculptor of Przemyśl origin, Jacek Szpak. The casting of the figure was supervised by a well-known Przemyśl bell-founder Janusz Felczyński. After many years of efforts, Švejk finally sat in the Main Square in Przemyśl with his favorite beer-mug and a pipe.
The Przemyśl Society of Friends of the Good Soldier Švejk
Inspired by the character of Švejk, the fact that he stayed in the Przemyśl Fortress and, above all, its life philosophy, in 1997 a group of a dozen people decided to establish a society which would allow these ideas to be put into effect. Since then, the Švejk Movement in Poland and Europe has developed and a few other societies of such kind have been established, and Przemyśl is its capital.
At present, there are more than 100 members, sympathizers and friends active in various fortress regiments, such as cyclists, medics, sutlers, quartermasters, foreigners etc. It can be said that J. Švejk has become a touristic product. Švejk routes have been marked out – a walking trail in Przemyśl and the bicycle route R63 Slovakia - Poland.
The Przemyśl Society of Friends of the Good Soldier Švejk organizes popular events in the Przemyśl Fortress, feasts, fetes and social and entertainment maneuvers at the table and by a bonfire.
The event organized by the Society which is inseparably connected with the promotion of the character of Švejk are the Great Maneuvers of Soldier Švejk in the Przemyśl Fortress, held every year in July, irrespective of the political situation and the weather.