His parents came from
Chod. His grandfather lived in Klenci Pod Cerkovem and his mother was from Domazlic.
Professor Kostlivy grew up in Vienna, where his father was a counselor and deputy to the director of the meteorological station at Hohe
Warte. He never became director since he openly admitted to his Czech nationality.
His son (Stanislav) attended a German School and because of his Slavic name underwent some difficult times.
The entire family, however, participated in the Slovak Association, where they gained many friends, mostly Slovaks but also of many other Slavic
nationalities. There he also met his wife. She was the daughter of the Czech minister to the Austria-Hungary, Antonin Rezek and Bohuslava, the youngest daughter of the poet Karel Jaromir
Stanislav Kostlivy studied medicine in Vienna and graduated in 1902.
Among his professors was the renowned surgeon Eduard Albert. After working for a year and a half in gynecological surgery in Professor Freidlander’s ward, he left for the clinic of Professor Otakar Kukul in Prague.
After receiving his professional
license the young surgeon was given the post of head physician in Trebic.
During this time he wrote 'O chronickych tyreotoxicolizach' (Chronic
Thyrotoxicosis). His thesis was reviewed by members of the faculty of Charles University in Prague.
In 1919 the family moved to Bratislava, where the Bratislava University was established. The rector was Dr. Kristian Hynek, and the newly appointed dean of the medical faculty, professor of surgery, Dr. Stanislav Kostlivy.
His inaugural speech was entitled 'The Directions and Goals of Modern Surgery'.
He spent his happiest and most memorable years, both personal and professional, in Slovakia.
There established a surgery clinic and founded the Slovak School of Surgery.
Almost all well-known Slovak surgeons were once his students.
He was also active in other functions. He was rector of Komensky University, president of the Board of Physicians, chairman of the Association of Slovak Doctors and of the Czech Association of Surgeons.
He was also an advisory member of the International Association of Surgeons, the International Association of Urologists, the German Association of Surgeons and an honorary member of the Polish and South Slovak Association of Surgeons.
After 1939 conditions in Slovakia were progressively changing. Although professor Kostlivy had been promised a position in Bratislava, in 1941 he had to leave.
He lived in Prague as a pensioner because he could not find work. After the war his friends and his students summoned him back to the surgery clinic in Bratislava.
However, by this time he became ill, most likely, as a result of his heavy smoking.
He died December 7, 1946 in the clinic of his good friend, the academic Charvata.
He was laid to rest beside his wife in the family plot in the Olsansky cemetery in Prague.
Jan Vrba, a Chod by birth, was born into the family of a teacher from Klenci,
some twenty years later than his famous compatriot and relative, Jindrich Simon Baar (1869-1925).
Although he did not complete grammar school in Domazlice, he continued his studies at the Czech School of Forestry in the town of Jemnice in Moravia (1908-1909) and at the School of Agriculture in Vienna (1910-1914) where he also worked as a journalist contributing to the magazine J.V.
In the Viennese ‘bodenkulture’, he was most influenced, as he writes in his novel ‘Bludiste’, by professor of botany Wilhelm.
During the years 1911-1912, he worked as an assistant teacher of game keeping in Beroun and then later lived alternately in Vienna and Domazlice. The First World War found him in the forestry office in Zruci nad Sazavou, where he returned after completing his military service.
During the years 1917-1919 he taught nature studies, game keeping and forest conservation at the same School of Forestry where he himself once studied and where, in 1969, a commemorative plaque was unveiled with his portrait in relief and the words:
Through this school, as a student in the year 1908-1909 and as a teacher in the years 1917-1919, passed Jan Vrba, author and poet. From 1919, until his death, he lived in Domazlice where he produced most of his writings.
During years 1920-1923 he was also the editor of the Plzen literary paper ‘Prameny’. He was a very productive writer, writing over eighty books and an innumerable number of professional and controversial articles.
His works also include a collection of
His voluminous works can be divided into three main groups, the first of which are nature books full of tales about the forest, the animals and
game keeping, such as ‘Bazantnice’, ‘Borovice’, and ‘Drazinkovska Hora’.
The second group includes stories of, for the most part, pleasant incidents taken from the life of a gamekeeper. In the third group are novels and short stories based on life in the country and his native Chodsko, such as ‘Dolina (1917), Bozi Mlyny (1919), Jan Martin Sanda (1919), Chodske Rebelie (The Chod Rebellion) (1923-1926) and others. His writings about nature possess and enduring value.
Writing mainly in the early morning hours, the author shares his knowledge, his experiences and his
During the German occupation, publication and release of Vrba’s works was forbidden since it was well known that he fiercely opposed
the occupiers. However, even after 1950, publication of his work was restricted. His most productive years were from 1920 to 1930.
In 1956 Vrba published his last book ‘Ptaci svet’ (the World of Birds).
In the same year he suffered a stroke and then five years later another resulting in his death.