Rudolf Rafael Kolisch (1868 - 1922)

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Birthplace: Koryčany, Kroměříž District, Zlín Region, Czech Republic
Death: Died in Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Occupation: Univ.dozent, doctor (diabetes)
Managed by: Randy Schoenberg
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About Rudolf Rafael Kolisch

The Kolisch family was a large and prosperous Moravian Jewish family with an intellectual and musical bent that carried through several generations and branches. Trude’s father, Dr. Rudolf Rafael Kolisch was born on December 10, 1868 in Koricany (Koritschan), Czech Republic, a "friendly, secluded, unnoticed little market town in a beautiful green valley in the gentle mountain woods of South Moravia," and died on April 7, 1922 in Vienna (NFP death notice). Dr. Rudolf Kolisch was a medical doctor and Dozent at the University of Vienna, where he conducted important research on diabetes. During the summers he brought his family to Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad), Trude’s birthplace, where he would earn money treating wealthy patrons of the town’s famous healing baths and fountains. The money earned from Karlsbad helped pay for his children’s expensive taste in clothes, balls and operas and his medical research and work at the University medical clinic during the rest of the year. By all accounts Dr. Rudolf Kolisch was a remarkable man with a wonderful sense of humor and great integrity. During WWI he was in charge of a field hospital near the front and did not allow different treatment for enemy wounded.

The family is allegedly related to the famous Baron Ignaz von Kolisch (b. 6 Apr 1837 Bratislava, d. 30 Apr 1889 Vienna), who is considered one of the greatest chess players of the 19th century, was publisher and feuilletonist for the Wiener Allgemeinen Zeitung and also handled the business affairs of the Austrian branch of the Rothschild family. Kolisch participated in 1861 with Adolf Anderssen in the first official chess match in which a time clock was used. He lost a match 5-4 to Anderssen in 1861 in London, after playing him to a draw in twelve games in Paris the previous year. Kolisch’s greatest feat was winning the Paris Open in 1867 ahead of Wilhelm Steinitz.

Siegmund Kolisch, "Die Herrschaft Koritschan zu Mähren vom Baron Rotschild angekauft," Allg. Theaterzeitung 1846, II., Nr. 169.

Dr. Kolisch was forced to undergo an operation and witnessed the surgeon make a fatal error. He proclaimed "Now you have killed me," and later died from the surgeon’s mistake. He is buried in an honorary grave in Vienna’s Grinzing cemetery, quite near to Gustav and Alma Mahler.

Dr. Rudolf Kolisch developed one of the leading treatments of diabetes prior to the discovery of insulin. His publications include Lehrbuch der Diätischen Therapie Chronischer Krankeiten für Ärzte und Studeierende (Deuticke, Leibzig-Vienna 1899-1900); Drei Vorträge über Cholelithiasis. Gehalten in der Gesellschaft für physikal Medicin in Wien (Vienna 1912); Die Reiztheorie und die modernen Behandlungsmethoden des Diabetes (Urban & Schwarzenberg, Berlin-Vienna 1918). He was researching the pancreas and conducting experiments on dogs that might have led to his discovery of insulin when he died in 1922.

One family legend is that he had a patient who came to him complaining of some general ailments. He prescribed to her a very exact regimen for taking the waters from the healing fountains. "First you go to fountain four and take a drink, then to fountain two and just dip your toe in, then to fountain sixteen, but do not drink from it, just wash your face, then back to fountain one for a small drink, etc. Do this for two weeks and come back to me." Upon her return the patient marveled at how well the prescription had worked and reported that she had been cured by the miraculous fountains. "It was not the water in the fountains," Dr. Kolisch corrected her, "but the exercise that cured you. The prescription I gave you was designed to make you walk!"

However, when his son Rudi was to be transferred at the end of the war from Italy to the Russian front, Dr. Kolisch arranged for Rudi to undergo an emergency appendectomy to keep him in Vienna. Rudi learned only many years later when his appendix burst that the operation had been a fake.

List of publications of Rudolf Kolisch in the Library of Medical History:

KOLISCH, Rudolf: Die Reiztheorie und die modernen Behandlungsmethoden des Diabetes. Wien 1918.

KOLISCH, Rudolf: Über Wesen und Behandlung der uratischen Diathese. Stuttgart 1895.

KOLISCH, Rudolf: Lehrbuch der diätetischen Therapie chronischer Krankheiten für Ärzte und Studierende. I. Allgemeinder Theil. Bd. 1. Leipzig und Wien 1899.

KOLISCH, Rudolf und F. Schumnn-Leclerq: Zur Frage der Kohlehydrattoleranz der Diabetiker. In: Wiener klinische Wochenschrift Nr. 48. 1903.

KOLISCH, Rudolf: Die diätetische Behandlung der Choleithiasis. In: Monatsschrift für die physikalisch-diätetischen Heilmethoden in ärztlicher Praxis. Nr. 2. 1909.

KOLISCH, Rudolf: Beiträge zur Diabetesdiät. In: Zentralblatt für die gesamte Therapie. Nr. 23. 1905.

KOLISCH, Rudolf: Experimenteller Beitrag zur Lehre von der alimentären Glykosurie. In: Centralblatt für klinische Medicin. Nr. 35. 1892.

KOLISCH, Rudolf: Grundzüge der diätetischen Behandlung des schweren Diabetes. In: Zeitschrift für physikalische und diätetische Therapie. Nr.12. 1908-1909.

KOLISCH, Rudolf: Zur Theorie der Diabetesdiät. In: Wiener medicinische Wochenschrift. Nr. 20-22. 1902.

KOLISCH, Rudolf und Karl von Stejskal: Ueber den Zuckergehalt des normalen und diabetischen Blutes. In: Wiener klinische Wochenschrift. Nr. 50. 1897.

KOLISCH, Rudolf: Die functionellen Beziehungen der Leber zur Pathologie des Stoffwechsels. In: Wiener medicinische Wochenschrift. Nr. 5-8. 1898.

KOLISCH, Rudolf und Karl Pichler: Ein Fall von Morbus Addisonii mit Stoffwechseluntersuchung. In: Centralblatt für klinische Medizin. Nr. 12. 1893.

KOLISCH, Rudolf und Karl von Stejskal: Ueber die durch Blutzerfall bedingten Veränderungen des Harns. In: Zeitschrift für klinische Medizin. Nr. 27. 1895.

KOLISCH, Rudolf: Das Verhalten der Alloxurkörper im pathologischen Harn. In: Wiener klinische Wochenschrift Nr. 23-24. 1895.

Leavings of the Jewish Community of Vienna between 1868 and 1914 Nr 15872 Last Name Kolisch First Name Rudolf Last name changed Date of Birth 1867.12.10 Ancestry Koritschan Country Mähren Profession stud.med. Leaving 1885 Age 18 Marital Status ledig WStla 206633 IKG 1885

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Rudolf Rafael Kolisch's Timeline

1868
December 10, 1868
Koryčany, Kroměříž District, Zlín Region, Czech Republic
1894
June 28, 1894
Age 25
Maria Schutz am Semmering, Austria
1895
September 12, 1895
Age 26
Vienna, Austria
1896
July 20, 1896
Age 27
Klamm, Semmering, Austria
1898
July 11, 1898
Age 29
Karlovy Vary, Karlovy Vary District, Karlovy Vary Region, Czech Republic
1922
April 7, 1922
Age 53
Vienna, Vienna, Austria
1922
Age 53
Vienna, Austria
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