Following the advent of the National Socialist regime in the year 1938, more than 2,700 mostly Jewish affiliates of the University of Vienna were dismissed and subsequently driven away and/or murdered - lecturers, students and administration employees. Furthermore, over 200 people were stripped of their academic titles.
In 2008, 70 years after the so-called "Anschluss" [annexation] and the pogroms of what came to be cynically called the "Kristallnacht" [Crystal Night], the University of Vienna commemorates this injustice and  ...


Rudolf Allers, geb. Abeles

  • Born: 01-13-1883
  • Faculty: Faculty of Medicine
  • Category: expelled teacher

Rudolf ALLERS, nee ABELES (born on January 13th, 1883 in Vienna, died on December 14th, 1963 in Hyattsville/Maryland) was Pd. for Psychiatrie at the Medical School of the University of Vienna.

He graduated at the Medical School at the University of Vienna on December 22nd, 1906 with the academic degree 'Dr. med.', was assistant at a laboratory for biological chemistry in Vienna and subsequently worked at Clinics in Prague and Munich, until he became 'Privatdozent' for psychiatry in Munich in 1913.
During World War I Allers served as surgeon in the Austrian-Hungarian army. He married and converted to Catholicism.

From 1918 on Rudolf Allers was 'Privatdozent' for medical psychology and sensory physiology and head of the Department of Physiology at the Medical School of the University of Vienna.
In the 1920s he had close contacts to Alfred Adlers individual psychology, gave lectures at association meetings (1923-1925) and a course for adult education at the "Urania" (1923). From 1926 on he was head of a child guidance office of the Caritas.
Within the newly founded "Verein fuer Individualpsychologie" Allers founded a medical committee by the end of 1925 and participated in the Congresses for Psychotherapy in 1926 and 1927.
The occasion of the presentation of Oswald Schwarz' book about psychosomatics in 1927 leaded to a break with Adler. Schwarz was abused as a reactionary by a Marxist opposition group around Manés Sperber. Adler refrained from supporting the attacked and Allers left the event together with Schwarz and later on resigned from the "Verein fuer Individualpsychologie".

After 1927 Rudolf Allers turned to Catholicism in his writings and tried to connect it to ideas of individual psychology and psychotherapy. His work was increasingly influenced by Roman Catholic ideas and theories.

In 1934 he graduated also at the University of Milano/Italy with the academic degree 'Dr. phil.'. With the permission of the archbishop he was able to publish also during the Austro fascist period.

He was persecuted in times of Nazism as a Jew lost his position and was thrown out of the university on April 22nd, 1938.
After the "Anschluss" 1938 Rudolf Allers was able to emigrate to the USA, where he became professor of philosophy and psychology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In 1948 he moved as Professor of philosophy to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C..

Lit.: GEUTER 1986, 253; Alfred LÉVY, Rudolf Allers - ein katholischer Individualpsychologe, in: LÉVY/MACKENTHUN 2002, 27-36; MERINSKY 1980, 5-6; MÜHLBERGER 1993, 18; UB MedUni Wien/van Swieten Blog; WIKIPEDIA; WIEN-WIKI.

Katharina Kniefacz

zuletzt aktualisiert am 02.03.2019

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