Storfer, Adolf Josef (1888-1944) (International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis)
Adolf Josef Storfer, journalist and publisher, was born in Botoschani, Siebenbürgen (now in Romania) on January 11, 1888, and died in Melbourne, Australia, on December 2, 1944.
He was of Jewish origin and his father was a well-todo wood merchant. He grew up at Klausenburg (Cluj), where he completed his secondary education and began to study law and political science. In 1908 he went to Zurich to continue his studies and became a journalist for the Frankfurter Zeitung and other publications.
In 1910 he contacted Sigmund Freud and sent him his manuscript "Zur Sonderstellung des Vatermordes" ("On the Primordial Role of Father Murder"), which Freud published that same year in Schriften zur angewandten Seelenkunde ("Writings of Applied Psychology"). In 1913 Storfer settled in Vienna and attended the meetings of the Wednesday Society.
He was mobilized during World War I and in 1919 became a member of the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society, before moving back to Vienna. From 1921 onward he collaborated with the Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, becoming director in 1925. Until 1932 Storfer left his print on the content and editorial policy of this powerful instrument for the dissemination of psychoanalysis. His solid humanistic education and his vast general culture particularly suited him to this task, as did his experience as a journalist.
The Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag had its most productive period between 1925 and 1932: three new periodicals were founded and the publication of Freud's Gesammelte Schriften was completed under Storfer's directorship, along with his personal contributions to the content.
His contacts with the members of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society were somewhat half-hearted, as he never practiced psychoanalysis. His role was essentially to be the intellectual indicator of Sigmund Freud's editorial policy. As editor of publications and as a result of internal financial crises, Storfer often had to deal with the competing interests of the psychoanalysts, as well as the consequences of the economic crisis.
As a leftist liberal intellectual, he frequented one of the most fashionable cafes in Vienna, the Café Herrenhof. In 1932 he left the Verlag after bitter disputes, thereafter working as a self-employed journalist, and publishing two works on etymology: Wörter und ihre Schicksale ("Words and their Destiny") and Im Dickicht der Sprache ("In the Thicket of Language").
In 1938 he succeeded in fleeing to Shanghai at the last minute and worked there as an editor for the last time. From 1939 to 1941 he published one of the best German-language newspapers for exiles, the Gelbe Post. As the Japanese advanced, in 1941, he managed to flee to Australia with the help of the British intelligence services. As a result of pneumonia he died in Melbourne in 1944 in extreme poverty.
See also: Almanach der Psychoanalyse; Gesammelte Schriften; Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag; Mysteries of a Soul; Sterba, Richard F.
Mühlleitner, Elke. (1992). Biographisches Lexikon der Psycho-analyse (Die Mitglieder der Psychologischen MittwochGesellschaft und der Wiener Psychoanalytischen Vereinigung 1902-1938). Tübingen: Diskord.
Leupold Löwenthal, Harald, Lobner, Hans, and Scholz Strasser, Inge (Eds.). (1995). Sigmund Freud Museum: Berggasse 19, Vienna (Thomas Roberts, Trans.). Corte Madera, CA: Gingko Press.
Scholz Strasser, Inge. Newsletter. Sigmund Freud House bulletin 1991, 15 (1), 40-48.