Rudolf Allers was born in Vienna in 1883, the son of a physician. He attended the Medical School at the University of Vienna and received his M.D. in 1906, a member of the last class taught by Sigmund Freud. From 1908 onwards, Allers specialized in psychiatry, working as an assistant in the clinics for mental diseases at the German University in Prague and then at Munich. In 1913, he became an instructor in psychiatry in the Medical School of the University of Munich, but his teaching activity was interrupted by World War I. During the war, he served in the surgeons' corps of of the Austrian Army, which enabled him to perfect several surgical proceedures and brought him some decorations.
In the difficult two decades following WWI, from 1918 to 1938, Allers served in the Medical School of the University of Vienna. He first worked in the department of sense physiology and then (from 1927) in the department of psychiatry. After pursuing his philosophical studies at Milan, Allers received the doctoral degree in philosophy there in 1934.
Hitler's policies gradually made Allers' situation in Austria unbearable. An American psychiatrist, Francis Braceland, took the initiative in interesting the procurator and rector of the Catholic University of America in the possibility of obtaining Allers for that institution. Fr. Ignatius Smith, O.P., dean of the School of Philosophy brought Allers and his family to America in 1938. After teaching for a decade at Catholic University as a Professor of Psychology in the School of Philosophy, Allers transferred to Georgetown University as a Professor of Philosophy. During his final decade, Allers' achievements received wide recognition. In the spring of 1955, he served as a Fulbright lecturer at the Unviersities in Paris and Toulouse, Geneva and Vienna. In 1957 he became a professor Emeritus at Georgetown University, and with the aid of a Guggenheim grant he spent the fall term of 1958 in Paris. In 1960 he was awarded an honorary LL.D. by Georgetown University. He died on December 18, 1963.
Allers published consistently throughout his life. His books include the following: Uber Schadelschusse (1916), Das Werden der sittlichen Person (The Psychology of Character, 1930), Sex Psychology in Education (1937), Self-Improvement (1939), Character Education in Adolescence (1940), The Successful Error (1940), The New Psychologies (1940) and Existential and Psychiatry (1961). He also wrote numerous articles, 25 of which are housed in this collection. His specialty was the combination of psychiatry, philosophy and anthropology, with many views about Sigmund Freud, Heidegger, St. Augustine, existentialism, phenomenology and Thomist thought.