Isidor Isaak Sadger. Source: Alchetron
(free encyclopedia).

Isidor Isaak Sadger (1867-1942?) was born in Galicia, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now between Poland and Ukraine) and studied Medicine and forensic-pathology subjects at the University of Vienna in the period late 1880s-1890s. He then specialised in neurology and nervous diseases, and almost certainly attended some of Freud's university lectures on psychopathology in the late 1890s. By 1894 Sadger was a medical forensic-physiological psychologist and publishing author, with reports in obscure specialised journals.

By 1906 Sadger had found his way to Freud's early Wednesday Psychological Society meetings, and was soon having his psycho-patho-biographical studies published under Freud's editorship (Sadger, 1909, 1910). With his interests in sadism, masochism and homosexuality he is occasionally credited with inventing the term "sadomasochism" from c.1913, though he was certainly preceded in relevant studies by Richard von Krafft-Ebing, 1840-1902, and by Freud himself. At the inaugural First International Congress of Psycho-analysis, held at Salzburg in 1908, Sadger presented a paper on "The aetiology of homosexuality." His home at Liechtensteinstrasse 15 was in the same Vienna IX District as Freud's. After the General European War, 1914-1918, Sadger became more independent, leaving the Vienna Psa. Society around 1930.

Sadger's end, as an elderly non-Christian unable or unwilling to flee Hitler's Europe, was inevitably tied in to the Holocaust, as also was the case with Freud's elderly unmarried sisters. A popular internet search platform gives his last destination as Theresienstadt, though this was a "model camp," open to Swedish Red Cross inspections, and largely for children and young families. A more likely destination in 1942, before the advent of the notorious Auschwitz which killed so many of Europe's nineteenth-century Jews and other elderly minorities, was one of the early Polish experimental camps of equal notoriety though now almost forgotten - Chelmno, Sobibor, Majdanek and Treblinka. Another internet search gives Sadger's date of death, as 21 December 1942: sadly and implausibly precise for such times and such places.


Sadger, Isidor. Psychiatrisch-Neurologisches in psychoanalytischer Beleuchtung. (Psychiatry and neurology in the light of psychoanalysis).Zentralblatt für die Gesamtgebiet der Medizin und ihre Hilfswissenschaften: 7-8. 1908.

_____.Aus dem Liebensleben Nicolaus Lenaus. (From the Love-Life of Nicolaus Lenaus). S. Freud (ed.). Vienna: Franz Deuticke, 1909.

_____. Ein fall von multipler perversion. (A case of multiple perversion).Jahrbuch für psychoanalytic und psychopathologische Forschungen (Yearbook for psychoanalytic and psychopathological Researches). 2. 1910. The Jahrbuch/Yearbook was under the editorship of Carl Gustav Jung, 1875-1961 in Zurich.

_____. Heinrich von Kleist. Eine pathographische-psychologische Studie.(Heinrich von Kleist. A Patho-Psychological Study). Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1910. (The case was chosen as an example of homosexuality, and shared influence with Freud's 1910 choice of a similar pioneering case-study in psycho-biography, Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of his Childhood. S. E., Vol. XI.).

Created 8 March 2021