Hans Joachim Störig

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Hans Joachim Störig (born July 25, 1915 in Quenstedt ; † September 10, 2012 in Munich ) was a German non-fiction author and lexicographer .


Störig studied history , philosophy , sociology and law in Freiburg im Breisgau , Cologne , Königsberg , Basel , Hamburg and Berlin and received his doctorate. phil. and Dr. jur. He was denied an academic career during the Nazi era for political reasons. After 1945 he worked as a publisher, author, editor and translator. From 1956 to 1963 he was head of Cotta Verlag and then until 1983 of the Lexicographical Institute in Munich. From 1990 he taught as an honorary professor for "German as a Foreign Language" at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich .

Störig became known for his lexicographical works, e. B. “The big Störig. Knaur's large dictionary of the German language ”. His most famous book was the “Little World History of Philosophy”, first published in 1950, which over the years had a total circulation of almost 1 million copies. The work has been revised and expanded several times (most recently in 1999) and translated into six languages. Störig knew how to present the most important ideas of philosophy in clear, easily understandable language. This can also be said of Störig's second great historical work, the “Little World History of Science”, first published in 1953, in which the bold task is undertaken of presenting the entire history of science from the Egyptians to Freud and Einstein on about 800 pages.

Störig succeeded in creating a third, widely read standard work with "Knaurs modern astronomy" (1972), which was last thoroughly revised in 1992. Störig, who was a passionate amateur astronomer, once again knew how to present complex relationships in an understandable way.

The same applies to his work “Language Adventure - A Foray through the Languages ​​of the Earth” (2nd edition 2002). The book describes the development history of the world's languages, the peculiarities and similarities of languages, scripts and their deciphering, the development and expansion of language families and individual languages, as well as the development and history of artificial languages .

Störigs published under a pseudonym advice "High School of the Secretary" and "The Ax in the House" were also very successful longsellers .

Hans Joachim Störig last lived in Munich.

Publications (selection)


  • Small world history of philosophy. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1950; many reprints.
  • Small world history of science. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1954; many reprints.
  • High school secretary. Bruckmann, Munich [1954] (with Martha Maria Gehrke; under the pseudonym Walter Joachim).
  • The ax in the house. A manual for the skillful and the clumsy. Bruckmann, Munich 1956 (under the pseudonym Otto Werkmeister).
  • The word is powerful (= Hoesch Aktiengesellschaft : Werk und wir. Annual gift 1963). Verlag Mensch und Arbeit, Munich 1962.
  • Knaur's book of modern astronomy. Droemer Knaur, Munich 1972; from 1978 Knaurs modern astronomy .
  • Adventure language. A journey through the languages ​​of the earth. Langenscheidt, Berlin 1987.
  • A piece of life. End of the war in South Tyrol. Memories of a contemporary witness. Athesia, Bozen 2006, ISBN 88-8266-400-7 .
  • The languages ​​of the world. History. Facts. Secrets. Anaconda, Cologne 2009, ISBN 978-3-86647-826-8 .
  • Splinter. Outlines of a biography. Buch & Media, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-86520-353-3 (autobiography).


  • Large Donauland Lexicon . Book association Donauland, Vienna 1966/1967 (4 volumes).
  • Large lexicon of the book guild . Book guild Gutenberg, Frankfurt am Main 1966–1968 (4 volumes).
  • The great Knaur. With 65,000 keywords . Droemer Knaur, Munich (4 volumes).
  1. A - E, 1966.
  2. F-K, 1967.
  3. L-R, 1967.
  4. S - Z, 1968.


  • Ursula Hermann and others: Knaur's large dictionary of the German language. The big Störig. Droemer Knaur, Munich 1985, ISBN 3-426-26258-4 (“Introduction and Notes for the User” and “Rules for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar”) were created in collaboration with Ursula Hermann and Hans Joachim Störig).
  • Franz Böhm, Anedore Leber: But the testimony lives on. The Jewish contribution to our life. Frankfurt am Main 1965, pp. 111-132 ( thinker, researcher, inventor ).


  • The problem of translation (= ways of research . Volume VIII). Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1963.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Klaus G. Saur: Hans Joachim Störig has died
  2. Börsenblatt. Weekly magazine for the German book trade, issue 10/2010, p. 35.