Gregor Sebba papers
Scope and Contents note
This collection contains Gregor Sebba’s research materials dating from 1951-1952 on displaced persons in Georgia after World War II. Displaced persons were individuals or families who were persecuted by Nazi governments during World War II and were unwilling or unable to return to their pre-war homes. The Displaced Persons Act of 1948 passed by the United States allowed for admission of limited numbers of displaced persons to enter the U.S. for permanent residence. Sebba’s research focused on the 1,252 displaced persons that were settled in Georgia.
The papers include correspondence; minutes of the Georgia Displaced Persons Committee; case histories, surveys, and interviews regarding displaced persons who settled on Georgia farms; printed material on displaced persons, emigration, social integration, U.S. policies on displaced persons; and surveys on displaced persons in other states. Correspondents include Tom Linder, J.C. Horton, the Lutheran Resettlement Service in New York, the Atlanta Federation for Jewish Social Service, and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Also included are 11 Sound Scriber stenographer records with interviews with displaced persons, and government publications from Sebba’s personal collection.
- Sebba, Gregor (Person)
Conditions Governing Access note
No restrictions; collection is open for research.
Gregor Sebba (1905-1985) was born in Libau, Latvia to Jewish parents. During his childhood his family moved first to South Tyrol, Austria and then to Linz, Austria during his childhood. Sebba attended the University of Vienna, and then the University of Innsbruck where he completed doctoral degrees in Political Science (specializing in economics) and Civil and Canon Law. Following completion of these degrees, he re-enrolled at the University of Vienna to study Statistics and took the position of research assistant for the Institute of Minority Statistics. He was unable to complete a Statistics degree due to the discontinuation of funding for his program by the Austrian government.
After ending his formal education, Sebba entered the advertising business in Austria where he worked as a research director for the Aquila Advertising Agency in Vienna. While working in the advertising business, he additionally served as editor for the economic journal Wirkschaftliche Rundschau as well as the founder of the informal research group Österreichische Soziologische Arbeitsgemeinschaft, which was dedicated to the study of contemporary ideological and sociological issues.
Sebba was arrested for his political beliefs by Nazi party officials on March 16, 1938; after a short internment by the Gestapo he was released. Following the outbreak of World War II, he fled to England. While in England, he met his future wife Helen Margaret Townsend; Gregor and Helen married in 1940. Sebba served in the British and American armed forces. Early in the war before the United States’ involvement, he was recruited into the Office of Strategic Services, where his duties included parachuting behind enemy lines and providing German uniforms to the Allies. He came to the United States on July 15, 1940 and became an American citizen in 1943. He was one of the founders of Austrian Action, an organization which permitted Austrian emigrants to serve with Americans in the war.
Sebba was a professor of Economics and Statistics at the University of Georgia from 1947-1959. While at UGA, he conducted a survey on the economic and social situation of displaced persons in Georgia. This survey began as a thesis project of one of his graduate students, but grew into a larger project conducted by the UGA College of Business. A report was published in 1954.
Sebba was hired away from UGA by Emory University where he was employed from 1959-1973 by the Emory Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts. Following his retirement in 1973, Sebba left Atlanta to teach for one additional year at the University of Florida. Sebba died of kidney disease on April 15, 1985 in Atlanta.
Sebba’s published works include Bibliographia Cartesiana, which traces criticism of the works of Rene Descartes. Other works by Sebba include studies of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Voegelin, as well as articles published in the Atlanta Journal.
2.52 Linear feet (7 boxes)
These papers pertain to Dr. Gregor Sebba’s "Displaced Persons in Georgia" survey published by the University of Georgia in 1955 to document relocation efforts for European refugees in the state of Georgia. The papers include correspondence; minutes of the Georgia Displaced Persons Committee; case histories, surveys, and interviews regarding displaced persons who settled on Georgia farms; printed material on displaced persons, emigration, social integration, U.S. policies on displaced persons; and surveys on displaced persons in other states. Correspondents include Tom Linder, J.C. Horton, the Lutheran Resettlement Service in New York, the Atlanta Federation for Jewish Social Services, and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Also included are 11 Sound Scriber stenographer records with interviews with displaced persons and books from Dr. Sebba’s personal collection.
Organized in two series: 1. Papers; 2. Government Publications.
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Donated by Helen Sebba, 1995.
Separated Materials note
38 hardcover and 24 softcover books were separated for cataloging. These books can be located in GIL catalog by searching Gregor Sebba as added author. Government publications were retained with the collection and can be found in Series II.
- Guide to the Gregor Sebba papers, 1947-1956 MS-0051
- Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Jason Kennedy.
- May 2013
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.