Biographical / Historical
Goetz A. Briefs was born in 1889 in Eschweiler, Germany. He was educated in Munich, Bonn, and Freiburg, receiving a Ph.D. from the latter in 1912. He began his extensive teaching career in 1913 in Germany, and in 1937 he joined the Georgetown faculty as full professor in the Department of Economics. Briefs was appointed to the rank of professor emeritus in 1957. His long and fruitful academic career ended with his retirement at the age of 82 in 1971. Goetz Briefs died in 1974. Additional biographical information can be found in Folder 1, Box 1 of this series, and also in the register for Series I of the Briefs Papers.
The Goetz A. Briefs Papers (Series II) are comprised of four boxes. Box 1 (Folders 2-20) consists if correspondence, dating between 1934-1973, to briefs from various eminent Germans: political scientists, economist, jurists, businessmen, and clergy. For instance, there are letters by Dr. Ludwig Erhard (West German Chancellor); Heinrich Knappstein, former German Ambassador to the United States; and the REv. Franz Hengsbach, Bishop of Essen. Of especial interest, however, are a remarkable series of letters written by Briefs when first coming to live in America in 1934. They are to his wife, who at the time was still in Germany, giving vivid insights into the American and German political and social situation of the time. The remaining portion fo the correspondence section is largely letters from the American and European scholars, althought here is also correspondence in the Individual Files (Box 3 and 4).
Manuscripts by Briefs (both titled and untitled) make up Box 1 (Folders 22-44), Box 2 (entire), and Box 3 (Folders 1-25). The Individual Files found in Box 3 (Folders 26-30) and Box 4 (Folders 1-11; 17-26), consist if letters, offprints, and manuscripts by various friends and colleagues of Briefs, while several files relating to Georgetown University are found elsewhere (Box 1, Folders 21-23). Box 4, Folders 13-16, also contain materials from the Mont Pelerin Society, including papers from the 1958, 1964, 1970, and 1972 meetings as well as inscirbed copies of published works both by Briefs and other noted scholars in the field of economics.
A manuscript translation of Romano Guardini's "Great Charactersin Dostoyevsky" by Eleanor Briefs, his wife, is found in Box 3, Folders 27-29 together with a short work on Gertrud von le Fort, mystic.