Patrizia Guarnieri

Intellectuals Displaced from Fascist Italy.

Migrants, Exiles and Refugees Fleeing for Political and Racial Reasons

©2019-Author(s) Published by Firenze University Press
e-ISBN: 978-88-6453-872-3 | DOI: 10.36253/978-88-6453-872-3

Intellectuals Displaced from Fascist Italy

Aldo Neppi Modona (1895-1985)

Florence 20 October 1895 - Florence 25 May 1985

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Rachel Fintz Neppi Modona (Patmos, Greece 14 October 1907 – Florence 23 January 2003), wife: she moved to Rhodes with her rich Jewish family who worked in the trade sector. On the island, she worked at the Jewish kindergarten and met Aldo in 1928, as he was there to study. She emigrated to Florence to marry him on 11 February 1929. They had two children: Lionella (Florence 16 February 1931 –, then Viterbo) and Leo (Florence 5 July 1932 – Merano 26 August 1986). She visited Rhodes two times. She remained in Italy.
  • Rebecca Cohen Fintz (Rodhes 1872 – Harare, Zimbabwe 25 August 1949), mother-in-law: she had 11 siblings and was married to Eliyahu Fintz (1867 – 1934), who was from Smirne. With him, she moved to Patmos, where they run two shops. They had five children: Israel, Sarah «Sarina», Rachel, Esther, and Lucie. They moved to Rhodes after the Italian occupation. In 1939, when she was 67, she emigrated to Salisbury, Rhodesia (today Harare, Zimbabwe), at the time a British colony, joining her son Israel. She never returned to Europe permanently.
  • Israel Fintz (Rhodes 6 October 1899 – Harare, Zimbabwe 27 June 1982), brother-in-law, Rachel’s brother: emigrated to Salisbury, Rhodesia (today Harare, Zimbabwe), at the time a British colony. He was later joined by her widowed mother and two sisters who were escaping racial persecution. He married Lucie Sidis (1912 – 1982), who also was from Rhodes, and had two children: Elie and Rachel, who later moved to Cape Town. They never returned to Europe permanently.
  • Sarah or Sara «Sarina» Fintz Menashe (Rhodes 21 January 1903 – Milan 3 June 1961), sister-in-law, Rachel’s sister: emigrated to Italy in 1930 with her husband Victor Menashe (Menascé) (? – Milan 1948), a trader, she had two daughters, Ester (Rhodes 1929 – Milan 2022), who became a university professor of English literature, and Nora who was born in 1932 but died early. They found refuge in Switzerland. She returned to Italy.
  • Esther Fintz Franco (Patmos, Greece 15 March 1912 – South Africa 24 June 2001), sister-in-law, Rachel’s sister: emigrated to Salisbury, Rhodesia (today Harare, Zimbabwe), at the time a British colony, to marry Isaac Jacob Franco (Rhodes 3 March 1908 – Lubumbashi, Congo 31 August 1948). They had three children: Alberto (who was born and died in 1938), Sarah, who later married the lawyer Abie Schkolne (Salisbury, then Harare, Zimbabwe 21 October 1938 – Somerset West, South Africa 2 April 2017), and Elie (Salisbury then Harare, Zimbabwe 9 July 1944 – Burundi 3 August 1981). She was widowed at 36 and lived in South Africa. She never returned to Europe permanently.
  • Lucie (Lucy) Fintz (Patmos, Greece 1916 – Harare, Zimbabwe 10 February 1970), sister-in-law, Rachel’s sister: emigrated to Salisbury (today Harare, Zimbabwe), with her sister and mother to escape racial persecution. They joined her brother Israel. She married twice. She never returned to Europe permanently.
  • Nayle (Nailé) Cohen Levi (Rhodes 21 July 1901 – Los Angeles 2 May 1982), cousin: daughter of Rahamin or Rachamim Cohen (Rhodes 1 September 1874 – Auschwitz 1944) and Flor Rachel Tarica Cohen (Milas, Turkey 1869 – Auschwitz 1944), Rachel’s maternal uncles, she emigrated to Italy and later to the USA from Turin after the racial laws. On 12 December 1939, when she was 38, she arrived in New York with her sister. She married Edward Levi (New York March 1881 – ?). She never returned to Europe permanently.
  • Ester Cohen Shear (Rhodes 27 December 1923/24 February 1924 – New York 8 June 2015), cousin: at 16, she emigrated to New York with her sister Nayle on 12 December 1939. They declared as a reference their uncle Salvatore Cohen (Rhodes 10 September 1884 – Seattle 24 December 1979), who had emigrated from Rohdes in 1914 and was already an American citizen. On 9 December 1956, she married David Shear (Lyuboml’, Ukraine 17 September 1923 – New York 24 May 2003), who had survived deportation. They had one daughter, Gabrielle, who later had three children. She never returned to Europe permanently.
  • Gino Neppi Modona (Alessandria 18 December 1911 – Turin 6 September 1993), cousin: son of Angiolo and Vittoria Artom, MD, was disbarred from the professional registry. From Turin he emigrated to Bogotà, where he married Lola (Laja) Rozemberg Neppi Modona (Kozienice, Poland 20 January 1914 – Piedmont? 1994). They had three children: Angiolo (Bogotà 23 June 1944 – Turin 18 February 1995), Myriam, then Baldi (Bogotà 15 October 1946 – Turin 18 December 2016), and Micael (Bogotà 14 October 1954 – Turin 2000). The family returned to Italy for medical reasons and lived in Turin, where their uncle, Bruno Neppi Modona lived.
  • Luciano De Benedetti (Turin 1923 – London 1949), second cousin: son of the industrialist Umberto De Benedetti (Asti 1878 – Ferrara 1957) and Ernesta Airaldi, emigrated to London in 1938, when he was 15. In autumn 1944, he married Pamela Margaret Leslie-Jones (Amersham, UK 16 March 1923 – Brighton, September 1998). They had two children, Alex and Ernestina, born in 1945 and ’47. After Luciano’s early death, they grew up in Milan with their grandfather Umberto and later their cousin Bruno Neppi Modona in Turin. He never returned to Italy permanently.

Aid organisations

  • Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, London.
  • Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, New York.

References

References declared to the SPSL:

  • Harold Idris Bell (1879 - 1967), official at the British Museum
  • Giuseppe Cardinali (1879 - 1955), prorettore of the University of Rome
  • Giulio Quirino Giglioli (1886 - 1956), professor of ancient topography at the University of Rome
  • Astorre Lupattelli (1867 - 1945), rettore of the Università per Stranieri di Perugia
  • Bartolomeo Nogara (1868 - 1954), director of the Musei Vaticani
  • Cecil Roth (1899 - 1970), historian, expert on Jewish studies, and later a professor at the University of Oxford

Effective references:
  • Karl Lehmann-Hartleben (1894 - 1960), professor at the New York University
  • Courtenay Arthur Ralegh Radford (1900 - 1999), director of the British School of Rome
  • Gisela Richter (1882 -1972), director of the Greco-Roman section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)
  • Ronald Syme (1903 - 1989), fellow at the Trinity College of Oxford
  • Arthur Dale Trendall (1909 - 1995), fellow at the Trinity College of Cambridge
  • Berthold Louis Ullman (1882 - 1965), professor at the University of Chicago

References declared to the ECADFS:
  • Harold Idris Bell (1879 - 1967)
  • Giuseppe Cardinali (1879 - 1955)
  • Franz Cumont (1868 - 1947), former professor of Roman history at the University of Ghent
  • Pericle Ducati (1880 - 1944), chair of the faculty of literature and philosophy at the University of Bologna
  • Carlo Galassi Paluzzi (1893 - 1972), president of the Istituto di Studi Romani
  • Giulio Giannelli (1889 - 1980), professor of Greek and Roman history at the University of Florence
  • Giulio Quirino Giglioli (1886 - 1956)
  • Albert Grenier (1878 - 1961), professor of Antiquités Nationales et Rhénanes at the University of Strasbourg
  • Astorre Lupattelli (1867 - 1945)
  • Antonio Minto (1880 - 1954), superintendent to Etrutrian Antiquities
  • Bartolomeo Nogara (1868 - 1954)
  • Gisela Richter (1882 -1972)
  • Cecil Roth (1899 - 1970)
  • Katherine Simpson, who lived in Buffalo (NY) and was a former student of Aldo
  • Albert William Van Buren (1878 - 1968), professor at the American Academy in Rome

Support network

  • Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli (1900 - 1975), professor at the University of Florence: found some editorial jobs for Aldo in 1940.
  • Edmea Bernini (? - ?), family friend: she provided Aldo with access to her private library in 1940.
  • Cecil Roth (1899 - 1970), historian: recommended his case to the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning.
  • Agostino Agostini (? - ?), judge: helped Aldo and his family hide at his acquaintance's house during the Nazi-fascist rastrellamenti in Florence in 1944.
  • Giulio Giannelli (1889 - 1980), professor at the University of Florence: sheltered Aldo and his family during the Nazi-fascist rastrellamenti in Florence in 1944.

Movements

1895Florence

Birth and education

  • Liceo-Ginnasio Michelangiolo; University of Florenxe, faculty of literature
  • Student
1915Alps

Took part in WW1

  • On the Italo-Austrian front
1919Florence

Return to Florence and graduation

  • University of Florence, graduated in 1919; libero docente since 1925
  • Student,Fixed-term employment
  • Libero docente
1928Rhodes

Research trip

  • Fellowship of the FERT institute
1928Florence

Academic activity

  • Libero docente; wrote a monography on the Island of Coo
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Libero docente
1933La Spezia

Teacher

  • Stable employment
  • Teacher
1935Rome

Teacher

  • Liceo-Ginnasio Umberto I; disbarred in 1938
  • Stable employment
  • Teacher
1939Florence

Return to Tuscany

  • Teacher in a Middle school run by the Florentine Jewish community
  • Stable employment
  • Teacher
1944Anghiari (Arezzo)

Hidden with his family

  • Not employed
1944Florence

Return to Florence

  • Reinstated as a teacher; Liceo Michelangiolo
  • Stable employment
  • Teacher,Libero docente
1957Genoa

University professor

  • University of Genoa, professore straordinario (supernumerary post); 1960 professore ordinario in Classical Antiquities until his retirement in 1970; he never moved from Florence
  • Stable employment
  • Untenured professor,Tenured professor
1985Florence