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

Giacomo Ancona (1886-1976)

Livorno 27 November 1886 - San Francisco 2 September 1976

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Alma Bernheimer Ancona (Florence 5 January 1893 - San Francisco 18 February 1978), wife: housewife, emigrated with her husband, children, and mother-in-law to the United States at age 46, in March of 1939. Did not return to Italy. 
  • Mario Raul Ancona (Florence 26 September 1920 - San Francisco 26 June 1989), son: denied admission to university in Italy at age 18, emigrated with his parents. After college, he worked in the financial sector. Enlisted in 1942, married Lisa Matlock in San Francisco in 1950. Did not return to Italy.
  • Dora Ancona (Florence 29 November 1923 - San Francisco 28 October 1997), daughter: expelled from the gymnasium Dante in Florence, emigrated with her parents; graduated in Berkeley and in 1948 married Piero Mustacchi, a pupil of her father who joined them in San Francisco. They had two children. Deeply committed to volunteer work and the medical community of San Francisco. Did not return to Italy. 
  • Emma Ascarelli Ancona (Livorno 2 April 1861 - Alameda County, CA, 27 December 1942), mother: widow of renowned baritone Mario Ancona, emigrated with her son and his family at age 78, spending the last years of her life in a nursing home in Oakland. Did not return to Italy.
  • Piero Oscar Mustacchi (Alexandria, Egypt, 1920 - San Francisco 17 July 2007), son-in-law from 1948: previously his pupil at the Università di Firenze, doctor, emigrated from Cairo to San Francisco in 1947, where he joined the Ancona family and married their daughter Dora. Carried out his medical career in the university sector. His sisters and brother would also emigrate. Did not return to Italy.

Support network

  • Walter Lichtenstein (1880- 1964), a German Jew, then vice president of the First National Bank of Chicago: a reference in order to obtain United States immigration documents for the entire Ancona family in March 1939. 
  • Robert Langley Porter (1870-1965), Dean of the School of Medicine at University of California San Francisco from 1927: after the racial laws offered an internship to Giacomo Ancona, whom he had known for his work in Florence.   



Birth and Education

  • Student

Medical Student, Later Doctor in Florence

  • Istituto di Studi Superiori Pratici e di Perfezionamento
  • Student,Freelance job
  • Doctor / Dentist

Recalled as a Supplementary Medical Officer


Specialization in Medicina e Chirurgia

  • Hôtel-Dieu

Specialization in Medicina e Chirurgia

  • Leiden University

Libera docenza and medical professional

  • Università di Firenze; termination of libera docenza and resignation from the Ordine dei Medici in 1939.
  • Freelance job,Fixed-term employment
  • Doctor / Dentist,Libero docente

In Passing, toward Le Havre

1939Le Havre

Departure for the USA

1939New York

In Passing to Reach San Francisco

1939San Francisco

Internship and Later Clinical Instructor at UCSF

  • Internship, Clinical Instructor in Medicine (1940-1941), Medical School of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).
  • Fixed-term employment,Stable employment
  • Doctor / Dentist,Intern,Tenured professor
1976San Francisco