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

Annemarie Eleonore Curth Goldberg (1904-1997)

Trebnitz (Germany) 24 February 1904 - Surrey (GB) 1997

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Erich Goldberg (Berlin, Germany 3 October 1892 - Singapore 14 February 1942), husband: a doctor, they emigrated together to Italy and then to Singapore, where he was killed in a bombing.
  • Ernst Albrecht Curth (Trebnitz, Germany, 28 May 1910 - Pittsburgh 19 September 1995), brother: he sought refuge in France. Stateless, he emigrated in 1948 to the US, where he was naturalized and lived until his death. He never returned to Europe permanently.
  • Ilse Simon (Germany 1915 - ?), cousin: she fled from Germany to London. She emigrated with her mother from London to Sydney on 14 April 1939 when she was 24 years old. 
  • Martha Simon (Germany, 1880 -?), aunt: she fled from Germany to London. At 59 years old, she emigrated with her daughter Ilse from London to Sydney on 14 April 1939. 

Aid organisations

  • Provincial Immigration Committee (con varie denominazioni), Church of England, Western Australia


References declared upon petitioning Australia for refugee alien status in 1946:

  • Ilse Simon, 5 Ithaca Rd., Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, N. S. W., cousin: she emigrated to Sydney on 14 April 1939 at 24 years old, as indicated in the application for refugee alien status 
  • K.H. Freeman, 43 Newcastle Street, Rose Bay, Sydney, N.S.W., an acquaintance from Germania, is among the contact that she had in Australia. 
  • Coniugi Paterenn, 9 Ventnor Ave, Perth, Australians that she met in British Malaysia in 1940, they are among the contacts that she had in Australia.

Support network

  • Archbishop of Perch’s Anglican Church: he recommended Curth and her husband Erich to the Department of the Interior in Canberra around March-April 1939 so that they could acquire an Australian visa.
  • Alfred Arthur Robertson (1888-1977), secretary of the Western Australian Anglican Church’s Provincial Immigration Committee in Perth: recommended the Goldbergs to John Curtin, opposition leader in the Parliament of the Commonwealth, to allow them to acquire an Australian visa in April 1939. 
  • John Curtin (1885-1945), leader of the Australian Labour Party from 1935 and member of Parliament: in 1939, urged that the Goldbergs’ request for an Australian visa be granted. He was prime minister from October 1941 until he died in 1945. While prime minister, he had to confront the risk of an enemy invasion of Australia.
  • L.W. Parry, archdeacon of the Anglican Church in the same diocese as Perth: recommended Curth and her husband Erich for a second visa in October 1941. 
  • E.D. Shearn, a lawyer in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, whose law firm opened up in 1905 and is still active: tried to defend the Goldbergs from being deported by the Malaysian government in July 1941.
  • Eva e N. Gunzberg (or Gunzberg), Koorda Street, Perth: they hosted Curth upon her arrival to Australia and in November 1945 for nine weeks. 
  • Kim Edward Beazley (1917-2007), member of the Australian Labour Party and successor to Curtin in Parliament from 1945 to 1977: after the way he tried to help her stay in Australia. He interceded on Curth’s behalf to the Minister of Immigration Arthur A. Calwell. 
  • R. B. Peagam, Acting Diocesan Secretary, Church of England, Cathedral Avenue, Perth: he tried to help Curth remain in Australia in 1946. 
  • Margaret Holmes, secretary of the Australian Student Christian Movement: in 1949, she recommended Curth to the secretary of the Immigration Department so that she could once again enter Australia. 
Those willing to provide statements in Curth’s favour:
  • Elsa Cross, The Manse, Muthill, Scotland, wife of Alexander Cross, formerly interned in the Japanese prison camps as a rationing officer: in 1946, Cross expressed her willingness to provide Curth with an official statement.
  • J.W. Galt, secretary of the Assembly’s Foreign Missions Committee and belonging to the Presbyterian Church of England’s Women’s Missionary Association, Church house, I 34, George Street, Edgware Road, London. 
  • Mary Glasgow, teacher and principal of the Bukit Bintang Girls’ School, Kuala Lumpur, Malayan Union, interned in Sumatra: she released a statement in 1946.
  • Georgette Gilmour, Rex Hotel, Perth, of French origins, is the wife of Australian G.J. Gilmour. Like Annemarie Curth, she left Singapore on the Vyner Brooke in 1942. She was imprisoned by the Japanese. As a nurse, she worked by Curth’s side during their internment in the camps.
  • Sister Rhynilda, Charitas, Palembang, mother superior during Curth’s internment by the Japanese: released two statements in 1946.
  • Mother M.M. Alacoque, Charitas Nuns, was with Curth during their internment by the Japanese: in 1946, she released a statement that exonerated Curth from her alleged involvement in a doctor’s death.
  • Jeffrey Walter Watts-Carter, 21, Willby Avenue, Glen Iris, Melbourne: in 1946, he wrote a letter in Curth’s defence to the Minister of Immigration A.A. Calwell. He wrote the letter based on his late wife Millicent Daisy Watts-Carter’s diary. She was an Australian Nurse of the British Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Service who died in the Japanese prison camps in Indonesia in August 1945. 


1904Trebnitz (Germany)

Birth and Education

  • Hirschberg Community College, Silesia and Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg
  • Student

Emigration to Italy

  • Degree in Medicine at the Università di Pisa, state license exam Università di Perugia
  • Student
  • Doctor / Dentist

Move to Florence

  • Unemployed
  • Doctor / Dentist

Emigration to Singapore

  • Freelance job
  • Doctor / Dentist
1942Island of Sumatra

Japanese Prisoner


Move to Australia


Return to Singapore

  • St. John Singapore
  • Freelance job
  • Doctor / Dentist

Return to Florence

  • Unemployed

Move to Switzerland


Return to Florence

  • Unemployed,Freelance job
  • Doctor / Dentist
1994Surrey (Great Britain)

Move to England

  • Not employed
1997Surrey (Great Britain)