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

Vinicio Barocas (1914-2016)

Alexandria (Egypt) 2 August 1914 - Preston (GB) 16 November 2016

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Licia Barocas (Alexandria, Egypt, 8 March 1916 - Florence 1962?), sister: came to Florence as did her brother in order to study; left for Egypt after the promulgation of the Racial Laws; returned to Italy in 1952.
  • Ida Orvieto Barocas (1882-1949?), mother: widow, came to Florence in 1934 with her two youngest sons and left for Egypt after the promulgation of the Racial Laws.
  • Valerio Barocas (Alexandria, Egypt, 26 October 1904 - Rome April 1965), brother: expelled from the Italian Hospital in Egypt where he was a doctor because of his Italian nationality. He moved to Italy in 1952 with his wife Cesira Casini, a teacher, and his sons Alberto (1938), who became a nuclear chemist, and Claudio (1940-1989), future Egyptologist. They moved to Rome in 1958.

Aid organisations

  • Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, New York
  • Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, London
  • Special Tribunal of the Royal Society, London (for the release of internees)


Actual references:

  • Giorgio Abetti (Padova 1882 - Florence 1982), Director of the Arcetri Observatory, Università di Firenze
  • Wilfred Hall, Director of Tynemouth Private Laboratory and Hepple Observatory, Northumberland, England.
References given to the British administration on Barocas' academic merit and loyalty (in order to obtain his release from internment camp in Canada):
  • Wilfred Hall- Donald Scott, Northumberland 
  • G.R. Goldsmith, King's College
  • Oswin J. Charlton, Newcastle Upon Tyne 
  • Heber Curtis, Ministry of Home Security.

Support network

  • Wilfred Hall, Director of Tynemouth Private Laboratory and Hepple Observatory, Northumberland, England. He offered Barocas hospitality in his own home while Barocas was working at the observatory. Hall also arranged Barocas' release from internment camp as well as funding for him, maintained contact with Barocas’ brother and family in Alexandria and with the SPSL, and searched for a professional appointment for him.



Birth and education

  • Student

Emigration to Italy

  • Università di Firenze, 1934-38
  • Student,Unemployed

Emigration to England

  • Unpaid position at Tynemouth Observatory
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Intern
1940Warth Mill, Bury, Lancashire


  • Unemployed

Internment in Canada

1941Isle of Man


  • Granville Camp Douglas, Isle of Man

Search for accommodation

1941Abinger (GB)

Research position

  • Royal Observatory Greenwich, Abinger Magnetic Observatory, from 13 August 1941
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Researcher
1947Preston (GB)

Director of an astronomical observatory

  • Director of the Jeremiah Horrocks Observatory, from July 1947
  • Stable employment
  • Researcher