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

Camillo Berneri (1897-1937)

Lodi 20 May 1897 - Barcelona 5 May 1937

Not yet available

Emigrant family members

  • Giovanna Caleffi Berneri (Gualtieri, Reggio Emilia, 4 May 1897 - Genoa 14 March 1962), wife: teacher and editor of Anarchist publications, emigrated to France with her husband and daughters in 1926 as a result of the Fascist persecution. In Paris, she was involved in political activity and supported her family by running a grocery shop. She returned to Italy in 1941 as a prisoner and then was confined in Lacedonia (Avellino). After a year, she managed to escape and joined the Resistance. After the war, she continued her political activity.
  • Maria Luisa Berneri Richards (Arezzo 1 March 1918 - London 13 April 1949), daughter: she emigrated to France at the age of eight with her family and became a journalist and Anarchist activist. In 1931 she met Vero Recchioni (Vernon Richards), and they married in 1937. She never returned to Italy permanently and died prematurely in London.
  • Giliana Berneri (Florence 3 October 1919 - Paris 19 July 1998), daughter: she emigrated to France in 1926 at the age of seven together with her family. She became a psychiatrist and was active in the Anarchist movement in the 1930s and 1940s with her partner, René Senninger (Bonhomme, France, 18 January 1921 - Cabourg, France, 17 December 2019). Still, she eventually distanced herself from it, criticising its «organisational» turn. She never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Adalgisa Fochi (Parma 31 July 1865 - Reggio Emilia 16 August 1957), mother: teacher and daughter of a Garibaldino. She was married to Stefano Berneri, but the couple eventually divorced, and Adalgisa kept Camillo with her. She emigrated to France in the second half of the 1920s, as she refused to swear the oath of loyalty to the King and the State. In Paris, she reunited with her son and her nieces, Maria Luisa and Giliana. After Camillo's death, she stayed in Paris. She returned to Italy after the war.
  • Emidio Recchioni (Russi, Ravenna, 1864 - Paris 1934), Maria Luisa's father-in-law: he emigrated to London in 1899 for political reasons and there married Costanza Benericetti in 1911. The couple had two children: Vera Assunta Angela Olimpia (1912-?) and Vero Benvenuto Costantino (London 19 July 1915 - Hadleigh, UK, 10 December 2000), who later changed his name to Vernon Richards and in 1937 married Maria Luisa. He never returned to Italy permanently.

Support network

  • Gaetano Salvemini (1873-1957), historian and anti-fascist: emigrated in August 1925, and helped Camillo by paying him and his wife for some small research activities in the Paris war museum and in some libraries.





Transfer with his mother

  • 1904 Palermo; 1904 Forlì; 1910 Reggio Emilia; 1916 Arezzo

University student

  • Faculty of Literature; graduated in 1922
  • Student
1919Island of Pianosa

Brief period at the «confino»



  • Also in Cortona; 1924 Camerino; 1926 Macerata
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Teacher

Emigration to France

  • Research work for Gaetano Salvemini
  • Occasional job

Expelled from France


Visit to Sandro Pertini

1929Joinville Le Pont (France)

Clandestine in France

  • Luxembourg's hills; Montreuil-sous-Bois; Versailles

Return to Belgium and arrest


Expelled from Belgium and arrested


Return to Belgium


Expelled from Belgium

1930Briey (Francia)

Expelled to France

  • Later in Paris to appeal his sentence

Invited to leave France


Life in France

  • Brought to Strasbourg to be expelled, was brought back to Paris to face trial; was incacrerated two times in Fresnes (1931, 1934-35); he worked various jobs and took part in the anti-fascist debate
  • Occasional job,Freelance job
  • Non-intellectual job

Expelled from France


Expelled from Spain


Volunteer in the Spanish Civil War

  • Brief stop in Toulouse

Looking for volunteers


Volunteer in the Spanish Civil War

  • Later in Valencia