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

Cecilia Calabresi (1902-1985)

Other headings: Cecilia Marcella

Ferrara 1 February 1902 - New York 12 March 1985

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Renata Calabresi (Ferrara 2 November 1899 - New Haven 15 December 1995), sister: psychologist, emigrated to the USA in 1939; never returned to Italy.
  • Massimo Calabresi (Ferrara 2 June 1903 - New Haven 28 February 1988), brother: university cardiologist and clinician, emigrated to the United States in 1939; never returned to Italy.
  • Bianca Maria Finzi Contini Calabresi (Milan 27 May 1902 - Perugia 19 January 1982), sister-in-law, and her children Guido (Milan 18 October 1932) and Paolo (Paul) Calabresi (Milan 5 April 1930 - Providence 25 October 2003): they emigrated to the United States in 1939; they never returned to Italy. Guido would become a judge and legal expert, Paul an important oncologist.
  • Olga Minerbi Calabresi (1876 - New Haven 4 October 1964), mother: emigrated to the United States in 1949; never returned to Italy.
  • Marcella Finzi Contini Tedeschi (Bologna 24 November 1909 - ?), sister-in-law: she emigrated in February 1939 with her husband Guido Tedeschi and their children Ugo and Adriano to Brazil, where Maria Valeria and Mario were born. They did not return to Italy.
  • Paolo Contini (Ferrara 14 November 1913 - Alberta, Canada 5 August 1975), second cousin: he received a degree in law from the Università di Ferrara and specialized in international law at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1938 he emigrated to New York where he worked at the New School. In 1948 he worked for the United Nations where he undertook several roles as an expert of international law. He married Jeanne Elgart and they had three children, one of which died at 19 years old due to a hiking incident in Canada. Employed by the United Nations, he returned to Italy and lived in Rome.

Aid organisations

  • British Federation of University Women, London
  • Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, New York


References given:

  • Guido Calogero (1904-1986), Università di Pisa.

Actual references:
  • Mario Casella (1886-1956), Università di Firenze; 
  • Giuseppe Gabetti (1886-1948), Istituto di studi germanici di Roma.

Support network

  • Her sister Renata Calabresi and her brother Massimo Calabresi: they helped her to move to Canada and then to New York in 1949;
  • Paolo Contini (Ferrara 14 November 1913 - Alberta, Canada, 5 August 1975) living in New York in 1939, indicated Cecilia to the ECADFS;
  • Guido Calogero: probably helped with her admission to McGill University, since he had taught there in 1948.



Birth and education

  • Liceo Ludovico Ariosto
  • Student

University studies

  • Istituto di Studi superiori pratici e di perfezionamento di Firenze; Heidelberg University; Università di Roma
  • Student

Scholarship in Rome

  • Istituto storico germanico di Roma
  • Student

Move to Canada

  • Library School of McGill University, Montreal
  • Student
1949New York

Family reunification

  • Not employed,Occasional job,No information
  • Non-intellectual job,Others
1985New York