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

Roberto Coen Pirani (1907-1993)

Other headings: Roberto Pirani

Pisa 7 July 1907 - Milan 25 October 1993

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Leonora Finzi Coen Pirani (Ferrara 29 March 1910 - Milan 25 July 1986), wife: left with her husband and children for New York in October 1939, returned with him to Italy in 1946. 
  • Leo Coen Pirani (Bologna 7 October 1934), son: left with his family for New York in 1939 when he was 5 years old, returned with them to Italy in 1946 when he was 12; having earned a degree in law, worked at the Olivetti company and married Miriam Prujan in Tel Aviv in 1968.
  • Claudia Coen Pirani (Bergamo 7 November 1936), daughter: left with her family for New York in 1939 when she was 3 years old, returned with them in 1946, emigrated to Israel in the 1960s, married Shmuel Segal in 1966.
  • Paolo Coen Pirani (Milan 10 February 1939), son: brought by his parents to New York in 1939 when he was 8 months old and to Italy in 1946 when he was 7 years old, psychoanalyst, married Laura Terracini in 1969, who gave birth to daughter Susanna (Milan 31 December 1969), and later married Luigina Cuccini in Domodossola in 1988. 
  • Mario Coen Pirani (1915-2005), brother of Roberto: earned a degree in law, married Anna Maria Faldini, in March 1939 emigrated to São Paulo, Brazil, and became a manufacturer and merchant of textiles. Neither he nor his children returned to Italy from Brazil. 
  • Corrado Levi (later Conrad Levi Pirani) (1914-2005), cousin of Roberto: earned a degree in medicine, emigrated to the USA in July 1939. Became a medical pathologist and university lecturer in Chicago. He and his wife Luciana had three children: Barbara, Sylvia, Robert. They did not return to italy.
  • Mario Giacomo Levi (1878-1954), uncle: married to Adriana Bellina Coen Pirani, had two children, Alberto and Corrado; chemistry professor, expelled from Politecnico di Milano, in 1943 sought refuge with his wife in Switzerland. Returned to Italy.
  • Emma Coen Pirani (1910-1999), cousin: librarian, turned to ECADFS to leave and find work abroad, but later remained with her parents in Italy. 
  • Marcello Finzi (Ferrara 1 December 1879 - Rome 4 October 1956), father-in-law: University professor of Rights and Criminal Procedure in Modena, expelled, in 1939 emigrated with his wife Adele Olschki to Argentina, where his son Corrado joined them. Formally reintegrated in 1946-47, retired in 1951, returned to Italy in 1952 at 73 years old. 
  • Adele Olschki Finzi (Venice 6 January 1889 - Rome 14 January 1972), mother-in-law: in 1939 emigrated to Argentina with her husband Marcello Finzi. Returned with him to Italy in 1952.
  • Corrado (later Conrado) Finzi (Ferrara 18 August 1911 - Valle Hermoso, Cordoba, Argentina, 1 May 1986), brother-in-law of Roberto: lawyer, left for New York on 20 July 1939 with Corrado Levi. In 1940 left for Argentina and settled in Cordoba. A lawyer like his father, mainly a translator of criminal legislation, he married Spanish woman Maria Ascensión La Guardia (Logroño, Spain, 28 September 1922 - ?) on 24 April 1949. They had 4 children who all resided in Argentina: Alejandro, Leticia, Isabel, Sergio. Did not return to Italy.
  • Elvira Olschki Rosin (Verona 15 August 1887 - New York 11 January 1970), aunt of Leonora and Roberto Coen Pirani on their mother’s side: the widow of Salo Keins, in 1932 she married Arthur Rosin and emigrated with him to New York in 1936. Did not return to Italy.
  • Arthur Rosin (Berlin 6 January 1879 - New York 13 June 1972), uncle-in-law of Leonora and Roberto Coen Pirani, husband of Elvira Olschki, with two children from a previous marriage: Axel (Berlin 11 December 1907 - New York 27 March 2007) and Karen (1905-?), who emigrated to New York. They did not return to Europe.
  • Paul Keins (Berlin 16 August 1909 - Buenos Aires 20 January 1967), cousin, son from Elvira Olschki’s first marriage: married Trude Lebermann (Nuremberg 13 May 1937 - East Meadow, NY, 20 May 1996) on 9 May 1934 in Nuremberg, and had a daughter, Vera (Florence 22 September 1936). Went first to Madrid in 1934 where he worked as a bookdealer, then in 1936 he left Spain due to the civil war and, after a brief return to Italy, emigrated with his family to Buenos Aires. Neither he nor his family returned to Europe from Argentina. 
  • Cesare Olschki (Venice 14 February 1890 - 23 December 1971), uncle of Leonora and Roberto: planned to go to the USA in 1939, instead sought refuge in Switzerland in 1943. Married Antonietta De Bani (Vigevano 4 December 1892 - Poppi, Arezzo, 14 August 1977), had daughter Fiammetta (Florence, 4 January 1921), married Mario Witt (nè Wittkower) in 1951. They returned to Italy.
  • Leonardo Olschki (Verona 15 July 1885 - Berkeley, CA, 7 December 1961), uncle of Leonora and Roberto: university professor expelled from Nazi Germany in 1933, he returned to Italy and in 1939 emigrated to the USA with his wife Kate Mosse; they did not have children. Did not return to Italy.
  • Margherita Olschki Rosenthal (Venice 21 February 1892 - Lugano 30 August 1979), aunt: married Erwin Rosenthal in Florence in 1912, settled in Munich, Germany, and in 1940 emigrated to Berkeley with two of their children: Felix and Bernard. She and her husband later moved to Switzerland, leaving the USA during the Cold War. Their five children, born in Munich between 1913 and 1920, all emigrated: Gabriella (Munich 22 September 1913 - Jerusalem 27 March 1975) to Palestine, Albi/Albrecht (Munich 5 October 1914 - Oxford 3 August 2004) to England, while Nicoletta (Munich 23 November 1915 - Vashon, WA, 18 August 1988), Felix (Munich 12 January 1917) and Bernard (Munich 5 May 1920) all emigrated to the USA. Neither they nor their children returned.
  • Erwin Rosenthal (Munich 9 April 1899 - Zurich 28 August 1981), husband of Margherita Olschki Rosenthal: emigrated with her to California, and later to Switzerland. Did not return to his birth country. 
  • Leo Samuel Olschki (Johannisburg, Prussia, today Pisz, Poland, 2 June 1861 - Geneva 19 June 1940), grandfather of Elvira: in 1939 went first from Florence to the USA and later sought refuge in Switzerland. Did not return to Italy.

Support network

  • Arthur Rosin (1879-1972) and his wife Elvira Olschki Rosin (1887-1970), aunt of Leonora on her mother's side: having emigrated to New York, they sent the affadavit for Roberto, Leonora and their three children.

Movements

1907Pisa

Birth and Education

  • Student
1926Bologna

University Studies

  • Università di Bologna, Industrial Chemistry track
  • Student
1931Milan

Fellow at the Politecnico

  • Politecnico di Milano
  • Student
1932Berlin

Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft Fellow

  • Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft
1933Milan

First Job as a Chemist

  • Artificial fertilizer company Brambilla
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Technician
1935Bergamo

New Job

  • Job as a chemist
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Technician
1937Milan

Chemist at Montecatini

  • Montecatini, Milan office and Centro studi di Novara; dismissed in 1939 following the racial laws
  • Stable employment
  • Technician,Researcher
1939New York

Emigration to the USA

  • Chemist at Polak’s Frutal Works (1940-46)
  • Unemployed,Stable employment
  • Technician
1946Novara

Reintegration into Montecatini

  • Rehired by the company Montecatini at the Centro studi di Novara.
  • Stable employment
  • Technician,Researcher
1951Milan

Back to Milan

  • Montecatini copyright office in Milan.
  • Stable employment
  • Technician,Researcher
1993Milan