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

Anna Di Gioacchino Cassuto (1911-1948)

Ancona 21 January 1911 - Jerusalem 13 April 1948

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Susanna Cassuto (8 May 1936 -), daughter: in 1942, she hid in the monastery of the Calza in Florence with her brothers and her pregnant mother. After her parents' arrest, she emigrated to Jerusalem on 22 March 1945, with her grandparents, her brothers, her aunt Hulda and her cousins, Sara and Ruben Campagnano, leaving from Taranto. Her mother would join them only at the end of 1945. She never returned to Italy permanently.
  • David Moshe Cassuto (27 September 1937 -), son: emigrated to Mandatory Palestine on 22 March 1945, with his grandparents, his brothers, his aunt Hulda and his cousins, Sara and Ruben Campagnano. He never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Daniel Cassuto (1 January 1941 -), son: emigrated to Mandatory Palestine on 22 March 1945, with his grandparents, his brothers, his aunt Hulda and his cousins, Sara and Ruben Campagnano. He never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Dario Di Gioacchino (Senigallia 15 July 1874 - 1956), father: emigrated to Mandatory Palestine on 22 March 1945 on the Princess Kathleen, with his wife Emma, Hulda, her children, and they three nephews.
  • Emma Della Pergola Di Gioacchino (Florence 9 May 1874 - 1956), mother: they emigrated to Palestine on 22 March 1945 on the Princess Kathleen with Hulda, her children and Anna's children.
  • Milena Di Gioacchino Foa (Ancona 1914 - 11 February 1988), sister: married Uriel Foa (Parma 25 February 1916 - Penn Valley, PA, USA, 17 January 1990) emigrated to Palestine in July 1940; he became a social psychologist at Hebrew University, and emigrated to the USA between 1965 and 1966 with his second wife Edna Foa (Haifa 1937), afterwards a very famous psychologist.
  • Elio Di Gioacchino (Florence 15 July 1917 - Florence 30 September 1964), brother: left for France with his cousin, painter Corrado Cagli. Their intention was to embark for the United States, and Cagli embarked in 1937, returned and left again in 1939. Elio got caught up in the war events instead, reached Casablanca and enlisted, fighting for the Allies. After the war he became an architect and practiced his profession abroad.
  • Sara Di Gioacchino Corcos (Florence 29 June 1918 - 29 January 2007), sister: married Renzo Corcos (Leghorn 20 May 1915 - Milan 11 August 1986) on 5 March 1939. They emigrated to Morocco that same year.
  • Hulda Cassuto Campagnano (17 January 1914 - 17 September 1992), sister-in-law: daughter of Umberto Cassuto and Bice, emigrated to Palestine with her own children and nieces and parents of Anna on 22 March 1945. She never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Umberto Cassuto (16 September 1883 - 18 December 1951), father-in-law: university professor in Florence, then in Rome, emigrated with his wife and two children to Jerusalem in 1939, where he had a part-time job as a biblical studies professor at the Hebrew University and where he settled since October 1940. In 1945, he was re-admitted in a supernumerary post to the Sapienza University in Rome. He never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Bice Corcos (September 1888 - November 1969), mother-in-law: wife of Umberto, when she was 51 she emigrated with her husband and two daughters to Palestine on 5 June 1939. She never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Milka Cassuto (23 September 1908 - 1993), sister-in-law: Latin and Greek teacher in a gymnasium in Rome. She arrived in Palestine on 5 June 1939 together with her parents and her sister Lea Cassuto, with certificates intended for a group of German Jews who were not able to go. Married Mordechai Salzmann, she never returned to Italy.
  • Lea Cassuto (23 December 1911 - 9 May 2006), sister-in-law: the only member of the Cassuto family not to lose her job following the Racial Laws of 1938, because she taught at a Hebrew school. She emigrated to Palestine on 5 June 1939 with her sister and her parents. She married Enzo Rocca.

Aid organisations

  • Comitato assistenza ebrei in Italia (Comasebit), Italy
  • Delegazione assistenza emigranti ebrei (Delasem), Italy
  • Jewish Infantry Brigade Group

Support network

  • Anna's parents Dario Di Giacchino and Emma Della Pergola and her sister-in-law Hulda Campagnano: they took care of Anna's children after her arrest in November 1943. It was especially Hulda who took care of hiding her children; after the arrest of Anna and her husband Saul Campagnano, she found refuge with the Santa Zita nuns in Florence and afterwards at the Casa di riposo della Comunità evangelica valdese [Waldensian Evangelical Community Rest Home], thanks to the minister Tullio Vinay, who collaborated with Nathan Cassuto's committee. 
  • The Casa religiosa delle Suore dell’Adorazione perpetua dell’Eucarestia (known as the Convento della Calza) [The Religious House of the Nuns of the Perpetual Adoration of the Eucarest] in Florence: took in Anna, Hulda and their children in the autumn of 1943.
  • The Colzi family of Florence, to whom their son David was entrusted.
  • Lina and Mario Santerini of Florence, to whom their son Daniel was entrusted.
  • An orphanage run by nuns in Peretola, in Florence, to whom their daughter Susanna was entrusted.
  • Emilio Enrico Franco (Trieste 24 November 1881 - Jerusalem 20 September 1950): pathological anatomy professor, he helped her get into the analysis laboratory of Monte Scopus as an assistant, with the goal of finding a paid position.





The family’s move and education in Florence

  • Classical high school in Florence; diploma as an English foreign language correspondent at the British Institute, Florence.


  • Auschwitz-Birkenau (Poland), Bergen Belsen, Dessau (Germany), Theresienstadt (Czechoslovakia)

Return to Florence

  • Long journey of return to Italy through Prague, Vienna, Gr.-Kanizsa (Hungary), Lubiana, Postumia, Trieste, Viareggio

Emigration to Palestine

  • Work initially not paid at the Hadassah Hospital
  • Unemployed,Occasional job,Fixed-term employment
  • Technician