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

Gino Fubini Ghiron (1911-1965)

Turin 17 July 1911 - New York 6 May 1965

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Guido Fubini-Ghiron (Venice 19 January 1879 - New York 6 June 1943), father: a professor of mathematical analysis expelled from the Polytechnic University of Turin, in 1939, at the age of sixty, he emigrated with his family and found a temporary position at Princeton. He did not return to live in Italy.
  • Anna (Annetta) Ghiron Fubini (Turin 27 February 1892 - Turin 6 March 1973), mother: daughter of Pacifico Ghiron and Ida Dolce Ester, she emigrated with her husband and children to New York in 1939; she was very active in the Italian Jewish community in New York, and volunteered in a hospital. A U.S. resident, in her later years she divided her time between Italy and New York.
  • Eugenio Fubini Ghiron (Turin 19 April 1913 - Brookline, MA, 5 August 1997), brother: a graduate in physics, in 1935 he was appointed lecturer of the advanced course in Electrotechnics - Communications section - at the National Electrotechnical Institute Galileo Ferraris of the Polytechnic University of Turin. Dismissed because he was «of Jewish race», he emigrated with his father, mother and brother to New York in 1939. He had a brilliant career in the United States. He worked for the Columbia Broadcasting System and carried out research at Harvard University. He worked on war technology during and after World War II. A U.S. citizen since 1945, he was a long-time advisor to the federal government on the application of electrical engineering to armaments, and became Assistant Secretary of Defence for Research and Technology in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. He married Jane Elizabeth Machmer in 1945 and had six children: Sylvia, Sandra, Carol, Laurie, David and Susan. He did not return to live in Italy.
  • Gabriella "Gaby" Rachele Clelia Fornari (Rome 11 December 1923 - Great Neck, Nassau, NY, 16 August 2015), wife: she emigrated to the United States with her parents in October 1939, as a student, joining her two brothers who were already in New York. She married in 1945. She had four daughters and devoted herself to her family. She did not return to live in Italy.
  • Arturo Samuele (Arthur Samuel) Fornari (Rome 12 September 1882 - Great Neck, Nassau, NY, 4 September 1972) father-in-law: a businessman, who took over the paper mill of the Roman Jewish industrialist and philanthropist Giuseppe Pitignani; in the summer of 1939, with his wife and daughter, he went to Switzerland for three months; from there, they went on to France and, in October, to the United States, where he had already sent his two sons to study. In New York he started a business in his sector. He did not return to live in Italy.
  • Valentina Piperno Fornari (Rome 18 November 1891 - Great Neck, Nassau, NY, 23 July 1964), mother-in-law: born into a wealthy Roman family of textile merchants, she followed her husband and emigrated to the United States in October 1939. She did not return to live in Italy.
  • Ermanno Daniel Fornari (Rome 16 March 1914 - Manhasset, Nassau, NY, 18 August 1993), brother-in-law: he moved to New York in March 1939, on a six-month visa, to study at Columbia University; his parents eventually joined him in New York. In July 1948, he married Alice B. Notrica (1918-1983), a native of Rhodes, in New York. He did not return to live in Italy.
  • Arrigo Davide (Harry David) Fornari (Rome 21 May 1919 - Great Neck, Nassau, NY, 24 February 2001), brother-in-law: he moved to New York in May 1939 as a university student, joining his brother; he resumed his studies at Columbia University, and obtained a PhD in History at CUNY. He served in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1945 and in the War Information Office; he then worked for the Bunge Corporation and TIE Communications, and became executive director of the American Fats and Oils Association, while maintaining connections with the academic world. He authored several books on Fascism, in Italian and English (La dottrina di Monroe, Zanichelli 1946; Mussolini's gadfly: Roberto Farinacci, Vanderbilt University Press, 1971). He and his wife Maria (1920-2012), of Italian origin, had two sons: James D. and Daniel J. Fornari. He did not return to live in Italy.
  • Marco Moise Ghiron (Turin 2 November 1889 - New York 24 March 1988), his maternal uncle: an engineer and a coal importer, he had already been in the United States in 1919, in Philadelphia, and in 1927, in New York, on business. At the age of 50, he permanently emigrated there on 7 June 1939, after a short stay in France, with his wife Anna Treves (Turin 8 October 1905 - New York 8 December 1996), whom he had married in Turin in January 1929, and their children Ada, 10, Ugo, 8 and Camillo, 8. Their first stop was in Princeton, at the home of his sister Annetta and her husband. He did not return to live in Italy.
  • Ada Ghiron Segal (Turin 30 November 1929 - New York March 2018), cousin: she arrived in New York aboard the SS Conte di Savoia, with her parents, when she was almost 10 years old. In 1952 she married Paolo Segre (Turin 11 May 1923 - Alameda, CA, 13 September 1997), who had emigrated to the United States in March 1939 with his parents. She later married William Segal. She did not return to live in Italy.
  • Anna Foa Jona (Turin 17 April 1908 - Newton, MA, 9 October 2006), cousin: in 1940 she emigrated to the United States with her two daughters, Eva and Manuela, and her husband, Davide Jona (1901-1971), an architect whose younger brother Giulio was already in America. After holding a few occasional jobs in New York, Anna worked on the Italian-language programmes of Boston's radio station WCOP from 1942, where she distinguished herself by her anti-fascism, and collaborated with the anarchist-oriented monthly «La Controcorrente». After the war she taught Italian at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She did not return to live in Italy.
  • Giuseppe Vittorio (Beppe) Foa, later Joseph Victor (Turin 10 July 1909 - Bethesda, MD, 31 March 1996), cousin: brother of Anna and Vittorio, with the latter and other anti-fascists he was arrested in 1935, but, unlike Vittorio, he was released. He studied in Turin and Rome; he was an aeronautical engineer at Cantieri aeronautici Piaggio in Finale Ligure Marina, where he designed the Piaggio P.23R. On 2 September 1939 he left for the United States, declaring that he would join Guido Ghiron in Princeton. He worked for Bellanca Aircraft Corporation, the Curtiss Wright Corporation and the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory in Buffalo, NY. Since 1952 he was professor at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) and since 1970 at George Washington University (Washington, DC); in 1980 he became emeritus professor. He married an American, Lucille (Lucy) Bouvier (1918-2001). They had a daughter, Sylvana, in 1945. He did not return to live in Italy.



Student and then assistant at the Polytechnic University of Turin

  • Polytechnic University of Turin; released from service in 1938.
  • Student,Fixed-term employment
  • Junior lecturer

First stage of emigration

  • Unemployed
1939Princeton (NJ)

Arrival in the USA

  • Unemployed
1940Cambridge (MA)

Student at MIT

  • Master's degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Student

First job in the USA

  • Technical draftsman
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Technician
1943New York

Trasfer and job in New York

  • Employee in a utility company; since 1945, real estate developer and owner of a construction company.
  • Freelance job,Fixed-term employment
  • Manager / Entrepreneur,Office worker
1965New York