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

Giuseppe Gentilli (1912-2000)

Other headings: Joseph Gentilli

San Daniele del Friuli 13 March 1912 - Perth (Australia) 1 August 2000

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Giulia Campos (Spalato 1905 - Venice 1985), cousin: married doctor Giacomo Dalla Torre and emigrated to Australia following the racial laws in February/March 1940 with her first son Gabriele (Venice 1936). In Australia gave birth to her second son, Alberto (Michele Alberto). Returned to Italy with her husband after the war.
  • Giacomo (Nino) Dalla Torre, cousin-in-law: doctor, emigrated to Perth, Australia, with his wife Giulia Campos and son Gabriele. Professor of internal medicine, in Australia he became the head of a government project for pulmonary disease. Returned to Italy in the Spring of 1947, after being reintegrated into his role of primary physiology at Ospedale del Lido in Venice, where he was previously employed before the racial laws; remained in service until his death in 1972.
  • Gabriele Dalla Torre (1936), son of Giacomo and Giulia Campos: emigrated to Australia with his parents following the racial laws, returned with them and earned a degree in engineering in Milan; emigrated to Israel in the 1970s. 
  • Alberto Dalla Torre (Australia 1945), son of Giacomo and Giulia Campos: returned to Italy with his parents and earned a degree in engineering in Padua and later settled in Milan: married to Nora Lancieri, he had two children, Emanuele - moved to Israel with three children - e Miriam, married in Milano with two children.
  • Raffaele Campos (Spalato 1907 - Trieste 1965), cousin: earned a degree in medicine in Padua in 1930, became a professor of ophthalmology and a university assistant of clinical ophthalmology in Naples in 1938; expelled due to racial laws, he returned to Venice and sought refuge in Switzerland in 1943. He was called from the refugee camp by professor Franceschetti of the University of Geneva, where he remained as an assistant until the end of the war; he later returned to Naples and from there to Trieste in 1948, where, with any prospective university career closed to him, he accepted a position as a hospital consultant of of ophthalmology. He married Styra Goldstein in 1949 and had two children, Emilio (1950) and Lea (1953).
  • Giordano Campos (Spalato 1910 - Venice 1998), cousin: also sought refuge in Switzerland during the period of German occupation, returned to Venice where he worked as a teller for Banca di Novara. Married Luciana Amar and had two children: Raffaele (1950) and Anna (1952).
  • Elsa Campos (Spalato 1912 - 1986), cousin: earned a degree in Commerical Economics in Venice and later in Financial Mathematics, assistant at Ca' Foscari (among the first female assistants at Facoltà di Economia); in 1938 emigrated to Palestine and settled there, abandoning her academic career and working as a professional accountant and auditor. Married Osiah Schaechter, professore of physical chemistry and later dean of Bar-Ilan University, and had two children, Rifca (1945-2011) e Shmuel (1949), both university professors in Israel. Did not return to Italy.
  • Mario Forti (1 January 1903 - London February 1993), cousin: worked in Venice at Compagnia Italiana Turismo, founded in 1927; in 1939 emigrated to London where he worked at the English branch of CIT and at BBC. Did not return to Italy.
  • Raffaele Gentilli (San Daniele del Friuli, Udine, 1876-1952), second cousin on father’s side: owner and merchant of wines, antifascist, warned and exiled, active in the Jewish community of Udine, emigrated to São Paulo, Brazil, with his wife Dorina Ghiron (Casale Monferrato 1882- 1972). They did not return to Italy.
  • Mario Gentilli (San Daniele del Friuli 1900), son of Raffaele: doctor, antifascist, warned and monitored by the police, later expelled in 1931-32, emigrated first to Tripoli, and later to southern Argentina. Returned to Italy.
  • Egle Gentilli Reichhardt (San Daniele del Friuli 1 December 1902 - Brazil 1999), daughter of Raffaele: emigrated with her husband Giuliano Reichhardt and children to São Paulo, Brazil. They did not return to Italy.
  • Giuliano (Julian) Reichhardt (Mainz, Germany, 10 November 1899 - Brazil 1993), husband of Egle: emigrated from Germany and naturalized Italian, settled in Udine, and later in Trieste; director of the Italian subsidiary of a multinational corporation, emigrated due to the racial laws to São Paulo, Brazil, with his wife Egle and children Dorina (Trieste 1925-?) and Rodolfo (Trieste 1927-?). They did not return to Italy.

Aid organisations

  • Australian Jewish Welfare Society (AJWS)
  • Carnegie Corporation, New York


Effective References:

  • Frank Reginald Beasley, University of Western Australia.

Support network

  • T. H. Roberts, University of Western Australia.
  • Prof. Frank Reginald Beasley (1897-1976), Vice Chancellor of University of Western Australia: supported his work at UWA and sent a letter undersigned by other colleagues to the Intelligence Section Australian Military Forces to facilitate his release during World War II.
  • Wynne Williams, geographer: posted the application for aid received by Gentilli to an Australian parliament that he knew. 
  • Harold Boas (1883-1980), architect: secured an apartment for him with the founder of the History Department at UWA.
  • George Currie (1896-1984), Vice Chancellor of UWA: provided him with internal funding for a research project.

Aid Provided:
  • Gentilli assisted Giacomo Dalla Torre, husband of his cousin Giulia Campos, to find work placement in Australia.


1912San Daniele del Friuli (UD)

Birth and Education

  • Technical Institue "Antonio Zanon"
  • Student

Temporary Transfer as a Wartime Refugee


University Studies

  • Scuola superiore di commercio

University Assistant

  • Istituto di Geografia dell'Università di Firenze
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Junior lecturer
1935San Daniele del Friuli (UD)

Removal from the University After Avoiding Enlistment in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War

  • Job at his father's company
  • Occasional job
1939Perth (Australia)

Emigration to Australia

  • Teacher of a part-time statistics course
  • Freelance job
  • Teacher
1940Perth (Australia)

University Teacher

  • University of Western Australia, Department of Economics
  • Fixed-term employment,Stable employment
  • Untenured professor,Junior lecturer,Tenured professor
1952New York

Research Trip to the USA

2000Perth (Australia)