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 Emanuele Modigliani (1872-1947)

Livorno 28 October 1872 - Rome 5 October 1947

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Vera Funaro Modigliani (Alexandria, Egypt, 24 May 1888 - Rome 3 December 1974), wife: she emigrated with her husband to Austria in 1926 and followed him in his subsequent exile. She came back to Italy with her husband on 13 October 1944.
  • Jeanne Modigliani (Nice 29 November 1918 - Paris 7 July 1984), nephew: daughter of the painter Amedeo, when she remained an orphan she was adopted by her paternal aunt Margherita, with whom she lived in Florence. She was a university student when, in 1937, was forced to emigrate to France, because she was a Jew and an antifascist. She married Mario Levi, worked as a teacher and fought in the French Resistance. She never returned to Italy permanently.

Aid organisations

  • Jewish Labor Committee, New York: created in 1934 to help the movement against Fascism and Nazism. In 1940 Modigliani helped write a list of refugees to be evacuated from France (which included him and his wife as well) with an emergency visa to the United States.

Support network

  • Valentino Pittoni (Cormons, Gorizia, 28 May 1872 - Wien 11 April 1933), leader of the Socialist party and former MP, he was the director of the «Arbeiter Zeitung». He helped Modigliani at the beginning of his exile.
  • Karl Kautsky (Prague 16 October 1854 - Amsterdam 17 October 1938), Marxist philosopher and a key figure in the history of the Socialist Internationale: he harboured Modigliani in his home in Wien.
  • Nullo Baldini (Ravenna 30 October 1862 - Ravenna 6 March 1945), socialist leader and exile in France: he hosted the Modiglianis in his studio in Paris in 1926.
  • Luigi Antonini (Avellino 1883 - New York 1968) e Serafino Romualdi (Bastia Umbra, Perugia, 1900 - New York 1967), Italo-american trade union leaders: they organised Modigliani's tour in the United States in 1934 and worked to help him escape occupied France in 1940 to return to the United States safely.
  • David Dubinsky (Brest-Litovsk 22 February 1892 - New York 17 September 1982), leader of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union: he gave to Modigliani a check for ten thousand dollars, gathered as the American contribution to the «Matteotti Fund» and destined to the anti-fascist refugees.
  • Joyce Salvadori Lussu (Florence 8 May 1912 - Rome 4 November 1998), Emilio Lussu's partner: she found the Modiglianis in Nîmes and helped them escape from France to Switzerland.
  • Pierre Graber (La Chaux-de-Fonds 6 December 1908 - Lausanne 19 July 2003), and Roberto Grimm (1881-1958), leaders of the Swiss Socialist Party: they helped the Modiglianis to get out of the internment camp in Switzerland in 1943.



Birth and education

  • Student

Law Degree

  • University of Pisa
  • Student

Political activity in the Socialist Party

  • Elected as a Town councillor, Municipality of Livorno
  • Lawyer,Official

Elected as a MP

  • Chamber of the Deputees; he would be re-elected in 1919, 1921, and 1924.
  • Official

Participation to the Socialist International

  • Between 1914 and 1918 Modigliani travelled to Lugano, Berne and Zurich.
  • Official

Trip to get his nephew Jeanne

  • Official

Founding member of the PSULI

  • Official

Escape to Austria

  • Occasional job,Freelance job
  • Journalist

Executive meeting of the Socialist International

  • Occasional job,Freelance job
  • Official

Transfer to Paris

  • Occasional job,Freelance job
  • Journalist

Tour in Provence and Côte d'Azur

  • Modigliani visited the local Italian communities.
  • Occasional job,Freelance job
  • Journalist

Transit in Geneva

  • Occasional job,Freelance job
  • Journalist

Visit to celebrate Matteotti

  • Occasional job,Freelance job
  • Journalist

Founder and director of «Rinascita socialista»

  • After the merging of the two Socialist Parties he will be part of the PSI directorate.
  • Freelance job
  • Journalist
1934New York

Trip to New York

  • The trip was orgnised by the local Italo-american trade unions, in particular the Local 89 and the Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU).
  • Freelance job
  • Journalist
1934United States

Tour of the United States

  • Modigliani visited Boston, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Chicago, Toronto, Pittbourgh, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
  • Freelance job
  • Journalist

Return to France

  • Freelance job
  • Journalist

Travels after the Nazi invasion

  • The Modigliani traveled from city ot city, until they reached Nîmes.

Arrival in Switzerland from France


Return to Italy

  • Consulta nazionale
  • Official,Others

Elected in the Assemblea costituente (Constitutive Assembly)

  • Official,Others