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

Guta Gluckmann Medshiboshski (1885-1947)

Other headings: Guta Gluckmann Meggiboschi; Guta Glickman, or Glukmann, or Gluckman, Medshiboschki or Medshibosiski or Medshiboshiki

Dinaminde, Riga (at that time Russia, then Latvia) 5 February 1885 - Florence 26 February 1947

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Josip (Giuseppe) Medshiboshski (Meggiboschi) (Chișinău, Moldova 5 December 1881 – Florence 11 April 196), husband: Russian Jew, he was a political exile in France and later in Italy. He was a doctor but was disbarred as a result of the racial laws. However, despite the personal danger, he did not leave Italy and prefers to hide in clandestinity with his family during the war. He remained in Italy.
  • Aldo (Abramo) Medshiboshski (Meggiboschi) (Riga, Russia then Lettonia 15 May 1912 – Florence 25 January 1992), son: brought by his mother to France in 1912 to be reunited with his father, and then to Italy, in Florence, where he became a Doctor. Struck by the racial laws like his parents and sisters, Ester (Montevarchi, Arezzo 16 April 1915 – Florence 8 December 1996) and Flora (S. Giovanni Valdarno, Arezzo 9 June 1917 – Paris 26 June 2016), all stateless. He hid with his family. He remained in Italy.
  • Ester Meggiboschi Boralevi (Montevarchi 16 April 1915 – Florence 8 December 1996), daughter: she graduated in literature in Pisa in 1938, then she moved to England to perfect her knowledge of the English language, where she supported herself by doing various jobs, including the baby-sitter. At the beginning of the war, despite the dangerous situation for Jews across Europe, she went back to Italy, to stay with her family. In 1949 she married Bruno Boralevi (Venice 1912 – Florence 1985), antiquarian. The couple had two children, Alberto (1950 –) and Daniele (1952 –).
  • David Isserlis (1860 – 1940), father-in-law: the second husband of Anna Medshiboshski, they had a son in 1888. When Anna died he moved to Florence and reunited with Giuseppe. He was a cantor and an itinerant dentist. On 22 December 1927, he remarried Corinna Tempesti, one of the two sisters (both Florentine and Catholic), of whom he was a lodger. He never returned to his home country and lays today in the Jewish cemetery of Via di Caciolle in Firenze.
  • Julius Isserlis (Chișinău, Moldavia 7 November 1888 – London 23 July 1968), brother-in-law: seven years younger than Giuseppe, he was a precocious pianist and composer. He played as a soloist in Moscow when he was only thirteen and then moved to Paris, where he returned after a successful tour in the United States. Later he returned to Odessa, where he married the pianist Rita Rauschwerger. They attempted, unsuccessfully, to escape to the United Kingdom in 1919. However, in 1922 he obtained from Lenin the permit to leave the country to go on tournée and promote Russian culture, and he left with the intention never to return. He and his family, therefore, moved to Wien. In March 1938, he was in England as Austria was annexed to Germany and was able to obtain the documents to stay in the United Kingdom and later to bring his wife and his son George to the country. They never returned to their home country.
  • George Isserlis (Odessa 1917 – London 2012), nephew, Julius' son: born in the year of the Russian revolution, as a child he moved to Wien with his parents. When he was twenty-one he moved again, this time to escape Nazisml and together with his mother joined his father in England. He was, for a short time, interned in the Isle of Man camp as an enemy alien. In 1948 he obtained the British citizenship and in 1952 he married the pianist Cinthia Saville. He became a metallurgic physicist and was a senior lecturer at the South Bank Polytechnic in London (today London South Bank University), and an amateurish musician. The couple had three children, who all became musicians: Annette, violinist, Rachel, violinist, and Steven (Londra 1958 – ?) famous cellist and writer. George Isserlis went back to Russia for a trip only in 2003.


1885Dinaminde, Riga (Russia, than Lettonia)

Birth and Education

  • Student
?Charkov (Russia, than Charkiv, Ukraine)

University studies

  • Student

Reunion with her political refugee husband


Emigration to Italy

  • Not employed,Occasional job
  • Doctor / Dentist
1915Arezzo (province), Italy

Transfer with the family

1920Capannoli (Pisa), Italy

Transfer with the family


Transfer with the family

  • University of Florence
  • Student,Freelance job
  • Doctor / Dentist
1943Montecatini Terme (Pistoia), Italy

Hidden with the family


Return to Florence

  • Unemployed