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 Levi (1872-1965)

Trieste 14 October 1872 - Turin 3 February 1965

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Lidia Tanzi (Milan 30 November 1878 - Turin 9 April 1957), wife: emigrated in 1939 to Liège with her husband, returned to Italy after a few months.
  • Mario Levi (Florence 16 February 1905 - Calvi, France, 1 September 1973), son: activist of Giustizia e Libertà, in 1934 emigrated to Switzerland to escape arrest and later to France. He never returned to Italy permanently and acquired French citizenship.
  • Leone Ginzburg (Odessa 4 April 1909 - Rome 5 February 1944), son-in-law: having immigrated to Viareggio as a child in 1914, became considered a stateless person under the racial laws. Arrested and tortured, he died in prison in 1944.
  • Adriano Olivetti (Ivrea 11 April 1901 - Aigle, Switzerland, 27 February 1960), son-in-law: husband of her daughter Paola, director of the Olivetti factory of Ivrea from 1938. In 1926 went into hiding for a brief period abroad after having contributed to the escape of socialist Filippo Turati. Due to his antifascist activity, emigrated again at the end of 1943 and sought refuge in Switzerland. He returned to Italy at the end of the World War.

Aid organisations

  • French Committee for the Reception and Organization of the Work of Foreign Scientists, Paris
  • Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, London 
  • Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, New York
  • Francqui Foundation, Brussels


List of references supplied by Levi to the SPSL consisting of 20 nomi, in part illegible:

  • Ross Granville Harrison, New Haven; 
  • George R. Streeter e Warren Harmon Lewis, Baltimore;
  • Alexis Carrel, New York; 
  • Albert Fisher, Copenhagen; 
  • Fauré-Fremet, Paris; 
  • Honor B. Fell, Cambridge; 
  • W. Blooom, Chicago; 
  • A. Dustin, Brussels; 
  • R. Chambers, New York.

Effective References: 
  • Honor B. Fell, director of Strangeways Research Laboratory, Cambridge GB (various in January 1939); 
  • Albert Fisher, director of Carlsbergfondets Biologiske Institut of Copenhagen (6 January 1939); 
  • Ross G. Harrison, dean Biology Department at Yale University and National Research Council, Washington (25 February 1939); 
  • Albert Dustin, director of laboratory of pathological anatomy at University of Brussels; 
  • Louis Rapkine (1904-1948), French Committee for the Reception and Organization of the Work of Foreign Scientists, Paris.

Support network

  • Honor B. Fell (1900-1986), director of Strangeways Research Laboratory (previously Cambridge Research Hospital): in 1938 offered him use of the laboratory, although without stipendium.
  • Jean Firket (1890-1958), full professor at the medical school of University of Liège: in 1939 invited the professor to the Institute of Pathological Anatomy at University of Liège, which he directed.



Birth and Education

  • Student

High School and University Studies

  • Regio Istituto di studi superiori pratici e di perfezionamento di Firenze
  • Student

Researcher in Berlin

  • Part-time researcher at Oscar Hertwig Biological Institute
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Untenured professor

Aiuto and libero docente in Florence

  • Aiuto of the professorship of Anatomy; since 1903 libero docente of Normal Human Anatomy, Istituto di studi superiori pratici e di perfezionamento.
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Untenured professor

Preparation for Full Professorship in Sassari

  • Università di Sassari, senior professor of human anatomy
  • Stable employment
  • Tenured professor

Full Professor

  • Università di Palermo, full professor of human anatomy
  • Stable employment
  • Tenured professor
1916Alleghe (BL)

Volunteer in the War

  • Military service during the first world war as a major medical volunteer.

Full Professor

  • Università di Torino, full professor of human anatomy
  • Stable employment
  • Tenured professor

Emigration to Great Britain

  • University of Liège, Institute of Pathological Anatomy of Jean Firket
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Untenured professor

Independent Researcher of Neuroembryology

  • Unemployed
1942Ivrea (TO)


  • Unemployed

Refuge in Florence

  • Unemployed


  • Università di Torino, full professor of human anatomy; formally reinstated at the Università di Firenze in 1944.
  • Stable employment
  • Tenured professor