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

Fernando Liuzzi (1884-1940)

Senigallia 19 December 1884 - Florence 6 October 1940

Lives on the move

Emigrant family members

  • Paola Forti Liuzzi (Prato 18 January 1893 – ?), wife: she belonged to a wealthy and numerous family of Jewish textile industrialists and married musician Fernando in 1913. She was widowed in 1940 and spent a period in Paris, where she was in touch with antifascist exiles. With her son Franco, who was 29, her daughter Maria Luce, who was 27, and her granddaughter Eva Paola, she crossed clandestinely the Swiss border near Ascona on 24 February 1944. She returned to Italy.
  • Franco Liuzzi (Bologna 1915 – ?), son: a student in Political Sciences in Rome, Jew, and antifascist, took refuge in Switzerland with his mother, sister, and niece on 24 February 1944. He was interned in Cossonay and grew close to Ernesto Rossi and the European Federalist Movement. He returned to Italy.
  • Maria Luce “Lucetta” Liuzzi Amendola (Courmayeur 16 August 1916 – Rome 10 December 1986), daughter: archaeology student in Rome, antifascist, member of the Actin Party. On 29 August 1938, she married Antonio Amendola (1913 – 1953), son of politician Giovanni, who died in France in 1926 following a Fascist attack. Since Antonio, who suffered from depression, had been hospitalised, she crossed the Swiss border without him, with her daughter Eva Paola, who was not even four, her mother Paola, and her brother Franco looking for a haven. She spoke at least four languages and worked as a librarian in Rome. She returned to Italy.
  • Eva Paola Amendola (Rome 21 March 1940 – Rome 2 December 2016), granddaughter: daughter of Lucetta and Antonio Amendola, was brought to Switzerland by her mother with her grandmother Paola and uncle Franco on 24 February 1944, when she was not yet four years old. She became a photo books author and a researcher focusing on iconography. She married Paolo Canevacci, and they had three sons: Lorenzo in 1963, Matteo (1966-2006), and Riccardo in 1971. She returned to Italy.
  • Diana Liuzzi De Benedetti (10 October 1890 – ?), sister: she took refuge in Switzerland with her two children, Bianca and Guido, crossing the border clandestinely on 16 March 1944. She returned to Italy.
  • Aldo Forti (Prato, 12 July 1892 - ?), brother-in-law, Paola’s brother: industrialist, crossed the Swiss border on 4 January 1944with his wife Elena Grazzini (a Protestant, later baptised as a Catholic), and their five children, born between 1925 and 1938. Aldo had given his shares of the family firm to his wife to avoid it being listed as a Jewish company. As refugees in Switzerland, they worked in the refugee camp: Aldo in the kitchen and his teenage sons Marco and Francesco did the cleaning. In July 1948, the two brothers married the sisters Paola and Silvia Rosselli. They returned to Italy.
  • Clara Forti Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Prato 3 April 1894 – Los Angeles 18 January 1989) sister-in-law, Paola’s sister: she came from a wealthy and numerous family of Jewish industrialists. On 13 July 1939, she emigrated with her husband Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, musician and composer, and their children Piero and Lorenzo to the USA, leaving Trieste. She never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Florence 3 April 1895 – Beverly Hills, California 16 March 1968), brother-in-law, Clara’s husband: internationally famous musician and composer, emigrated to the USA with his family on 13 July 1939, when he was 44, later working for Hollywood studios, including Metro-Goldwin-Mayer. After the war, he bought a small flat in Florence but never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Pietro Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Florence 5 January 1925 – Nashville 24 January 1998), nephew, son of Clara and Mario: he emigrated with his family to the USA in July 1939, when he was 14, and later became a psychiatrist. He had two daughters. Diana and Costanza. He never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Lorenzo Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Florence 17 November 1930 – Los Angeles 14 June 2000), nephew, son of Clara and Mario: he emigrated with his family to the USA in July 1939, when he was only eight, and later became an architect. He had two sons: Marc and Greg. He never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Giorgio Forti (Prato 9 July 1897- ?), brother-in-law, Paola’s brother: textile industrialist, managed to obtain the discriminazione on 27 September 1939. With his wife Raffaella, he created the DELASEM dei piccoli in Florence in 1942. Their home in via Benedetto Varchi was confiscated by the RSI. In June 1944, he, his wife, and their three children took refuge in Switzerland, claiming they were Catholics but of Jewish origins and anti-fascists. They returned to Italy.
  • Piera Forti Tedeschi (Prato 8 November 1904 – Madison, Wisconsin 13 January 1990), sister-in-law, Paola’s sister: she emigrated with her husband Cesare and their children Guido and Luca to the USA on 22 September 1939, leaving from Genoa. She never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Cesare Giorgio Tedeschi (Ferrara 14 August 1904 – Framingham Massachusetts 26 June 1974), brother-in-law, Piera’s husband: MD and libero docente since 1932, disbarred from the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Ferrara, he managed to obtain the discriminazione on 24 March 1939. He emigrated with his wife, Piera, and their sons in September 1939 to the USA, where he practised as a pathologist and taught at the Boston School of Medicine. He never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Guido Tedeschi, later John Alfred Tedeschi (Modena 17 July 1931 – ), nephew, son of Piera and Cesare: in 1939, he emigrated to the USA with his family when he was eight and later became a librarian and a modernist historian. He was the curator of the Department of Special Collections in the Memorial Library of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Together with his wife Anne, he translated from Italian several volumes of history. He never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Luca Tedeschi, later Luke (Modena 1 November 1934 – Hingham Massachusetts 5 August 2010), nephew son of Piera and Cesare: he emigrated to the USA with his parents and brother in 1939, when he was only five. He later became an MD. He never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Lina Vigevani Usiglio (8 April 1911 – ? 1992), niece, daughter of Enrica Liuzzi (Fernando’s sister) and Enea Vigevani: she took refuge in Switzerland on 25 October 1943 with her husband Guido and their daughter, Enrica «Riri» (1932 - 1970), who was eleven. After the war, she returned to Italy.
  • Guido Usiglio (? 2 February 1900 – ? 1981), nephew, Lina’s husband: industrialist in the Milan province, he owned the Usiglio Guido & Figlio firm. He arrived in Switzerland with his wife on 25 October 1943. After the war, he returned to Italy.
  • Giorgio Vigevani (Milan 23 July 1912 – Milan 6 February 1997), nephew, Lina’s brother: lawyer and antifascist. He infiltrated the GUF (Fascist University Groups) and emigrated to France in 1937. He joined Giustizia e Libertà and, in 1939, the Communist Party. After 8 September 1943, he fought as a partisan, earning a Liberation gold medal. He returned to Italy.
  • Alberto Vigevani (Milan 1 August 1918 – Como 23 February 1999), nephew, Lina’s brother: writer and book antiquarian; he was a student at Venice University and an antifascist. After the racial laws, he left Venice and went to Grenoble. In 1941, tried unsuccessfully to emigrate to the USA and then found refuge in Switzerland with his wife, Anna Maria and their son Paolo, who was only six months old. In Lugano, he directed the Socialist newspaper «Libera Stampa». He continued working as a writer and editor. After the war, he returned to Italy.
  • Anna Maria Camerini Vigevani (Italy 21 August 1918 – Italy? 3 September 2003), niece, Alberto’s wife: on 13 September 1943, with her husband and their son Paolo, who was just six months old, took refuge in Switzerland, living in Lugano. She had three more children: Rossana, Andrea, and Marco. After the war, she returned to Italy.
  • Paolo Vigevani (? 14 March 1943 – Milan 15 February 2020), grandnephew, son of Alberto and Anna Maria: with his parents, he took refuge in Lugano in 1943. He later worked with Alberto, running the publishing company «Il Polifilo», founded in 1959. He returned to Italy.
  • Mario Cesare Forti (Prato 17 July 1898 - Los Angeles 19 November 1983), cousin, son of Giulio Forti, Paola’s uncle: textile industrialist; after the racial laws, he left Florence with his sick wife and two daughters and remained for a period in Switzerland, where his wife was treated. They left France on 4 August 1939 to go to New York and then to San Diego, where they claimed they had a relative in Berkeley, CA. They settled in Los Angeles, where they often spent time with the Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He was naturalised in 1945 and frequently visited Italy. He never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Milka Grunstein Forti (Thessaloniki, Greece 14 June 1904 - Los Angeles 19 November 2003), cousin: married to Tuscan industrialist Mario Forti in Milan in 1927, lived in Florence. With her husband, their daughters, and a French nurse to assist her after a prolonged period of sickness she spent in Berne, on 4 August 1939, she boarded the Nieuw Amsterdam in Boulogne. The family settled in Los Angeles. She returned to Italy in 1948 with her daughter Simonetta and later made more trips. She never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Anna Palma Forti (Florence, 17 August 1929 - Concord, California 2 July 2017), cousin: disbarred from her school when she was nine as a Jew, in 1939 with her parents and sister, she left Italy to go to Switzerland and, in August, they emigrated to Los Angeles. In July 1948, she married the American Robert Rail (1922 - 2013), and they had one child, Steven. They later divorced. She never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Simonetta (then Simone) Forti (Florence 25 March 1935 - ), cousin: with his parents and older sister, she left Italy after the racial laws and, when she was four, in August 1939, they left for New York, intending to move to California. She attended school in Los Angeles and Oregon and moved to San Francisco and New York with her first husband, Robert Morris. She became a prominent post-modernist artist, dancer, choreographer, and writer. After divorcing her second husband, Robert Withman (another artist), she lived and worked in Rome from 1965 to 1970 but later returned to the USA where she married Peter van Riper. Her art has been displayed and represented at the Moma and in many important European museums. In 2021 she had an exhibit at the Pecci in Prato. She never returned to Italy permanently.

Aid organisations

  • Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, New York


Reference declared to the ECADFS:

  • Carleton Sprague Smith (New York 1905 - Washington, CT 1994), professor of history and musical at NYU, was among the founders of the American Musicological Society.

Support network

  • Gustav Reese (New York 1899 - Berkeley 1977), musicologist and University professor: invited Fernando to a congress in New York in September 1939, which was instrumental in providing him with a Visa.
  • Clara and Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco: sister and brother-in-law, emigrated to New York in July 1939.
  • Massimo Calabresi (Milan 1903 - New Haven 1988), cardiologist: recently emigrated, from New Haven came to New York to visit Fernando during his hospitalisation at the beginning of 1940.
  • Mario Volterra (Florence 1901 - 1960), Florentine MD: recently emigrated, he treated Fernando during his hospitalisation in the New York Jewish Hospital.


1884Senigallia (Ancona)



  • 1909 degree in Literature
  • Student

Study abroad

  • Student

Professor of composition

  • Parma conservatory
  • Stable employment
  • Teacher

Professor of harmony and counterpoint

  • Florence conservatory; 1927 libera docenza in aesthetics
  • Fixed-term employment,Stable employment
  • Teacher,Libero docente

Libero docente in music history and aesthetic

  • Disbarred in March 1939 (retroactive to 14 December 1938)
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Libero docente

Visiting Professor

  • Ecole des Hautes Etudes de Belgique
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Untenured professor

Short stay

1939Cherbourg (France)

Emigration to the USA

  • Departure on 30 August 1939
1939New York

Arrival in the USA

  • Speaker at the International Musicological Congress; future temporary position at the Columbia University

Return to Italy because of an illness

  • Departure on 20 May, arrival in Genoa