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

Paolo Treves (1908-1958)

Milan 27 July 1908 - Fregenae 4 August 1958

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Emigrant family members

  • Claudio Treves (Turin 24 March 1869 – Paris 11 June 1933), father: one of the leaders of the Socialist Party and a personal enemy of Mussolini’s, who he challenged to a duel in 1915. He was an exile in Switzerland, and later made his way to Paris. In Paris he was actively involved in the Italian Anti-Fascist Concentration. He died suddenly and never returned to Italy.
  • Olga Treves Levi (Venice 2 December 1877 - London 20 September 1945), mother: an educated and established woman born to a middle-high class Venetian family. She married Claudio Treves in 1907. Widowed in 1933, she left Italy with her children in 1938 and sought refuge in England. During World War II she joined a number of anti-fascist organizations active in London. She never returned to Italy.
  • Piero Treves (Milan 17 November 1911 - Nice 7 July 1992), brother: son of the deputy of the Socialist Party Claudio and Olga Levi. In 1931 he graduated with a degree in ancient history, but was unable to find employment in academia due to political reasons, rather than racial ones. He emigrated to England with his mother and brother, Paolo, in late September of 1938. They settled in Cambridge where Piero was able to acquire a scholarship to study at St. John’s College. In 1941 he followed his brother to the BBC as a translator and announcer for Radio London in addition to being a political journalist. He returned to Italy in 1955, and by 1962 he had acquired a position as a professor.
  • Alessandro Levi (Venice 19 November 1881 – Berna 6 September 1953), maternal uncle: philosophy of law professor at various Italian universities. In 1925 he signed Croce’s Manifesto of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals. He lost his tenure due to the racial laws and in 1943 sought refuge in Switzerland. He returned to Florence after the end of the war and in 1948 resumed teaching at university.
  • Sarina Nathan Levi (Livorno 16 luglio 1884 – Florence 22 December 1967), aunt: born into a family that was renowned for their involvement in Italian politics. Her grandmother, who had the same name, was very close to Mazzini. Her uncle was an important mayor of Rome from 1907 until 1913. She married Alessandro Levi in 1911 and lived with him until his death in 1953. They went to Switzerland to escape anti-Jewish persecution. She later returned to Italy.
  • Antonello Gerbi (Florence 15 May 1904 – Civenna (Como) 26 July 1976), cousin: from 1932 head of the Ufficio Studi della Banca Commerciale Italiana. In 1938 he lost his job because of the racial laws. After 10 years of living in Lima, Peru with his family, he returned to Italy in 1948 and resumed his former position at Comit until 1970.
  • Claudio Gerbi (Florence 1907- New York 1990), cousin: doctor of internal medicine. He moved to the United States in 1938 where he remained for the rest of his life and obtained US citizenship. In 1942 he settled in New York where he taught internal medicine at Columbia University until 1979. He also had his own private practice. He never returned to Italy.
  • Giuliano Gerbi (Florence 26 December 1905 – Genoa 25 January 1976), cousin: after graduating from Bocconi di Milano, he became a sports journalist. He lost his job due to the racial laws. He found refuge in Paris, then in Colombia, and finally in the United States. In the US he became one of the most prominent voices for the Italian broadcast of the Voice of America. He returned to Milan in the seventies, entering into the world of finance while continuing his journalistic endeavors.
  • Uberto Limentani (Milan 15 December 1913 – Siusi 17 August 1989), cousin: he graduated with a degree in law from the Università di Milano. Following the implementation of the racial laws he emigrated to Great Britain. He survived the shipwreck of the Arandora Star. During the war he collaborated with Radio London. He taught Italian Literature at the University of Cambridge after the war until his retirement.