Patrizia Guarnieri

Intellettuali in fuga dall'Italia fascista.

Migranti, esuli e rifugiati per motivi politici e razziali

©2019-Author(s) Published by Firenze University Press
e-ISBN: 978-88-6453-872-3 | DOI: 10.36253/978-88-6453-872-3

Intellettuali in fuga dall'Italia fascista

Ezio Levi D’Ancona (1884-1941)

Altre intestazioni: Ezio Levi

Mantova 19 July 1884 - Boston 28 March 1941

Vite in movimento

Familiari emigrati

  • Flora Aghib Levi D’Ancona (Livorno 1895 - Florence 1982), wife: married Ezio in 1916, she had five children: Antonio Giacomo, Mirella Luigia, Vivaldo Ernesto, Pier Lorenzo Arturo, and Viviano Ludovico Emanuele. In 1939, after her husband was disbarred from universities, Flora and Ezio emigrated to the USA, leaving their children in Italy. She was widowed in 1941 and taught in various American colleges. She returned to Italy in 1950 with her son Viviano.
  • Antonio Giacomo Levi D'Ancona (1917 - Florence 1986), brother: sought refuge in Switzerland in January 1944, he returned to Italy after Liberation.
  • Mirella Luigia Levi D'Ancona (Florence 1919 – Florence 2014), daughter: sought refuge in Switzerland in January 1944, returned to Italy after Liberation, emigrated to the USA in 1946 with her brother Viviano Ludovico Emanuele; became a full professor of Art History at CUNY; she returned to Italy after retirement.
  • Vivaldo Ernesto Levi D'Ancona (Florence 1921 - Campinas, Brazil, 2009), son: emigrated to the USA in 1940, moved to Brazil in 1949; engineer and entrepreneur. He never returned to Italy permanently.
  • Pier Lorenzo Arturo Levi D'Ancona (Florence 1926), son: sought refuge in Switzerland in January 1944, he returned to Italy after Liberation.
  • Viviano Ludovico Emanuele Levi D'Ancona (Florence 1937), son: sought refuge in Switzerland in January 1944, returned to Italy after Liberation, emigrated to the USA in 1946 with his sister Mirella; returned to Italy with his mother in 1950.

Enti di soccorso

  • Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, New York
  • The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Committee for Service to the Foreign Born, El Paso (TX) and New York
  • The Women’s League of the United Synagogue of America, New York


Declared references:

  • Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947), Columbia University (USA); 
  • Henry Carrington Lancaster (1882-1954), Johns Hopkins University (USA); 
  • Roger Sherman Loomis (1887-1966), Columbia University (USA);
  • Emmanuel Pontremoli (1865-1956), École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, Paris; 
  • Giovanni Gentile (1875-1944), Senato del Regno, Rome; 
  • Nicholas Iorga (1871-1940), Senat, Bucarest; 
  • Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955), Hispanic Society, New York.

Relazioni d'aiuto

  • Laura Capon Fermi (1907-1977), second cousin: took in Flora and her husband Ezio Levi, newly arrived in the USA, December 1939.
  • Mary Sinclair Grawford (1879-1964), University of Southern California, Los Angeles: she helped him in the search for an academic position.
  • Henry Carrington Lancaster (1882-1954), Romance languages professor at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore: he recommended him to ECADFS.
  • Fanny Hutman Zlabovsky (1879-1969) field worker for the Committee for Service to the Foreign Born (NCJW), El Paso (TX): she assisted the couple in their immigration procedure;
  • Mildred Helen McAfee (1900-1994), president of Wellesley College, Wellesley (MA): in 1941 she offered him a teaching position.



Birth and education

  • Student

University education

  • Student at the Collegio Ghislieri and graduate in Lettere [Humanities] at the Università di Pavia in 1906; specialization at the Istituto di studi superiori in Florence.
  • Student

Humanities teacher

  • High schools of Lucera (FC) and Naples
  • Stable employment
  • Teacher

Teacher in Livorno

  • Professor of Italian Literature at the R. Accademia militare di Livorno (1912-18)
  • Stable employment
  • Teacher

Start of university career

  • Position in compared literatures at the Istituto superiore di Magistero femminile in Florence
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Untenured professor

Move to Palermo

  • Position in Romance literatures at the Università di Palermo
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Untenured professor

Full professor in Naples

  • Università di Napoli, Facoltà di Lettere; professor at the University of Madrid; summer courses at the University of Santander (1934-36).
1939New York

Emigration to the United States

  • Unemployed
1939Lubbock (Texas)

Brief university position

  • Techological College, Lubbock
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Untenured professor
1939Ciudad Juàrez (Mexico)

Trip to Mexico to obtain a visa

1940El Paso (Texas)

Looking for a position

1940Wellesley (MA)

New temporary position

  • Wellesley College, Wellesley (MA).
  • Fixed-term employment
  • Untenured professor