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Fleeing Mussolini — Italian-Jewish Refugees in the United States

November 28, 2021

| free but registration required
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This program is about the exile of Italian Jews to America. Fleeing Mussolini’s racial laws, roughly two thousand Italian Jews landed in America in the 1930s and 40s. They didn’t fit in with either the Italian-American community or the Jewish-American community, yet many Italian Jewish refugees became leaders in their professions and productive contributors to American life.




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Dr. Natalia Indrimi (left) is an expert on Italy during the Holocaust. She is the director of the Centro Primo Levi in New York and previously was director of programs at the Center for Jewish History. She has coordinated research projects and conferences on many aspects of Fascism and the persecution of the Jews in Italy presented by institutions including New York University, Columbia University, the New School, CUNY, the United Nations, the Library of Congress, the Italian Cultural Institute, and the New York Public Library.Screen Shot 2021-10-06 at 1.56.52 PM

Gianna Pontecorboli (right) was born in Camogli (Genoa) and graduated in Economics at the University of Genoa in 1968. She then embarked on a career in journalism in Milan, working for Editoriale Domus and Rizzoli. After moving to New York in 1979 she became a US and UN correspondent for various Italian newspapers and director of Radio 105 in New York. She is now a correspondent for the Swiss paper Il Corriere del Ticino and Lettera22 of Italy. Her book America Nuova Terra Promessa was published in Italian by Brioschi Editore in 2013 and then in English with the title Americordo by CPL Editions in 2016.

Massimo Calabresi

Massimo Calabresi is Time magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief. He leads a team of editors and writers responsible for news, features and investigations on American politics and policy. Calabresi joined Time’s DC bureau in 1999 and has covered the CIA, the State Department, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department, Congress and the White House. He was the magazine’s senior investigative correspondent from 2013-17. He covered the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo as Time’s Central Europe bureau chief from 1995-99 and the collapse of the Soviet Union and its aftermath as a freelancer in Moscow from 1991-93.

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Annalisa Capristo writes about the effects of the anti-Semitic Fascist laws on Italian academia and Italian culture, the reactions of Jewish and non-Jewish intellectuals (Italian and foreign) to the persecution, and the the flight of Jewish scholars from Italy. She holds a postgraduate degree from the Vatican School of Library Sciences. Her books include L’espulsione degli ebrei dalle accademie italiane, Il registro; La cacciata degli ebrei dallo Stato italiano nei protocolli della Corte dei Conti, 1938–43 and Il razzismo del duce: Mussolini dal ministero dell’Interno alla Repubblica sociale italiana. She co-edited Let Our Music be Played: Italian Jewish Musicians and Composers under Fascism.


Registration for this program is closed.

This program is co-presented with the Centro Primo Levi.



November 28, 2021
free but registration required
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