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Students and faculty of the chemistry department of the Jewish high school in Milan stand in the school's courtyard.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 49206

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    Students and faculty of the chemistry department of the Jewish high school in Milan stand in the school's courtyard.
    Students and faculty of the chemistry department of the Jewish high school in Milan stand in the school's courtyard.


    Students and faculty of the chemistry department of the Jewish high school in Milan stand in the school's courtyard.
    Milan, [Lombardy] Italy
    Variant Locale
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Anna Marcella Falco (Tedeschi)

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Anna Marcella Falco (Tedeschi)

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Anna Marcella Falco is the daughter of Mario Falco and Gabriella Ravenna. She was born on April 28, 1923 in Parma Italy, but when she was one year old her family moved to Milan where her father (b. Torino March 11, 1884) served as a a professor of canon law at the university. Her mother Gabriella Ravenna was born in Ferrara on May 3, 1897. She survived the war and died in Milan in 1983. Anna had one sister, Graziella Danon, born January 28, 1929. The family lived in Milan and were observant Jews. Mario Falco was a counselor of the Jewish community and vice-president of Jewish community in Milan before and during the war. Anna had early elementary school education at home with a tutor in early 1930s. After racial laws led to the creation of a Jewish school in 1938, she studied there for two years. This school was set up and organized with the help of Anna's father. All classes taught were those required in the public schools. In 1941, the school also offered university level courses in chemistry and law. The school was legalized and state exams were given showing the successful completion of high school. Anna did not take these exams. She obtained parrificata certificate instead. By 1942 the situation had deteriorated considerably; air raids began in the larger cities. Anna's family left Milan because their home was damaged. Anna, her sister and parents left for Ferrara where her grandfather had a house with four flats, some occupied by other relatives. They stayed in one flat with their grandmother (in the interim their grandfather had passed away) until the end of September 1943 when they felt that it was too dangerous to remain. They left for the countryside and stayed in a small house but shortly thereafter Mario had a heart attack and died suddently on October 4, 1943 at the age of 59. Up until then the racial laws were not strictly observed, but about this time the Fascists started to hunt down Jews. The family was not able to have a rabbi officiate or gather a minyan at Mario's funeral. Immediately after the funeral the family returned to the countryside where they received a postcard from Professor Arturo Carlo Jemolo, a good friend of Anna's father and a professor of Ecclesiastical law as well. In it he hinted in camouflaged language so as not to be understood by the Fascist censors that his house was open in Rome if they chose to come. Since Anna's mother was now alone and the situation continued to worsen, she, Anna and Graziella decided to take their chances and travel to Rome to find Jemolo. After a two or three day journey, they arrived in Rome to discover that the Germans had imprisoned many of the city's Jews. When they arrived at the professor's home he was not at home. The concierge told them the professor was away in the country so they went to a cousin's house and waited until he returned. The professor, his wife Adele and three children sheltered Anna, her mother and sister starting on October 20, 1943. Though the Allies liberated Rome onl June 4, 1944, Anna and her family remained there for another year until Northern Italy also was liberated. Anna was issued false papers in March 1942 by using the name Anna Maria Fabri. Her mother's false papers used the name Gabriella Resta Fabri. Her sister was called Graziella Fabri. Professor Jemola's children worked in the resistance and Anna often went out of the house taking packages to political prisoners at Regina Coegli. She also tried to deliver packages to the Jewish inmates at this infamous prison. She managed to give private school lessons as well. Her sister managed to go to school using her false name. After the war, Yad Vashem honored Professor Jemola as a Righteous Among the Nations.
    Record last modified:
    2009-01-09 00:00:00
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