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Dario Navarra and his mother pose while on a ski trip in the mountains of Italy.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 46233

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    Dario Navarra and his mother pose while on a ski trip in the mountains of Italy.
    Dario Navarra and his mother pose while on a ski trip in the mountains of Italy.


    Dario Navarra and his mother pose while on a ski trip in the mountains of Italy.
    Circa 1937
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Dario Navarra

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Dario Navarra

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Dario Navarra is the only child of Alberto Navarra (b. Milan, 1889) and Marta Bernstein Navarra (b. Milan, 1895). He was born on December 17, 1924 in Milan, Italy where his father had an import and export business and his mother taught French and English. She also was one of the founders of WIZO and became president of the organization after the war. Dario attended public elementary school and then an Italian gymnasium. After the 1938 racial laws forbade him to attend public schools, he went to the Jewish high school, La Scuolo via Eupili, which he attended from 1938-1942. (An avid amateur photographer, he took photos of many of his classmates and teachers.) His mother, Marta Navarra, taught at the same school which remained open until 1943. The family remained in their own apartment, and Alberto was also able to continue his business. In 1942 Dario went to Lausanne, Switzerland to study chemistry. The following year, his parents escaped Italy and came to Lugano, Switzerland. Dario returned to Milan in 1945 and worked for a year with Aliyah Bet volunteers including Ada Sereni. In 1947 he tried to immigrate to Palestine on board the Hatikvah. After arriving in Haifa harbor, the ship was diverted to Cyprus where Dario spent the next eleven months. Due to his many language skills, he worked with the Joint Distribution Committee while in Cyprus. Dario reached Israel on April 26, 1948 and settled first in Kibbutz Givat Brenner and then to Kibbutz Regavim. In 1953 he moved to Hadera and became one of the founders of the Hadera Paper Factory. While in Givat Brenner, he met Renate Rietti who he first knew at the Scuolo di via Euoili in Milan. They later married and had three children.

    Renate Rietti is the daughter of Giacomo Rietti (b. 1889 Ferrara) and Marta Vita Finzi Rietti (b. 1899 Ferrara). Renate was born on March 25, 1928 and had three siblings: Gino (Malachi, b. July 7, 1923), Mathilde (b. Dec. 3, 1924) and Josef (b. April 7, 1935). Giacomo was an accountant and director of the ItalChima chocolate factory. Gino had already left Italy for Palestine in 1938 with Youth Aliya, but the rest of the family remained in their apartment in Milan until the end of 1942 when they moved to the house of an uncle in Ferrara. Giacomo was very ill with cancer and decided to send the children to Switzerland. Renate, Mathilde and Josef left Ferrara and returned to Milan where they were hidden by an Italian family for a little more than two weeks. Then a partisan smuggled them over the border to safety. Renate's aunt, uncle and cousin also went with them. Renate and Mathilde were sent to the refugee camps of Rovio and the Grand Hotel Brissago. Renate worked cleaning the camp kitchen and dining room. Her brother Josef was sent to a nearby school in Ascona. The Red Cross later removed Renate from the camp and sent her to several foster families in Lugano to work as a servant. They then sent her to the St. Gallen Kinderheim to assist with the younger children. Renate's mother remained in Ferrara with her husband who was hospitalized with cancer. In March 1944, when he was close to death, it became too dangerous for Marta to remain there. The hospital nuns smuggled her out in one of their habits, and partisans escorted her to Switzerland. Marta was sent to Brissago where she remained until the end of the war. Giacomo Rietti died shortly after she left. By coincidence, he met a priest in the hospital who had been a chaplain in his World War I army unit; the priest arranged for him to be buried in the Jewish cemetery of Ferrara. After the war, Gino sent the family four certificates for Palestine. Mathilde and Josef left for Palestine directly from Switzerland. Mathilde joined Gino in Kibbutz Revivim, and Josef went to school in Givat Brenner. Renate and her mother returned to Italy and discovered that all of their belongings in both Milan and Ferrara had been stolen by the Fascists. Renate remained in Milan for close to two years working in a refugee transit camp, Via Unione, and was a member of Hehalutz. She immigrated to Palestine in December 1947, went to Kibbutz Revivim and then moved to Givat Brenner with the arrival of a group of Italian halutzim. On April 11, 1949 she married Dario Navarra.
    Record last modified:
    2010-03-10 00:00:00
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