Aitala family papers
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
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Overview and metadata sections
The Aitala Family Papers reveal the narrative of a family–through documents, writings, journals, and children's notebooks. Permission documents for travel and identification illustrate the Aitala family's journey from Rovignio d'Istria (presently Rovinj, Croatia) across the Adriatic Sea–as World War II forced relocation to Trieste, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. Around 1947 the family become labeled as refugees and were given permission to travel to Rome. Finally, after becoming displaced persons and living in Bagnoli near Naples, Italy, the family immigrated to the United States in 1952 as Displaced Persons.
Concetto Aitala (1901-1960) was an agricultural teacher and head of the family; his papers represent chiefly documents for identification and travel for the purpose of relocating his family from region to region. Wife, mother, and Italian teacher, Anna Zaccai Aitala (1908-1954), expresses her happiness and sadness about moving and emigrating to the United States through the writings and stories contained in the papers. The children Franco G. Aitala (1932-2005) and Ruggero Aitala (1937-) reveal glimpses of World War II seen through a child's eyes with compositions, poems, and drawings contained in school notebooks and composition journals.
Also contained in the Aitala's papers are expense ledgers from 1942 to 1956. The financial needs and expenditures are recorded during the family's life in Italy and as they immigrated to the United States.
The Aitala Family Papers illustrate the confusion and bureaucracy of relocation during World War II and its aftermath, and immigration to a new country as they became displaced from their own. The papers also disclose the emotional attachment to one's culture and country of origin while creating roots and learning the language and customs of a new one.
Gift of Tina Aitala, 2008.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Donna Brandolisio
- Finding Aid Date
- July 2008
- Use Restrictions
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