December 4, 1942
Under the auspices of the Italian Club Italian-American historian and fervent anti-Fascist Dr. Gaetano Salvemini, Lauro de Bosis Lecturer in the History of Italian Civilization at Harvard University, spoke in Taylor Hall on "The Italian Population Problem." Active in Italian politics before his exile in 1925, Salvemini had debated heatedly with Vassar Professor of Italian Bruno Roselli about the policies and consequences of the Mussolini régime in 1926 before some 1,400 members of the Economics Club in New York City.
Admitting the relative density of the Italian population, Salvemini claimed the Mussolini government's arguments that Italy must "expand or explode" were simply excuses for "bullying her neighbors." As to the establishment of African colonies, the historian and former member of the Italian Parliament said the billions of lire needed for the project 'could have transformed Sardinia, Sicily and southern Italy into a garden." He also called on the United State and its allies to encourage imigration for all nations and to prevent imigrant communities from congregating in segrated urban slum communities.
A professor at the Universities of Pisa and Florence before coming to the United States in 1930, Salvemini became an American citizen in 1940. He spoke at Vassar on "Florence in the Time of Dante" in 1933 and on "Italy after Thirteen Years of Dictatorship." The Miscellany News