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What is the evidence that he was a refugee? He lead a very upper middle class American life when he arrived. This is quite, quite odd for a refugee. There are plenty of genius refugees that come to America each year and don't go to Boston Latin and MIT. Why? You have to work your way up in society and this takes time, at least one full generation. I know he is Jewish but Fascist Italy was very tolerant of Jews and it was only during the later stages of the war, post-1942, that Jews were persecuted by the State, essentially forced to by the Germans. He arrived in 1939. Jewish Italians were/are some of the most assimilated Jews in Europe. Italy was famous for obfuscating Nazi access to "their" Jews. Unlike any other type of Jew, Jewish Italians overwhelmingly came back to Italy to live a full life. Primo Levi was typical not the exception of Jewish Italian behavior.BinaryLust (talk) 01:37, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
Almost each sentence written above needs a reference... --Cantalamessa (talk) 20:20, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
Wow! That wasn't helpful at all. How about you provide a reference to that unhelpful statement of yours! I'm just a very, very minor contributor. I'm mostly into technology and that's how I come to this article. Without going too much into my history (such I am descended from Jewish Italians who left peacefully after 1940 and not as refuges...lol...and who is proud and knowledgeable of both his heritages), I'm pointing out an obvious problem with the article. Like I requested, please provide evidence such as a REFERENCE or an explanation. I don't see anything wrong with that, especially since you seem to believe that I should provide a reference for a discussion topic/suggestion.
You also betray your ignorance of history and of Jewish and Italian experience. To Jewish Italians and Italians of all stripes, to box Italy into the same category as a German or Eastern European Jew is very insulting to all parties involved. German Jews and Eastern European Jews faced horrors far greater than Italian and French Jews. This is history, this is well known in Holocaust studies. In fact, one of the lessons learned in fighting against Fascism is that simply standing up would have stopped the machinery. Both France, and in particular, Italy are used as examples about how it would have become impossible for the Holocaust to have succeeded if not for the strong rejection of antisemitism in those cultures as legitimate.
Finally, your understanding of American experience seems muted if you think anything I said was so speculative that a reasonable person would require references to "study up" on it in order to be convinced. There are millions and millions of poor Americans, let alone Refugees, that cannot within one generation graduate from one of the top universities in the world. There are poor Americans walking around with IQ's that would make Mr. Viterbi's IQ look bellow average. You don't see all of them graduating from Harvard, Cal Tech, MIT, etc. In fact, it is very RARE that even one is admitted. Hence, why it is strange and why I made a simple request for EVIDENCE. Refugee is below poor in any country. You are starting with no rights, privileges, etc. It takes years just to achieve basic social legitimacy let alone graduating from the top technical university in the world.
Frankly, the fact that that statement alone is not cited or referenced is cause for deletion. I am in rights to delete it right now if I so choose.BinaryLust (talk) 02:55, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
No, I think you can't delete it so easily. If you look at the references, there is an interview with Viterbi where he clearly speaks of his family as refugees in 1939, after the Italian racial laws of 1938. Having said this, I do not want to delve into political considerations since, as you, I am more concentrated towards technology :-) --Cantalamessa (talk) 10:27, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. I'll double check the references.BinaryLust (talk) 01:11, 16 September 2011 (UTC)