Enrica Calabresi

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Enrica Calabresi (10 November 1891 in Ferrara – 20 January 1944 in Castelfiorentino) was an Italian zoologist, herpetologist, and entomologist. Her family was part of the Jewish community which has played an important role in Ferrara, continuously since the Middle Ages.

Enrica Calabresi graduated from the University of Florence in natural sciences on 1 July 1914 with a thesis on the hedgehog, Sul comportamento del condrioma nel pancreas e nelle ghiandole salivari del riccio durante il letargo invernale e l’attività estiva. Since 1 February 1914, before graduating, she had been an Assistant in the Cabinet of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates in the University of Florence. In 1924 she obtained a teaching diploma and taught in the same university. In the academic years 1936-37 and 1937-38 she held the chair of Agricultural Entomology on the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Pisa. She was secretary of the Italian Entomological Society from 1918 to 1921. On 14 December 1938, she was declared unqualified to teach in state universities because of her race. From 1939 to 1943 she taught sciences in the Jewish School of Florence. In January 1944 she was arrested and held in the Santuario di Santa Verdiana, a former convent converted to a prison. Knowing that she was to be deported from there to the Auschwitz extermination camp, she committed suicide by swallowing poison that she had been carrying with her for some time.



  • Poggesi, Marta; Sforzi, Alessandra (2001). "In ricordo di Enrica Calabresi ". Mem. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 80: 223-233. (in Italian).
  • University of Pisa Biography lists publications.