Refugee Week – Anny’s sewing machine

24 June 2014 by Kay

o_cadf12a78d565460-0kjRefugee week is a unique opportunity to discover and celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK.

In The People’s Republic gallery in the Museum of Liverpool there are many personal stories and objects which help reveal migration journeys to the city.

One of these special objects is this Pfaff sewing machine which was brought to Liverpool by Anny Foa who fled Turin, Italy in 1939 when life was blown apart by the turmoil of the Second World War.


She married another Italian, Dr Calma, who became an assistant lecturer at The University of Liverpool Medical School.

Life in Liverpool was very different from Italy and at first was difficult for them. However, they soon put down roots and future generations of the family settled in the city.

The sewing machine’s final task was to make their daughter’s wedding dress for her marriage at Prince’s Road Synagogue in 1970.

“We left Italy because of the Fascist regime’s racial policy and stifling lack of freedom.” Dr Calma

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