Music teacher trapped in Italy during WWII

Mar 05, 2021 980

BY: Rick Nathanson

Adelina Maria Puccini Timofeyew didn't pay much attention to politics. In 1936, a year after graduating from the University of New Mexico with an undergraduate degree in music, she took off for Italy to study at the Conservatory of St. Cecilia in Rome, Italy, the first woman accepted into the conservatory's composition program. That same year, Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party formed an alliance with Germany's Adolf Hitler.

By the time Adelina realized how dangerous the situation had become, she was near starvation, could not receive wire transfers of money, was unable to get the necessary documentation to leave, and all transport in and out of the country was for the war effort. She died in Albuquerque on Feb. 7 at age 105.

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