Moving to Europe was the right decision in 1978 even if my great grandfather is still turning in his grave

by , under Enrique Tessieri

My great grandfather Dante Tessieri and his future wife, Aida Guaimonti, sailed from Italy in the 1890s to Brazil. Dante was a learned man, a physicist, and an anarchist that housed strong political opinions. He was forced to leave Italy, like many millions of his countrymen, because of political reasons.

Of all my great grandparents, Dante is the one that I admire the most. I admire his courage so much that I gave one of my sons his name.

While I cannot confirm it, he was allegedly part of a plot to assassinate King Humbert. After being detained and jailed, he escaped and skipped the country moving to Brazil, where my grandfather, Nemo, was born.

Millions of Europeans emigrated from Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. They escaped strife, war, famine, economic hardship and political persecution.

The Finns were no different from the Italians. They too emigrated en mass as the illustration below shows.

It is for that reason

Finland is a country of emigration. Before World War 2, the majority (about 370,000) emigrated to North America and after World War 2 (550,000) to Sweden. Source: Migration Institute.

While moving from the United States was a wise decision forty years ago, I have my doubts today about Europe being a safe haven. Are those same factors that forced Dante and millions of other Europeans to flee these shores arriving to haunt us once again? If not Europe or the United States, where could one flee to safety today?

The rise of fascism and populism in Europe during this century clearly shows that we have failed to do away with such ills, which .are still very much alive and kicking, waiting to resuscitate, like today.

Time will tell what happens. Even so, I am a bit apprehension about the future, and if we will end up again on those slippery slopes that led us to war.

I hope I am wrong.

Evey know and then I hear my great grandfather turning in his grave and stating sei pazzo!