Gina Segré-Brunner

Cup and saucer of Gina Segré-Brunner. Jewish Museum Hohenems, Carlo Alberto Brunner Estate

Gina Segrè (1867-1948) descended from a Jewish industrialist family from Trieste. Her brother, Salvatore Segrè, got involved already early on in the irredentist movement, which demanded Trieste’s disengagement from the Habsburg Empire and annexation to Italy, while the growing number of Slovenian laborers in the city championed the Pan-Slavic movement. For his aid to refugees who had fled the Austrian army in World War I, he was ennobled and made a baron, henceforth carrying the name Segrè-Sartorio. His sister, Gina, who had married Rodolfo Brunner in 1888, was also a passionate adherent of irredentism (the movement of the “unredeemed”) and was thus in political opposition to her husband. Rodolfo and Gina Brunner had four children, their older son, Guido, was killed in battle against Austria in World War I; from then on, his parents hardly spoke with each other anymore. In 1937, Gina Brunner was appointed president of the national association of mothers and widows of war victims. The tableware features the Segrès’ old family coat of arms “Omnia pro patria libenter.”