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Teacher Guide

Derek Khoudja - HCRHS

Cold War Immigration

Cold War Refugees and the Rutgers Community


Using New Jersey as a case study, this lesson seeks to:

  • (1) Identify the struggles faced by Hungarian refugees in a New Jersey community
  • (2) Examine the reaction of a this community to the arrival of Hungarian refugees
  • (3) Challenge each student to consider the experience of Iraqi immigrants in the United States in the wake of the Persian Gulf conflicts

Lesson Guide

Step 1

The first action is to introduce the overall lesson objective.

  • Place the three essential question on the board and instruct students to consistently refer back to this throughout the lesson.

Step 2

The next phase is to perform an introductory activity that asks the students to consider how immigrants in a new country might feel.

  • Have students perform the initial brainstorming activity on the struggles that newcomers to a community might face. The class should record their answers on the note sheet provided in the link within the lesson.
  • Debrief this activity by reviewing and discussing the comments they have generated.

Step 3

The next activity will supplement the brainstorming exercise by providing students with a primary source document detailing the variety of struggles facing immigrants in the United States.

  • Have the class read the selected sections of: Report of an Exploratory Study on the Adjustment Problems of Displaced Persons and answer the associated questions on page 2 of their assignment packet.
  • Debrief this activity by reviewing and discussing the answers they have generated.

Step 4

The next activity will connect the students' understanding of the immigrant experience (steps 2 & 3) to the historical events surrounding the Hungarian Uprising. For successful comprehension, the teacher must supplement this activity with a guided lecture on how communist influence in Hungary prompted mass emigration.

  • Instruct the class to use the photo analysis worksheet in order to examine the photo link.
  • Use excerpts of the Time Magazine article and the discussion questions provided to help discuss their responses to the photo analysis activity.

Step 5

With an understood background on the circumstances by which many Hungarians came to emigrate to the United States, the students will now look at how these immigrants were treated upon arrival. Camp Kilmer, a military post near New Brunswick, became a refugee center where many Hungarian cold war refugees were housed. This will serve as the case study to examine the experience of many Hungarian refugees.

  • Instruct the class to review all three documents provided and complete the diary activity using evidence to enhance their responses.
  • Review responses with the class. A discussion on civic responsibility is suggested at during the debriefing time.

Step 6

After you have effectively examined how Hungarian cold war refugees were treated by Camp Kilmer area residents, the students will assess whether contemporary society would react in kind to Iraqi war refugees. This culminating activity will be administered in scored discussion format.

  • Direct students to the website provided in order to effectively prepare for the 3 scored discussion questions.
  • Ask students to compose their answers and be prepared to discuss them in a scored discussion format.