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For the Teacher…
welcome you and your students to Far from Hitler: The Scattergood Hostel
for European Refugees, 1939-43.
To enrich your experience we have prepared activities for middle-level students that may be completed
before or after viewing the exhibit.
Activity II may be used during the visit to the exhibit, as a supplement to the follow-up discussion, or as an assessment of the student’s experiences at the exhibit.
SCATTERGOOD HOSTEL EXHIBIT
After reading the Introduction and Identify the
Question, have each student choose a question to investigate during
his/her visit to the exhibit. The
question may not be from the list given.
It may be one generated by the student.
After looking at the photos and documents in the packet, have the
student Make Predictions about
what is happening or what is the significance of each. After viewing the exhibit students may Evaluate Predictions then Develop
Generalizations and revise their inferences about Scattergood Hostel.
School, West Branch, Iowa, had been closed since 1931 following the
depression. But from 1939-43,
the former Quaker boarding school reopened and became a place of refuge for
European Jews and other opponents of Hitler’s National Socialist regime.
One hundred and eighty-six refugees found safety and smiling, caring
faces from the staff at Scattergood. In
general, refugees stayed at the hostel anywhere from several weeks up to a
few months. During that time, they soaked up Iowa culture and learned the
skills they needed to live in America.
Identify the question
was it like to arrive in the United States where the land, language, dress,
food and lifestyle seemed strange? Who
were the “guests” at the hostel? Where
were they from? How did they
feel about this new land? What
experiences did they face as they struggled to make a new life in a strange
land? How did they endure the
separation from their friends and families?
Who are the Friends? Why
did they want to help immigrants during WW II?
What lessons can we learn about our responsibilities in helping new
immigrants adapt to a new home in the United States?
experiences did the immigrants encounter in the United States?
How did their lifestyles in America differ from their lives in their
home countries? How did they
feel about living in the United States?
What challenges did they face? Why
should we be interested in the Scattergood Hostel?
What did the hostel offer the new arrivals?
How did hostel staff help the “guests?” How might we gather
information about the “guests” and their experiences at Scattergood?
What happened to the immigrants after they left the hostel?
below a question about the hostel that you would like to investigate:
Make predictions (Using the
-By examining photographs and artifacts
examining newsletters, logs, newspaper articles, personal communications
A. The Place, Scattergood
The Main Building
The Garden (tomato harvest or
The Road to Scattergood (rural
Excerpt from Brochure about Scattergood Hostel
Photo of lecture, picnic, or drying
B. The Staff
Walter & Sara Stanley
Letter by Sara Pemberton
WB Times newspaper articles by Camilla Hewson or “a typical
C. The “Guests”
The Deutsch Family
Edith Lichtenstein article
Newspaper article, first guests arriving
After students make their predictions about the significance of photos, documents, and artifacts to the lives of the Scattergood Hostel participants, they can review the interpretations and actual comments at the exhibit. Were their predictions consistent?
questions and issue arise? What
additional information is needed?
revise their inferences and develop generalizations about the difficulties
faced by immigrants in America. Students
might make connections with immigrant issues in Iowa today.
Follow-up group discussion.
Investigate Other Resource
may wish to extend their research by using the Bibliography
to investigate other primary and secondary sources.
Students may choose to create a project or product to show what they
A. A Personal Story
story of Boris Jaffe and his daughter, Tamara, is a poignant reminder of how
war disrupts and often fractures families.
From the documents provided, read the story of their lives. Develop
an interview with Boris Jaffe as he anticipates seeing his daughter after
several years of separation. Write
questions and responses. Present
your interview in an authentic context.
(Washington Post, May
31-June 6, 1981)
Celebrations at the Hostel
photographs, letters, and news articles write a report on ways the hostel
staff helped the guests feel at home and yet learn about American holidays.
a. Birthdays (Bob Berquist)
Fourth of July picnics
C. Children at the Hostel
Research the children who attended the hostel. Write a narrative of historical fiction of a child’s experiences at the hostel.
a. Irmgard Rosenzweig
b. George Krauthamer
c. Edith Lichtenstein
Focus on Similarities/Differences
Select a child who was at the hostel. Research his/her country including geography, language, foods, dress, school, and customs. Imagine you were that child. Write a letter, create a vignette, draw a mural, etc. describing the similarities/differences in appearance, diet, clothing, language, customs, celebrations, and values.
E. Using Puppets
a drama using puppets that would simulate immigrants leaving their homes,
traveling to America, arriving at the hostel, adjusting to life on a farm,
and going to the local school. Write a script, build a set, create your
puppet characters, and perform for an audience.
F. Venn Diagram
a large sheet of butcher paper create a Venn diagram with two large
intersecting circles titled “Home” and “Hostel.” In one large
circle, list unique factors of everyday life in America.
In the other circle, list unique factors of hostel life.
In the intersection, list similarities between home and hostel.
Compare and contrast similarities and differences.
Role play or create a mural of a typical day at the hostel, based on quotations, reflections, literature, and other primary and secondary sources. Consider such factors as communal living, chores, schedules, classes, free time, pets, meals, meeting, etc.
designed by Jane Bryant, instructor in the Iowa City School District