Immigrant Soldier: The American Journey of Albert J. Heim

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Lesson-  Exploring Immigrant treatment at the turn of the last century

Oral History Interview- Albert J. Heim, Austrian Immigrant (1911).  Mr. Heim later served in the US Army in The First World WAR.  Age at time of filming, 93.
View first part of film till he states, “He called me a Greenhorn, but he and I became good friends”!

  1. Mr. Heim wants the listener to know that even though he called me a greenhorn, he and that man became Friends. What does this suggest about the term “Greenhorn”?
  2. Earlier the Sargent asked him, “by the way, what are you?”  What about the young Mr. Heim would have indicated to the Sargent that the lad was not American?

The term Greenhorn has long gone out of use, but at one time it was the worst term and insult you could use towards an Immigrant.  What other names have been used towards groups during various periods of our Immigrant history?

“OLD IMMIGRANT PERIOD”- Irish, Germans, Scandinavians.
“NEW IMMIGRANT PERIOD”- Slavs, Jews, Italians.
TODAY’s IMMIGRANT GROUPS-  India, Arabs, Asians, Hispanics.

Class reading and discussion.  Read passage from the Autobiography of Rocky Marciano, “Rock he called me a Guinea”. (Download here).

  1. Why did the future champ react so strongly to the use of this term?  Does this term possess the viciousness it once had?  Why/why not?