Bill Leshinetsky on Immigration and the Korean War

The following clip relates to the Ohio Department of Education curriculum for Social Studies education through:

  • Modern World History Content Statement #4 – Historians analyze cause, effect, sequence and correlation in historical events, including multiple causation and long- and short-term causal relations.
  • Modern World History Content Statement #19 – Treaties and agreements at the end of World War II changed national boundaries and created multinational organizations.
  • World Geography Content Statement #8 – Physical, cultural, economic, and political factors contribute to human migrations (e.g. drought, religious conflicts, job opportunities, immigration laws).
  • American Government Content Statement #16 – In the United States, people have rights that protect them from undue governmental interference. Rights carry responsibilities that help define how people use their rights and that require respect for the rights of others.




Bill Leshinetsky is a Ukrainian immigrant. He came to the United States in 1950 but spent several years as a refugee during World War II. He is a representative for the Ukrainian Cultural Garden. In this story clip, he gives the account of his travels after he left Ukraine when he was nineteen years old. He spent time in Slovakia and Austria before ending up in Germany for four years. Shortly after Leshinetsky immigrated to the United States he was drafted into military service and served in the Korean War.

Potential Classroom Applications:

This story clip illustrates the disruptive nature of warfare and the displacement of people from their native countries. It also brings into focus some of the hardships immigrants sometimes face, including military service upon entry into their new country. Leshinetsky’s story of being drafted and serving his new country in the Armed Forces also highlights the responsibilities and civic duties that accompany citizenship. This clip could be used to generate discussion of these duties and responsibilities which may include military service, community service, paying taxes, voting, and respect for the rule of law.

Follow this link for the whole interview: Bill Leshinetsky Interview, 2005

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