Hungarian Refugee Students, Knowledge and Canadian Forestry

Swen Steinberg

Nearly the entire Forestry School of Sopron—more than 200 students and their professors—fled Hungary after the 1956 uprising against Soviet rule, and many of them found refuge in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia. Taking up their work in a new setting, the group soon began to attract attention. In May 1957, Life magazine reported that the refugees had started studying “unfamiliar forests” while practicing “European crop methods.”

This project seeks to understand how Central European forestry methods were applied or modified in North American forestry. How did the young migrants practice their profession in the new context? Were their approaches openly accepted, ignored, or even rejected? How did knowledge circulate inside and beyond this group in Canada and the Pacific Northwest?