German immigrants and their descendants are integral to New Jersey's history. When the state was young, they founded villages that are now well-established communities, such as Long Valley. Many German immigrants were lured by the freedom and opportunity in the Garden State, especially in the nineteenth century, as they escaped oppression and revolution. German heroes have played a patriotic part in the state's growth and include scholars, artists, war heroes and industrialists, such as John Roebling, the builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, and Thomas Nast, the father of the American cartoon. Despite these contributions, life in America was not always easy; they faced discrimination, especially during the world wars. But in the postwar era, refugees and German Americans alike--through their Deutsche clubs, festivals, societies and language schools--are a huge part of New Jersey's rich cultural tapestry.