Tibor Rubin, Medal of Honor recipient, dies in California

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Tibor Rubin dies at 86; Holocaust survivor received Medal of Honor for Korean War heroism.

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) — Tibor Rubin, a Hungarian-born concentration camp survivor who joined the U.S. Born in Paszto, a Hungarian shtetl of 120 Jewish families, Rubin was 15 when he was liberated from Mauthausen after two years by U.S. troops, and vowed to repay his debt by enlisting in the Army after arriving in New York in 1948.Tibor Rubin, who survived two years in the Mauthausen concentration camp and then two-and-a-half years in a Chinese prisoner of war camp during the Korean war, died at age 86. But the necessary paperwork was intentionally sabotaged by the company’s anti-Semitic first sergeant, according to testimonies by many of Rubin’s comrades. Applying skills acquired during the Holocaust, Rubin regularly stole food from Chinese supply depots and distributed it equally among his fellow prisoners, who later credited him with keeping 40 people alive. “I want this recognition for my Jewish brothers and sisters,” he said upon receiving the medal. “I want the goyim to know that there were Jews over there, that there was a little greenhorn from Hungary who fought for their beloved country.”

After his military service, Rubin worked for years at his brother’s Long Beach liquor store and said little of his wartime deeds, which included defending a hill single-handedly for 24 hours and saving the lives of as many as 40 of his fellow POWs in a camp in North Korea, according to his biographer Daniel M. Rubin exemplified the highest ideals of military service and fulfilled a pledge to give something back to the country that had given him his freedom,” Bush said. Rubin, then 76, stood by Bush’s side with his head slightly bowed and his hands clasped behind his back as the president praised him, then fastened the gold medal around his neck. Decades later, supporters successfully argued the Jewish corporal had been denied recognition during the war because of the anti-Semitic leanings of a superior. An Army spokeswoman said at the time that the government’s investigation had found evidence that wartime papers recommending that he receive citations for bravery had been tossed out.

He later was captured by the Chinese, and during his imprisonment, Rubin risked his life to steal food for fellow prisoners, give them medical help and keep up their morale. The Army said Rubin’s fellow soldiers and commanding officers recommended him three times before for the Medal of Honor, but the paperwork was not submitted because a member of his chain of command was believed to have interceded because of Rubin’s religion.

In affidavits filed in support of Rubin’s nomination, however, fellow soldiers said their sergeant was viciously anti-Semitic and gave Rubin dangerous assignments in hopes of getting him killed. His nephew, who eventually ran the ROTC program at USC, said Rubin maintained steadfast faith in the military. “He talked me into going into it, even after all he had been through,” Huntly said.

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