Immigrant of the Day: Tibor Rubin – War Hero

Posted on: July 19th, 2015
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This morning I came across a book review of Single Handed, the new work by Daniel Cohen about the amazing story of Tibor Rubin. Rubin is a Hungarian-born Jewish survivor of the Holocaust. The teenager was barely alive when the Mauthausen concentration camp was liberated. Shortly after World War II, he immigrated to America and quickly sought to volunteer to fight in the US Army which by then was engaged in the Korean War. He was rejected twice because of his lack of English skills, but was accepted on his third attempt.

His war experience was nothing short of astounding. From Single Handed’s book description:

In 1950, Tibor volunteered for service in the Korean War. After acts of heroism that included single-handedly defending a hill against an onslaught of enemy soldiers, braving sniper fire to rescue a wounded comrade, and commandeering a machine gun after its crew was killed, he was captured. As a POW, Tibor called on his experience in Mauthausen to help fellow GIs survive two and half years of captivity.

Tibor should have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor 60+ years ago. Despite numerous eyewitness accounts and recommendations from four soldiers he saved, he would not receive the Medal of Honor until 2005. A moving US Army tribute to Rubin can be found here.

To survive a Nazi concentration camp,  to decide to risk your life by volunteering to go to war and then to survive a Chinese POW camp easily make Corporal Tibor Rubin one of the bravest people I’ve ever included in this feature.