If the intellectual highlight of the weekend was Victor Davis Hanson, the emotional highlight was Tibor Rubin. David Horowitz honored Tibor Rubin. Dinner speeches are usually ..... boring, but from the minute the presentation of Tibor's life began, I was riveted. IMAO, this great unassuming hero of unimaginable courage and compassion is the icon for the persecuted Jew throughout the course of human history.
Tibor Rubin is the only Holocaust survivor to ever receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. But his journey to the White House Medal of Honor ceremony began many, many years ago, when at the age of 14, he was captured and placed in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII. As a youth, he watched the world of his family turn upside down, simply because they were Jewish. Upon arrival at Auschwitz, Rubin's mother chose to go with his 10-year-old sister to the death house because she did not want to leave her daughter to go alone. Rubin ended up in Mauthausen in Austria. He was greeted by a Nazi officer who said, "You Jews are all going to die here."
Rubin spoke of how the other prisoners became just sacks of bones as the war raged on. But, when the camp was liberated by soldiers from the American Army, Rubin was struck by their kindness and compassion. These battlehardened soldiers who showed deep sympathy and concern to the teen-aged boy became his example, and he determined to repay them by moving to the United States, joining the Army and becoming a "G.I. Joe". (more)
Josh Mandel, who spoke before Tibor, said the list of attendees was impressive, but when he heard Tibor was being honored, he was in awe. Tibor is one of Mandel's heroes.
Why in G-d's name did it take the US government 55 years to give this man the medal of honor? It's an outrage. Bush did it -- Clinton, the whoremaster, was lobbied -- every President and the Pentagon had been lobbied for decades by the many soldiers whose lives he saved.
Were Tibor Rubin and 137 other soldiers denied the Medal of Honor because of anti-Semitism? By Tom Tugend
Early in May, the Pentagon received a list with the names and backgrounds of 138 Jewish war veterans, with the single thickest file documenting the exploits of Tibor Rubin.
The cover letter asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to review the records of Rubin and the other 137 Jewish veterans to determine whether they were denied the Medal of Honor, America's highest award for bravery in combat, because they were Jews.
Similar appeals have been routinely ignored by the Pentagon over the past decades. But this time, the request carried the force of a law, passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in December, ordering the review.
In 1996, the Pentagon reviewed the files of Japanese American and other Asian American veterans and belatedly awarded the Medal of Honor to 21 of them. The records of African American servicemen, who were institutionally segregated throughout World War II, were reexamined and eight were recognized for the nation's most prestigious decoration. A similar review of Hispanic veterans has been mandated.
Let me tell you, folks, I've listened to a lot of speeches. But this one .... I could not stop crying. The whole story tore me up, and Rubin's eternal optimism, humility, kindness, pure joie are rare and wonderful. I know when I am in the room with greatness. Believe me, there are too many imposters to count (I know, I meet them every day). Rubin is the genuine article.
Below, Tibor Rubin (right) with two of the survivors he suffered with as children in a youth concentration camp during the Holocaust. I asked these men what was in their minds in the camps, what were they thinking, and they said, "You don't think. You don't feel. You survive" ... minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.
On September 23, 2005, 76-yearold Tibor Rubin will finally be awarded the nation's highest military accolade for gallantry in combat, the Medal of Honor. It has taken 55 years for Rubin and his supporters to break through the wall of government bureaucracy and prejudice towards minorites who fought in World War II and the Korean War. The Medal of Honor is awarded to those who displayed “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call duty, in actual combat against an enemy armed force.” Rubin will be the 18th Jewish recipient of the Medal of Honor since it was created during the Civil War by President Lincoln.
Rubin, known as "Tibi" or "Ted" to his friends, was born in a Hungarian shtetl named Paszto. At age 13, his family was rounded up by the Nazis, and he was sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. Rubin survived, but his parents and his two sisters perished in the camp. He came to the United States in 1948 to work as a shoemaker, and tried to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1949, only to be turned away because he failed the English test. He finally passed the exam in 1950 and was sent to fight on the frontlines of the Korean War. It was in Korea where Rubin accomplished his courageous acts to earn him recommendations for the Medal of Honor.
When Mauthausen was liberated by Allied troops, Rubin, then 15, swore that he would repay his liberators by going to the United States and fighting against the Germans. "I was going to go the the U.S. and join the U.S. army to show my appreciation...It was my wish to fight alongside them," Rubin said. Not only did Rubin join the army and fight alongside American soldiers, he was instrumental in saving dozens of their lives in Korean POW camps.
At one point in the war, his company needed to find a route of retreat, so Rubin single-handedly defended a hill for 24 hours and held off scores of North Korean troops. This feat alone was enough to earn him four recommendations for the Medal of Honor and numerous other military awards. However, a leader of Rubin's company, First Sgt. Artice Watson, was described by many of Rubin's fellow soldiers as a "vicious anti-Semite," and often volunteered Rubin to go on the most dangerous patrol missions. Watson was also in charge of completing the paperwork to allow Rubin to receive the Medal of Honor. Some of the men in Rubin’s company were present when Watson was ordered to put in for the medals, and they believe that Watson ignored the orders because Rubin was Jewish.
“I believe in my heart that FirsSgt. Watson would have jeopardized his own safety rather than assist in any way whatsoever in the awarding of the medal to a person of Jewish descent,” wroteCpl. Harold Speakman in a notarized affidavit.
In October 1950, Rubin and \the survivors of his company were captured by the Koreans and placed into a POW camp.At the risk of being executed if caught, nearly every night Rubin would sneak out of the camp to get food for the desperate GIs. His acts of bravery and compassion kept between 35-40 soldiers alive until they were finally set free. (Jewish Virtual library)
Click below for video of Rubin, please.
I spent time with Tibi after the tables were cleared and the lights were up. And yeah, I totally fell in love.