Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Congratulates Tibor Rubin on Receiving the Medal of Honor

Fall 2005

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) congratulates Tibor Rubin on finally receiving the Medal of Honor for his gallantry and bravery during the Korean War. The awarding of this long-overdue honor to Mr. Rubin marks the culmination of a long campaign by the JWV to recognize his extraordinary achievements with the Nation's highest military honor. Tibor Rubin's bravery during the Korean War is probably unparalleled in the history of America's fighting heroes. He was a Holocaust survivor. He lost his parents in a Nazi concentration camp, and he managed to stay alive until he was liberated. He came to United States and enlisted in the Army to fight in Korea. While in Korea, he broke his leg and was shipped to an Army hospital in Japan. With his leg not completely healed, he returned to his unit in Korea. On November 1, 1950, he received shrapnel wounds in his left hand and chest. He was captured by the Chinese and, along with other American prisoners of war, was marched to a fortified camp where they were confined. Rubin, who had learned to survive in a Nazi concentration camp, applied his experience to sneak out during the night to steal food from the Chinese. At risk to his own life, he would give this food to the other prisoners, especially the sick and dying. He felt that this was his way at getting back at the enemy, as they were short on food themselves. Rubin was a prisoner of war for two and one-half years. His fellow prisoners credit him with saving 35 to 40 lives during his daring, almost nightly ventures of stealing food for his comrades. The JWV has long campaigned for him to receive the medal. The JWV worked with Congress to introduce a bill that would make Rubin the first Jewish recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Korean War. Those veterans who owe their lives to Rubin's bravery joined the majority of veterans' organizations in support of this effort. Fortunately, this effort has been rewarded, and a true hero is being recognized by his adopted country for his heroism and gallantry. The JWV congratulates Mr. Rubin on this long-overdue honor and continues to urge reconsideration for the Medal of Honor for other Jewish-American heroes whose achievements, like those of Mr. Rubin, may not have been adequately recognized due to anti-Semitism and discrimination.


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