American Spirit Inspirational Pages
Mauthausen Holocaust Survivor
Tibor Rubin
Receives U.S. Medal of Honor

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity
at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Tibor (Ted) Rubin, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor who as a U.S. soldier saved dozens of comrades in the Korean War, was awarded America's highest military honor on Friday by President George W. Bush.

Rubin, 76, was given the Medal of Honor for gallantry displayed as an Army corporal in the 1950-53 (Korean) war.

Tibor Rubin with his Medal of Honor
Tibor Rubin as a Soldier

Corporal Tibor Rubin distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period from July 23, 1950, to April 20, 1953, while serving as a rifleman with Company I, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division in the Republic of Korea.

Rubin was born in Hungary and sent to the Nazi concentration camp in Mauthausen, Austria, as a boy of 13. His parents and a sister were killed during their imprisonment, but Rubin survived for 14 months and was freed when American soldiers stormed the camp.

He was liberated from the camp by U.S. troops after two years and swore to pay back the country for that freedom, and eventually emigrated to America in 1948 and joined the Army. Not yet a citizen, he volunteered for Army service and by July 1950 was on the front lines in Korea.

While his unit was retreating to the Pusan Perimeter, Corporal Rubin was assigned to stay behind to keep open the vital Taegu-Pusan Road link used by his withdrawing unit.

During the ensuing battle, overwhelming numbers of North Korean troops assaulted a hill defended solely by Corporal Rubin. He inflicted a staggering number of casualties on the attacking force during his personal 24-hour battle, single-handedly slowing the enemy advance and allowing the 8th Cavalry Regiment to complete its withdrawal successfully.

Following the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter, the 8th Cavalry Regiment proceeded northward and advanced into North Korea. During the advance, he helped capture several hundred North Korean soldiers.

On October 30, 1950, Chinese forces attacked his unit at Unsan, North Korea, during a massive nighttime assault. Rubin took hold of his unitís only remaining weapon ó a machine gun whose previous three gunners had been shot That night and throughout the next day he manned his machine gun until his ammunition was exhausted.

His determined stand slowed the pace of the enemy advance in his sector, permitting the remnants of his unit to retreat southward. As the battle raged, Corporal Rubin was severely wounded and captured by the Chinese.

Choosing to remain in the prison camp despite offers from the Chinese to return him to his native Hungary, Corporal Rubin disregarded his own personal safety and immediately began sneaking out of the camp at night in search of food for his comrades.

Breaking into enemy food storehouses and gardens, he risked certain torture or death if caught. Corporal Rubin provided not only food to the starving Soldiers, but also desperately needed medical care and moral support for the sick and wounded of the POW camp. His brave, selfless efforts were directly attributed to saving the lives of as many as forty of his fellow prisoners.

Corporal Rubin's gallant actions in close contact with the enemy and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

"By repeatedly risking his own life to save others, Corporal 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 in a tearful White House East Room ceremony, with Rubin at his side.

In 2006 Tibor Rubin was also presented with a Certificate of Service displaying his Medal of Honor among other medals and awards. The text showing his experience reads:

Medal of Honor Recipient
Tibor (Ted) Rubin

"Served with Gallantry Above and Beyond the Call of Duty During the Korean War. Corporal Rubin single-handedly defended a hill for twenty four hours, giving his company time to withdraw. He was severely wounded and captured.

During his two years as a Prisoner of War he is credited with saving at least forty more lives, tending to the needs of the prisoners, again risking his own life many times."

One of these certificates displaying your awards and experience can be obtained by clicking on one of the links below. They also make great gifts for loved ones who served in the US Military.

Adapted from articles by:
WASHINGTON (Reuters), September 23, 2005
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Stars and Stripes Newspaper