Tibor Rubin has passed away. He was an authentic Jewish-American hero, a modern day Maccabee. Baruch Dayan Emet.
Tibor Rubin, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor who joined the U.S. Army out of gratitude for his liberation from the Nazis, then earned the Medal of Honor for heroism in the Korean War, died of natural causes Saturday in Garden Grove. He was 86.
Rubin had a Hungarian accent and a Jackie Mason-like sense of humor, said his nephew, Robert Huntly. Rubin’s parents and younger sister were killed by the Nazis, and wounds and starvation had left him disabled. But his comic demeanor betrayed little trace of this history, Huntly said.
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. Cohen.