President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law House Resolution 6323, which designates the Veterans Administration health care facility in Long Beach at the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center.
Rubin, a long-time resident of Garden Grove, a Holocaust survivor and Medal of Honor winner from the Korean War, died on Dec. 5, 2015 at age 86. He was known as “Ted.”
The West Garden Grove Branch of the Orange County Public Library, frequently patronized by Rubin, was renamed in his honor in 2015.
Rubin was born in Hungary in 1929. A Jew, he and his family were imprisoned in a concentration camp – his parents were killed – but the 14-year-old boy was liberated by American troops in May 1945.
Vowing to repay America for his rescue, he joined the U.S. Army in 1948 and was sent to Korea as a rifleman. There he encountered an anti-Semitic sergeant who insulted him. During the North Korean invasion of South Korea, the corporal single-handedly defended a hill for 24 hours.
Later that year, he was wounded and captured and sent to a prisoner of war camp. Because he came from what was then a Communist nation, Rubin’s captors offered to release him, but he refused and stayed in the camp to provide food and medical aid to his comrades, It’s estimated that he saved the lives of as many as 40 fellow POWs.
He was recommended for citations but it’s believed that ethnic bias may have prevented him from getting the recognition he deserved. That oversight was finally rectified when Rubin was awarded the nation’s highest military honor from President George W. Bush in 2005.
Categories: Garden Grove