Tibor Rubin, American hero.
September 23, 2005 4:56 PM   Subscribe

Tibor "Ted" Rubin, survivor of a Nazi concentration camp and United States Army hero in World War II, received the Medal of Honor today from President Bush, 55 years after earning it. Rubin, a Hungarian Jew, was never submitted for a medal during the war due to anti-Semitism.
posted by cerebus19 (35 comments total)

 
D'oh! I'm sorry. He was a hero in the Korean War, not WW2.
posted by cerebus19 at 4:57 PM on September 23, 2005


Respect to Ted Rubin.

But not to Bush. I wonder when all the elderly Black heroes will be getting their overdue medals? And their own state? How about the unsung Arab heroes, too?

Still, it's good to know the US administration is opposed to one form of racism - for the moment, at least.
posted by cleardawn at 5:19 PM on September 23, 2005


Not carrying a torch for Bush or anything but what a stupid thing to say. I'm sure a bunch of people deserve that award that never have nor ever will get it but now that's Bush's fault too? There were a few presidents before him as I recall and some were...gasp...democrat.

I'm glad the guy finally got his props - it was sure long overdue.
posted by j.p. Hung at 5:42 PM on September 23, 2005


I heard on NPR today that he'd been submitted several times for various medals and the process always got held up in paperwork, perhaps, as cerebus19 said, because he's a Hungarian Jew. Are most of these medals given out during the war? I assumed most of them were given out after the wars were over, so the only odd thing was how long after this one came.
posted by scottreynen at 5:48 PM on September 23, 2005


Five-star generals have to salute, and the President has to stand when he enters the room.

That's awesome.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:50 PM on September 23, 2005


jpHung, don't get me wrong, I loathe the Democrats almost as much as Bush. It irritates me that politicians do this all the time - find a convenient hero to associate themselves with.

I'm just pointing out that there is no real connection whatsoever between the slimeball Bush and the heroic Tibor Rubin - or indeed any other genuine hero.
posted by cleardawn at 5:50 PM on September 23, 2005


oh for christ sakes, it's a nice gesture. Bush this, Bush that. You guys are too much.
posted by cpchester at 5:53 PM on September 23, 2005


Somehow i think i should post something in this thread. Not sure why.
posted by rubin at 5:57 PM on September 23, 2005


Five-star generals have to salute, and the President has to stand when he enters the room.

Amongst other things -- including an increased uniform allowance (MoH winners tend to end up in places where dress uniforms are required), increased retirement pay, a monthly stipend (over $1000) and any children may attend the US Service Academy of their choice, regardless of quota, for no cost. I think when they're flying civilian airlines, they get kicked up to first class as well.

That's awesome.

No arguments from me on that score.
posted by eriko at 6:02 PM on September 23, 2005


“I want this recognition for my Jewish brothers and sisters. I want the goyim to know that there were Jews over there, that there was a little greenhorn, a little shmuck from Hungary, who fought for their beloved country.”

A real hero. I'd say better late than never, but that does not make up for this in any way at all. His life would have been immeasurably different had his due been given him then. It's a sin that it wasn't--for him and all the others. A lot of the goyim still need to learn that (i'd start with James Baker).
posted by amberglow at 6:16 PM on September 23, 2005


"His life would have been immeasurably different had his due been given him then. It's a sin that it wasn't--for him and all the others."

Agreed. Hopefully, others who read about this come to the same conclusion. It's the only way to ensure we won't have any more of these stories.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:20 PM on September 23, 2005


I love the part of Rubin's story where, after being taken prisoner, he sneaks out at night to steal food from his captors to keep the other prisoners alive. What terrific courage.
posted by LarryC at 6:31 PM on September 23, 2005


He saved so many of his comrades, and he was shit on instead of rewarded.
posted by amberglow at 6:33 PM on September 23, 2005


I heard him on NPR, really amazing stories. He nursed a bunch of fellow soldiers back to health in the Chinese POW camp that he was in (though the Chinese offered to release him to return to Hungary), partially by making his own placebo medicine and keeping up their spirits, and this was after being wounded many times during a series of last-stand battles. The stories of the way he was discriminated against were maddening, he would have been the most decorated soldier of the Korean War, if it wasn't for systematic anti-Semitism.
posted by blahblahblah at 6:39 PM on September 23, 2005


I wonder when all the elderly Black heroes will be getting their overdue medals? And their own state?

their own state? Am I misunderstanding what you're getting at with that?

Scratch that. I am misunderstanding what you're getting at, because I have no idea what you're getting at.
posted by shmegegge at 6:42 PM on September 23, 2005


Please don't make this another freakin' thread about Bush.

*****

Rubin clearly deserves this recognition. I'm glad that he's finally getting it.
posted by raedyn at 6:58 PM on September 23, 2005


Cleandawn, "their own state"?!? I, too, am confused. In any case, you are wrong about your conclusion that other minority soldiers were not getting recognized, in fact, there has been a real effort to address historical military discrimination in terms of medals. From the link in the FPP:

Then, in the mid-1990s, the U.S. military, now a model equal-opportunity employer, was forced to revisit its record of discrimination against minorities during World War II and the Korean War.

Responding to criticism that the military consistently had squelched recommendations for high medal awards to minorities, the army, navy and air force started to review their old files.

In 1996 the Pentagon belatedly awarded Medals of Honor to 21 Japanese-American and other Asian-American veterans, and eight to former African-American servicemen who were institutionally segregated during World War II.

Congress passed a bill in 2001 providing for a review of selected Jewish veterans, known as the “Leonard Kravitz Jewish War Veterans Act.” Kravitz, the uncle and namesake of rock musician Lenny Kravitz, was killed manning his lone machine gun against attacking Chinese troops during the Korean War, allowing the rest of his platoon to retreat in safety. "

posted by blahblahblah at 7:06 PM on September 23, 2005


any children may attend the US Service Academy of their choice, regardless of quota, for no cost

Just to be clear, all students at US service academies attend free of charge, and receive a small stipend (covers uniforms and such).
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:10 PM on September 23, 2005


I'm always happy to hear when the deserving are recognized. To bad some want to turn into a "how much Bush and every WASP on the planet sucks" thread.

- Goyim the Rat Bastard

P.S. - I apologize for all the worlds ills.
posted by Carbolic at 8:43 PM on September 23, 2005


Just to be clear, all students at US service academies attend free of charge, and receive a small stipend (covers uniforms and such).

I certainly hope so. Being here and unable to hold down a job due to all the duties - academic, military, and otherwise - would suck very much if they expected me to pay for school. School should be free of course.

I am rather pleased to hear about him finally getting this; many times worthy servicemen get swept under the rug. Sometimes it's due to institutionalized or personal prejudice, sometimes it's just due to bureaucratic grinding of the wheel. But it is always good to see either of these two things reversed to recognize amazing people.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:09 PM on September 23, 2005


I wonder when all the elderly Black heroes will be getting their overdue medals? And their own state?

Troll of the year.

*places crown of yellow roses around cleardawn's neck*
posted by dhoyt at 12:05 AM on September 24, 2005


in all fairness, dhoyt, I think we need to see if cleardawn starts flaming out before we give him the troll of the year award.
posted by shmegegge at 12:55 AM on September 24, 2005


“Now,” Rubin said with a self-deprecating laugh, “It’s Mister Shmuck, the hero.”

I know bestow upon Rubin the highest honor I can give anyone--Honorary Grandpa. The dude is awesome.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:21 AM on September 24, 2005



I think they're a bunch of bastards as much as anyone here (possibly more so), but is there any particular reason the word "anti-Semitism" alone points to Freep? I'm curious whether there's some greater thinking beyond a cheap shot; I don't root around enough there to know if it's full of antisemites or what-have-you.

Otherwise, great FPP.
posted by trigonometry at 2:26 AM on September 24, 2005


I'm always happy to hear when the deserving are recognized. To bad some want to turn into a "how much Bush and every WASP on the planet sucks" thread.

FYI, Carbolic: not from the Korean War era, but from recently: "Fuck the Jews--they don't vote for us anyway"

No one has spoken about every WASP on the planet, but you really should learn all about the not-at-all-so-far-away past, which restricted Tibor's life--and the lives of all of our grandparents, etc.
posted by amberglow at 8:20 AM on September 24, 2005


their own state? Am I misunderstanding what you're getting at with that?

cleardawn can't seem to see Jews mentioned without suggesting that recognizing them for anything is somehow improprietous if one doesn't make it contingent on recognizing everyone else as well. See his recent comments in Holocaust related threads.
posted by OmieWise at 8:26 AM on September 24, 2005


*salutes*
posted by jonmc at 9:52 AM on September 24, 2005


is there any particular reason the word "anti-Semitism" alone points to Freep?

Not really. I only linked to that article on those words because I thought it was the one that had the most info on the anti-Semitism, that's all.
posted by cerebus19 at 12:23 PM on September 24, 2005


what a hero!
posted by jann at 2:34 PM on September 24, 2005


blahblahblah: From your quote: the U.S. military, now a model equal-opportunity employer

If a "model equal-opportunity employer" is one which deliberately recruits minority groups and sends them out to kill and be killed so that others can profit, then sure, they qualify.

OmieWise: you said I can't seem to see Jews mentioned without suggesting that recognizing them for anything is somehow improprietous if one doesn't make it contingent on recognizing everyone else as well.

I've never "suggested" anything of the kind, as you know perfectly well. I don't oppose recognizing anyone for their achievements, and never have.

Still, I hesitate to call you a liar, since you do sometimes tell the truth, at least on subjects you're not so passionate about.

I know I have an annoying habit of mentioning extreme racism when I see it. It just so happens that one of the worst examples of racism at present, perhaps even the worst on Earth, is in Palestine.

Sorry I keep bringing that up - I don't mean to embarrass you, or to insult Jewish Holocaust victims by comparing them to Roma Holocaust victims, or to the Palestinian victims of Israeli expansionism. I realise I'm supposed to just quietly forget about Palestine and get on with my work. A few years ago, I was just as annoying about South Africa. Perhaps I even helped a little, tiny bit, it's hard to say. Perhaps I made things worse.

In any case, our little tiff isn't particularly relevant to Ted Rubin, who seems right on to me.
posted by cleardawn at 5:36 PM on September 24, 2005


I realise I'm supposed to just quietly forget about Palestine and get on with my work.

No, you're not--none of us are. It's horrific, and many of us--Jew and non-Jew alike are fighting for it to stop.

The problem comes when the automatic connection is made. Jews don't equal Israel, and the treatment of Tibor has nothing to do with Israel. Automatically bringing I/P up whenever there's a Jewish topic here is wrong, unless the post is about that.
posted by amberglow at 10:21 AM on September 25, 2005


Amberglow, thanks for your peacemaking efforts here, and for your clearly stated views on Israel/Palestine.

However, I don't agree that it's wrong to bring it up here.

Again, consider South Africa during the later Apartheid years. Whenever a white South African appeared at any international event - sporting, business, diplomatic, social, whatever - that person could expect to be asked, in various unsettling ways, about Nelson Mandela, and the Soweto riots, and whether he/she felt that white people were racially superior to black people.

Eventually, they got the message.

Given the situation in the West Bank, I do think it's legitimate to ask Jewish people, wherever they live, and American people too for that matter (since they fund and supply the Israeli military), some questions, starting with whether they believe themselves to be racially superior to Palestinians.

Why does Israel have one set of laws for Jews, and another for Arabs? Who benefits from that? What are the predictable consequences?

Of course there are those who are angered by such questions, and they are exactly the people who most need to see them. Those such as yourself, who have already considered such questions, are unlikely to be offended, I believe.

Discussing this here on MeFi, in threads with a Jewish interest (and therefore readership), is a relatively gentle and polite approach, in my view.

Sometimes, through anger or clumsiness, I perhaps fail to be as polite or as gentle, or as precise, as I would like, and for that, I can only offer both my sincere apology, and my sincere desire to improve, through practice, in walking the tightrope of constructive debate.
posted by cleardawn at 9:07 PM on September 25, 2005


For God's sake cleardawn, Jews != Israel, (and indeed Israeli does not equal oppressor) why should this man be judged other than for his own actions? Has he persecuted Palestinians that you know of? Your willingness to make assumptions about this man is disgusting.
Further, making the assumption that Jews and Israel amounts to the same thing just falls into the trap of conflation which allows the Israeli government to claim that any statement that isn't pro-israeli is anti-semitic, to the detriment of the debate over Israel and Palestine.
posted by biffa at 2:41 AM on September 27, 2005


Just to be clear, all students at US service academies attend free of charge, and receive a small stipend (covers uniforms and such).
When I was going through the application process for Annapolis in the 80's. The Navy made it clear that a $1,000 payment for my uniforms was due upon my first day of enrollment.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:03 AM on September 27, 2005


Biffa, read my posts again. Nowhere did I make any of the "disgusting" false claims, judgements, or assumptions you're accusing me of making. Nor did I at any time attack the character of Ted Rubin; I was very clear about that in each post I made here.

Meanwhile, in occupied Palestine, the racist abuse continues.

I'd value your opinion on that important subject, here or anywhere else, if you can spare the time from making laughable, blatantly false accusations against me.
posted by cleardawn at 4:41 PM on September 28, 2005


« Older These are the cures....  |  Amusing, stylized violent cgi... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments