In 1944, a thirteen-year-old Hungarian boy named Tibor Rubin was captured by the Nazis and sent to the notorious Mauthausen concentration camp. The teenager endured its horrors for more than a year. After surviving the Holocaust, he arrived penniless in America, barely speaking English.
In 1950, Tibor volunteered for service in the Korean War. After acts of heroism that included single-handedly defending a hill against an onslaught of enemy soldiers, braving sniper fire to rescue a wounded comrade, and commandeering a machine gun after its crew was killed, he was captured. As a POW, Tibor called on his experience in Mauthausen to help fellow GIs survive two and half years of captivity.
Tibor returned from Korea in 1953, but it wasn’t until 2005—at age 76—that he was invited to the White House, where he received the Medal of Honor from President George W. Bush. It had taken over half a century for Tibor’s adopted homeland to recognize this Jewish immigrant for acts of valor that went “beyond the call of duty.” But when it did, the former Hungarian refugee became the only survivor of the Holocaust to have earned America’s highest military distinction.
Drawing on eyewitness accounts and extensive interviews, author Daniel M. Cohen presents the inspiring story of Tibor “Teddy” Rubin for the first time in its entirety and gives us a stirring portrait of a true hero.