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From the Stars and Stripes archives

Returnee, once Nazi PW, says Reds better captors

Hungarian born PFC and Holocaust survivor Tibor Rubin of Long Beach, Cal., talks to reporters at Freedom Village after his release from a Chinese prisoner of war camp. Rubin's heroism before and during his captivity in Korea resulted in his being awarded the Medal of Honor in 2005.

FRANK PRAYTOR/STARS AND STRIPES

By JOHN SACK | Stars and Stripes | Published: April 22, 1953

FREEDOM VILLAGE, Apr. 22 — A Hungarian Jew who was a prisoner of both the Nazis and the Chinese said yesterday the Chinese treated him better "in every way."

"I'll tell you the truth," said PFC Tibor Rubin, Long Beach, Cal. "He (the Communists) try his best to treat us pretty good."

RUBIN, A Hungarian by birth, was held in a German concentration camp [for 14 months] during the last war.

He said the Chinese kept asking him whether he wanted to go back to Hungary — now a Communist puppet-state — and he kept saying no.

"We must fill out many times questions and paper," Rubin said. "They say to me, 'you are soldier from Hungary?' I say, 'No. I am an American'."

IT DIDN'T MAKE much difference, laughed Rubin. "I figure anyway we kick the bucket."

He said that he didn't want to go to Hungary because "they hang me up from the first cherry tree," but that he didn't know if the Chinese would send him there if he said yes.

"They asked me many times, I want to go back? I say yes, I go back for occupation duty. They didn't like that."

RUBIN SAID ONE of his teachers at the indoctrination classes used to say, "You Hungarian, come up here, I smash you to pieces."

But that instructor "was a loudmouth. He said. that to everyone," Rubin added.

He said they didn't discriminate against him because he was Jewish and they didn't tell him that America was anti-Semitic.

AS FOR RELIGIOUS services, Rubin said, "I was the only Jew and the only Hungarian" in the camp. He smiled broadly as he said it.

Rubin, a cook, was captured in November, 1950. He was in the 8th Cavalry Regiment.