Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Liviu Librescu, Hero

From Playfuls
Liviu Librescu a 75-year-old Israeli professor is one of the people who died in Monday's Virginia Tech shooting. The professor saved several students before got shot, witnesses said, quoted by DPA news agency.

Librescu was teaching his class in Norris Hall when the killer entered the building randomly unloading his gun in class rooms. The Mechanics and Aeronautics professor stayed behind to stop the shooter from opening the door. When the attacker finally got into the classroom, threw himself in front of the gunman, a student told Israel's Army Radio.

‘He himself was killed but thanks to him his students stayed alive’, the student who survived the massacre said.

Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, was born in Romania, he has Israeli nationality but had lived in the US with his wife for the past two decades while both his sons live in Israel.

Librescu and his wife moved to Israel from Romania in 1978 and then moved to Virginia in 1986 for his sabbatical but decided to stay, their son told Army Radio.
via unfogged.

Update: The New York Times has a brief portrait of Librescu, along with others who perished. Haaretz has more details of the events at VA Tech. I'm not sure of the source of the original story on Playfuls, or even what Playfuls is, aside from advertisement-laden.

Updated update: Also see the Wikipedia entry.

Update^3: Students Zach Petkewicz and Derek O'Dell performed similar acts of heroism. Both, mercifully, are alive.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

May G-d bless his soul.

Anonymous said...

Shalom.

Gica said...

Shalom?...Do a little more research before you post something, he was ROMANIAN! Not every hero or accomplish professor is Jewish! Read his resume on VT's site.
Dumnezeu sa il odihneasca!
Amin!

Anonymous said...

He was a true hero. He was a brilliant scientist but more importantly a kind soul. He was a Jew who survived the Holocaust. Sadly he did not survive this horrific event but he was able to save the lives of so many. May his family find comfort and sympathy. G-d bless his soul.

Anonymous said...

Please do not rebuke those who bless others with "shalom" (peace).

Dr. Librescu graced the nation of Israel for a time, but his nationality matters not: he belonged to humanity, and always will.

Thank you, Dr. Librescu.
You truly loved us.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Gica needs to work through his/her own anti-semitic issues.

Todah Rabah, professor. May you dwell in the house of the lord forever.

Anonymous said...

Gentlemen HAVE to turn into angels in the next World... May God rest his soul! Dumnezeu sa il odihneasca!

Tumerica said...

This makes me cry--he did the unthinkable beautiful act. I read what an illustrious career he had--such a contribution to be mowed down senselessly. I wish him a peaceful journey.

Anonymous said...

Hero! Hero! Hero!
Never die........
May be, That Univesrity will be named "Liviu Librescu"?

Anonymous said...

My heart is full of gratitude for Mr. Librescu's compassion and selfless sacrifice. Words cannot express my feelings of saddness for the loss of his life and for his dear wife and sons. Mr. Librescu is my hero and my prayers are with his family.

Anonymous said...

We lost a great man to senseless act. Dr. Librescu will truly be missed by his students. He's a true hero, and I hope VT will recognize him for his great sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

truly a hero. Jew, Romanian, Israeli, Holocaust Survivor, U.S. resident for close to 2 decades. His heritage isn't the issue here, though he does it honor. It is actions that we must recognize, and seek to emulate.

jerseygirl said...

i have often heard Survivors struggle with why they were spared during the holocaust...to me the Professor was spared for something important that was yet to come. i am proud of of heroism, whilst he was a Jew, Israeli, Expat Romanian, teacher, & scientist....We of Jewish heritage would say he was a Tzadik (good soul) & a "Mega Menche".
He had been in many bad places in his life, but it seems this time he was at the right place for the students he helped survive the horrible experiences of yesterday!.. "may his memory be a blessing"

Anonymous said...

what a great man... making the ultimate sacrifice after such hardships of his life. bless his soul. I agree with jerseygirl on perhaps the fulfillment of the reason he's here on earth.

AG said...

Dr. Librescu was my Dynamics professor in 1992. For 15 years I've remembered him as a brilliant professor. Now I will always remember him as a great hero. Sympathy for his family, especially his son Joe who taught Survival Defense courses at Tech while I was there and carries on his father's legacy of bravery.

Anonymous said...

Liviu Librescu - A Romanian/Israeli HERO!
May God bless his family forever! May God rest his soul!
In 16 Apr 2007, he did something very precious for humanity...he gave life! He said to the students from his class: "You and you...have life! go! flee! I trade my life for yours...It's a special life, it's mine, but I give it to you, so you can live..."
Domnul sa binecuvanteze intraga familie Librescu generatii de acum inainte! (Anonymous, Cj-N)

Anonymous said...

I did not know Liviu Librescu but i wish I had. What he did was extremly braze and corageous and he will forever remain in my heart for what he did. It is unfathomable in my opinion that a man that must have suffored so much being a survivor of the holocaust should suffer such a death. My heart goes out to his family and they are in my prayers. Liviu Librescu is my hero.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I attended two of Dr. Librescu's courses in the early 90s. He was always one of my most memorable professors. He was a great man, and will always be remembered as a true hero. My sympathy to his family.

Anonymous said...

A true hero, gentleman, kind and compassionate soul. I hope his family finds comfort in knowing he gave his life for his students. Dr. Librescu is with God now. May he rest in peace. What is also amazing about him is, because of this tragedy, how many lives he touched (including mine), who never had the privilege to know him. It was almost as if his mission in this life has been fulfilled. Bless his soul.

Julian Elson said...

This is undoubtedly the coldest of cold comfort to his friends and family, but if there is a way to die that makes it worthwhile, meaningful, or even good, then the way Mr. Librescu died is it.

Mr. Derbyshire, just sign this resignation form on the line next to the X...

Anonymous said...

It is so amazing that Liviu Librescu died while saving others. His entire family was decimated by the orders of the uncle of William Patrick Stuart-Houston.

Anonymous said...

Clarification:
It is so amazing that Liviu Librescu died while saving others. Some of his family was decimated by the orders of the uncle of William Patrick Stuart-Houston.

New Stuff:
Zach Petkewicz is of Lithuanian origin due to his original family name Petkevicius.