Transnistria survivor Liviu Librescu killed in Virginia Tech massacre

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Transnistria survivor Liviu Librescu killed in Virginia Tech massacre

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<b>During Tuesday&#39;s massacre at Virginia Tech, in the USA, a holocaust survivor with ties to Tiraspol was killed. Liviu Librescu had survived deportation from Romania to the killing fields of World War II&#39;s Transnistria. The territory was never part of Romania or of any independent Moldovan state</b>.

<i>By Times staff, 18/Apr/2007</i>

BLACKSBURG (Wires, Tiraspol Times) - Liviu Librescu, a Romanian-born Israeli professor, survived the killing fields of Transnistria as a teenager but fell to the bullet of a lone gunman in an American university campus Tuesday.

The 76 year-old Holocaust survivor was shot and killed in the Virginia Tech massacre while holding off the gunman at his lecture hall entrance so his students could escape.

Librescu was among the thirty-three people who were murdered in the Virginia Tech massacre on April 16, 2007. He was killed during a class in the Norris Hall Engineering Building by a student, Korean-born Cho Seung-hui, 23.

At Virginia Tech, his recent position was Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics.

Librescu held the door of his classroom shut while Cho was attempting to enter it; although he was shot through the door, he was able to prevent the gunman from entering the classroom until his students had escaped through the windows.

<b>A hero to his students</b>
A number of Librescu&#39;s students have called him a hero because of his actions, with one student, Asael Arad, saying that all the professor&#39;s students "lived because of him".

Librescu&#39;s son, Joe, said he had received e-mails from several students who said he had saved their lives and regarded him as a hero.

His death came on Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.

Liviu Librescu was born in 1930 to a Jewish family in the city of Ploieşti, Romania. During World War II, his native Romania joined forces with Nazi Germany and started an extermination campaign of Jews.
His family was first interned in a labor camp in what the Romanians at the time called Transnistria and then transferred to the ghetto of Focşani.

According to a report compiled by the Romanian government in 2004, between 280,000 and 380,000 Jews were killed by Romania&#39;s Nazi-allied regime during the war. Others put the number higher, pointing to Romanian attempts to whitewash the scope of the crimes it committed while it occupied Transnistria (today known by its official name, Pridnestrovie, or by English names such as Transdniester and Transdniestria).

<b>Anti-Semitic Romanians</b>
" - We were in Romania during the Second World War, and we were Jews there among the Germans, and among the anti-Semitic Romanians," Marlena Librescu told Israeli Channel 10 TV on Tuesday.

From 1941 to 1944, Romania invaded occupied Transnistria (Pridnestrovie) which was a territory outside its own natural ethnic and historical borders. At no time in history was this territory ever part of Romania or of any independent Moldovan state, having also been majority Slavic and a traditional part of Russia or Ukraine.

During the Romanian occupation, the area was used as a giant slaughter house of Jews. At no time did Romania ever attempt to formally incorporate the territory into any Romanian or Moldovan state, recognizing that the natural border had always been the Dniester River; today the border between Pridnestrovie and Moldova.

Liviu Librescu survived the Holocaust to become an accomplished scientist in Romania.

He left the Romanian communist regime in 1978 after a direct request was made by the Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin, to President of Romania, Communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu.

After emigrating to Israel, from 1979 to 1985 Librescu was Professor of Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering at Tel-Aviv University. From 1985 until his death, he served as Professor at Virginia Tech. <i>(With information from AP, Wikipedia)</i>

See also:
<a href="http://www.tiraspoltimes.com/news/romania_whitewash_of_transnistria_invasion_has_holocaust_survivors_outraged.html">» Romania whitewash of Transnistria invasion angers Holocaust survivors</a>
<a href="http://www.tiraspoltimes.com/features/transnistria_the_artificial_name_for_the_romanian_auschwitz.html">» Transnistria, the artificial name for "the Romanian Auschwitz"</a>
<a href="http://www.tiraspoltimes.com/news/re_affirming_independence_tiraspol_celebrates_liberation_from_romania_invasion.html">» Re-affirming independence, Tiraspol celebrates its liberation from Romania</a>

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Original Source: <a href="http://www.tiraspoltimes.com/news/transnistria_survivor_liviu_librescu_killed_in_virginia_tech_massacre.html">http://www.tiraspoltimes.com/news/transnistria_survivor_liviu_librescu_killed_in_virginia_tech_massacre.html</a>

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The Tiraspol Times

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2007-06-18

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Adriana Seagle

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Jason Cooper (jasoncooper@tiraspoltimes.com)

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eng

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The Tiraspol Times, "Transnistria survivor Liviu Librescu killed in Virginia Tech massacre," in The April 16 Archive, Item #557, http://april16archive.org/items/show/557 (accessed September 2, 2014).