Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Holocaust Survivor Shot Dead at Point Blank Range

Liviu Librescu a professor at Virginia Tech, ran to the door of his classroom and blocked it with his body – preventing the gunman from entering but getting shot to death himself as a result. His actions saved many of his students.

A leading aeronautics expert in Romania, the communist regime refused his application to emigrate to Israel until 1978 after late prime minister Menahem Begin’s intercession on his behalf with former President Ceaucescu.

After spending some years in Israel, the professor took a sabbatical in the United States and stayed on to teach at Virginia Tech and pursue research. He is a former adviser to NASA. One of Prof. Librescu’s sons lives in Raanana north of Tel Aviv and a second in California. He will be buried in Israel.

The gunman who killed 32 people and himself on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute Monday was identified today as a student who lived in a dormitory on campus and kept to himself but caused deep concern among some of his professors who considered him “troubled.”

Law enforcement authorities said the gunman was Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a senior English major at Virginia Tech who came to the United States with his parents in 1992.

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