Holocaust survivor killed in Va shooting
Liviu Librescu survived the Nazi Holocaust. He died trying to keep a gunman from shooting his students in a killing spree at Virginia Tech — a heroic feat later recounted in e-mails from students to his wife.
Librescu, an aeronautics engineer and teacher at the school for 20 years, saved the lives of several students by using his body to barricade a classroom door before he was gunned down in Monday's massacre, which coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Librescu, 76, had known hardship since his childhood. When Romania joined forces with Nazi Germany in World War II, he was first interned at a labor camp in Transnistria and then deported along with his family and thousands of other Jews to a ghetto in the Romanian city of Focsani, his son said.
After the war, Librescu became a successful engineer under the postwar communist government and worked at Romania's aerospace agency. But his career was stymied in the 1970s because he refused to swear allegiance to dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's regime, his son said, and he was later fired when he requested permission to move to Israel.
After years of government refusal, according to his son, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin personally intervened to get the family an emigration permit. They moved to Israel in 1978.