Carnage Continued: Professor Dies Protecting His Students

Professor Liviu LibrescuA VPI professor who escaped the Holocaust stood in the doorway of his classroom to protect his students from the gunman.

He will be buried Thursday in Israel.

From The Jerusalem Post:

As Jews worldwide honored on Monday the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust, a 76-year-old survivor sacrificed his life to save his students in Monday’s shooting at Virginia Tech College that left 33 dead and over two dozen wounded.

Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, threw himself in front of the shooter when the man attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, “but all the students lived — because of him,” Virginia Tech student Asael Arad — also an Israeli — told Army Radio.

Several of Librescu’s other students sent e-mails to his wife, Marlena, telling of how he blocked the gunman’s way and saved their lives, said Librescu’s son, Joe.

Hat tip: Aramy

[ends here]

29 thoughts on “Carnage Continued: Professor Dies Protecting His Students

  1. He is truely a hero.

    I bet if there was a Concealed Carry holder in his class packing a gun, the outcome would have been different.

    Virginia just turned down a law allowing concealed carry on college campii. “Gun free school zone” and all that. We have such a pussified culture that ONE MAN with two pistols was able to cause a lockdown where grown men hid behind doors en masse while listening to the sounds of people being murdered in the next room. ONE MAN was able to line students up and shoot them in the head one by one.

    One good man with a gun, or a few good men hurling chairs/desks could have taken this guy out. But in our feminized culture where merely being offended is cause for fainting, violent action in defence of self and others is beyond comprehension.

    Some sheep wait quietly for thier turn to be slaughtered, with thier survival dependent solely on in what order the wolf satisfies his hunger.

    But when those same sheep try to make the rest of us act like sheep, when they try to deny US the right to self defence, just because they are too cowardly to ever defend themselves, that is when I get upset, and start thinking “…from my cold, dead hands…”

  2. Do not let the political traitors dis-arm you,this is a prerequisite of a tyranny,they have done so in England and left us at the mercy of any foreign savage that feels like killing us,laws make no difference to gun crime ,since the criminals do not obey the law, the government wants you helpless, do not accep it.

  3. Nice to know someone had some cajones there. But the sad thing is, all the students left a 76 year old man to fight their battle, while they dove out the windows.

    At least they have the decency to send an email to his wife acknowledging his courage. But how many students ran or hid while he met his death like a man?

    In the brief time that this comment has taken to write, I’ve gone from a sense of- pride, for lack of a better word- in Professor Librescu, to revulsion and anger at his students.

  4. smarterthanyou:
    But in our feminized culture where merely being offended is cause for fainting, violent action in defence of self and others is beyond comprehension.

    I’ve noticed that even negative feelings like anger and hate are always wrong, and the only valid solution to any problem is strictly non-confrontational.

    Gun debates have sprung up everywhere as a result of this incident, and one guy actually said that even if he was carrying a gun, he’d lay down on the ground if his opponent was armed. Just like that.

    I’m starting to think that the anti-gun crowd only opposes guns because they oppose violence and aggression in general.

  5. jc supercop said

    I’ve noticed that even negative feelings like anger and hate are always wrong, and the only valid solution to any problem is strictly non-confrontational.

    *almost* right, jc. Violence and aggression are permitted if you’re faced with a retard Rethug rightwing nutcase. THEN, it’s definitely okay. In fact, you’ve be justified in grabbing his gun and shooting him with it. One less evil Rethug in the world.


  6. gt whacko said:

    In the brief time that this comment has taken to write, I’ve gone from a sense of- pride, for lack of a better word- in Professor Librescu, to revulsion and anger at his students.

    We’re comparing apples and oranges here, gt. Those students had not been tested by life. Nor were they Israelis.

    It is a karmic lesson they will all carry for the rest of their lives and the more integrated of them will process their behavior for a long time to come.

    Nor will their professor’s actions be lost upon them. When they are as old as he is, let us see if they are as evolved as this man was.

    He was a real man: a protector. How many real men do you think these students have met???

  7. D,

    Agreed, but still… the idea of leaving an old man to guard one’s back so you can escape is just repugnant. Didn’t any of the young men (however many there were) think there was something wrong with that picture?

    They’ll certainly feel the karmic repurcussions, but still…

  8. There is a good point there: What male role model have these male students been exposed to?

    If they are the product of divorce, they were probably raised by women. I love women, I love my mother, but it really does take a male role model to turn a boy into a man.

    Look on TV, women who can kick the crap out of men, men are shown as bumbling fools. Men are not needed for anything if you believe the media barrage. Even a commerical for a spicy chicken sandwich uses the term “man enough”, but the hero of the commercial is a woman!!

    Liberal society has been doing their best to make women front like men, and for men to become wimps. They have been too successful in many cases and many areas.

  9. The difference between a Jew and a Muslim: A Jew puts his body in front of young children even not his own to protect them, a Muslim puts the bodies of young children even his own in front of him to protect himself.

    But Muslims will tell you the world would be peaceful if only it were entirely Muslim. Yes, I see it now, Sunni and Shia, Salafis and Sufi living in perfect harmony as they do now.

  10. What an outstanding man: Liviu Librescu. There’s a name worth remembering. Brings tears to my eyes just to hear his story: suffered the unimaginable in life. In the end gave his life protecting innocents in his charge.

    Dymphna: A side issue: we adopted a Romanian child who survived Couscescu’s orphanages. His name is Alexandru. He was damaged by the neglect and starvation he experienced in the orphanage that few Americans can comprehend. He is 17 now. Because of the ‘tender’ care he received at the hands of Romanian orphanage staff, he is…. retarded.

    It breaks my heart to say that, and it’s taken years to be willing to admit i. I call him ‘special needs’, but his brain damage from the orphanage amounts to retardation.

    That said… it stings to read your use of the word ‘retard’ to describe the rightwing nutcase you describe above. I think there is a better, and perhaps more appropriate way to convey your idea…. Just an observation. Thanks.

  11. I noted today one of the lessons learned- “The professor that lived- who had every right to live- died doing what he could not do in the terrible times through which he lived. He saved the lives of children.

    The last moments on this earth of the man who survived the Holocaust, and carried the burden for decades of unspoken horrors and loss, were spent saving children. That was his reflexive reaction. He would not bear witness to any more deaths. He had seen enough of that. He was to leave this world as someone who gave life.”

    The lesson and legacy of that professor could not be more clear:

    “In their world, heroes kill. In ours, heroes save lives. In their world, heroes are mass murderers (“we’ll finish what Hitler started”). In our world, heroes come to liberate and give life..

    Contrast professor Professor Liviu Librescu with the ‘heroes’ who strap suicide vests on mentally disabled teenagers or the ‘heroes’ who kept 14 girls locked in a school engulfed in flames and allowed them to burn to death.

    To what kind of teacher would you entrust your child?

  12. Cattle die and kinsmen die,
    thyself too soon must die,
    but one thing never, I ween, will die, —
    the doom on each one dead.

    From Hávamál (The Words of Odin the High One)a set of advice on how to live your life dating back from the Nordic iron age.

    The death of Liviu Librescu will be doomed a brave man’s death.

  13. .. .But the sad thing is, all the students left a 76 year old man to fight their battle, while they dove out the windows. ..

    I was thinking about one of my favorite films, Gettysburg, and Picketts address to his troops before the charge. “Never forget that YOU are from Old Virginia”

    They forgot.

  14. He did not die saving children, he died saving young adults, some of whom were men of military age.

    Paul, Rethug is a common term from the moonbats to describe Republicans. She was mocking them. Try not to wear your heart on your sleeve, despite your tragedy.

  15. How about a little charity? Heroism should be greatly honored, but it can’t be expected. No-one knows how they would behave at that edge of danger until it is actually upon them. For every hero at Normandy or the Bulge, how many troops were paralyzed with fear? Who knows, and who is fit to condemn them? The kids who dived out the windows were following their professor’s directions in a moment of sheer blind panic – they have the rest of their lives to think about what they did and what they might have done – it’s not for us to pile on.

  16. Misplaced charity does no one any good. Wimping out should not be the default position, “because we don’t know what we would do in that situation”.

    Fact: Military aged men did nothing when classmates were being murdered.

    Fact: The same men let an old man do their work.

    Fact: Cultural forces are trying to teach people that violent self defence is never an option, and that running away/surrendering is OK.

  17. Nobody knows how they will act under fire until they are under fire. However, one thing I do know is that reactions will be different depending on the cultural environment. If you were in the Pentagon on 9-11 the chances are that you would control your fear because you were among men whose culture is to show no fear even as they are quaking in their boots. If you are in cultural environment where you are expected to passive and act cowardly you will be inclined to do so.

    Professor Librescu is an Israeli and his culture is one of taking a bullet to protect others whether they are his friends or complete strangers. He did what was instinctive. In a culture of bravery some men will always rally to the Centurion. But in culture of passivity they will run for the lives and abandon the hero to his fate. Perhaps if one man stood with Professor Librescu then it would have ended there. Courage is not the absence of fear it is the ability to suppress that fear and do what is right.

    I am with John on this. Collectively, the students to a man shirked their duty to protect others.

  18. Well, at least we have a strategy for the next war – draft all the blog commenters. Every Man Jack (and Jill) of them is Audie-freaking-Murphy.

    Charging unarmed at two barrels full of hollow-nosed bullets is not simple duty – it as “above and beyond”, which is precisely why we give medals for it.

    It’s like a psych experiment – if everyone participates, they win (although the first ones lose). If too few do, everybody loses. So, who goes first? A hero. An above-and-beyonder, like Dr Librescu. He was’t doing his “simple duty” – he was doing something extraordinary.

    Anyway, shame on those of you who are pillorying these kids because it suits your political views to do so. It’s damn easy for you to say. They were there. You were not.

    That’s all I have to say on the subject. if you don’t understand what I’m talking about, or think its just wimpery, suits me.

  19. Wally, the default position should not be inaction. I HOPE I would live up to my own expectations. It seems you know you wouldn’t, and rather than face your own demons, you belittle those who know what their duty is.

    Reminds me of cowardly europeans. Rather than get mad at the USSR, or terrorists (because that would give them the obligation to do something besides talk), they get mad at the “cowboy”, because the cowboy shames them and shows them how weak they are. You are reacting the same way.

  20. Does anyone here know whether the gunman was a Muslim convert as has been suggested by some bloggers who allegedly found his picture and his name, including a Muslim middle name, on some Muslim website?


    Jihadists Adopt Cho Seung-Hui (AKA Ismail Ax)

    Muslims already have adopted Ismail Ax. I am not implying that he was Al Qaeda or anything. All along I have said that Cho’s madness had an Islamic element to it that I am still trying to figure out based on the clues that are revealed. I find the Jihadist’s promise that “By the will of Allah, more of this [will happen]” to be very interesting.

    Regardless of whether Islam had anything to do with this or not the biggest impact of Cho’s mad terrorism is that Jihadists on American campuses, in all of those Muslim student associations, have taken note. They know that University campuses are great grounds for mass murder and terror, they know that campuses are not secure and they know that it will always be a great cover for terrorist attacks that will prevent American retaliation since we will always blame ourselves, blame our society and everything else but will never have the courage to question religious motivations as is obvious in Ismail Ax’s case and the Trolley Square massacre and the dozen other individual acts of terrorism that has been carried so far inside the US.

  22. Paul–

    my pointed reference to “retard Rethug rightwing nutcase” was not a casual smear of the mentally retarded. I worked with them, and with the chronically mentally ill, for too long to use the word “retard” to refer to anyone. What I was doing was using the left’s full mantra when they speak of anyone to the right of themselves.

    Remember the longitudinal “study” done at Berkeley that claimed to follow children from an early age to adulthood and those who formed a conservative philosophical outlook were proved to have lower IQs than the liberal members of their cohort?

    In other words, leftist utopian ideals come from intelligent people. The conservative and libertarian among us are stupid.

    And who besides the converted believes such a warped conclusion?

    Yes, I can well imagine that life in an orphanage for a baby could lead to intellectual and social retardation. There is a certain window for innate potentials to become actualities and if precise conditions are not met, the potentials vanish. For example, if you kept a child in the dark from birth, within a few months he would be cortically blind. The necessary formation of optical nerve growth would not happen and the window of opportunity for sight would have closed, irrevocably.

    It’s teh same for speech, as feral children have shown us. The innate potential for language atrophied because there was no one to speak to.

    I spent five years in an orphanage as a very young child. I think it did affect my intelligence very deeply. Also my ability to make social connections. However, my situation was ameliorated by a mother who stayed in close contact, despite the nuns’ disapproval.

    The thing that was most affected for me, though, is the ability to persevere. It has been an obstacle all my life and has caused people to judge me and find me wanting. Actually, I often join them in that judgement.

    So I don’t use “retard” except as irony. I should have put that whole phrase in scare quotes:



    and in the discussion about the kids who jumped out the window, I’m with Wally B. Compare those to the kids who couldn’t even move: the ones the killer lined up and then went down the row shooting each one. If you were, say, number 15 in that line of 20, common sense tells you that you’d do “something” but social sense proves otherwise. There is a limit to being able to break out of the zombie state of fatedness if there are too many of you, or not enough.

    In the class where the kids jumped out the windows, there was a professor ready to meet the killer face to face. By then, he had some sense of what was going down and had some brief time to prepare.

    But the German professor had no
    chance because he had no time for context. He was one of the first killed. The gunman stepped quickly into the class, killed the teacher and from there it was easy to line up his victims…

    Compare it to 9/11. The passengers on the first two planes had no time to prepare, or to even make sense of what was happpening. By the time flight 93 was flying over Pa, the passengers knew about the fate of the others. With leadership, they were at least prepared to abort the killers’ mission.

    They were like Professor Librescu. We have no final words from the first passengers as a group. But the final words of Flight 93 ring out still: “Let’s roll.”

    Often, heroism is a matter of timing — that Greek word “kairos” for which we don’t have a good substitute. Sometimes, you know when you are in a moment of kairos — e.g., when your buddy throws himself on the live grenade to save you.

    Remember a few months ago? That Iraqi guy headed to his mosque for prayer on a Friday afternoon? He noticed something a little “off” about a fellow worshipper walking with the crowd. So he let go of his child’ hand and simply walked up to the man and hugged him. He and the suicide bomber died instantly but no one else was killed. His intuition saved his neighbors. And he had time to watch, observe, intuit what the man was about. From there he made a deliberate decision to lay down his life for his friends…and his children.


    See why I had to get my own blog? My comments tend to run into posts…

  23. Mr notsmarterthananyoneiknow –

    Don’t read my mind. Read my comment. You are utterly wrong about what I mean and intend. In fact, I hope and believe under many circumstances, I would lay down my life.

    I wouldn’t belittle anyone for “knowing what his duty is”. But I might mock someone for sitting at his computer and pinning medals on himself for how he imagines he might act.

  24. Wally:

    I assume you following comment is meant for me. I have only been under fire one day in my life and all had to do was lead the people under my charge to safety. This I did. Beyond that I can say that I have never been tested. On another day I might have failed miserably. However, your Murtha-like condescension only shows that you do not understand what your responsibilities to others are. Knowing what is right and doing it are two different things. But I can tell you this; a precondition for doing right is knowing what is right. It is clear that you don’t know right from wrong.

  25. It wasn’t meant for you – I was not even aware of you – and you are way off base. I am not celebrating “wrong”. There sure are a lot of confused people on this thread. If anybody still cares – I respect and admire heroism. I love our military. I agree that we need a spirit of self defense. I simply said we should not condemn kids who didn’t act up to our perfect ideal. If you think that means I don’t know “right from wrong”, one of us is crazy.

    If you think refusing to set yourself up as a paragon of courage and virtue is the same thing as denigrating courage and virtue, then you have lost your compass. If you don’t agree, fine. Be happy with your brave and virtuous self. But dont’t disparage me.

    Murtha-like condescension?? How wrong can you be? You can’t have read my remarks carefully.

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