Select Rubin Miscellany


Here are some Rubin stories
accounts over the years:


Rubins from Lauterbrunnen


in the Lauterbrunnen valley of the Bern highlands are said to belong to
one of the oldest
families of the valley.  The Annuary of
Lauterbrunnen of 1488 registered various bearers of the name, written
then as Ruby.  The name Ruby also appeared
at Reichenbach
to the west of Lauterbrunnen in the same canton.
More recent Rubin records from Lauterbrunnen have been:

  • Johannes Rubin who was born in Lauterbrunnen in 1782.
  • Christian Rubin who married Alla von Allmen in Unterveen in the
    1820’s.  Their son Frederick emigrated to Canton, Ohio.
  • Jakob Rubin who married Susanna Althaus in Lauterbrunnen in
  • Another Christian Rubin who emigrated to America and married
    Johana Biery in Polk county, Iowa in 1876
  • and Johannes Rubin who married Maria von Allmen and who emigrated
    to New York around 1884.


Reader Feedback – Barry Rubin’s Children
of Dolhinov

Barry Rubin’s book Children
of Dolhinov 
is the story of Barry’s family in Dolhinov and
later in
the U.S.

Most of the people of Dolhinov did not die in Nazi camps.
They died right in Dolhinov itself in 1942, on
a day when the Nazis massacred about 3,000 Jews with help from some
residents.  Some of the Jews escaped Dolhinov and were conducted
through the
forest to safety in Russia by Russian partisans. It is a moving account.

I have
ancestors who perished in Dolhinov and some who came to the U.S. before

Robert McCormick (

Ted Rubin Did Get His Medal

Tibor (Ted) Rubin was born in Paszto, a Hungarian town with
Jewish population of 120 families.  He
was the son of a shoemaker and one of six children.
At age 13, he was transported by the Nazis to the Mauthausen
concentration camp in Austria.  Both his
parents and two of his sisters perished in the camps.
But he survived and was liberated two years
later by American combat troops.

Ted Rubin came to the United States in 1948 and
enlisted in the US Army, seeing it as a short cut to citizenship.  Two years later he was in Korea but came up
against an anti-Semitic army sergeant who sadistically volunteered
Rubin for
the most dangerous patrols and missions.
For various acts of bravery, Rubin was recommended four times
for the
Medal of Honor.  He never received any sort
of award because he was Jewish.  In
October 1950 Rubin was captured and spent the next 30 months in a
prisoner of war camp.  His fellow
prisoners who survived credited Rubin with keeping them alive.

In the end
it took a special act of Congress to award him the
Congressional Medal of Honor
until 2001 did Rubin
receive that medal from President Bush.


Rubins in America
by Country of Origin


Country Numbers Percent
Russia    134    43
Germany     81    26
Poland     39    12
Austria     34    11
Switzerland     26     8
Total    314   100

some sketchy details as to the specific places where
Russian Rubins originated over the period 1900 to 1922.
The main locations and numbers were:

  • Minsk
    (Belarus), 36
  • Dolhinov (Belarus), 16  
  • Vilna/Vilnius
    (Lithuania), 11  
  • Radoshkowitz
    (Belarus), 8  
  • and
    Bialystok (Poland), 6

halfway between Vilnius and Minsk.  Many
of the Rubins from Minsk were originally


Rebecca Rubin, American Doll

was the name chosen by American Girl
to portray a young immigrant girl in New York at the turn of the century

girls in Rebecca’s time lived in two worlds – the one their families
came from
and the America they all came to together.
Rebecca loves to celebrate the traditions of her Russian-Jewish
but she’s also excited about the new customs of New York City.  With a little creativity, she learns how to
stay true to her heart as she follows her dreams.”

an 18 inch tall
doll, debuted with American Girl in
2009.  She comes with a whole host of
and accessories.  In addition there is a
handsomely bound hardcover collection of novels about Rebecca Rubin.

Though the books mentioned
the family’s origins in an Orchard Street tenement, the Rubins by 1914
settled into an apartment in a sunny row house. Rebecca’s father owned
a shoe
store.  However, her recently-arrived
cousin Ana still lived in a crowded smelly tenement with her father
working in
a sweatshop.


Sam Rubin and Popcorn

prospered without popcorn until the Great Depression, when theater
scrambled to make up for reduced ticket prices by turning to “audible
The appetite of moviegoers was so great
that from 1934 to 1940, the nation’s annual popcorn harvest grew from 5
to 100 million pounds.

Sam Rubin had worked in the movie concession business selling
candy from
the age of twelve.

Marty Winter, who
worked with Sam for more than
sixty years, recalled that Mr. Rubin
had seen popcorn
being made in Oklahoma City on a visit around 1930 and started selling
it at
concessions he controlled when he returned to New York.

But Sam’s daughter said
it was not until the early 1950’s that he began to sell popcorn in a
major way.
At the time, his company, ABC Consolidated, had the refreshments
concession for
major movie chains in the New York metropolitan area.

Sam Rubin was very likely the first to
pop corn in machines on a widespread basis in theaters.  He
had begun by popping the kernels in Long
Island City and trucking the result to theaters, but quickly realized
that the
smell of popping corn would not exactly hurt sales.  Improvements
in machines had lessened the fire danger.


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