BIAFRAN HERO BRUCE MAYROCK, 5/6/1949 to 5/30/1969



BRUCE MAYROCK, 5/6/1949 to 5/30/1969

Self-immolation is the ultimate form of human protest.
You saved millions of Biafran lives by self-immolation.
Biafrans will never forget your sacrifice.
The carnage, rape, starvation, and dismemberments of noncombatants,
That failed to move politicians, moved Citizen Mayrock.
Bruce Mayrock took decisive action, on behalf of the World’s youth.
When adults fail to act honorably and conscientiously,
Youths become the conscience of humanity.
Bruce, the rock of humanity.

When politicians failed to take action,
You took the bull by the horns.
Your ultimate protest in front of that toothless bulldog, the United Nations.
Controlled by the whims and caprices of five veto-wielding nations – 3 Us, China and France.
The three Us, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the USSR coalesced,
Discarded their Cold War and financed a Cold Holocaust in Biafra.
To these nations, money trumps morality and humanity.
The same insatiable quest for money, is today fueling terrorism.
Bruce, the rock of humanity.

Undoubtedly moved by the images of bloated, skeletal children,
Captured by intrepid journalists, coming out of Biafra,
The Bruce of a Rock took decisive action.
You brought the world to a standstill, by self-immolation.
You had the gumption to act on behalf of all humanity.
The naysayers may minimize your ultimate sacrifice,
But you hoisted the spirit of the fighting Biafrans to Olympian heights,
Preventing further carnage and helping achieve peace seven months later.
Bruce, the rock of humanity.

The world needs a few more Bruce Mayrocks.
Self-immolation, is the ultimate act of bravery and sacrifice.
Giving up one’s life so that others may live,
Is the most supreme protestation of injustice.
Self-immolation, is not for the faint of heart.
Biafrans should reciprocate, by erecting a monument,
To honor and immortalize Bruce Mayrock.
You will forever be evergreen in Biafran memories.
Bruce, the rock of humanity.


Short Biography culled from Columbia Spectator.

GS Student, 20, Immolates Himself In Front of U.N.
Bruce Mayrock, a twenty-year old student at the School of General Studies and a sports photographer for the Columbia Daily Spectator, died Friday after setting himself on fire in front of the United Nations to protest the war in Biafra. According to witnesses, the student, who enrolled in GS last January doused himself with a flammable liquid shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday and set himself afire on the lawn outside the U.N. building.

Two United Nations guards spotted the flames and chased the youth across the lawn with fire extinguishers. But Mayrock eluded the guards, racing in front of the North Lounge of the building before several hundred horrified delegates and onlookers.
The student finally fell to his knees beside a statue bearing the Biblical inscription “Let us beat our swords into plowshares” and the guards extinguished the flames. Mayrock was rushed to Bellevue Hospital where he was listed in critical condition with burns over most of his body and was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.

At the U.N., guards found a large cardboard sign on the front lawn, which said, “You must stop the genocide–please save 9 million Biafrans.” At the bottom of the sign, a quotation read, “Peace is where there is an absence of fear of any kind.” In past years, two other persons have immolated themselves in front of the U.N. Both died of their burns.

Mayrock, who lived in Westbury, Long Island, enrolled in GS and the Jewish Theological Seminary in September 1967, but dropped out after one year and studied briefly at Hofstra University. He re-enrolled at GS last January. While at Columbia, Mayrock worked as a photographer for the Spectator sports department. Members of the youth’s family stated Friday that he had worked’ actively to protest the war in Biafra, writing letters about the war to the President and leading government figures.

However, according to one rabbi, who said he was close to the family, the student believed that “no one was listening.” “He was an idealistic young man deeply upset by the events in Biafra,” the rabbi said. “People were being killed and he felt no one was doing anything. That’s why he did what he did.”

7 thoughts on “BIAFRAN HERO BRUCE MAYROCK, 5/6/1949 to 5/30/1969

    1. Africastallestman, well written. I read something indication Mrs Bianca Ojukwu of Nigeria has erected a Museum in Honor of Mayrock.
      I hope all those “Biafrans” remember history. Bruce did not live in vain. He never really died. Martyrdom and sainthood should have a straight line connecting them, especially when it is of such nature as was Bruce Mayrock’s cause, purpose and action. .

  1. What a man. Humanity is not by words but by actions and that’s what this man did. The struggle continues.

  2. A true hero worthy of immortalization. Thanks to Africastallestman for this well articulated tribute to Bruce Mayrock. I have already shared it to other platforms.

Comments always welcome.

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