Monday, February 11, 2008

The Passing of Rep. Tom Lantos - Champion of Human Rights

California Congressman Tom Lantos, Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, died today.

"It is only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and a fighter in the anti-Nazi underground could have received an education, raised a family, and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a Member of Congress," Lantos said earlier this year. "I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country."
Andrew Cochran writes:
He was also vocal in pressing for aid to Darfur to save innocent civilians from slaughter and was one of five Congressmen arrested in 2006 for protesting outside the Sudanese Embassy.

The victims of terrorism across the globe always had a vocal supporter and solid vote for their interests in Tom Lantos. He will be missed.

He was born in Hungary in 1928 as Lantos Tamás Péter. Swampland notes:
As a teenager, Lantos fought in the anti-Nazi resistance in Hungary, and was sent to a labor camp. He escaped, was recaptured and beaten, and escaped again. Lantos found refuge with an aunt in one of the famous safe houses that were maintained by Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. Because his blond hair and blue eyes made him look "Aryan," he was able to move around Budapest in a military cadet's uniform, delivering food and medicine to others who were hiding in safe houses.
Sen. Lieberman said:
"Tom Lantos was deeply dedicated to the promotion of freedom and human rights because he intimately knew the horror of tyranny. Congressman Lantos was an effective and tireless ally of all those throughout the world who were struggling to achieve liberty and justice. The heroic life of Tom Lantos is an inspiration to all of us who must rededicate ourselves to continue his profound and lasting legacy."
Last year PajamasMedia documented Tom Lantos taking on the internet giants for their acquiescence to Chinese tyranny.

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