Statue of late U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos dedicated in Budapest


(JTA) — A statue of the late U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor to have served in the Congress, was dedicated in Budapest.

Lantos, who was born in Hungary and visited frequently, died in 2008. The statue was unveiled on Thursday, which would have been his 90th birthday, the Associated Press reported.

The statue is located on the Tom Lantos Promenade, which was inaugurated in 2016, and is located near the high school the late congressman attended in the Hungarian capital during his teenage years.

The bronze statue, created by Mamikon Yengibarian, a Budapest-based Armenian sculptor, shows Lantos sitting on a bench with his favorite dogs.

Lantos’ widow, Annette, and his daughters, Katrina Lantos Swett and Annette Lantos Tillemann-Dick, were among several relatives of the late congressman who attended the unveiling in Budapest.

Lantos, who was part of a middle-class Jewish family, was forced into a labor camp at 16 in 1944. He escaped to a safe house set up by the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Jews from Nazi-occupied Hungary.

Lantos joined Wallenberg’s network and delivered supplies to Jews in other safe houses. He immigrated to the United States and eventually earned a doctorate in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1953. After serving as an adviser to various senators, he was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives in 1980.

In 1983, Lantos co-founded the bipartisan Congressional Human Rights Caucus, which after his death was renamed the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. The Hungarian government and the U.S. Senate in 2011 founded Tom Lantos Institute, a research institute and think-tank based in Budapest that focuses mainly on Jewish and Roma issues.


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