Congressman Lantos did earn such a heroe’s farewell by his peers, countrymen, dignitaries and world celebrities.
He was a unique legislator in more than one sense. He had only one master: his passion for human rights.
Undoubtedly, the fact he was a Holocaust survivor whose life was saved by the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, had a long-lasting impact on his personality and his career.
Lantos was committed to preserve the legacy of his savior and to fight any phenomenon that might lead to another Holocaust.
Tom Lantos died in his prime. In his 80 years, having accomplished an endless list of achievements, he remained as alert and passionate as a teenager. And yet, he died with an open wound: not knowing what has really happened to Raoul Wallenberg.
Together with Baruj Tenembaum – a distinguished Argentinean Jew devoted to multicultural and interconfessional dialogue, Tom was the co-founder of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. In this capacity, he made a vast contribution to the educational programs of this NGO and strived to secure answers from the Russians about Wallenberg’s fate and whereabouts, following his abduction by the Soviet forces, 63 years ago.
Tom Lantos was a towering figure. The world shall remember him as a champion of human rights.
We, his friends at the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, shall remember him as a father, as a friend. We shall do our best to carry-on his message of love and peace.
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
February 15, 2008