Statue of Tom Lantos Unveiled in Budapest
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and James P. McGovern (D-MA), Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, have written to Dr. József Tóth, Mayor of Budapest’s 13th district, to express their appreciation for the statue of the Commission’s namesake, Tom Lantos, which was unveiled in Budapest today.
The full text is reprinted below, and a copy of the original letter is available here.
Dear Mayor Tóth:
We write to thank you for your kind invitation to the unveiling of a statue of Tom Lantos.
Tom Lantos is the namesake and co-founder of the Commission that we chair. In that sense, Budapest’s 13th district is part of our Commission’s story, particular the Újlipótváros neighborhood where Raoul Wallenberg set up safe houses for Jewish Hungarians whose lives were threatened by Nazi occupiers and their Hungarian collaborators. Few people in the United States did more than Tom Lantos to spread the story of Raoul Wallenberg, as Lantos was one of those whose life was saved by Wallenberg. Tom Lantos’ work with Wallenberg during the Hungarian Holocaust was the crucible that formed his life-long commitment to human rights, a commitment he carried with him to his new home, the United States, and eventually formed the backbone of a storied 27-year career in Congress.
In honoring Tom Lantos, you are also acknowledging a terrible period in Hungarian history, while celebrating Tom Lantos’ commitment to help the downtrodden and support human rights for vulnerable groups. These are values that must never be forgotten, whether in Hungary, the United States, or anyplace else in the world. While we regret that we cannot attend the ceremony in person, we send you our best wishes and appreciation for erecting this monument.