Rep. Tom Lantos, 80, a California Democrat whose experience during the
Holocaust shaped his concern for human rights and his staunch view in favor of
U.S. military intervention abroad, died early this morning, a spokeswoman told
the Associated Press. He had esophageal cancer and died at the National Naval
Medical Center in Bethesda...
...Lantos, born in Budapest to Hungarian Jews, served 14 terms in the House
of Representatives. He is the only Holocaust survivor elected to
...For years, he sided with Republican neoconservatives who believe the
United States should assert democracy abroad and use the military to intervene
when a moral imperative or national interest is at stake.
In 2002, he
supported the congressional resolution that authorized President Bush to invade
Iraq and played a decisive role to gain Democratic support for the measure.
On the House floor at the time, he noted his own past as a Nazi-resistance fighter.
"Had the United States and its allies confronted Hitler earlier, had we acted sooner to stymie his evil designs, the 51 million lives needlessly lost during that war could have been saved," he said. "Just as leaders and diplomats who appeased Hitler at Munich in 1938 stand humiliated before history, so will we if we appease Saddam Hussein today."...
Lantos Tam¿s P¿ter (sic) was born Feb. 1, 1928. During the Nazi occupation of his homeland, he twice escaped from a forced labor camp in Szob, north of the capital. The second time, he found safety in a Budapest apartment rented by Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.
Donning a military cadet uniform, Lantos used his Aryan appearance -- light hair and blue eyes -- to deliver food and other supplies to Jews in other safe houses Wallenberg had rented...
I couldn't let this slide without mention. Normally aisle-crossers are republicans, so the loss of a dem who was willing to do it is impressive, even if he did turn with the wind when the dems took over congress (and picked our pockets).
How difficult do you think it was for him to don that uniform in order to do what he could to resist the Nazis? I would think it would be as tough for him as it was for the women that were used by the French resistance to leech information out of the officers while France was occupied...you know the feeling that you can never be clean again.
The world will be a quieter place now that his voice is silenced....and probably not in a nice way either.