Monday, February 11, 2008

The bell tolls once again: Tom Lantos, Member of House of Representatives and Holocaust Survivor, is dead

Tom Lantos the only Holocaust survivor to serve in the US Congress died today at the age of 80. We traveled together to the commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz in January 2005. He was a remarkable man who, among other things, helped push the Armenian genocide resolution through the House of Representatives. He will be greatly missed.

Here is the Washington Post obit.

My favorite Lantos moment was when he told YAHOO executives that "morally you are pygmies"
for having acceded to Chinese demands that they identify certain YAHOO account holders who were engaged in what the Chinese government considered seditious activities.

2 comments:

Sharon said...

I've admired Tom Lantos for some time.

It was endearing when he recounted how, as a survivor coming to the United States, He said that he was coming to a place called "Seetle" (Seattle.) This was his comment in the documentary, The Last Days.

After being elected to Congress, he was a champion for human rights.

Tom Lantos will be sorely missed.

Sharon Gibson

Ed said...

Agreed -- Rep. Lantos will be sorely missed. I was also going to recommend "The Last Days" to those who do not know his story -- for he is one of the subjects of that intensely moving, very well-done production tracing the history of several survivors as they left the camps and re-entered the "real world." Obviously, Tom Lantos survived and thrived, rising to become a successful politician, community activist, and world-renowned champion of civil liberties, despite (and, surely, because of) the tragedy and horror of his youth and young adult years.

To Dr. Lipstadt and all other Holocaust historians, both academic and armchair (like me), I know that the passing of each Survivor is a reminder of the urgency of your work, for one day we will no longer have the opportunity to speak to those who were there. As a bulwark against the deniers, their evidence must be recorded before it is too late -- hats off to Mr. Spielberg for funding the Holocaust History Project, I might add.

~Edward Poole, Silver Spring, MD