Ceremony remembers the life of the late Hungarian-born US politician, the only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress


BUDAPEST — The facade of a gray limestone building looming over Szent István Park in Budapest prominently displays a plaque remembering the life of Hungarian-born US congressman Tom Lantos

Lantos, a staunch human rights advocate who died six years ago, was honored June 21 outside the Budapest house where he lived during World War II. The ceremony came at the 70th anniversary of a Nazi decree forcing Budapest Jews to live in houses marked with a yellow Star of David, an “honor” unique to the community.

Budapest Jews lived in more than 2,000 marked homes until the city’s ghetto was established in November 1944.

Lantos was arrested by the Nazis at 16 and taken to a forced labor camp outside of the city in early 1944. He escaped twice and in March 1944 returned to Budapest where he lived for six months in a yellow-star house set up by Raoul Wallenberg along with another 70 Jews, including his aunt.

Lantos participated in the anti-Nazi resistance until the end of the war in 1945, when he discovered his mother had perished in the Holocaust.

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