“The Noble Banner of Human Rights: Essays in Memory of Tom Lantos” Now Available

September 6, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett
(603) 226-3636

CONCORD, NH – The Lantos Foundation proudly announces the release of “The Noble Banner of Human Rights: Essays in Memory of Tom Lantos.” This collection of essays, authored by a global group of academics and edited by Dr. Anna-Maria Biro and Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, remembers the extensive body of Tom Lantos’ human rights work and offers new insights on a range of topical current issues including human rights education, religious freedom, post-conflict justice, minority rights, and identity politics. The book also features a tribute by former United States Vice President Joe Biden and an introduction by Lantos’ long time Chief of Staff, Ambassador Robert King.

Upon publication of the book, Lantos Foundation president, Katrina Lantos Swett, released the following statement:

“We are proud to have collaborated with the Tom Lantos Institute on this important book that honors my father’s life's passion. As the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in the United States Congress, Tom Lantos held both a unique historic viewpoint and a powerful platform to address the wrongs he saw in the world. This book takes a current look at some of the key human rights issues to which he devoted his life. We are also extraordinarily grateful to Tom’s dear friends and confidantes who graciously contributed to the book, most notably Vice President Joe Biden. Readers will also gain incredible insight into Tom’s Congressional career through the eyes of his long-time Chief of Staff, Ambassador Bob King.”

Copies of "Noble Banner of Human Rights: Essays in Memory of Tom Lantos” can be purchased through the Brill website at https://brill.com/view/title/38919.

Book Excerpts:

Tribute, by Vice President Joe Biden:

“Tom saw the pull of evil in our world so clearly. He witnessed profound horrors as a teenager. Almost everyone he cared about in the world was ripped away from him. But rather than allow suffering to shutter his heart or blunt his capacity to care—a choice that would have been completely understandable given everything that he endured—Tom made it his life’s work to defend others from brutality. Tom always understood that because his life was saved, it must be filled with purpose, and he didn’t waste a single moment.”

Preface, by Katrina Lantos Swett:

“My father’s singular perspective as the only member of Congress who had experienced the horrors of the Holocaust from the Nazi despots of the right, and the grievous oppression of his native Hungary under the Communists of the left, gave Dad unparalleled credibility with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Beyond that, his combination of brilliance, wit and his special Magyar flair, made him one of the most admired Congressional voices. I literally can’t count the number of times ordinary Americans would reach out to our family to say; “I listened to your father on C-Span today, and he is the only one in Washington who seems to make any sense” or “Whenever I hear Tom Lantos on the radio or the TV I rush to listen because with his distinguished Hungarian accent and his analytical mind, he makes the others sound like amateurs” or my personal favorites were the countless people who wrote over the years to say, “We wish Tom hadn’t been born abroad so he could run for President - he would have my vote.”


Katrina Lantos Swett Statement on the Passing of John McCain

With the passing of Senator John McCain, our nation lost not only a leader of extraordinary courage and patriotism, but also one of our greatest advocates for human rights and justice. Senator McCain shared a powerful bond with my late father Tom Lantos. Each of them endured searing hardship early in their lives, Tom Lantos during the Holocaust, and John McCain as a POW in Vietnam for five and a half years. They both emerged from their crucibles with an unshakable conviction that we are our brother’s keepers and that America’s greatness lies in her commitment to the fundamental dignity and rights of all human beings. Each of these remarkable men had the great privilege of serving the country they loved in the United States Congress and our nation is poorer for the absence of these two statesmen.

The Lantos Foundation was honored when Senator McCain agreed to bestow our very first Lantos Human Rights Prize upon His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the fall of 2009. We treasure the memory of that inaugural Lantos Prize celebration and are uplifted by the words of Senator McCain on that occasion. Speaking of his friend and colleague, Tom Lantos, the Senator said,

“He was born outside the United States and knew personally what human beings can do when they are ungoverned by the respect for the inherent dignity of every human being and unmoved by a moral duty to defend them against oppression. His voice, Tom Lantos’ voice was among the clearest and most persuasive in our country urging Americans to experience assaults on anyone’s dignity as an assault on our own conscience…We can’t replace Tom’s voice, but we can help to ensure it is not forgotten wherever, whenever, the rights of man are beset by the ambitions of despots.”

In his final letter to his fellow Americans, John McCain invoked the words he spoke to the nation on election night 2008 when he offered his congratulations to his opponent, Barack Obama, in that hard fought presidential contest.

I remember that night vividly because I shed tears twice. First I cried at the joy and amazement of having lived to witness the election of our nation’s first African American President. Secondly, I wept at the gracious and heartfelt eloquence of John McCain in extending his support to President Obama and calling on each of us to shoulder the burden that history has placed on our shoulders.

He said, “I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans…to not despair of our present difficulties but to believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.”

We at the Lantos Foundation are proud to have known John McCain and to have had his support and leadership for the causes to which we daily dedicate our own lives and efforts. We will take continuing inspiration from his example and will live by the following words from his final memoir:

“I want to urge Americans for as long as I can to remember that this shared devotion to human rights is our truest heritage and our most important loyalty.”  


Senator McCain's remarks begin at timestamp 09:30.

New episode of The Keeper - Katrina Lantos Swett's Remarks at 2018 Evian Conference

In 1938, representatives of 32 nations gathered in Evian France to try to find a solution to the Jewish refugee problem. The conference was to end in abject failure. The assembled nations refused to open their hearts and their shores to the persecuted Jews of Europe and Hitler took their actions as a green light to move forward with his genocidal "final solution".

In July of this year, a symposium was convened in the same Hotel Royale to consider the lessons and warnings of The Evian Conference on its 80th anniversary. Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett was invited to give the keynote address for the symposium. We are happy to share Dr. Lantos Swett's remarks with you.

New episode of The Keeper - Annette Lantos on Raoul Wallenberg

Annette Lantos was responsible for many of the most important human rights initiatives undertaken by Tom Lantos and was an acknowledged human rights leader in her own right. Annette Lantos' evolution from wife, mother, and educator to activist began in the late 1970's when she first learned that the hero who had saved her during the Holocaust might still be alive and languishing in a Soviet prison. We spoke with Annette about that hero - Raoul Wallenberg, the incredible impact he had on her life, and the example he is to all of us.

NEW Episode of The Keeper - Joshua Wong

Joshua Wong was only 17 when he led the 2014 Umbrella Movement fighting for Hong Kong's democratization. His inspirational mobilization of over 100,000 Hong Kong citizens to engage in peaceful protest on behalf of democracy and the rule of law captivated the world and galvanized a generation of young people to become activists and to peacefully resist Chinese control of their government. Joshua and his fellow Occupy leaders have been nominated for the Nobel Prize and we were honored to have him join us on The Keeper.

Statement on Benedict Rogers & Chinese Threats

We applaud the commendable efforts of Benedict Rogers to publicize the harassment he, his family, and his neighbors have faced from China in response to his efforts to ensure freedom, human rights, and rule of law in Hong Kong. Reading his tales of anonymous letters containing veiled threats, the danger faced by those who dare to challenge the absolute power of the Chinese government is laid bare. As you read, please pause to consider how much worse it must be on a daily basis for Hong Kong based youth activists like Joshua Wong. If this level of harassment is happening to an established British citizen, then we can only imagine the pressure on Hong Kongers themselves. Joshua’s continued democracy work in the face of obvious threats from the Chinese government is exactly why he was chosen to receive the 10th Annual Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize later this year in Washington, DC.

Special Re-Release Episode of The Keeper - Bill Browder

On July 16th the world witnessed a stunning and deeply concerning press conference in which the President of the United States seemed to argue that there was a credibility equivalence between US intelligence agencies findings on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and the laughable denials of Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer who many believe to be a cold blooded killer. Another outrageous moment during this memorable press event was when Putin suddenly launched an attack on Bill Browder, the brilliant and brave man behind the Sergei Magnitsky Accountability Act. Bill Browder’s herculean efforts to win the adoption of this ground breaking human rights law have done more to put actual teeth into the enforcement of human rights standards than almost any another initiative over the past two decades. It has also made him Putin’s No. 1 enemy and someone who daily faces the very real danger that Putin’s agents will succeed in murdering him as they have so many other so-called “enemies” of the Russian President.

Some months ago, we had the opportunity to speak with Bill Browder on The Keeper and, given the events of the past few days, we thought it would be very worthwhile and timely to
re-release our podcast with Mr. Browder from last Fall.

New Episode of The Keeper Podcast, Rebiya Kadeer


Our guest, Mrs. Rebiya Kadeer, is known as the “mother of the Uyghur nation”. She is the acknowledged global leader of the Uyghur people - a community of over 15 million living primarily in the East Turkestan region of China where this largely Muslim community has been subjected to discrimination, persecution, mass incarceration and cultural and religious oppression at the hands of the Chinese government. 

With the help of an interpreter, Mrs. Kadeer spoke about the increase in persecution being experienced in East Turkestan, the Government’s efforts to intimidate her into silence by targeting her family members who are still in China, and why the US government should apply the Global Magnitsky Act to the Chinese official responsible for the outrages taking place in East Turkestan.

Listen Now

Statement on Rohingya Massacre Reporters Trial

The world relies on brave journalists to tell the stories of those with no voice. One of the most serious global human rights crisis points happening today is in Myanmar, as the Rohingya Muslim minority is terrorized by the state military. It is an affront to the Rule of Law that the two Reuters journalists who simply reported on the growing massacre will now face trial and could be sentenced to over a decade in prison. It is especially shocking that Aung San Suu Kyi, who herself once suffered under a regime that ignored the Rule of Law, would be so compliant in allowing this kangaroo court case to move forward. We call on the Myanmar Government to release these journalists and focus on the most important issue at hand: restoring the rights and freedoms of the Rohingya people.