Born in Hungary as Lantos Péter Tamás, Lantos was according to his own confessions a member of the Resistance against the Germans during World War II. He was son of a rich banker and an English teacher and spent his youth as a protected, rich Jewish person in Budapest. Nobody except himself ever confirmed his "heroic" past as a "resistance fighter". Like most Jewish Politicans he supported Gay Rights, legalization of Marijuana,Abortions and Gun Control.
He is a professional holocaust survivor. When he was asked, what time is it, he explained at least 15 minutes long, how much he suffered under the national socialist occupation, and how bravely and self-sacrifying he fighted against those devils. Finally he remarked, unfortunately he has no watch.
His support of the Ceausescu regime demonstrates his hatred against Hungary and everything Hungarian. He also attacked the Hungarian National Guard and everything traditional and national.
In the USA, where he emigrated 1948, he used only his second name, Thomas, since Peter does not sound enough Jewish.
Quotes and Controversies
- On May 3, 2000, Lantos was involved in an automobile accident while driving on Capitol Hill. Lantos drove over a child, then failed to stop his vehicle and left the sene of the accident. He was later fined $25 over the incident for inattentive driving.
- In 2002, Lantos, who was on the House Committee on International Affairs, took Colette Avital, a Labor Party member of the Israeli Knesset, by the hand and, according to Ha'aretz, tried to reassure her with these words:
"My dear Colette, don't worry. You won't have any problem with Saddam. We'll be rid of the bastard soon enough. And in his place we'll install a pro-Western dictator, who will be good for us and for you."
- In June 2007, Lantos called former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder a "political prostitute" at the dedication ceremony of the Victims of Communism Memorial, which caused a political backlash from the German government. Lantos was referring to Schröder's ties to energy business in Russia, and remarked that this appellation would offend prostitutes.
- In October 2007, Dutch parliament members said Lantos insulted them while discussing the War on Terrorism by stating that the Netherlands had to help the United States, because they liberated them in the Second World War, while adding that the upheaval over Guantanamo in Europe was bigger than over Auschwitz at the time.