SAN MATEO (KCBS) – Thursday marked the inauguration of a new human rights center in Budapest named after the late Peninsula Congressman Tom Lantos. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her predecessor Condoleezza Rice joined Lantos’ family for the ceremony.

The late congressman’s daughter Katrina Lantos Swett said that the ceremony was more than an honor – it was deeply meaningful.

“As a young boy in Hungary my father really became sort of a hunted animal in the country that he loved and had been deeply patriotic about because he was Jewish and it was the midst of the Holocaust,” said Swett.

She said that to have the situation come full circle, with Hungarian leaders and dignitaries from around the world on hand was quite moving.

The Lantos Institute will focus on the protection of minority rights, with one area of interest being Roma rights in Europe.

KCBS’ Susan Leigh Taylor Reports:

“Roma is the correct name for what people used to call the Gypsy culture, and it’s the largest and really least protected minority throughout Europe today,” said Swett.

She hopes The Lantos Institute will become something of a sister organization to the US-based Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, which serves as a think tank and an academic research institute as well.

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