Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett – 2024 Dissident Human Rights Awardee

Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett - 2024 Dissident Human Rights Awardee

VOC is proud to present the 2024 Dissident Human Rights Award to Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett. Dr. Lantos Swett serves as President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, established in 2008 to continue the legacy of her father, the late Congressman Tom Lantos, who served as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and was the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to the US Congress.

So both of my parents um were survivors Of the Holocaust but uh after the Tragedy of fascism which had overtaken Their country Hungary had The Misfortune To fall behind the Iron Curtain and uh Both of my parents were very fortunate To be able to get out while one could Still get out the possibility of being Able to return to Hungary seemed so Remote that they thought it was more Likely their daughters might one day go To the moon and so from a young age I Was very aware of how dangerous and how Terrifying and how cruel of a place the World could be when evil governments Ruled [Music] It I'm Dr Katrina Lantos sweat and I'm President of the Lantos foundation for Human rights and Justice I am honored to Be the 2024 recipient of voc's dissident Human rights award what does it mean to Be a dissident that's an excellent Question I think you can be a dissident If you have the courage to stand up Against the prevailing Orthodoxy Wherever and whatever that may be now in Some places in the world it requires Inc Incredible courage because you really Are putting your Liberty and sometimes Even your life on the line but even in This country it sometimes takes a little Bit of guts to stand up to prevailing Orthodoxies and speak out on behalf of

What may not be the popular or majority Opinion well I think people are not as Aware as they need to be and should be Of how many around the world still live Under tyranny and so often that is Communist tyranny I also am kept awake At night when I think about not only the People suffering under incredibly brutal Governments but I also am kept awake at Night when I think about the Relative uh historical ignorance if you Will of a lot of young people nowaday Who sort of have a vague recollection of Something called the Cold War and um and Yet many of them seem to be Romanticizing if not communism Then socialism which is a very close Handmaiden and uh they are they're just So Uninformed about uh the history and the Reality which is one reason why I Actually think this powerful Museum the Victims of Communism Memorial Museum is Such a vital educational tool of course My family's Legacy is a big part of what Drives my activism the Lantos foundation For human rights and Justice seeks to Carry forward the the legacy of my late Father Tom Lantos the only survivor of The Holocaust ever to serve in Congress And somebody who uniquely understood and Appreciated American democracy because He had lived under oppression of the Right under Fascism and oppression of

The left under communism so we work to Advance human rights globally to combat Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial to Hold up Heroes of the human rights Movement to advance the rule of law to Fight for prisoners of conscience a wide Range of initiatives well I am very Humbled and honored to accept this award I don't really feel worthy of it but I'm Very grateful for it and I'm very Grateful for the work of the victims of Communism Memorial Foundation uh there Is a story that needs to be told Generation after generation uh lest we Forget and so I salute really your work Um the work of memory the work of Education and the work of freedom [Music]

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