Democratic Rep. Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor elected to Congress, announced on Wednesday that he will not seek re-election this year because he has cancer of the esophagus. Lantos, 79, a California Democrat and chairman of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, is known for his dedication to human rights issues. He is serving his 14th term as a House member. "It is only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and a fighter in the anti-Nazi underground could have received an education, raised a family, and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a member of Congress," Lantos, who was born in Budapest, Hungary, said in a statement. "I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country." In 1944, as a teenager, he was sent to a labor camp but eventually escaped.