RIP Ambassador Richard Schifter, 1923-2020. In 1938 he fled Nazi Vienna for the U.S. at age 15, then joined the U.S….
GENEVA, October 4, 2020 — UN Watch is deeply saddened by the loss of Ambassador Richard Schifter (1923-2020), who fled to the United States at age 15 from Nazi-occupied Vienna and rose to become an eminent public servant, serving as the State Department’s top human rights official, representing the U.S. at key United Nations bodies, and waging a decades-long battle against anti-Israeli bigotry at the UN.
“Dick Schifter dedicated his life to helping others. Having lost his parents and much of his family in the Holocaust, he gave of himself, professionally and personally to advance human rights and protect the dignity of people around the world,” said Ambassador Alfred Moses, Chair of UN Watch.
In 1943, Schifter joined the U.S. army and fought the Nazis in Europe, serving in a special intelligence unit.
A graduate of Yale Law School, he had a distinguished career as a lawyer in Washington, D.C. and in government. He represented the U.S. at the UN Commission on Human Rights and as Deputy Representative to the Security Council.
As U.S. Assistant Secretary for Human Rights from 1985 to 1992, he became known as a strong and effective advocate for political prisoners in Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe, and in China, as he pressed case after case with governments in power.
“For more than 70 years this was his calling. The world is a better place today because of what Dick did and what he stood tall to promote up to his dying day at age 97,” said Moses.
“With the passing of Dick, we have lost a human rights champion and fighter for the betterment of humanity.”
As Chairman of the American Jewish International Relations Institute, Ambassador Schifter worked tirelessly to combat anti-Israel voting patterns at the United Nations.
Ambassador Schifter served as the State Department's top human rights official from 1985-1992. He became known as a strong and effective advocate for political prisoners in Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe—and in China—as he pressed case after case with governments in power. pic.twitter.com/ZVIdRebgLr
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) October 4, 2020