Roman Polanski (left in black jacket) accompanied by Avner Shalev (right) and Adrian Brody (center) as they stand in front of the Pillar of Heroism
Roman Polanski examines his father's card from the Mauthausen registry in the Yad Vashem Archives
01 October 2002
During a short visit to Israel for the premiere of his film The Pianist, renowned director Roman Polanski was presented at Yad Vashem with records documenting his father’s internment in the Mauthausen concentration camp.
While touring the Hall of Remembrance, Polanski noticed the name “Mauthausen” carved in the floor. He mentioned to Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, that his father had been an inmate of that camp for three-and-a-half years.
In light of that new information, Polanski’s and his entourage were taken immediately to the Yad Vashem Archives. There, Polanski was shown the original card-file that the Germans kept to record information about the camp’s prisoners. After a rapid search and to the group’s great the card for Polanski’s father, Maurycy Liebling, was found. An emotional Polanski said that for the first time, he was encountering the past not through stories but personal information recorded from his father when he arrived at Mauthausen.
Polanski’s was accompanied by The Pianist’s leading actor Adrien Brody, actress Jessica Kate Meyer, and producer Robert Benmussa.