Branko Lustig's Oscar for Best Picture for the film "Schindler's List" now on display at Yad Vashem's Visual Center
Branko Lustig looking at a facsimile of the original Schindler's List in Yad Vashem's Holocaust History Museum
Branko Lustig autographing a poster from the epic Holocaust film "Schindler's List" on display at Yad Vashem
Branko Lustig standing next to the Oscar he won for producing Schindler's List which is now on display in Yad Vashem's Visual Center in Jerusalem
14 November 2019
World-renowned Holocaust survivor, filmmaker, and producer Branko Lustig passed away earlier today at the age of 88 in Croatia. Lustig was born in Osijek, Yugoslavia to a Jewish Croatian family.
By the end of 1941, about two thirds of Croatia's Jews had been sent to Ustaša concentration camps, where most of them were murdered on arrival. Between August 1942 and May 1943, the remaining Croatian Jews were deported to Auschwitz. 30,000 of Croatia’s 37,000 Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.
As a child Branko Lustig was imprisoned in Auschwitz and later transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. After liberation, he was miraculously reunited with his mother, who had been taken to Germany to work at a forced labor camp. Most members of Lustig's family were murdered during the Holocaust.
Branko Lustig is renowned for producing "Schindler's List", the epic film that received critical acclaim and won several Oscars, including Best Picture. The film touched the hearts of millions worldwide, and enhanced Holocaust awareness and remembrance, eventually becoming an icon of Holocaust cinema.
"Branko Lustig's life story is interwoven with the tragic history of the Holocaust," stated Yad Vashem Visual Center Director Liat Benhabib. "He made it his life's mission to tell the story of the Holocaust."
In 2015, Branko Lustig donated the Oscar he won for Schindler's List. On this occasion Lustig declared, "Why should I cry? Everything is perfect. I have an apartment, I have a wife, I have a daughter. I survived."