Croatian producer Branko Lustig, Oscar winner for “Schindler's List”, is dead

Survivor of the concentration camps, the Croatian film producer had received two Oscars, including one for Steven Spielberg's “The Schindler List” in 1994.

Croatian film producer Branko Lustig, a Holocaust survivor, who received Oscars for Schindler's list and Gladiator, died Thursday in Zagreb at the age of 87, reported the official Hina news agency.

Born in the city of Osijek (eastern Croatia) in June 1932 to Croatian Jewish parents, he was deported to Nazi concentration camps in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen during the Second World War. Most of his family members have died in camps across Europe.

My number is A3317. Between Auschwitz and here, the path has been long“, he said, according to the Croatian press, receiving in 1993 an Oscar for the production of Schindler's List from Steven Spielberg. “Those who were dying left me an inheritance, telling, if I survived, what had happened“.

Branko Lustig avaiy studied acting in Zagreb in the 1950s before starting work in the cinema, first as a small hand and then as a director and producer. He has directed and produced over a hundred Croatian and foreign films, including co-productions such as The drum in 1979 and Sophie's Choice in 1982, two films also awarded by Oscars.

Installed in the United States in the 1980s, he received in 1990 an Emmy for the mini television series Drug Wars: The Camarena Story. In 2000, he received an Oscar, alongside producers David Franzoni and Douglas Wick, for Gladiator from Ridley Scott. He had also participated in the production of The fall of the Black Falcon from Ridley Scott.

He returned to Croatia about ten years ago when he chaired the annual Jewish Film Festival in Zagreb. In May he was made an honorary citizen of the Croatian capital for his “immense contribution to culture in a democratic society, to the art of cinema and to the culture of understanding between (the) different“peoples.


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