Film Producer Branko Lustig Becomes Honorary Citizen of Zagreb

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 31, 2019 – Film producer and two-time Oscar winner Branko Lustig said on Friday that he was very moved by being awarded the title of an honorary citizen at a special meeting of Zagreb City Assembly on Zagreb City Day observed on May 31.

“I am very touched by this attention and so many of you here. I didn’t expect this… I am touched and cannot express what I feel for Zagreb, for this community and particularly toward Mayor Milan Bandić because I always feel that he is not just a mayor but a friend who would do anything for me when it is hardest but also when I fell well,” Lustig told reporters after the award ceremony.

Lustig was awarded with the title for his exceptional contribution to promoting the values of a democratic society, the art of film and a culture of understanding between those who are different and in that way Croatia and the City of Zagreb will be in his debt forever.

Lustig was born to a Jewish family in Osijek in 1932. During WWII he was detained in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, weighing only 30 kg when he was freed. Most of his family were killed in concentration camps all over Europe.

He won the Academy Award for best producer in 1993 for Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List” and in 2000 for Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator”. He donated his “Schindler’s List” Oscar to the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem in 2015.

“My number is A 3317. I am a Holocaust survivor. It is a long way from Auschwitz to this stage. I saw many people die and their last words were, ‘Be a witness to my murder. Tell the world how I died Remember,’ Lustig said when he received the Oscar for “Schindler’s List,” in 1993.

Zagreb is not the first Croatian city to have named Lustig an honorary citizen. Osijek did so in 2010 and Čakovec in 2017. Former Croatian president Franjo Tuđman decorated Lustig in 1994.

In 2014, Lustig was decorated by the president of France and ranked the 29th best film producer of all times by the eminent magazine The Daily Beast.

Since 2008, Lustig has been the president of the Festival of Tolerance – Jewish Film Festival Zagreb.

More Zagreb news can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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