2013. Branko Lustig, a Holocaust survivor and Oscar-winning producer of “Schindler’s List,” returns to Auschwitz for the bar mitzvah he couldn’t have in his youth.
NY TIMES April 14th, 2013
April 15 marks the 68th anniversary of Branko Lustig’s liberation from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when he was not quite 13 years old. In this Op-Doc video, we follow Mr. Lustig back to Poland to visit the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps (where he was also interned) and to celebrate the bar mitzvah he could never have as a young man.
Between these pivotal moments in his life, Mr. Lustig became one of the most accomplished producers in Hollywood. He won best picture Academy Awards for producing “Schindler’s List” and “Gladiator,” and also worked on Volker Schlöndorff’s epic German World War II tale “The Tin Drum” as well as “Sophie’s Choice,” “War and Remembrance” and “The Winds of War.”
The arc of Mr. Lustig’s life — from Holocaust survivor to Oscar winner — is one of remarkable triumph. While many people shy away from revisiting their personal traumas, Mr. Lustig — in his feature films and in my short documentary — has enabled us all to reflect upon them and, perhaps, come to terms with them.