Holocaust Survivor And ‘Schindler’s List’ Oscar Winner, Branko Lustig, Dies At 87

Holocaust Survivor And 'Schindler’s List' Oscar Winner, Branko Lustig, Dies At 87

  • Holocaust survivor and Oscar winner for ‘Schindler’s List’, Branko Lustig, dies at age 87.
  • For example, we remember him for producing successful work such as ‘Hannibal’, ‘The Peacemaker’, ‘Black Hawk Down’, and ‘Gladiator’.
  • Celebrities are already taking to social media to remember him.


Branko Lustig, who is a two-time Oscar-winning producer and survived the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps has died. He was 87 years old. The confirmation of his death comes from the Festival of Tolerance. Branko was the Jewish film festival’s president for 13 years. The Yad Vashem center in Jerusalem informs the Associated Press that Branko died on Thursday, 11/14.

There has not been a cause of death released but friends are already taking to social media to remember him. Gladiator star Russell Crowe shares a message of love and remembrance on Twitter, “What an amazing life he led. From the horrors of WWII to the glory of two Academy Awards. He said to me once ‘you disagree with me a lot, but you’re always my friend on the days I need you. Yes. Much love Branko. Always your friend.”


Remembering Branko Lustig

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Branko Lustig / Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Lustig was born in Osijek in 1932, which then became part of Yugoslavia. He would lose much of his family during World War II in concentration camps, including his father and grandmother. In the 1980s, he would produce several films and move to Los Angeles, where he would soon meet famous director Steven Spielberg. Lustig’s own personal life experience would then help form the movie Schindler’s List. This would win him his first Oscar.

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Back in an interview from 2014, Lustig opens up about the time he told Spielberg the story. Lustig says the director kissed the camp number tattoo on his arm. “He kissed my number and said, ‘You will be my producer,’” Lustig recalls. “He is the man who gave me the possibility to fulfill my obligation.”

Lustig Lives a Full Life

branko lustig dead
Steven Spielberg and Branko Lustig / Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Lustig is known for working on several successful films including HannibalThe PeacemakerBlack Hawk Down, and Gladiator. The latter would earn him his second Oscar. After spending many years in Hollywood, Lustig would make his way to reside back in Croatia. He was asked about the decision to move back to Croatia and he says he “came back to die.”

“Hollywood is beautiful, I met great actors, worked with them, but still this is my country and I have experienced a lot here – both beautiful and distressing. I also have a lot of friends here, I have a lot of acquaintances in America, but only Spielberg is my friend,” he says.

branko lustig dead
Producers Branko Lustig, center, David Franzoni, left, and Douglas Wick / Reuters

Earlier this year, Lustig would be named an honorary citizen of the City of Zagreb for his contributions to society and art. May he rest in peace.

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