The Zagreb City Assembly on Thursday named prominent film producer and two-time Oscar winner Branko Lustig honorary citizen of Zagreb.
A proposal to that end was made by mayor Milan Bandic. Lustig was given the honour for his “outstanding contribution to the promotion of democratic values, film and culture, and understanding between different people, whereby Croatia and the City of Zagreb will be in his debt forever.”
Zagreb is not the first Croatian city to have named Lustig an honorary citizen. Osijek did so in 2010 and Cakovec in 2017. Former Croatian president Franjo Tudjman 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.
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 Center in Jerusalem in 2015.
Lustig was born 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.
Since 2008, Lustig has been the president of the Festival of Tolerance – Jewish Film Festival Zagreb.