Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Barmitzvah at long last

    Hollywood producer Branko Lustig, 78, has won two Academy awards, with prestigious production credits on Fiddler on the Roof, Sophie's Choice and Schindler's List. But the one thing Croatian-born Mr Lustig never had was a barmitzvah.

    Aged 13 in 1945, he was in Bergen Belsen, and was later liberated by the British troops. But just before this year's March of the Living, in a ceremony at his former home, Barrack 24 in Auschwitz, Mr Lustig read from the Torah, the first barmitzvah at the camp. The ceremony was conducted by Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv Yisrael Meir Lau, himself a Holocaust survivor.

    For Mr Lustig, the ceremony brought back memories of his childhood. "It was very emotional, when they opened the Torah in Auschwitz. My great-grandfather was a rabbi and my grandparents were very religious people. So when I did my barmitzvah, I felt like I was going back to this time. "

    On the day of liberation, aged 13, Branko Lustig weighed just four and a half stone. He said: "For me to do this is my small contribution to making sure this will never happen again. Every person here will remember the March of the Living for the rest of their life."

The Jewish Chronicle

Play to the gallery

Lisa Hatswell

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Play to the gallery
World

Rabbi among Mexico quake victims

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, September 25, 2017

Rabbi among Mexico quake victims
World

Netanyahu invited to meet Abbas in Paris

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Netanyahu invited to meet Abbas in Paris
World

Dutch Red Cross apologises for not helping Jews in WWII

Daniel Sugarman

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dutch Red Cross apologises for not helping Jews in WWII
World

Trump to crackdown on Iran and its "terrorist minions", says Pence

JC Reporter

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Trump to crackdown on Iran and its "terrorist minions", says Pence
World

'Jews should pay for their own security' say Swiss

Daniel Sugarman

Sunday, December 4, 2016

'Jews should pay for their own security' say Swiss
World

Anthony Weiner jailed for 21 months

Michael Daventry

Monday, September 25, 2017

Anthony Weiner jailed for 21 months
World

Jewish groups angered at Trump HMD message

Daniel Sugarman

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jewish groups angered at Trump HMD message
World

It's Chanucah Song time!

Michael Moran

Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's Chanucah Song time!