The Croatian producer of Schindler's List, Branko Lustig, has decided to give the Oscar he won for his work on the movie to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.
The 83-year-old Lustig, a Holocaust survivor himself, said Yad VaShem "is the place where the award should be kept after my death."
Lustig, who won another Oscar for producing the movie Gladiator, worked in Hollywood for 15 years. In 1993, he was awarded an Oscar for producing Steven Spielberg's movie, which portrays the life of the German industrialist who saved hundreds of Jews during World War II.
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev decided to hold a ceremony in Lustig's honor in which the Oscar statuette would be presented to the museum. Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who is due to arrive in Israel next month for a work visit, was invited to the ceremony by Lustig and will likely attend.
Lustig was born to a Jewish family in Osijek (then in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia). His father was the head-waiter at an Osijek Café Central, and his mother, Vilma, was a housewife. Unlike his parents, Lustig's grandparents on both sides were religious, and he prayed with them at the local synagogue regularly.
During World War II, Lustig spent two years in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Most of his family members were murdered in the extermination camps, but his mother survived the Holocaust and they were reunited after the war.
Yad Vashem said the Oscar will be displayed at the museum's Visual Center. The museum's online catalogue has an international digital library that includes over 10,000 movies about the Holocaust. The center is entrusted with preserving, collecting, cataloguing and making the movies accessible to audiences in Israel and around the world.