Osijek-born Lustig (82), who won Oscar awards for producing hit films Schindler’s List and Gladiator, has apologised after making a controversial statement on Friday. Lustig was speaking to the media after Zagreb’s Mayor was sent back into custody last week. Bandić is facing charges of bribery and corruption, but the award-winning producer believes the arrest is politically motivated.
Lustig, who survived the holocaust, said that as a youngster he was innocently sentenced politically and sent to Auschwitz and that what is going on today more or less ‘smells’ of what went on back then.
“Therefore I feel compelled as a great respecter of the missing six million people in the Holocaust and in their name and all those who are now suffering in the world to sign a petition calling for the abolition of political arrests and for the Mayor to be allowed to continue to do good deeds in Zagreb,” said Lustig, adding that Bandić’s arrest ‘reminded me of the holocaust’.
Lustig however issued a statement two days after making the comparison, apologising for his statement, which was published by daily Jutarnji list.
“Allow me to apologise to the public, my colleagues and friends for the statement I made on Friday. My comparison of certain social events in the present political situation in Croatia and the persecution of the Jews was a hasty statement that my family and I feel were completely inappropriate, and for that I am truly sorry,” Lustig said in a statement, adding that It was not his intention in any way to impair, hurt or insult the victims of the Holocaust, which was the ‘darkest period in human history’.