It sounds like a scene straight out of a movie: on May 2nd, 78-year-old two-time Oscar winner and former concentration camp prisoner Branko Lustig (pictured, far left) will travel to the Auschwitz Museum in Oswiecim, Poland to celebrate his bar mitzvah in front of Barrack 24.
But it is in fact a remarkable bit of real-life poetic justice, as reported by Tom Tugend of the Jewish Journal. Lustig was a prisoner at Auschwitz at age 13, when he would nave normally celebrated the rite of passage. On this glorious upcoming day 65 years later, he will be accompanied by 10,000 high school students from 40 different countries traveling as part of the annual “March of the Living” event:
Lustig will celebrate his bar mitzvah wearing a tallit presented to him at a tribute reception April 4 at Universal Studios. On the same occasion, Lustig announced he was donating scholarships to cover the cost of 10 participants in future marches.
Tugend writes that Lustig has been hard at work on the most important speech he will ever give. The concentration camp survivor plans to emphasize the importance of tolerance.
[Photo credit: Steve Starr/CORBIS]