Farewell to Pavel Branko


A short while ago, we received the sad news that Pavel Branko passed away on 17 August 2020.

Farewell to Pavel Branko
(Photo: KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen/Mauthausen Memorial)

Pavel Branko was born as Pavel Haas on 27 April 1921 on board a ship in the Mediterranean near Trieste. Even while still at school, he was active in the resistance against the fascist Slovakian state, for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Shortly before the end of the war he was deported to the Mauthausen concentration camp.

After liberation, he returned to Slovakia where he worked as a translator, film critic and editor. He was among Slovakia’s leading intellectuals and also gained international prominence.

Pavel Branko repeatedly accompanied and supported us and our work over recent years. It was a particular honour for us when, in 2018, his memoirs were published for the first time in German translation as the second volume in the series “Mauthausen-Erinnerungen”. Throughout his life, the grand doyen of Slovakian film criticism swam against the tide – also the title of his book – but yet without ever losing his sense of humour. At the end of his autobiography he quotes Egon Erwin Kisch: “When I die, I’ll really miss myself.”

We’ll also really miss Pavel Branko.