Juraj Herz was born in Slovakia and during WW2, as a Jewish boy, he was sent together with his family to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. After the war he studied photography in Bratislava and later in the 1950´s he moved to Prague to study direction and puppetry at the Prague DAMU.
Herz´s filmography counts more than 25 feature films, many of which were awarded at important international film festivals. His drama Oil Lamps / Petrolejové lampy (Barrandov Studio, 1971) was in competition at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. One of his most famous films is the cult black comedy The Cremator / Spalovač mrtvol, produced by Barrandov Studio in 1968, which was banned from distribution and released only in the early 1990´s.