His efforts to blend into a Catholic household failed miserably at least once, when the parish priest visiting the family posed questions to him one-on-one about the catechism: "You aren't one of us", he said.

As he roamed the countryside trying to survive in a Poland now occupied by German troops, he witnessed many horrors, such as being "forced to take part in a cruel and sadistic game in which German soldiers took shots at him for target practice." After the war, he was reunited with his father and moved back to Kraków.

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It won France's César Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, and received three Oscars.

He later produced and directed The Pianist (2002), starring Adrien Brody, in a World War II true story drama about a Jewish-Polish musician.

He made Macbeth (1971) in England and back in Hollywood, Chinatown (1974), which was nominated for eleven Academy Awards.

He was released from prison after serving 42 days, and as part of an apparent plea bargain, was to be put on probation.

and were living there when World War II began with the invasion of Poland.

Kraków was soon occupied by the German forces, and Nazi racial purity laws made the Polańskis targets of persecution, forcing them into the Kraków Ghetto, along with thousands of the city's Jews.

A turning point in his life took place in 1969, when his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, and four friends were brutally murdered by members of the Manson Family.

Following her death, Polanski returned to Europe and eventually continued directing.

" Polański escaped the Kraków Ghetto in 1943 and survived by assuming the name Romek Wilk, with the help of some Polish Roman Catholic families including Mrs Sermak who promised his father to shelter him.

He attended church, learned to recite Catholic prayers by heart, and behaved outwardly as a Roman Catholic, although he was never baptized.

Polanski tried getting closer to his father to ask him what was happening, and managed to get within a few yards.