Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Francisco Boix

Francisco Boix Campo (1920 in Barcelona –1951 in Paris) was a veteran of the Spanish Civil War and photographer who was imprisoned in the Mauthausen concentration camp.
As a Spanish republican he was exiled in France in 1939. He was recruited by the French Foreign Legion and captured in 1940 by the Germans. Boix, like over 7,000 Spaniards, was an inmate in the Mauthausen concentration camp between January 1941 and May 1945. 
From the end of August 1941 he worked in the Erkennungsdienst, the photography department of the camp administration, taking ID photos of inmates and documenting events in the camp. He was able to hide and preserve until liberation about 20,000 negatives taken by the SS head of the department, Ernst Ricken, as well as by himself. 

In 1946 at the Nuremberg trial, Boix was called by the French prosecution to show photographs taken by the SS in Mauthausen. Those photos depicted the conditions in which the prisoners lived and were murdered in that camp. They were also proof that the camp was known and visited by high leaders of the Third Reich, such as Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who appeared visiting both the Mauthausen camp proper, and the Wienergraben quarry adjacent to the camp.
In April 1946 Boix was again a witness, this time in the American military trial that took place in Dachau against 61 accused from the Mauthausen camp.
Between 1945 and 1951 Boix worked as a photo reporter in the French press, particularly for a newspaper associated with the French Communist Party.
He died in Paris on 7 July 1951 from kidney failure at age 30.
El fotógrafo de Mauthausen is a Spanish film directed by Mar Targarona released on 26 October 2018. Mario Casas plays Francisco Boix.

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