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  • Roshan Begum

The Photographer of Mauthausen -A Holocaust Graphic Novel

The photographer of Mauthausen is a Historical Fiction/ Non-Fiction Graphic Novel based on true events. Actually the author himself have disclaimed that the dialogues between the characters are only guesswork so we can safely say it as retelling based on true events in the life of Francisco Boix.

Francisco was Spanish press photographer and belonged to communist party. During the onset of WW2 he fled to France. But unfortunately he was handed over to Germans as War Prisoners. All the war prisoners are usually sent to Mauthausen concentration camp.

It is called as "Bone Mill" by Germans because it is category 3 camp, meaning no prisoner to come out alive. Unlike extermination by gassing in Auschwitz, Mauthausen does it by slave labor and exhaustion.

The book starts when Francisco arrives at the camp. He soon join the secret communist party inside and gets a job in Identity Department as Photographer. When a SS documenting the death of Prisoners comes to know about Francisco's interest in photography, he takes him for his pet project.

As Francisco learns the nature of his new work, he realizes it will be their only chance to collect proofs of whats happening in these concentration camps and expose the Nazis to world. At first many people agrees and help him. But they eventually stop when the risk of getting caught becomes inevitable. So he must do the final act with a help of small boy whom he sworn to protect. It puts all the life of prisoner in danger.

It is must read graphic novel! The artwork is Dark, Gloomy and not joyful complementing the story it tells. I even verified all the major events mentioned in this book and found it to be true. I gained lot of knowledge from this read! There is also a movie in the same name if you are interested. It is an IMPORTANT read and I will rate it 4 ⭐

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