Francesc Boix Campo, born in Barcelona and a professional photographer, arrived at the concentration camp on 27 January. He began work in the Identification Department. He and other fellow Republicans managed to steal negatives from the camp’s photographic archive.
Many of them were Republicans in exile in France who enlisted in the French army when war against Germany broke out.
A group of young deportees began work at the quarry, belonging to Anton Poschacher, outside the camp. They took advantage being transferred outside the camp to get the negatives out of Mauthausen. Fearing another transfer, they handed over all the photographic material to Anna Pointner, a local villager, at the beginning of 1945.
The Mauthausen camp was liberated on 5 May. At that time, Francesc Boix and other young people from the Poschacher Commando group collected the negatives Anna Pointner had been hiding.
In the following months, the Spanish Republicans were accepted as French citizens. Francesc Boix and some of his comrades wanted to deliver the pictures to the leaders of the Spanish Communist Party established in Toulouse. The party did not accept them and the negatives were dispersed, some of them remaining in the possession of Francesc Boix, who began work as a photojournalist for French Communist media.
His entire legacy passed to his best friend and fellow deportee Joaquim López Raimundo.
Amical de Mauthausen was founded on the initiative of ex-deportees who had returned to Barcelona. The association worked clandestinely until it was made legal in 1978.
On the initiative of the historian Josep Benet, the writer Montserrat Roig began research work on the Catalans deported to the Nazi camps. Her work led to friendships with the ex-deportees. Joaquim López Raimundo gave the writer Francesc Boix’s entire photographic legacy. Once her book had been published, Montserrat Roig gave all the material to Amical de Mauthausen.
The Amical de Mauthausen deposited the first part of the photographic collection: the photos taken from the camp, those of the liberation and some from 1946 and 1947.
Amical de Mauthausen deposited the second part of the photographic collection. These pictures correspond to Francesc Boix’s time as a photojournalist.
Contact was made with Francesc Boix’s family and a loan agreement was signed in order to manage the collection and oversee the use of the pictures.