Resistance at Mauthausen

200,000 deportees. 120,000 dead. An extermination camp through labor, the terrible Mauthausen. In this hell, some men managed the impossible. To steal and exfiltrate 1,000 photographs in order to one day have evidence against their executioners! In this camp, they were not deportees but resistance fighters!


200,000 deportees. A camp for extermination through labour. In this hell, men achieved the impossible. The theft and smuggling out of 2,000 photographs so that one day there would be proof against their persecutors! The people in these camps were not deportees but resistance fighters! 1944 signalled the defeat of the Reich. Berlin’s orders were unequivocal: nobody was to know what had really gone on in the concentration and extermination camps. From Warsaw to Prague, from Hamburg to Vienna, in every administrative body, in every office, hundreds of thousands of reports, records, and photographs went up in smoke. And in the camps, the last survivors were murdered. But the Nazis would fail to hide their crimes. Deportees would return to tell the unspeakable. And they would bring evidence! For 5 years at Mauthausen concentration camp, a handful of men would do more than just survive. They would steal this evidence. And they would hide it. And they would even get it out of the camp, and out of reach of the SS. Thanks to them, 2,000 photographs of Mauthausen camp would reach us. We are going to tell you the incredible story of this salvage operation.

About the Director

Born in Austria to Polish parents, Barbara Necek is a journalist and director of historical documentaries. She has directed, among others, ” Le Procès d’Auschwitz, la fin du silence ” (France 5, 2017) awarded at the FIGRA festival 2019, ” 39-45 : les Résistantes allemandes ” (2019) in selection at the Festival du Film d’Histoire de Pessac 2020, ” Solidarnosc, La première brèche ” (2020) in competition at FIGRA 2021. Her latest film, “Les résistants de Mauthausen” (ARTE, 2021) tells the story of the stolen photos from the extermination camp, which helped to confuse several high ranking Nazi dignitaries. She is also preparing a book on the female guards of the concentration camps (to be published in 2021 by Grasset).


52 minutes

Barbara Necek

Cyrille Perez, Gilles Perez, Dominique Monteiro

Xavier Liberman

Michèle Hollander

Anna Flori-Lamour

Sébastien Berteau

Jean-Louis Trintignant (narrator), Gérard Depardieu
(woodcutter’s voice)