Wilhelm Brasse: il “fotografo di Auschwitz” è morto

Data:25 ottobre 2012


E' morto nei giorni scorsi e, più precisamente, martedì 23 ottobre, il fotografo polacco Wilhelm Brasse all'età di 94 anni. L'uomo divenne famoso per essere stato il "fotografo di Auschwitz" durante la seconda guerra mondiale: in quegli anni, infatti, il campo di concentramento più famoso d'Europa fu riempito di uomini, donne e bambini ebrei e altri deportati.

Quando la Polonia fu invasa dall'esercito nazista, Brasse si rifiutò di dichiarare lealtà a Hitler e cercò di scappare dal paese, ma fu braccato al confine e incarcerato per qualche mese. Insieme ad alcuni prigionieri, fu convocato nell'ufficio del primo comandante di Auschwitz e, vista la sua abilità con la macchina fotografica, fu incaricato a scattare primi piani dei deportati al loro arrivo, in modo che si potessero ben identificare.

Per quasi cinque anni fotografò più di 40.000 prigionieri, alcuni dei quali avevano alcune particolari condizioni fisiche che servivano al medico del campo di concentramento per i propri esperimenti, con i quali utilizzava cavie umane. Verso la fine del regime nazista, gli chiesero di gettare via gli scatti, ma lui e i suoi colleghi si rifiutarono.

Le fotografie di quel periodo, le poche sopravvissute indenni fino ai giorni nostri delle 200.000 scattate in quegli anni, sono attualmente esposte nel Museo di Auschwitz-Birkenau, duemila di queste disponibili anche alla visione da parte del pubblico. 

Fino agli ultimi giorni di vita, l'uomo ha vissuto trascorrendo una vita normale e tenendo in disparte la macchina fotografica: essere costretto a fotografare persone che sarebbero dovute morire a breve, gli provocò una vera e propria repulsione per l'obiettivo al punto da fargli rinunciare ad una carriera come fotografo una volta che il regime nazista fu annientato.

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photocredit: dal film-documentario il "Potracista" dedicato alla vita di Wilhelm Brasse e andato il onda nel 2005 in Polonia

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