Brasse estimates that in the years he was a camp photographer he took between 40,000 and 50,000 images of inmates and German officers and staff between 1940-1945.
As the Russian army drew closer to Auschwitz in 1945 Brasse was ordered to destroy the images. He refused. With the help of another inmate Brasse manged to bury the tens of thousands of picture negatives in the camp’s ground. They were recovered later.
After the war, Brasse lived just a few miles from Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was so traumatized and haunted by the "ghosts" of the photographs of his subjects that he was unable to to resume work as a portrait photographer and ultimately established a sausage casing business.
Brasse had two children and five grandchildren, and lived with his wife until he died in 2012 aged 94.