Biography: František Bláha

František Bláha was born on June 8, 1896 in the southern Bohemian town of Písek, at the time in Austria-Hungary. After studying medicine, he was appointed director of a hospital in the Czech town of Jihlava in 1926. From 1938 Bláha was active in the resistance against the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1939, he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp in 1941. The experienced surgeon was first a corpse bearer and from 1943 then prisoner doctor, before he was transferred to the pathology department for refusing to perform unnecessary operations. There he carried out autopsies on hundreds of murdered victims.

Bláha helped prisoners threatened with deportation or murder to hide. After the liberation of Dachau he was active in the International Prisoner Committee. Bláha testified at both the Dachau Main Trial and the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial in 1946/47. He died in Prague on March 26, 1979.

František Bláha on the witness stand during the Dachau Main Trial, November 1945 - National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.