Franz Blaha: An Obvious Liar
The following is the testimony given by Franz Blaha shortly after liberation of Dachau in the Seventh Army war crimes investigators from May 3 to May 18 1945. The version of the file PS 2586 which I have is scans of not always legible carbon copies, so there will be some transcription errors, particularly in names. Some errors, including those of spellings of names are present in the stenographic record, everything in square brackets is from me, usually indicating uncertainity on my part. There are sure to be some mistakes
Franz Blaha was described as an “obvious liar” by Leo Alexander in his diary after interviewing as a possible witness for the Doctor’s Trial. Leo Alexander was not impressed and did not use his testimony. There is possible interest in his description of the gas chamber (here Blaha makes clear cyanide gas was not used, although I doubt anyone will be significantly impressed by his reliability in this respect), the crematorium, the malaria experiments, the enormous number of autopsies he claims to have performed (on average around 8 every day he worked in a medical capacity), he also reads into the record some allegedly German documents concerning fatalities during the final period of the camp’s operation. There definitely seems signs of testimony being manipulated or constructed for war crimes proceeding – for example the detailed description of witnessing a gassing is not mentioned until the final session of 18 May.
Its a long record but I don’t think anyone reading it will be able to improve on Leo Alexander’s assessment of Dr Blaha.
PS 2586 page 68
Exhibit Nr. 5
Testimony of Dr. FRANZ BLAHA, taken at Dachau, Germany at 1540 hours, 3 May 1945. Tec 3 ISIDOR M. ASTOR, 32 115 631, WCIT #6823, Hq ETGUSA (J. A. Section) APO 887, U.S. Army, appeared before the Investigator-Examiner, Col. DAVID CHAVEZ, Jr., as a reporter and was sworn by him in the following form: “You swear that you will faithfully perform the duties of reporter in this investigation now being conducted by me, so help you God.”
S/Sgt, ALFRED E. LAURENCE, #33625383, WCIT #6823, Hq. ETCUSA (J.A. Section) APO 887, U.S Army, appeared before the Investigator-Examiner, as an interpreter and was sworn in the following form: “You swear that you will truly interpret in this investigation now being conducted by me, so help me God.”
Dr. FRANZ BLAHA appeared before the Investigator-Examiner and testified as follows:
Q.: Dr BLAHA, we are investigating some alleged atrocities and cruelties committed by the Germans who were in charge of the Concentration Camp here at Dachau. Are you to take an oath and testify as to the conditions and cruelties and atrocities committed by the Germans in this camp? A. Yes.
Q. Do you understand the meaning of an oath? A. Yes.
Q. Please stand up, raise your right hand, and be sworn. You, FRANZ BLAHA, swear that the evidence you shall give in this investigation now being conducted by me, shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? A. I do.
Q. Please state your full name, your age, your occupation, and address. A. Dr. FRANZ BLAHA, Chief Surgeon of Hospital, 50 years of age, address- Iglau, Czechoslovakia.
Q. Can you give us your address number and name of the street? A. No. 11, Speretus Street, Iglau, Czechoslovakia.
Q. Are you a graduate of a Medical School? A. Yes.
Q. What school? A. University of Prague.
Q. Do you have a degree from that University? A. Yes.
Q. How long have you practised medicine? A. 25 years. I am a Doctor of Medicine.
Q. How long have you practised medicine? AA. 25 years. I am a Doctor of Medicine.
Q. You have specialized in surgery, is that correct? A. I have specialized in surgery and gynecology.
Q. You are one of the prisoners confirmed at the Dachau Concentration Camp? A. Yes.
Q. When were you brought to this camp, Doctor? A. I was brought to this camp on 30 April 1941.
Q. Were you at some other German Concentration Camp prior to April 30, 1941? A. No. I’ve been in jail.
Q. Do you know for what reason you were brought to this Concentration Camp and confined? A. I was arrested in 1939 at the beginning of the World War, due to suspicion of a leadership of the Federation of Sokol, which is a gymnastic association.
Q. Was that an Anti-Nazi association? A. It was entirely an Anti-Nazi, Anti-Socialist organization.
Q. Did you commit any crime other than belonging to the organization which was Anti-Nazi? A. No.
Q. You have been confined at the Dachau Concentration Camp ever since April 30, 1941? A. Yes
Q. Do you know approximately how many prisoners there are at this time? A. Approximately 37,000.
Q. What have been your duties during most of the time that you have been confined at this camp? A. First, I’ve been on the punishment block of the punishment company.
Q. Can you tell us something about the punishment company that you refer to? A. It was a company where you had to work the hardest hours, get punished the most and the get the least to eat.
Q. How many hours did you work while you were in the punishment company? A. From 5 o’clock in the morning with a half-hour ‘canteen’ until 7 o’clock.
Q. What kind of labor did you perform? A. We worked in a sand pit digging out the sand, carrying it out of the hole, and leading it on to the railroad cars.
Q. How long were you in this punishment company? A. I have been in there only for six months. I guess I became sick with typhus.
Q. How many other prisoners were there in the punishment company when you were in? A. About three to four hundred.
Q. What did you get to eat during the six months that you were in this punishment camp. First tell us what they gave you for breakfast, what they gave you for the noon meal, and what they gave you for supper? A. Black coffee for breakfast, no sugar. For lunch one litre of soup or just plain greens, vegetables. For supper again one litre of soup. For the whole day 300 gram of black bread, otherwise nothing.
Q. Doctor, did you say that the food that was given to you and to the other prisoners who belonged to this punishment company sufficient to enable you to do this work and to live? A. Absolutely not.
Q. How much did you weight, when you came to this camp on April 30, 1941? A. I weighed in civilian life 80 kilos. When I came here from jail I weighed 55 kilos and when I came out of the punishment company, I weighed 35 kilos.
Q. What about the other men who were in this punishment company, did they also lose weight? A. I can say very truthfully, that 70 percent of the men in the company died.
Q. Why did they put you in this punishment Company? A. It had been ordered by the Gestapo prior to my attachment to this camp that I be put into the punishment company.
Q. How about the other prisoners, what did they do to warrant them being put into this punishment company? A. Most cases, it was men picked up by the Gestapo without any reason for proof of arrest and then they put them in this punishment company. Or also, the men didn’t want to turn evidence against their own accomplices and friends.
Q. Even after you left the punishment company, did you know of the existence or did the punishment company exist during the rest of the time and up to the time that the Americans captured this camp? A. It has been kept up as a punishment company until about 2 years ago, when it was changed to a punishment camp and used only for disciplinary measures against the other prisoners.
Q. Did you have a guard in this punishment company? A. It was an enclosed block.
Q. Did you have SS guards around the block? A. Yes.
Q. Were they armed? A. Yes.
Q. Did the guards see that everyone of you worked during all the time that you were there? A. Yes, very much.
Q. Were you given any water during the time that you were working? A. No.
Q. The only food that you obtained during the time that you were a member of the punishment company was the food ration that you ahve already described? A. Yes.
Q. Did some of the men faint while they were working? A. Everyday.
Q. About how many? A. About 70% of the men couldn’t stand it. One half were Jewish.
Q. Did some them die right there at the place you were working? A. Yes, they did.
Q. Did you see that yourself? A. Everyday we brought some along on a pushcart.
Q. Did I understand you to say that approximately 70 percent of the prisoners who were in this punishment company at that time you were there, died? A. In the first two years, 70 percent of the men died or were sent out on the invalid transports.
Q. What became of these men that died? A. They were all burned like the others.
Q. How long were you sick with typhus? A. Three months.
Q. Where were you during the three months that you had typhus? A. In the hospital.
Q. The hospital that you speak of, is that one of the regular prison barracks or prison blocks within the confines of the compound? A. Just a house like the others.
Q. After you recovered from typhus, what did you do? A. I worked for 14 months on the plantation, the SS farm.
Q. What kind of work did you do while at this farm? A. For four months I worked a plough, with a spade, and also with wagon.
Q.[sic] Then I was transferred into the Chemical Laboratory. They found out that I was Doctor and they needed me. They knew I was a Doctor from before, but they needed me.
Q. Doctor, have there been many cases of typhus in this camp since you came her on April 30, 1941? A. After my transfer from the punishment company to the laboratory I know of typhus cases of 30 to 40 daily.
Q. As a matter of fact, you have had several typhus epidemics since that time, haven’t you? A. The first epidemic we had in 1941, and it was dysentery, or typhus caused by hunger. The second epidemic was at the end of the 1942 and up to 1943, which was caused by abdominal typhus. Since November last year up to this date this [sic] fleck fever.
Q. Have you had any cases of dysentery during the period that you have been here? A. Since 1942, out 1,200 cases of abdominal typhus, 600 died. On dysentery, my estimation is ever 2,000 dead. On fleck fever cases, which have been delivered to the hospital, I know of over 2,000 casualties.
Q. Doctor, who was the chief surgeon of the Dachau Concentration Camp on or about March 27, 1945? A. Sturmbannführer HINTERMEYER. Before him was Sturmbannführer WITTERLERER and in 1942 to 1943 was Sturmbannführer WALTER. In 1941 the first one was Sturmbannführer MUTTICH.
Q. Do you know Sturmbannführer HINTERMEYER very well? Y. Yes, I do, because I had to deal with him every day as chief of the pathological section.
Q. Sturmbannführer HINTERMEYER was the chief surgeon of the Dachau Concentration Camp Hospital, was he not? A. Yes.
Q. Do you know whether or not he had to make reports to Berlin to the Surgeon’s Office there? A. Twice, because we had to make complete reports of our work and that was sent into the higher headquarters.
Q. Doctor, I have here in my hands a copy of a letter written from Dachau on March 27, 1945, and I will ask you to tell me the person to whom that letter is addressed to? A. The SS upper command was in Oranienburg, which is near Berlin.
Q. Is that where the Chief Surgeon’s office of the German Army is? A. From the Chief Surgeon of the German SS.
Q. I now call your attention to a paragraph listed as Nos. 1,2, and 3, and I will ask you to read that paragraph and tell it to the interpreter so that the interpreter can read it into the record? A. Paragraph.1: Approximate strength of the camp including the working camp and outside Kommando 53,117. This is correct. Paragraph No. 2: The amount of dead 10,435. This is not correct, because it does not include cases that have been killed due to hanging, shootings or gassing. This only natural death. In this case, Jews out of the Concentration Camp at Dachau and the SS work camps, the names are Kaufering, Muhledorf, and Riederleh – 5,495.
Q. Doctor, Paragraph 2 briefly states that the number of deaths during the period of 1 January to 27 March 1945 was 10,435, is that correct? A. Yes, a natural deaths.
Q. Then besides the number of natural deaths set out in paragraph 1 there were other deaths in the Dachau Concentration Camp? A. Very many.
Q. Can you give us an estimate as to the number of deaths of prisoners who had died, or been killed, executed at the Dachau Camp from January 1, 1945 up to April 29, 1945? A. Through natural death I have a statistic figure in my records in the hospital because now I am in charge of the hospital, but whoever has been executed, I have no idea. The only way I have seen about 200 or 300 dead bodies is due to one of my official trips into the crematorium.
Q. Can you bring us tomorrow morning the records that you have showing the number of deaths during the last few months? A. I gave all my records to an American Colonel, [???] is also Chief of the Sanitation, but I still have copies of my records.
Q. Do you mean Colonel HATHAWAY of the 15th Corps? A. He introduced himself – I don’t remember.
Q. Doctor, did you read paragraph 3? A. Treated patients in the hospital including the work camps – 30,805.
Q. I now call your attention to the last page of this letter, dated March 27, 1945, purportedly written by an SS Sturmbannführer. Do you know who the SS Sturmbannführer. Do you know who the SS Sturmbannfuhrer must have been who read that letter? A. Dr. HINTERMEYER, who is the Camp Surgeon and also Sturmbannführer.
Q. Doctor, if I tell you that the records kept here in the camp, of the number of deaths, show for the month of February 1945, 4,013, what would you say? A. That is correct.
A. For the month of March – 3,734? A. I can also give you a correct statistic since the year 1941 up to April 29, 1945.
Q. Would you say that these figures were approximately correct? A. As natural deaths go, yes.
Q. Then tomorrow you will bring us what you have as to the number of deaths. A. Yes. I want to add that quite a few thousand came which aren’t included in these figures.
Q. As a matter of fact, there were approximately 1,214 in that transport that are not included in these figures? A. Yes.
Q. And these 1,214 that came that you mention, they were dead, weren’t they, when they arrived here? A. Yes.
Q. Do you know where they came from? A. They came from Buchenwald and from Flossenberg and from Nurnberg. Before your troops arrived there was an attempt to evacuate from this camp, they put thousands of bodies into those railroad cars and took them out of the camp, and they are standing somewhere.
Q. Doctor, you don’t know where the bodies came from that were put on the railroad cars, do you? A. I don’t know.
Q. As a mater of fact, the bodies that are on those cars were going away from Dachau, they were coming to Dachau and died enroute to this camp? As to whether these bodies were coming to or going out of Dachau, I don’t know.
Q. Doctor, you said that the figures that I gave you awhile ago as to the number of deaths was only the number that died from natural deaths? A. No. You have to use that differently. They died from hunger, typhus and fleck-fever.
Q. In other words when you used natural death, you mean prisoners who died from typhus, dysentery or some disease other than execution? A. That is correct.
Q. How many blocks were set up in the compound as a hospital? A. 9 blocks. 9 blocks which means 8 for men and one in the back for women. The sick are lying in 8 or 9 blocks and two others are used for an ambulance office and for operating purposes.
Q. There is total then of 11 blocks used as a hospital? A. That is correct.
Q. The 9 blocks that are used as a hospital are they full of patients at this time. A. They are so full that the patients are lying on the floor. The patients are lying most of the time on one bed. At the same time, we have 4,000 patients which we can’t take into our hospital which still remain in the blocks. I can bring tomorrow morning a complete statistic of all the operations in the hospital, and also in the rest of the blocks in the camp.
Q. Since the American Army came, steps have been taken to organize a field hospital here in order to take care of these patients, is that correct? A. Yes.
[end of page 6/page 73 of file]
Q. Doctor, what was the average number of patients that were in one of these blocks? A. It was different. In the surgical less, in the internal more, and most of them in the epidemic.
Q. Alright, about how many patients were in the epidemic block? About 500 in the epidemic block.
Q. About how many were in the internal disease block? A. About 400 to 500.
Q. Now, do I understand that there were others that were sick that were in the blocks which were not designated as the hospital? A. Yes.
Q. About how many prisoners were in those blocks where there were people who were sick of typhus or dysentery and any other disease? A. Approximately a thousand people.
Q. About how many of that 1,000 were suffering from some contagious disease? A. All of them. Some were dysentery and fleck-fever.
Q. How many blocks did you have besides the hospital blocks where there many prisoners who had dysentery and fleck fever and typhus? A. In numbers of these afflicted – 2,300.
Q. Did the Germans do all they possibly could have done for these people who were suffering from typhus, dysentery, and fever, according to the standard methods of medicine? A. They have done nothing at all except us prisoners by taking care of them, and also smuggling any medicine which was given to us be friends on the outside.
Q. What comment have you to make to us as to the treatment and care and the medicine that was given by the Germans to take care of these patients? A. Since the year 1944 there have come into this camp prisoner doctors, and then we have held as much as possible to give relief to our friends and prisoners.
Q. I know that, Doctor, but I don’t want to know what you did, I want to know what the Germans did or failed to do? A. At the beginning of the first few years, it was just bad. Since the year 1943, when they needed their workers due to the work shortage they tried their best to get the sick people well in a hurry. At that time they let those sick men rest, so that they would get well, but they didn’t give them much medicine. Before that they take incurables and threw them out or use them for experimentation.
Q. Were the Germans trying to get all of the patients who had dysentery and typhus and fleck-fever during the last three months? A. The only thing they have done is to disinfect the blocks and also to disinfect the wearing apparel.
Q. Were the Germans doing what you would have done if you would have been in charge of this hospital? A. No
Q. That is what I am trying to find out, what did they fail to do? A. After they disinfected and cleaned up everything, they took the people from these different transports and put them right back in there again.
Q, Did they isolate or separate the patients who had dysentery and typhus from the other prisoners? A. No,
Q. Did they disinfect them completely? A. No.
Q. Did they give any kind of inoculation or preventive serum to the prisoners who were well in order to prevent the spread of typhus? A. They’ve given injections, but I have proved that this serum was not good because the serum was only good up to the year 1943, and it was worthless, so that the people who did receive the injections also became sick. In other words, the serum that was given to the prisoners was outmoded and out of date, and useless and, as a matter of fact, if anything, it spread the disease, is that correct? A. No, but the serum was just old and ineffective.
Q. What was the name of the serum? A. It was Behring typhus serum.
Q. Is that a recognized anti-typhus serum? A. This is a good serum, unless it is too old.
Q. And this serum was too old, is that correct? A. Yes. It was too old. It had been, for two years, kept for army use, and then rejected as too old and was given to the prisoners.
Q. Would you have given that same serum to a patient? A. Never.
Q. Do you believe that the Germans were criminally negligent in giving that serum? A. I would not quite call it criminal negligence, because it was injected for the psychological effect. They wanted to say, “We gave you something”, though they knew it would be no good.
Q. In other words the serum was no good, but they gave it for psychological effect? A. Yes.
Q. And some of the prisoners who took this serum contracted the disease? A. Yes, many and many died.
Q. Doctor, did you ever witness operations for appendicitis upon prisoners who were well and did not need an operation? A. Yes.
Q. When was that? A. That was in fall 1943. At that time, we had many young SS Doctors without surgical experience in the hospital to get experience. These people took young people from the various wards, and diagnosed them wrongly as sick with appendicitis, goiter inflammation of the urinal canal and operated upon them.
Q. Did these young SS doctors operate on prisoners who did not need such operations? A. That is so.
Q. Did they operate just for the purpose of getting experience at the expense of these prisoners? A. I would even call it vivisection.
Q. Would you say that those SS Doctors and the SS authorities who were responsible for that, were committing criminal wrong. A. Yes, they even used these operations to do additionally sterilization, especially when they had hernia or appendicitis.
Q. Do you have to sterilize a patient who is suffering from hernia? A. No.
Q. Has it even been done, to your knowledge, as a Doctor, in Europe, or in any part of the earth? A. If you would have done it, they would have hanged them.
Q. Were you ever requested to perform some of these operations? A. I was forced to assist as a teacher of those young SS Doctors, and had to instruct them how to go about their work.
Q. You tried to teach those young Doctors to perform those operations properly, didn’t you? A. Yes, I did, and tried to avoid unnecessary suffering of patients, and I have save many lives in that connection.
Q. Did you advise these young Doctors that the operations that they were performing were illegal and contrary to medical practice? A. Yes. I told them so, and they threatened to operate on me, upon my own stomach and my own gall-bladder.
Q. How many of the operations performed by these young SS doctors were successful? A. They were successful only when they had a healthy patient. If the patient was really sick they were unable to operate because their training was not good enough to do an operation especially owing to aseptical conditions.
Q. How many died under such conditions? A. At least 25 percent of the patients dided.
Q. Were injection tests and different types of disease given by the SS Doctors? A. Yes.
Q. What was the result? A. That happened in the part which is called 13, where injection from phlegemone patients was injected to others and these injections were either into the muscles or into the veins. The chief of this procedure was Sturmbannführer SCHUTZ.
Q. How many died as a result of these injections? A. 90 percent.
Q. Approximately how many prisoners were injected? A. Approximately 800.
Q. And you were in the hospital when these injections were made, and you knew that at least 90 percent of them died? A. Yes, I was at that time already in charge of the pathological section.
Q. And the other 10 percent that lived, did they become well, or were they invalids? A. 10 percent remained cripples, amputated people and were sent away on the so-called invalid transports.
Q. That 10 percent would they be invalids the rest of their lives, if they lived? A. They would remain cripples.
Q. Would it be fair to say then that out of the 800 that were injected that there was, you might say, a 100 percent death rate because 90 percent died and the other 10 percent were crippled for life? A. Yes.
Q. What was done with these invalids? A. They were sent out on the so-called invalid transports every week or every two weeks.
Q. Were they killed? A. And they were killed in gas-chambers or by the injection of Eivpan or Eunarkon [sp?]. Further more, two large transports of invalids were sent away containing athousand persons, one to Linz and one to Lublin.
Recess 17:30 hours 3 May 1945.
Testimony resumed at 0900 4 1945.
Q. Do I understand, Doctor, that these invalids were injected with a substance in order to kill them? A. Yes.
Q. Doctor, do you know of any other experimental injections or experimental operations by the young SS Doctors? A. It was with the nervous people on nerve cases. All nervous cases from time to time would receive injections and be sent to the crematorium. This happened for the last two or three years, in Department 73.
Q. Doctor, as I understand, you were the chief of the laboratory, and did a great deal of pathological laboratory work? A. I have worked with the dead bodies, and due to this kind of work, I could diagnose these experiments.
Q. You performed autopsies and posted these dead bodies, did you not? A. Yes, I did, on 7,000 bodies.
Q. You’ve been performing these autopsies approximately for three years, have you not? A. Yes.
Q. How many autopsies have you made during that time, approximately? A. About 7,000.
Q. As a result of your autopsies, and examinations of these bodies, did you ascertain what caused the death of those 7,000 people? Did your examination reveal that most of the 7,000 bodies and posting [?], and your performing autopsies, that they died of hunger? A. Yes. The big majority died of hunger, and the rest died because of tuberculosis caused by hunger.
Q. Doctor, did you make pathological diagnoses in your civilian practice, before you came to this camp? A. Yes.
Q. For how many years? A. 20 years.
Q. As I understand, you diagnosed at least 7,000 bodies at this camp? A. Yes.
Q. From your study and experience in the pathological field, and from your research and diagnosis of the 7,000 bodies, do you feel that you are what we term an expert in the pathological field? A. Yes. I feel that I have more knowledge now, after these thousands of bodies, as in the average 15 or 20 years of medical practice in the pathological field, a pathologist would examine a much smaller number than I examined.
Q. Doctor, from your long years of experience, and from your knowledge obtained when you diagnosed these bodies, is it your professional opinion as a pathologist that the big majority of the bodies that you examined, died from hunger? A. Yes.
Q. How many experimental stations, Doctor, were there at the hospital, at the Dachau Concentration Camp? A. There was a malaria experimental station. There was a plegmone experimental station. There was a cold-water experimental station. There was an air-pressure experimental station (that was for the Luftwaffe). Then there was a salt-water experimental station.
Q. Were these experimental stations numbered? A. No. They only had block numbers.
Q. Do you know what experimental station was located in block five? A. This was the air-pressure experimental station and cold-water experimental station.
Q. Doctor can you briefly describe the cold-water experiment? A. A man would be put into a big basin, supported by rubber life preservers to float on ice-cold water. A thermometer would be inserted into his rectum to check the temperature of the body. They would check on the drop of the body temperature. On every drop of one degree, they would drain a vein on his neck. They also would take a sample of his urine. These two items would be examined under microscopes in the laboratory. A very strong body could withstand this treatment for 48 hours, until the body temperature would drop down to 25 and in some isolated cases down to 21 degrees.
Q. Upon whom did they perform these cold-water experiments? A. Upon prisoners.
Q. How many cold-water experiments would you say were made at the Dachau Concentration Camp during the time that you have been here? A. I judge about 100 to 120 men went under these experiments.
Q. Did the prisoners who were subjected to the cold-water experiments live? A. Most of them died. There are a few who remained alive, and I kept a record of those men who became invalid due to this experiment.
Q. Of the 120 that were subject to this experiment, how many do you believe died? A. I believe that, during the experiment about 2/3 of them died.
Q. About 2/3 died during the actual experiment itself, while they were in this cold-water? A. Yes.
Q. The rest of them after the experiment, or became invalids, is that correct? A. No. Some went out in the invalid transports, and a few are still remaining at the post, today.
Q. About how many are living in the camp today, who went through this cold-water experiment? A. I personally know of one man.
Q. What is his name, and where can we locate him? A. [Illegible, LIEAR??], Block 25, Rm. 2.
Q. Do you believe we can get him so that he could testify? A. Yes. But he is a little too affected in his mind, due to these Germans.
Q. Insane? A. Every once in a while he is okay, and then again he is off his mind.
Q. What is your diagnosis of the state of Insanity? A. I have not diagnosed this case. I happened to know that he one of the survivors who went through treatment.
Q. And is he insane? A. Yes.
Q. Is FRANK LIKAR the only person that you have of that, who survived this treatment in this camp? A. Yes
Q. As far as you know, all the people who sent through experiments, the big majority of them died in the water, another portion died after the experiment, and the rest became invalids and at least one became insane, is that correct? A. Yes.
Q. Doctor, how about the sanitary condition of the blocks within the compound of the Dachau Concentration Camp? A. In the hospital, the conditions are much cleaner than in the rest of the blocks.
Q. What was the sanitary condition of the blocks which were not part of the hospital? A. In the majority, it was just plain filthy. Only the German blocks were a little bit cleaner.
Q. Can you describe one of these filthy blocks. Why do you say they were filthy? Tell us as a doctor, as a medical officer. A. The blocks were installed for 200 people and some were installed for 3000 to 4000 people. Amongst these on [sic] were men who were too weak to wash themselves or use the toilet facilities. Then there also those kind of men who had no understanding of hygienic conditions. The men, after working out in the field in rain and in mud, and who weren’t able to secure a change of clothing, and who were not able to wash and clean themselves had to leave these quarters, and go back to work in the same condition the following day. Then there was not enough heat, which prevented the men to air their rooms due to the cold weather.
Q. How many beds were there in these blocks that sometimes contained three to four thousand prisoners? A. No more than six to eight hundered beds.
Q. What was the condition of the latrines in one of these blocks? A. There were only two toilets with six seats in each for one block.
Q. In other words there were 12 toilets for one block? A. There were 12 toilets for one block.
Q. What about showers or bath facilities in one of these blocks. A. At the beginning when there were very few prisoners. They were taken for a bath once a week. For the last two years, the prisoners were taken for a bath once a month, and that only a shower bath.
Q. Were the latrines kept clean? A. Whenever possible the prisoners would try to keep it clean, but it was impossible to do so in these overcrowded blocks. Sometimes there was no running water for a while day.
Q. Was there ever any heat in these blocks during the winter? A. No.
Q. How many blankets were given to each man? A. Two blankets.
Q. Describe these blankets? A. They were cotton blankets one meter wide, by one meter, 80 long.
Q. Did each have a mattress. A. No mattress, only straw bags.
Q. Was that the only bedding in the average bed, that is, the straw bag and the two cotton blankets? A. Yes, except when they had a straw pillow. On the two German blocks the beds would have white, linen sheets.
Q. Were the prisoners compelled to sleep with their clothes on in order to keep warm during the winter? A. Yes.
Q. Do you believe that the two cotton blankets and the straw bag were sufficient to keep a normal person warm during the cold of a winter night in Germany? A. No
Q. Where would the prisoners sleep who could not get a bed? A. They would sleep two and three in one bed and on the floor.
Q. Did the surgeon at Dachau Concentration Camp and other SS Officials know of these conditions? A. Yes
Q. Did the camp surgeon or medical department make an inspection of these quarters? A. Very seldom.
Q. How did the surgeon of the camp and the SS officials know of these conditions? A. The Chief Surgeon would come and inspect the blocks very seldom, however, the other SS leaders and also SS block leaders came every day.
Q. Do you know of any instances where prisoners have died in these blocks which contained three to four thousand prisoners? A. Every day they would die.
Q. What was the cause of these deaths? A. Weakness, hunger, dysentery, and, of late, fleck-fever.
Q. Doctor, the sanitary conditions that you have described was that the average condition that prevailed in other blocks also? A. Yes.
Q. Doctor, referring to the cold-water experiments again – I forgot to ask you what the purpose of the cold-water experiment was? A. I do not know.
Q. Let us pass now to the salt-water experiment. Describe this experiment briefly. A. This happened in Block 11, in the fall of 1944. They experimented on 60 to 80 men who received nothing else but salt-water for five to six days [food?]. They would take samples of their urine, of their blood, saliva and defecation.
Q. Were these experiments also performed upon prisoners? A. Only on prisoners.
Q. Did the prisoners who went through this experiment live or not? A. Most of them lived.
Q. About how many died? A. During the experiment they lived. Subsequently, however, complications set in and some of them died.
Q. Those that did not die were they restored to a normal healthy condition? A. I don’t know.
Q. Briefly describe the air-pressure experiment? A. I only know about this experiment because I received the dead bodies. These experiments were conducted by SS men upon the prisoners. No one else was allowed to witness these experiments.
Q. About how many bodies did you examine that were submitted to the air-pressure experiments? A. I believe about 40.
Q. Do you know whether any prisoner survived the air-pressure experiments? A. I have no idea, but I believe so.
Q. Doctor, please describe what the air pressure experiment is? A. A prisoner was place in a tank and they would increase the air-pressure of the tank up to a certain degree, and then they would open the valves abruptly. They made some experiments, I have no idea what these were. The enclosure where the prisoners were put in was an oval shaped metal tank big enough to hold six men. This [was] mounted on a truck.
Q. What was the purpose of these experiments? A. To determine questions and findings for the Luftwaffe.
Q. What was the phlegmone experiment? A. They were always pick a group of healthy prisoners, usually 40 men at a time. They would give injections of puss from phleg-
[end of page 14/ page 81 of file]
-mone afflicted prisoners into the muscles of 20 of the prisoners and the same injections into the blood stream of 20 other prisoners.
Q. What was the result of the phlegmone experiment? A. All these prisoners contracted blood-poisoning (phlegmone).
Q. Did they die? A. 90 percent of these prisoners died.
Q. What became of the other 10 percent? A. They would become cripples due to amputation of either the arm or leg and shipped down these invalid transports. Some have suffered with it for five to six months.
Q. Do you know whether these invalids were actually taken away from this camp or whether they were put to death and burned in the crematorium? A. All these invalid transports would up in the crematorium.
Q. About how many prisoners were subjected to the phlegmone experiment? A. I believe that in these last two years between 600-800 prisoners.
Q. Describe the malaria experiment? A. I can’t make a statement about malaria cases, because it was, – they would conduct them in a different block, and pertained to Dr SCHILLING’s department. Dr. SCHILLING was a civilian who worked here at the Camp.
Q. What was the result of the malaria experiments? A. I don’t know, but I know that many of them died.
Q. Do you know approximately how many prisoners were subjected to this malaria experiment? A. I don’t know.
Q. Can you tell us approximately when it was that these experiments that you have testified to were made? A. The malaria experiments were conducted from 1942 to date.
Q. Can you tell us approximately when those phlegmone experiments were conducted? A. Phlegmone experiments were conducted from 1942 to 1943.
Q. Cold Water experiments? A. 1942-43.
Q. Air-pressure experiments? A.1942.
Q. Salt-water experiments? A. In the fall of 1944.
Q. Who was the Chief Surgeon in 1944, when the salt-water experiments were made? A. Dr HINTERMEYER.
Q. Who was the Chief Surgeon of the SS at the Dachau Concentration Camp when the experiments were made in 1942 and 1943? A. Dr. WALTER, but the experiments were made under the supervision of Sturmbannführer SCHUTZ and Obersturmführer BABOR.
A. Do you know any of the other SS Medical Officers, who had anything to do with the experiments about which you have testified? A. The air-pressure and the cold-water experiments were conducted by SIGMUND RASCHER. He was the Luftwaffe Chief Surgeon.
Q. Anyone else? A. I don’t know of anyone else from the SS Corps.
Q. Who was the Chief Surgeon in charge of the hospital at the time that the Americans took this camp over? A. Dr HINTERMEYER, Sturmbannführer.
Q. Who was the Commanding Officer of the Dachau Concentration Camp at the time the Americans took it over. A. Hauptsturmführer RUPPERT.
Q. Who was the Commanding Officer before RUPPERT? A. Hauptsturmführer R?TTWITZ.
Q. Do you know the first names of SCHUTZ, BABOR, Dr HINTERMEYER, RUPPERT, and R?TTWITZ? A. No.
Q. The full name of Dr. RASCHER is Dr. SIGMUND RASCHER, is that correct? A. That is correct.
Q. How about the Medical SS Officers, did you see them frequently or not? A. Everyday.
Q. Dr. BLAHA, I show you an exhibit, which I will ask the reporter to mark as Exhibit “B-1”, and will ask if you can identify that exhibit and tell us what that instrument represents (Ex. “B-1” marked in evidence)? A. This is a statistical list of sick patients as of the 26th of April 1945.
Q. Was this record, Exhibit “B-1” compiled by you from your records? A. I had this list compiled by my office from my records.
Q. Are the figures given in Exhibit “B-1” correct? A. Yes.
Q. I noticed that you listed the nationality and the number of patients according to such nationality and that the total that were sick at the hospital on 26 April 1945 is 3,329 men and 18 women, is that correct? A. That is correct.
Q. I show you an instrument which I will ask the reporter to mark Exhibit “B-2”, and will ask you if you can identify it and tell us what it is? (Ex. “B-2” marked in evidence). A. It is a chart of the mortality rate on fleck fever from January to April 1945.
Q. Was Exhibit “B-2” made by you or under your supervision? A. Yes.
Q. Is it correct? A. It is certainly correct.
Q. Did you keep charts of the death rate in typhus and malaria cases? A. Only typhus, Sir.
Q. Can you bring us a chart of the mortality rate in the typhus cases? A. No, it has been burned.
Q. In Exhibit “B-2” the only chart that is available at this time? A. This is the only chart left. The others have been burnt.
Q. Doctor, as I understand, you have been acting as the Chief Medical Officer of the Dachau Hospital since the SS troops here were taken prisoners? A. That is correct.
Q. And prior to that time, you were the head Medical Doctor within the compound? A, No, only in the field of pathology. In the pathological section. I have recently been nominated Chief Doctor by the International Committee.
Q. I show you an instrument which we will ask the reporter to mark Exhibit “B-3” and I will ask you if you can identify that instrument and tell us what it represents? A. This is the record of all cases actually treated in the hospital on the date of May 3, 1945 arranged according to their diseases.
Q. From what source did you obtain the figures which are set out in Exhibit “B-3”? A. These figures come from the records as we keep them in the recording office of the hospital.
Q. Are these records kept by you or under your supervision? A. These records are kept by prisoners actually under my supervision.
Q. Were the figures shown on Exhibit “B-3” taken from the records which are kept under your supervision? A. Yes.
Q. Are the figures given in Ex. “B-3” correct? A. They are correct.
Q. According to Exhibit “B-3” there are many prisoners who are suffering from the diseases which are enumerated in that exhibit, is that correct? A. That is correct.
Q. I note that in Ex. “B-3”, the following is found “Diarrhea-491”, what does that mean? A. This means that we have 491 cases of dysentery.
Q. I note in Item No. 2, the following – “Phlegmone 160”, does that mean that you have 160 cases of phlegmone, as of May 2, 1945? A. Yes. That means exactly that.
Q. I notice on the fifth line from the bottom of Ex. “B-3”, the following – “Pulmonia Open 769”? A. That means that we are treating 769 patients for tuberculosis.
Q. I note the sixth line from the bottom of the first column shows the following – “Recovering 668”, what does that mean? A. That means that we have 668 who are in the process of convalescing from spot-fever.
Q. They are still suffering from the ills of typhus? A. Yes.
Q. The next item I show you is “Under Observation Spot-Fever Typhus – 66”, is that correct? A. That is correct.
Q. The next item shows “Spot-fever – 225 cases”, is that correct? A. Yes, that is correct.
Q. Then you have approximately 1,000 cases of typhus as of May 3, 1945? A. Yes.
Q. Are there other cases of typhus other than the numbers shown on Exhibit “B-3”? A. Possibly, we have more cases of typhus outside of the hospital in the camp barracks, but, as far as I could diagnose, those figures on my record cover all cases of typhus.
Q. Exhibit “B-3” – this covers all cases of typhus and other diseases that are being treated at the hospital, is that correct? A. That is correct.
Q. There are other cases of typhus and other diseases in the compound other than the hospital, are there not? A. Many cases.
Q. And you did not know the number of typhus, dysentery, and other disease that existed in the compound other than in the hospital? A. I can say that there are 2,000 more sick people in the camp which are not in the hospital, especially sufferers from typhus, dysentery, and tuberculosis.
Q. And that figure may run up as high as 5,000? A. Yes, that is possible. 2,000 would definitely need hospital treatment, and 3,000 more are sick, but could be cured outside of the hospital.
Q. That is the reason that the American Army is setting up this hospital here at this time, is it not? A. That is correct.
Q. Doctor, did you keep a record of the number of people who died from January 1945 through April 1945 in the concentration camp? A. Yes, I have done that.
Q. How many prisoners died in the Dachau Concentration Camp during the month of January 1945? A. 2,888.
Q. How many died in March? A. 3,668.
Q. How many died in April? A. 2,626.
Q. That makes a total of 13,159 prisoners who died from January 1, 1945, up to the date that the Americans took this camp on April 29th, 1945? A. This figure is correct. It sill does not include those people who died on account of executions.
Q. Do you know approximately how many were executed from January to April 1945 at the Dachau Concentration Camp? A. I have no idea of that figure.
Q. Do the figures that you have just quoted include Aryan and Jews? A. Yes.
Q. Doctor, you mentioned awhile ago the crematorium. What is that, and where is that located? A. The crematorium of this camp is behind the SS barracks. There are actually two crematoriums, the old one and the new one. When one was insufficient the larger and new one was built. The crematorium was used to burn all corpses which were in Dachau Concentration Camp until March 1945. Since March 1945 most corpses were buried because the crematorium was insufficient to cope with the number.
Q. Has the crematorium been used continuously by the SS at the Dachau Concentration Camp, since you have been here, for the burning of dead bodies of prisoners? A. Yes. It has been used continuously.
Q. Did you ever smell the smoke of human flesh? A. Yes, we smelled it all over the camp.
Q. Nearly every day and night? A. Every day and night. Only during the last month, when there was a shortage of coal and coke, the smell was less frequently noticeable.
Q. I show you an instrument which has been marked Exhibit “K”, and ask you if you can recognize what that represents? A. These are the ovens of the crematorium.
Q. Was there any other kind of execution chamber in the Dachau Concentration Camp? A. All executions took place in the crematorium and in its yard, except, for the shooting of the Russian prisoners of war, which took place near the rifle ranges of the SS barracks in the year of 1942.
Q. Did you ever hear of a gas-chamber? A. Yes, I have been in that gas-chamber which is in the crematorium building.
Q. I hand you Exhibit “C” and ask you if you can tell us what that represents? A. This is a gas-chamber in the new crematorium.
Q. I notice a word on that Exhibit. Will you please tell us what “Brausebad” means? A. This “Brausebad” is the German word for “Shower-Bath”
Q. You spoke of Russian prisoners of war being executed. How many Russian prisoners of war were executed by the SS? A. I cannot give a very exact figure, but I know that at one time, there were six to eight thousand Russian prisoners in the camp. All those prisoners were killed by machine guns, and I heard the shooting myself.
Q. When were these prisoners of war killed? A. In spring and summer of 1942.
Q. Who was the SS Commander at the time that these Russian prisoners were executed? A. I do not know the name of the Camp Commander at the time, but I knew the leader of the prison camp, Obersturmführer EIKE. Now I recall the name of the Camp Commander. It was PIORKOWSKI.
Q. WAs PIORKOWSKI of German or of Polish nationality? A. He was of German nationality.
Q. Did PIORKOWSKI have a nick-name among the prisoners? A. Yes.
Q. What was the nick-name? A. “Schiessvogel”.
Q. Interpret the word “Scheissvogel”? A. “Scheissvogel” means “Shitbird” in English.
Q. What was the rank of PIORKOWSKI? A. It was Sturmbannführer, then Obersturmbannführer.
Q. Can you describe PIORKOWSKI? A. He is about 1.75 in height, very well built, had light brown hair, weighed about 75 to 80 kilos.
Q. Did he wear the uniform of a Sturmbannführer and then later of Obersturmbannführer? A. Yes. He wore the uniform with the addition of one extra star after his promotion.
Q. A Sturmbannführer is equivalent to a Major in the American Army? A. That is correct.
Q. And an Obersturmbannführer in a Lieutenant Colonel, is that right? A. That is correct.
Q. After PIORKOWSKI, who were the SS Commanders who followed him? A. His successor was Sturmbannführer WEISS, from the end of 1942 to 1943.
Q. What was WEISS’ first name, if you know? A. I don’t know.
Q. Can you describe WEISS to us? A. He was about 1.80 m tall and had a small build. He had dark brown hair. He had a dark complexion. He wore a small ‘HITLER’ moustache.
Q. About how old was he? A. Around 40 to 45 years of age.
Q. Do you know who was the SS Officer who followed WEISS in the command of the Camp? A. I don’t know because the successor never came into the camp.
Q. When the SS Commanders did not come into the camp, what Officers did you come in contact with? A. Only with the Schutzhaftlagerführer or his assistant.
Q. Who was the Schutzhaftlagerführer? A. When I came into this camp, the name was Obersturmführer ZILL.
Q. As I understand ZILL was the Commanding Officer under the Commanding Officer PIORKOWSKI? A. That is correct.
Q. The Schutzhaftlagerführer were officers under the direct command of the Camp Commander, the Lager Kommandant? A. Yes.
Q. Did you know a man by the name of RETTWITZ? A. Yes.
Q. Who was he? A. He also was a Schutzhaftlagerführer.
Q. Do you know an officer by the name of CAMPE? A. Yes.
Q. Who was he? A. He was also a Schutzhaftlagerführer.
Q. Do you know a man by the name of RUPPERT? A. Very well.
Q. He was an Obersturmführer or 1st Lieutenant, was he not? A. Yes.
Q. Was he a Schutzhaftlagerführer? A. Yes.
Q. Under whom? A. I don’t know.
Q. Did you know a man by the name SCHOBER? A. No.
Q. Doctor, please describe Obersturmführer RUPPERT? A. He was about 1.80 m in height, very well fed. He had black hair, round face, no moustache.
Q. About how old was he? A. About 35 to 40.
Q. Was he pretty husky, or was he thin? A. He was very huskily built.
Q. About how much did he weigh? A. A little over 80 kilos.
Q. Do you believe you could describe CAMPE, RETTWITZ, and ZILL? A. ZILL was a small man, slightly bent, very skinny, with a sharp pointed chin. He has a very dark complexion. He had brown hair, no beard. RETTWITZ is past his fifties, slightly grey, of slight build, about 1.70m in height. He weighed about 65 to 70 kilos. I remember CAMPE only in that he had a strong build, and I haven’t seen much of him.
Q. Doctor, do you know where we can obtain a list of the SS officers and SS enlisted men who operated Dachau Camp during the last six months? We would like to obtain the names of all the SS officers and men who were responsible for the conditions of this camp. A. We can possibly find out from the personnel in the office of this camp who always had been in touch with these men. This office you will find inside the prisoner compound. They possibly may not have exact lists, on hand, but they will give you all the information.
Q. Doctor, were there some dogs that were used by the SS guards at the Dachau Concentration Camp? A. Yes.
Q. Doctor, were there some dogs that were used by the SS guards at the Dachau Concentration Camp? A. Yes.
Q. I show you Exhibit “D”, and ask you what that is? A. This is the so-called dog kennel. It is situated next to the crematorium near the SS barracks.
Q. Did you ever see the kennels which are shown in Exhibit “D”? A. Yes.
Q. What kind of dogs were they? A. I remember German Shepherds, Great Danes, Boxers.
Q. Were they large dogs or small dogs? A. All big dogs.
Q. What were those dogs used for, if you know? A. Originally they were supposed to be guard dogs to hunt escaped prisoners. Of course they were also used to mistreat prisoners and many prisoners have been torn to pieces by these dogs.
Q. Did you ever see the dogs tear the prisoners to pieces? A. I have not actually seen how the dog tore a man to pieces, but I have treated patients who showed dog bites.
Q. Can you describe some of the patients that you treated who had dog bites? Describe the bites, the number, and the nature of the wound, if any? A. I had to treat wounds mostly on feet and legs of prisoners. They were wide open, bleeding sores. The wounds were as long as 15 cm.
Q. Did you see prisoners who had dog bites around the neck and on the chest? A. Not the chest and neck, but on the higher part of the back.
Q. Did you ever hear from other prisoners as to occasions when the SS guards [pulled men???] out, so that the dogs could go at him? A. I have heard of such cases.
Q. What did you hear? A. I remember having heard in 1943 that prisoners were ordered to lie flat on the ground. Then the dog was given the order, “Bring this man!” The dog was unable to carry the body of the heavy man, so he started to bite him to pieces. There were also cases when they took a prisoner’s camp and threw it at a distance, “Now”, they told the prisoner, “Go and get your cap.” Then the prisoner moved to get his cap, the dogs started running after him, jumping on him and tearing him to bits.
Q. Did many of the prisoners at Dachau Concentration Camp go out of their minds? A. Many.
Q. Can you give us an estimate during the time that you have been here as to how many prisoners have gone insane, approximately? A. I would guess more than a thousand, and many more were insane enough to run into the charged electric wire and be killed.
Q. What caused the insanity of these prisoners? A. The tortures. I would mention exhaustion, fear, and nervous breakdown.
Q. What became of the prisoners who went insane at the Dachau Camp? A. They were either sent away from Dachau on the so-called invalid transports or were brought to the Nervous Disease station at the hospital and treated with injection.
A. Doctor, the so-called transport, was that just a fictitious name and whereas in fact these men were taken over to the crematorium and burned? A. That was only a fictitious name. Those people were taken at night to the crematorium and gassed in the gas chamber. In the years before the gas chamber existed, they were taken to the camps dungeon and there given injections.
Q. What do you know about the camp dungeon? A. The dungeon of Camp Dachau consists of different parts. There are ordinary cells, also cells with very small windows. Other kinds of cells where prisoners could lie down, but had to stand up. In the ordinary cells prominent prisoners were kept, for instance, Generals, foreigners of repute, and other well-known people. They were well treated, had permission to walk around the yard, and even to for walks into the gardens. The small cells were used for prisoners undergoing investigations by the Camp Political Department or by the Camp Officers. The standing cells were used for for torture purposes to make people talk or inflict punishment. In these cells, people had sometimes to stand for two or three days at a time.
Q. What kind of torture was administered? A. Prisoners were beaten and left without food, often even without drink.
Q. For what length of time were they kept without food? A. Two or three days.
Q. Would they get any water during this time? A. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
Q. How much water would they get? A. That I don’t know.
Q. Did you ever treat any prisoners who had been in the torture chamber? A. Yes. I have seen dead bodies that came out of the torture chamber.
Q. How many did you see that were dead in the torture chamber. A. Sometimes five or six per week.
Q. Were there others who died in the torture chamber about which heard other than the ones which you saw. A. Yes. There must have been more.
Q. You have been inside the torture chamber yourself. A. Yes.
Q. Was there an officer or some guards near the torture chamber and the dungeon? A. There were always SS men and non-commissioned officers and officers visiting.
Q. Doctor, one general question: Did any other soldiers, other than SS personnel ever command and operate in this camp? A. I have only seen SS.
Q. As far as you know, the SS are the only ones that have ever operated this camp? A. Since January 1945, some ordinary German army personnel was used in Camp Dachau, but these people also wore SS uniforms.
Q. Doctor, did you tell us how many ovens there were at the crematorium? A. I think there are six ovens, four in the new one, and two in the old crematorium.
Q. How many bodies could be placed int he furnaces? A. Six in the new one and five in the old. Seven to nine could be burned in one chamber of the new, if they pressed them in.
Q. How many would it take to finish completely the burning of, say, six or seven bodies in one of the ovens? A. An hour and a half in the new, and up to three hours in the old crematorium.
A. If it took that long to burn the bodies, what was done with these bodies of prisoners who had died, and who were waiting to be put in the furnaces? A. They were stored in a dead storeroom.
Q. Were these the large rooms adjoining the furnaces? A. Yes.
Q. I show you Exhibit “[S?]”, and ask you what that is? A. This is a picture of the dead storeroom in the new crematorium.
Q. Was any effort ever made to bury the prisoners who died at the Dachau prison camp? A. As far as I know, not before March 1945.
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Q. Then all the prisoners who died or were executed up to March 1945 were not buried? A. They were not buried, but cremated.
Q. How many prisoners were buried from March until the time that the Americans took this camp? A. It may have been three to four thousand. They were buried near here in the Dachau vicinity.
Q. Why did they start burying these bodies in March of this year, if you know? A. On account of the shortage of coal for the crematorium.
Q. Doctor, do you know, or you ever hear of any prisoners who were hanged here at the Dachau Concentration Camp? A. Yes, I have heard of and seen hangings many time.
Q. About how many hangings have you witnessed? A. I have seen, myself, at least twenty cases, I have seen them only occasionally, so there must have been many more, thousands of them.
Q. Did you hear from other prisoners about hangings? A. Yes, men who worked in the crematorium or who transported corpses have always told me about it.
Q. Did these hangings take place practically every week? A. Several times every week, sometimes every day.
Q. Where id you see the hangings? A. I have seen some in front of the hospital, some near the prisoners bath and several in the dungeon. In the last six months of hanging, it was done in the crematorium.
Q. Was there a scaffold there? A. Yes, and several were also hanged on trees, especially if there were several together.
Q. Can you describe one of these hangings? A. I observed only one hanging in detail, because I tried to avoid seeing them. The one I noticed took place in front of the hospital. The prisoner had hands and feet bound together and was placed standing on a stool. Then a noose was fastened around his neck, and the stool torn away from under his feet.
Q. How high was the stool upon which the prisoner who was being hanged stood? A. It was an ordinary stool of about 80 cm in height.
Q. About two and a half feet? A. Yes.
Q. About the height of the average chair. A. It was an ordinary chair.
Q. Was there any drop of the body when the chair was the suddenly pulled from under the prisoner? A. There was no drop. He was strangled to death.
Q. Where the other prisoners compelled to see the hanging? A. Yes. It took place at noon and the whole camp was assembled and compelled to witness the hanging.
Q. How long did it take for that prisoner to die when he was hanged or strangled to death in the fashion that you have described? A. Two minutes approximately.
Q. Can you describe how the rope was fastened around the prisoner’s neck and the nature of the knot? A. The noose was tightened with one knot at the back of prisoner’s neck. It was a simple knot. I have dissected several. In these cases, I noticed cerebral haemorrhage.
Q. How long did the person who was hanged remain there with rope around his neck, after the stool was dragged from under him? A. For two hours.
Q. Did anyone get near the body of the person who was hanged from the time the chair was dragged from under him, all during these two hours, in order to observe whether that person was actually dead? A. Nobody went near to observe whether the hanged man was dead or not. We believed he was dead, because he stopped showing any body movements.
Q. You could not tell whether that person died within two minutes, ten minutes, or a half hour after the stool was removed? A. No, we could not see that exactly.
Q. As a mater of fact a person hanged in the fashion that you have described would die more from strangulation and [than?] haemorrhage of the head, is that correct? A. That is correct. Officially, the report of death on such a prisoner read “Strangulation by hanging”. I have dictated that myself.
Q. Doctor, were there a great number of people of Jewish extraction who were processed through this Concentration Camp? A. Very many.
Q. What became of those Jewish prisoners who were brought to this camp? A. The Jews who came here were in camp for a very short time only. They either died here or were at once sent away to other camps, for some periods, we did not have any Jewish prisoners here at all. Only during the last six months did they remain for a longer time.
Q. Were a great many of these Jewish people killed? A. At least two or three times as many Jews were killed as Aryans.
Q. Doctor, do you know of any sterilizations cases that were performed here at Dachau? A. Yes. I mentioned already the cases of sterilization in connection with other operations.
CROSS EXAMINATION BY CAPTAIN CLYDE L. WALKER.
Q. In the Punishment Company, what manner did they make you work? A. We were beaten and kicked, and prisoners who refused to work were shot. We also had to run double time.
Q. In the Punishment Company, were you completely enclosed, so that you could not communicate or go into other blocks? A. That is correct.
Q. How then were you made to perform work? A. We ere led to work outside the camp in the morning and brought back to the inclosure in the evening by the SS guards.
Q. Doctor, in your estimation, did they use all of the medicine that they had to make sick people well? A. No. They would have needed much medicine than they already used, and they also had no interest in seeing that the people got cured. Visiting SS Doctors did not show any signs of interest in the physical progress of patients. All they looked for was cleanliness, discipline, and orderliness of the wards.
Q. During the so-called vivisection operations performed by the SS Doctors, did many of the people die from shock? Yes. They died from trauma, blood poisoning, asepsis and general weakness. Shock alone was enough to cause death.
Q. Will you state the dimensions of the hat [sic] box in the Bunker? A. 50 cm wide by 50 cm long and 2m high.
Q. Were the officers of this camp, those that were in charge of the camp, always SS? A. Always SS.
Q. When, usually, were the hangings performed? A. When there was a public hanging it was done at lunch time, otherwise in the morning or afternoon.
Q. Doctor, did you at any time have to extract teeth from dead persons? A. Yes, always.
Q. Why? A. The reason was that the SS wanted the gold in the teeth collected. Every day a prisoner, in the presence of an SS dentist had to examine all bodies for gold and silver teeth and had to perform the extraction. I remember that in the month of January 1945, we collected 12 pounds of gold in this fashion.
Q. Doctor, have you ever yourself been beaten by the SS? A. Many times, and severely so.
A. Doctor, I noticed that you have scars on your face, and your head. Were they received while you were at Dachau? A. No, I did not receive these scars in Dachau, but in the jail near Brunn. The Gestapo ran this jail. I have been beaten up with sticks and other instruments at least 30 times by the Gestapo.
Q. Doctor, will you describe one of the many beatings that you had here at Dachau? A. One day, I was beaten up in the building near the gate of the inner prison. On that day, Obersturmführer HOFFMAN accused me of having dirty clothes. He started by beating me in the face with his fists until I fell on the floor. At that time he started kicking me with his feet until I was unconscious and carried away.
Q. Did you know a person by the name KASIMIR VAVRAYKIAK [sp?]? A. Yes, I know that person.
Q. How did you happen to know this person? A. This man as the assistant of Dr. RASCHER, at the experimental station of the hospital.
Q. Was the person KASIMIR VAVAZYRIAK in charge of the Water Experiments? A. Yes. He had the order to take blood and urine of those who were kept in the water.
Q. How many Water Reservoirs at Dachau were there, where these experiments were conducted? A. Two.
Q. Dimensions? A. They were approximately 3 m wide, 3 m longs and 1 1/2 deep.
Q. At what temperature were these reservoirs kept? A. They were kept at approximately 33 or 34 degrees Fahrenheit.
Q. Why did they subject prisoners to this cold temperatures in these reservoirs? A. Mainly for sadistic reasons.
Q. Were these people who were subjected to this cold temperature killed by shock? A. Yes.
Q. How long were the prisoners held in this cold water? A. The time for which prisoners were kept in those cold water baths were different. Some died within ten hours, but I have witnessed a case where men have been in there for 48 hours.
Q. Were sick people or well people used in these experiments? A. Only absolutely healthy people were used for these experiments.
Q. Doctor, do you know of experiments of phlegmone similar to gangrene in which prisoners who were already infected with that disease had samples taken and injected into healthy people so as to produce the disease of phlegmone? A. Yes, I know of those cases that have been present when Dr BABOR and Dr. SCHUTZ performed these experiments. This was permitted with priests as patients.
Q. Do you know of your own knowledge, Doctor, whether or not these experiments were ordered personally by HIMMLER himself or some other unknown man from Munich who came from time to time? A. Yes. I know that. It was an unknown man from Munich who came each week to take the report of experiments already completed, and who, at that time, issued orders of new and further experiments to be done in the next succeeding week.
Q. What type of experiments did this person officially order? A. I have never seen his orders or listened to him when he gave them, but I know that all his orders were concerned phlegmone. At his orders different kinds of treatment were given to prisoners who were phlegmone patients, so as to determine which care would be most efficient.
Q. Doctor, I show you a piece of paper which is marked Exhibit “M” and will ask you if you can identify it? A. This is a map of Dachau Concentration Camp.
Q. Examine Exhibit “M” closely and state, to the best of your knowledge, as to its correctness. A. This plan is exactly correct as far as I can see.
Q. Will you, Doctor, note on this map the so-called inner compound and point it out to me? A. (Witness points and indicates the inner compound where there previously placed the letter “A” on Exhibit “M”).
Q. Doctor, will you point out the blocks on Exhibit “M” which were used as the hospital of the camp? A. (Witness points out the 11 blocks previously marked with “X’s” on Exhibit “M”).
Q. Doctor, will you point out on Exhibit “M” that building which is the crematorium? A. (Witness pointed out and indicated that building which has already previously been marked with the letter “E” on Exhibit “M”, and he also pointed out the small crematorium, which was previously labelled “P” on Exhibit “M”).
Q. Doctor, will you point out the place on Exhibit “M”, the siding on which there is now standing a train with bodies that have previously died? A. (Witness points out on Exhibit “M” that which was previously marked and identified by the letter “N”.
Q. Doctor, we have some other instruments which have just come into out hands, and I will ask you to be patient with us for just a few minutes. I hand you an instrument marked Exhibit “B-4”, and will ask you if you can identify that exhibit and tell us what that instrument represents? A. (Exhibit “B-4” marked in evidence) This is an ablution wash room in a room of a block. This room is also used for men who died during the night to store them until the following day, and then taken out.
Q. Are the other washrooms in the blocks similar to the one shown on Exhbit “B-4”? A. All washrooms in the blocks are alike.
Q. I now hand you an instrument Exhibit “B-5”, which we will ask the reporter to mark in evidence, and I will ask you if you can identify it and tell us what it is? (Exhibit “B-5” marked in evidence). A. These are the sleeping quarters in a block.
Q. Are the other sleeping quarters in the blocks similar to the one shown in Exhbit “B-5”? A. All the rooms in all the blocks are alike.
Q. Does Exhibit “B-5” show one of the blocks which you described this morning? A. Yes, it does.
Q. I hand you an instrument, which we will ask the reporter to mark as Exhibit “B-6” and will ask you if you can identify that instrument, and tell us what that represents? (Exhibit “B-6” marked in evidence.) A. These are beds placed in the former messhall now being used as a sleeping quarters.
Q. Are the beds shown in Exhibit “B-6” in the blocks within the compound? A. Yes they are.
Q. Are the beds shown on Exhibit “B-6” the beds that you described this morning when you testified that five and six men had to sleep in a bed because of the overcrowded condition? A. Yes, it is.
Q. I now show you an Exhibit, known as “B-6a”, and ask you if you can identify it and tell us what that instrument represents? (Ex. “B-6a” marked in evidence). A. It is a photograph of a house in an ordinary block shwoing bodies ready to be taken out in the morning.
Q. I now show you an instrument which we will ask the reporter to mark as Exhibit “B-7”, and will ask you if you can identify it and tell us what it is? (Ex, “B-7” marked in evidence) A. This picture represents a scene of block No. 5.
Q. Is that one of the hospital blocks? A. Yes, it is also overcrowded, so the patients have to lie on the floor.
Q. I now show you an Exhibit, which we will ask the reporter to mark as Exhibit “B-8”, and will ask you to identify it and tell us what it represents? (Ex. “B-8” marked in evidence) A. This picture represents a scene in a room, No. 2, of Block No. 5, in the hospital.
Q. I show you an instrument which we will ask the reporter to mark as Exhibit “B-9”, and will ask you if you can identify it and tell us what it is? (Ex. “B-9” marked in evidence) A. This is a picture taken in the hospital, due to the fact that linen is being used, and not so many men are lying on the same bed.
Q. Is Exhibit “B-9” a picture of patients in the hospital? A. Yes.
Q. Doctor, you testified about some bodies being in some boxcars or railway cars on the siding near the Dachau Concentration Camp. I now show you an instrument which we will ask the reporter to mark as Exhibit “B-10”, and will ask you if the train and boxcars shown on that Exhibit are the boxcars that you have references to? (Exhibit “B-10” marked in evidence) A. Yes, it is.
Q. You have seen those bodies, haven’t you? A. Yes.
Q. Doctor, I now show you Exhibit “A”, and ask you if you can tell us what it represents? A. This is possibly one of the cars of the train.
Q. Does Exhibit “A” show some of the bodies in the railroad cars that you saw at the siding at the Dachau Concentration Camp? A. Yes.
Q. I show you Exhibit “I”, and will ask you if that Exhibit shows the bodies in one of the railroad cars at the siding near the Dachau Concentration Camp that you saw? A. Yes, it does.
Q. I show you Exhibit “L” and will ask you if that Exhibit shows the bodies of men who you saw in the railway cars? A. Yes.
Q. I will now show you an instrument, which we will ask the reporter to mark as Exhibit “B-11”, and will ask you if that instrument also shows the boxcars which contain bodies at the siding near the Dachau Concentration Camp? (Exhibit “B-11” marked in evidence). A. Yes it does.
Q. Do you recognize the scenery at that siding? A. Yes, I know it.
Q. I now show you an instrument marked “B-12”, and will ask the reporter to mark it in evidence, and I will also ask you if you can identify that instrument, and tell us what it is? (Ex. “B-12” marked in evidence) A. This is a picture representing an ordinary room within one of the blocks of the compound.
Q. Doctor, the Exhibits that you have identified commencing from “B-4” to “B-12”, do they correctly show the condition of the rooms in the blocks, the railroad siding, the rooms in the hospital, and place adjoining one of the blocks, correctly, as they appear today? A. Yes, they do.
Testimony adjourned at 11:50 hours 4 May 1945
RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION BY COL. DAVID CHAVEZ, JR., INVESTIGATOR-EXAMINER 0900 HOURS 13 May 1945:
The Investigator-Examiner reminded the reporter and the interpreter that they were still under oath.
Q. Dr. BLAHA, I want to remind you that you are still under oath. A. Yes.
Q. You have heretofore been sworn as a witness? A. Yes.
Q. Doctor, the other day, when you testified in connection with the matters that we are investigating at the Dachau Concentration Camp, you testified that the SS Doctors performed several experiments upon prisoners who were confined at the Dachau Prison Camp. Under whose supervision were these experiments performed? A. At the Malaria Station the supervisor was Professor SCHILLING.
Q. What other SS Medical Officer or SS personnel was engaged in any way with the Malaria experiments conducted by Dr. SCHILLING? A. The only SS Doctor in connection with the Malaria Station was the SS Hauptsturmführer Dr BRACHTEL [sp?]. He was Dr SCHILLING’s representative when Dr. SCHILLING was absent. Otherwise there were no SS Doctors at the Malaria Station.
Q. WAs Dr. BRACHTEL here at this camp when the Americans took over on April 29, 1945? A. No, Sir. He already left Dachau in 1943.
Q. Who, if anyone, succeeded Dr BRACHTEL? A. Dr BABOR was his successor for internal diseases.
Q. Did BABOR take any part in those experiments or other experiments? A. He had a part in the phlegmone experiments in connection with Sturmbannführer Dr. SCHUTZ.
Q. As I understand, there were two Dr. SCHUTZ’s in the Dachau Prison Camp, in the Medical Department? A. I mean Sturmbannführer Dr. SCHUTZ. This Dr SCHUTZ was the Chief Doctor of the SS hospital for SS troops. The other Dr. SCHUTZ was Hauptsturmführer SCHUTZ. He had no connection with BABOR’s work, but he worked with Dr. HINTERMEYER as an assistant.
Q. Doctor, what I want is this: Can you give me the name and the rank of every Medical Officer or medical person that was connected with these experiments that were performed upon prisoners at the Dachau Prison Camp since you have been here? I want the name of the Chief Surgeon, his assistants, or anyone who had anything to do with these experiments, including the pharmacists or anyone did laboratory research work or laboratory analysis? A. I shall give you all the names I know, though I do not recall all the names. The last Chief Surgeon before the Americans came was Sturmbannführer Dr. HINTERMEYER. His assistants were Hauptsturmführer SCHUTZ in 1944 and Hauptsturmführer KAH 1944 and Hauptsturmführer SCHMIDT in 1944, Chief Surgeon before Dr HINTERMEIER was Dr. Sturmbannführer WITTLER. His assistant was DR. HINTERMEIER, who was later on Chief Surgeon and also [ illegible ] was Dr. HINTERMEIER’s assistant, too. Another [……….illegible…..] in 1942. Chief Surgeon before Dr WITTLER was Hauptsturmführer WOLTER [sp?] in 1942 and 1943. Acting for him in his absence, was Hauptsturmführer BRACHTEL. Dr. BABOR, whom I mentioned before was Dr. WOLTER’s assistant. Chief Surgeon before Dr. WOLTER was Sturmbannführer Dr. MUTTICH. Before Dr. MUTTICH, Sturmbannführer MIRMELSTAT was Chief Surgeon in 1941, and, before him, Sturmbannführer Dr. Lang in 1940. Other Doctors at the hospital, whom I have not yet mentioned were Hauptsturmführer EISELE, who was in this camp until the day when the Americans came, and there were many more Doctors, especially young Doctors in SS uniforms around our hospital, whose names I do not recall.
Q. Did these young SS Doctors take part in these experiments? A. Yes, they took part in the surgical experiments. I want to correct myself about the name of one Doctor I have given as Mirmelstat. I believe his name NIMMERSTADT.
Q. Dr. BLAHA, do I understand that the list of names that you have just given us are all the people who took part in the various experiments, which were performed upon prisoners at the Dachau Concentration Camp, as far as you know? A. Yes, except Dr. KLAUS K. SCHILLING should be added to that list.
Q. Dr. BLAHA, was it only known within the prison camp among the SS officers and enlisted men of the SS that these experiments were being performed? A. Yes.
Q. Certainly the Lager Kommandant knew that these experiments were being performed, didn’t he? A. He even came to look at the experiments.
Q. And the prison camp commander knew, because Dr. SCHILLING and these other heads of the experimental sections would make a request of the Prison Commander for men that they could experiment upon? A. Yes.
Q. Therefore, the Prison Camp Commanders knew and took part in these experiments to that extent, didn’t they? A. Yes. The Schutzhaftlagerführer, as well as the Work Distribution Leader, – because these men were taken off the workers list and sent to the hospital.
Q. Do you know who actually selected the prisoner who was to be experimented upon, within the blocks? A. The block leaders chose the men to be presented to the Chief Doctor, and the Chief Doctor took the official choice among the people selected for presentation.
Q. The Block Leaders, of course, were SS? A. Yes.
Q. Doctor, do I understand that you now recall another type of experiment that was performed upon prisoners at Dachau Concentration Camp by the SS namely the Liver Function (Liber-Funktionen) experiment, which was performed in 1942 and 1943 by Dr. BRACHTEL.
Q. What kind of an experiment was this? A. That experiment was done to find out what the liver tissue looked like in case of various diseases. A thick needle was injected into the liver of certain prisoners, some of which were completely healthy and some sick with heart, stomach, bladder, liver, or other diseases. Microscopic examinations were made of the tissue extracted from the liver of those patients. I believe the basic idea about this experiment was that Dr. BRACHTEL was afraid that he might be sent away from the Dachau Concentration Camp, so he started a so-called scientific experiment to appear busy, because I could see any other use for the experiment be performed in the Dachau hospital.
Q. Was this a very dangerous experiment, or not? A. The experiment was less dangerous than painful. People had terrible cramps and I also recall several cases of death.
Q. Do you mean to say that the immediate consequence of the experiment were very severe pains upon the person who underwent this experiment? A. Yes.
Q. Secondly, do I understand, that, to your own knowledge, several of these experiments resulted in the death of the person who was experimented upon? A. Yes. Death was caused by the fact that, in performing the experiment. Dr. BRACHTEL was careless and punctured not only the liver, but also the patient’s gut.
Q. Then Doctor, I ask you thin question: Considering that the experiment brought, upon the persons experimented upon, immediate severe pain, and, in view of the fact, to your own knowledge, several people died of this experiment, and in view of the fact that Dr. BRACHTEL was irresponsible, would you say that that experiment was dangerous, or not? A. Yes. It was dangerous.
Q. Doctor, do you have any idea as to how many phlegmone experiments were made at Dachau during the time that you have been here in this camp? A. At least 600 to 800 patients were treaetd with phlegmone, as far as I recall.
Q. SCHILLING says that he performed at least one-thousand malaria experiments. Would you say that was about the correct number of malaria experiments? A. My estimation would be 1100.
Q. About how many freezing-water experiments were performed? A. Several hundred.
Q. About how many prisoners were subjected to the air-pressure experiment? A. That might have been 500. I recall that for several weeks everyday twenty at a time were subjected to that experiment, so that the total figure should be 6[00??].
Q. About how many prisoners were subjected to the salt-water experiments? A. Between 50 to 60.
Q. About how many prisoners were subjected to and underwent the liver-puncture experiment? A. I believe 78 case histories existeed, and have been presented to you for your investigation.
Q. Doctor, did I understand you to testify the other day or do you testify now that the experiments which you have been testifying about were performed upon prisoners who were confined at the Dachau Prison Camp, and that the experiments were performed without obtaining the prisoners consent thereto? A. Yes, Sir, that is correct.
Q. Doctor, do I understand that, even though you were, at least in my estimation, the ablest of the Doctors within the Dachau Prison Camp, that, being that you were a prisoner, you were forced to do that which you were told, and you were not selected and had nothing to say as to these experiments? A. That is correct, Sir. As a prisoner, I considered the experiments as impractical, as against the ethics of a Doctor’s profession, and very carelessly performed. But I was too little a man at that station to ever say what I thought. I did not dare to say my opinion, for instance, to talk about it with the Chief Surgeon about the experiments.
Q. Doctor, was a report made about the results of these experiments to a higher headquarters? A. Yes, regularly. Personal inspections from higher headquarters took place and reports were made to higher headquarters.
Q. What persons or officials made these inspections and give us the name of the higher headquarters to whom reports were made concerning these experiments? A. Among the people who inspected the experimental stations were Reichsführer SS HIMMLER and Dr. LOLLING, who was Reichsartzt and Standartenführer. He was in the Berlin Central Office for Health in SS Oranienburg. I remember that, also, many other high personalities, Generals, and Oberführers visited the place, but I do not know any further names. Reports were sent regularly to the Oranienburg office I have just mentioned.
A. The reports that Oranienburg, were they addressed as follows:
“Au [sic] den
Chef des Amtes D III im SS-WVHA, Amstgruppe [sic] D
A. That is the exact address. It means:
“To the Chief of Office D III in SS Main Office of Economic Administration, Group D,
Q. Did you ever hear or know or see of one, Dr. CONTI, the head of WVHA? A. I know for sure that Dr. CONTI once visited the Dachau Prison Camp hospital, though I have not seen him that day. He was officially reported as a visitor around the hospital.
Q. Was Dr. SCHILLING here at the time that Dr. CONTI made this inspeciton? A. I would not know that, but it is very probable..
Q. Did you come in contact with Dr. SCHILLING quite a bit? A. Yes, regularly, when there was a case of death in the Malaria Department.
Q. Have you done any work or had any experience with the treatment of malaria? A. Since I have been working in Dachau, yes, not before, because there is no malaria where I came from.
Q. You do know how Dr. SCHILLING experimented upon prisoners for malaria? A. Yes.
Q. As I understand Dr. SCHILLING’s testimony, he would ask for prisoners who were healthy and who did not have malaria in order to perform his experiments? A. That is correct. He chose absolutely healthy prisoners.
Q. What comment do you have to make as to the methods pursued by Dr. SCHILLING? A. To my mind, Dr. SCHILLING’s experiments were performed mainly because the German pharmaceutical industry was short of quinine. They wanted to find a way how to cure malaria without quinine, and Dr. SCHILLING worked in their interest trying to find a substitute for the quinine treatment.
Q. Why do you make that observation, DR. BLAHA? You have impressed me as being a mature man, conservative, and without flattery, I believe that you are a man of great ability, and I respect your opinion, and for that reason, I ask you what prompts you to make that observation? A. In my opinion, Dr. SCHILLING went as far as poisoning patients with all kinds of medicine such as pyramidon, neo-salvaran, and stabrine. These patients could have been easily cured by the quinine treatment, and I can see no other reason for Dr. SCHILLING’s experiments, except that quinine was short and the other drugs would have to be used to replace it. I would like to add that overdoses of the drugs mentioned were given to patients though the full dose was explicitly marked on the drug containers, around the drugs catalogue. Dr. SCHILLING violated in that connection, the official laws in connection with the use of drugs for medical purposes.
Q. Dr. BLAHA, yesterday, when Dr. SCHILLING testified, he said that he was experimenting with these prisoners for the purpose of finding a preventive cure for malaria, that is, an immunization. What observation would you make, in the light of what you know, and in view of the actions of Dr. SCHILLING, as you observed them? A. Sir, quinine is not only a cure, but also a prophylactic for malaria. Even in that connection of immunizing patients before a malaria attack, Dr. SCHILLING could have used quinine. He did, however, try to find a substitute for quinine, even for immunization purposes.
Q. Did Dr. SCHILLING ever tell you that he was trying to find a substitute for quinine? A. He has never spoken to me, but I have it from orderlies who worked under Dr. SCHILLING, and other Doctors among the patients, that Dr. SCHILLING actually talked about substituting quinine. I know, as a matter of fact, that, secretly, Dr. SCHILLING’s patients obtained quinine from orderlies, and that many were saved, by the fact, that, without Dr. SCHILLING’s knowing, quinine was administered to them. I know from the fever charts which I have seen with my own eyes of all the details of this treatment.
Q. Was there an actual shortage of quinine in Germany in 1942, 1943, 1944, and 1945? A. Yes, quinine was very short, especially an account of the blockade between South America and Germany.
Q. Dr. BLAHA, Dr. SCHILLING testified that he administered quinine, stabrine, and pyramidon to prisoners in the course of his experiments? A. I know from the entries in the patients charts, quinine was given only for comparative purposes. The sense of Dr. SCHILLING’s experiments was just to compare other drugs and their effects, in relation to the effects of quinine.
Q. Doctor, Dr. SCHILLING testified that there was an ample supply of drugs, including quinine, which was available for the use of anyone needing this type of drug for treatment? A. Yes.
Q. Now, Dr Schilling, in conducting his experiments, gave or administered pyramidon, stabrine, or any other substitutes for malaria that he might have obtained or tried in his experiments, if the pyramidon, and other drugs, which he administered for malaria, did not work, was it his duty, then, not to permit that patient to continue to linger in that condition, to come to the conclusion that the drugs that he was using were ineffective, and therefore, that he had to turn around and give quinine to that patient, in order to effect a cure for malaria? A. He certainly should have given those patients, on whom other drugs had no curing effects, enough quinine to cure them, and I am sure that 90 percent of the cases could have been cured successfully. He did, however, keep them lingering with fever and pain, in order to have a longer observation period. In my opinion, his crimes started already the moment he injected a healthy person with the malaria disease.
Q. And, notwithstanding what Dr. SCHILLING says, that the prisoners had to smuggle quinine to eventually effect their own cure? A. Yes. That is absolutely true. I myself took part in smuggling quinine to Dr. SCHILLING’s patients.
Q. Dr. BLAHA, for how long a period would Dr. SCHILLING keep his patients lingering after he knew that the substitutes for quinine, whatever the drug might have been, was not effective as a cure for malaria, or an immunization against malaria? A. He had some patients suffering from malaria for two and three years without giving up his experiments with insufficient drugs.
Q. Dr. BLAHA, is it your testimony that Dr. SCHILLING kept some of his prisoner patients under observation, administering these experimental drugs for malaria upon them for periods as long as two and three years? A. Yes.
Q. About how many prisoners were kept in this condition? A. At least half of the 1100 prisoners he experimented on and I want to remind you of the many casualties on account of insufficient or false treatment, or on account of poisoning by overdose of drugs.
Q. How many casualties or deaths would you say occurred as a result of the malaria experiment? A. I would say, at least 100 casualties were caused directly or indirectly by the malaria experiments, in the course of four years.
Q. What became of the records that were compiled as a result of the malaria experiments? A. All the records were burned before the Americans arrived.
Q. Who burned them? A. They were burned by SS Doctors by order of Chief Surgeon Dr. HINTERMEIER, during the week before we were liberated by the Americans.
Q. Dr. BLAHA, is there any further statement that you want to make to us in connection with these experiments or any other matter? A. Sir, I have nothing specific to add, but would like to be always at your disposal for questions I could answer in connection with the camp hospital.
Testimony adjourned 12:00 hours on 13 May 1943.
REDIRECT EXAMINATION of Dr. FRANZ BLAHA, taken at Dachau, Germany, at 13:00 hours, 17 May 1945, by Col. DAVID CHAVES, JH., Investigator-Examiner.
The witness, the interpreter, and the recorder were reminded that they were still under oath.
Dr. FRANZ BLAHA appeared before the Investigator-Examiner and further testified as follows:
Q. You realize, of course, that you are still under oath? A. Yes.
Q. Are you a Doctor? A. Yes.
Q. Do you have a specialty? A. Yes, I am a surgeon and have been for twenty-four years. Since being a prisoner I have been assigned to the specialty of pathology, two years at Theresienstadt and five years at Dachau. I also had some special training in pathology as a student before becoming a surgeon.
Q. Have you performed autopsies at the Dachau Concentration Camp? A. Yes, I performed autopsies on all of the patients who died in the hospital, but not upon those who were shot, hung or otherwise murdered int he lager.
Q. How many autopsies have you performed in the last five years? A. Approximately seven thousand.
Q. Did you have assistants when you performed these autopsies? A. Yes, three or four doctors and medical students.
Q. Did you perform a complete autopsy on every case? A. Yes, they were complete with an examination of all the organs, including the brain.
Q. Did you keep a written protocol records of the findings at these autopsies? A. Yes.
Q. Do you have any of these records available? A. Yes, I have only the last volume which contains the record of three or four hundred cases. All the previous records have been burned.
Q. Who burned the other autopsy records? A. The Chief Doctor, Sturmbannführer HINTERMEIER.
Q. Why did he burn these records? A. Because the SS Doctors did not want any of these records to fall into the hands of the Americans.
Q. How many records of these autopsy protocols were there? A. Twelve.
Q. Did you make microscopic examinations on these autopsies? A. Only when the diagnosis was not clear from the gross examination, and in certain unusual cases when ordered by the head doctor. However, microscopic examinations were made only during the last two years and not previous to this time.
Q. Was a record kept of the microscopic cases? A. Yes, in a separate book for these protocols.
Q. Can you give to me an approximate percentage breakdown of the causes of death on those cases you autopsied before 1942? A. Yes. Approximately fifty per cent of all cases died from malnutrition and weakness, twenty-five per cent from tuberculosis, and the balance from acute phlegemonous infections, wounds, pneumonia, other infections and other miscellaneous causes of death.
Q. How much subcutaneous fat did you find on the malnutrition and weakness cases? A. Practically none.
Q. Did you notice a change in the causes of death after the year of 1942 until the present time? A. Yes, since 1942 the causes of death have been more due to sepsis, for example: 50 per cent died of either typhoid, dysentery, bronchopneunomia, typhus fever, erysipelis, or other types of infection. 30 per cent died of tuberculosis and 20 per cent of those dying, showed an extreme degree of malnutrition. This was in part due to the fact that many of the nationalities in the camp received Red Cross and other packages from home which contained food.
Q. Do you know Dr SCHILLING? A. Yes.
Q. Did you know about his experiments on malaria? A. Yes.
Q. Have you autopsied cases dying in Dr. SCHILLING’s ward in the hospital? A. Yes.
Q. Will you tell me the causes of death and the number of autopsies upon these patients dying in Dr. SCHILLING’s ward? A. Yes, there were 30 to 40 cases who died as a direct result of the malaria, and many more in which malaria was the contributory cause of the death. Dr SCHILLING always assisted at the autopsy when one of his patients died. The cause of death in these cases was hemorrhagic encephalitis, hepatitis, nephritis, jaundice, splenomegaly, etc. In addition to these cases there were eight cases who died as a result of agranulocytosis following the administration of a drug known as pyramidon.
Q. Do you know why this drug was given to these patients? A. Yes, it was given to them in an attempt to find a substitute for quinine. A. What were other causes of death in Dr. SCHILLING’s ward? A. Approximately 30 patients died as a result of neo-salvaran injections which were also given in an attempt to find a substitute for quinine. These cases died of hemorrhagic encyplitis, jaundice and liver necrosis.
Q. Do you know of any other cases which died directly as a result of these experiments of Dr. SCHILLING? A. No not as a direct result, but many cases died of secondary infection following the malaria experiments.
Q. Have you talked with Dr. SCHILLING? A. Yes many times, especially at the autopsy of one of his patients.
Q. What is your opinion of Dr. SCHILLING as a professional man and as a scientist? A. I do not have a very high opinion of him.
Q. Do you think his experiments showed intelligent planning? A. No, I think he is a bit senile.
Q. When you talked with Dr. SCHILLING concerning scientific matters, did he exhibit poor, average, or above average knowledge of the subject? A. Poor.
Q. Have you autopsied cases of typhus fever dying in the result of the experiment? A. Yes, approximately one thousand cases.
Q. What were the pathological changes found at the autopsy? A. Chiefly, hemorrhagic diseases of the body, including the brain, the lungs, the heart, the liver, the spleen, the kidneys, the intestines and skin.
Q. Were the findings of the autopsies characteristic to diagnosing a case of typhus fever? A. Yes, typhus fever could be diagnosed from the gross autopsy findings alone.
Q. When did the typhus epidemic really occur? A. From November 1944 until the Americans came in April 1945.
Q. What was done to prevent this epidemic? A. Nothing at all.
Q. Did all of these people have lice? A. Yes.
Q. What was done to prevent lice? A. Nothing.
Q. Did the Germans admit that the typhus fever was present in this camp? A. Yes, after November 1944, but it was kept very quiet.
Q. Did you examine the bodies of those arriving on transports who were dead upon arrival? A. Many hundreds of them. Sometimes there would be several hundred dead on each train.
Q. What was the cause of the death in these patients? A. I do not know exactly because I did not perform autopsies on those arriving at Dachau by transport. However, all of them were severely emaciated and in fact, I have personally seen evidences of cannabalism, in which those arriving by train were so hungry that they would eat the flesh of those dead.
Testimony adjourned at 14:00 hours, 17 May 1945
[end of page 41/ page 108 of file]
REDIRECT EXAMINATION of Dr. FRANZ BLAHA, taken at Dachau, Germany at 0830 hours, 18 May 1945.
Cpl JOSEPH H. RIHA, 37125188, Hq. Seventh Army, (J.A. Section) APC 758, U.S. Army, appeared before the Investigator-Examiner, and was sworn by him in the following form: “You swear that you will faithfully perform the duties of reporter in this investigation now being conducted by me, so help you God?” A. I do.
Pvt ERWIN BOKSCH, 42054817, Hq. Seventh Army, (J.A. Section) APC 758, U.S. Army, appeared as an interpreter and was sworn by the Investigator-Examiner in the following form: “You swear that you will truly interpret in this investigation now being conducted by me, so help you God?” A. I do.
Dr FRANZ BLAHA appeared before the Investigator-Examiner and testified as follows:
Q. You realize, of course, that you are still under oath? A. Yes.
Q. Have you seen the gas chamber which adjoins the crematorium at the Dachau Camp? A. Yes I have seen it very often.
Q. Have you made an inspection of this gas chamber? A. Yes I did. I also informed the prisoner workers to slow down on their work, because it was to have been finished in the middle of 1943, because I did know the purpose of the construction.
Q. When was the gas chamber actually finished? A. Together with the crematorium, it was finished by the beginning of 1944.
Q. Have you observed the construction of the false shower heads in the gas chamber? A. No, but I have heard all the workers who worked on the construction of the building refer to this room as the gas chamber and not a shower room.
Q. Have you seen the inscription on the outer door of this room? A. Yes, I have seen it. Ever since the room was constructed, the sign “shower room” has been painted on the door.
Q. Have you personally seen anyone who was gassed in this chamber? A. Yes, I have witnessed seven persons being gassed.
Q. On what date was this? A. I do not recall the date, but it was early spring of 1944, around 8 o’clock in the evening.
Q. Were these prisoners the first to be executed by gas at Dachau, to the best of your knowledge? A. To my knowledge, yes.
Q. Why were you permitted to view these prisoners after being gassed? A. I had to examine the bodies to check on any signs of life. I was called in because I am a doctor.
Q. Will you please relate what you saw on this occasion? A. I observed two prisoners who were dead, two who were unconscious, and three who were sitting up, still alive. These last three prisoners were still able to speak. I could not ask question of these last three prisoners on account of having to work under the supervision of SS Doctor Rauscher. I was sent into the gas chamber by Dr. Rauscher because he was afraid to go into the chamber himself. The only examination I conducted was to determine if the prisoners were dead. What happened to those who were alive after I left, I do not know.
Q. Do you know of your own knowledge the type of gas used in this chamber on this particular occasion? A. No, I do not as I was not told, but the gas had a sweet odor and taste, somewhat resembled chlorine.
Q. Did you wear a gas mask when you went into the chamber? A. No, I did not.
Q. Was the room ventilated before you entered? A. Yes.
Q. Do you have any explanation for the reason why only two of these prisoners were dead, two unconscious and three alive? A. Yes, it was probably because this was in an early experimental stage of the gassing process and at this time they were using minimum amounts of gas to determine how much would be required to produce death.
Q. Did you notice anything special about these two dead bodies in the gas chamber, from a medical standpoint? A. Yes. They had froth at the mouth and the skin had a bluish livid red color.
Q. Do you think that the gas used could have been cyanide? A. No, because if the gas had been cyanide all seven would have been dead and that should have exhibited the brilliant scarlet pink color of the skin observed after cyanide poisoning.
Q. In your opinion could the gas have been chlorine or a chlorine derivative? A. Yes, it could have been a mixture of chlorine and some other gas.
Q. What was the condition of those who were conscious and sitting up, when you entered the chamber? A. They were pale, had a clammy wet skin, but showed no evidence of coughing or lachrymation.
Q. Do you know who the seven prisoners in the gas chamber were, were they of any particular nationality or race? A. No, they were civilians in civilian underwear and pants, and they wore no jackets without any prisoner markings. It has been always customary to change the clothing on prisoners condemned to die one way or another, by taking away the prisoner garment and replacing them with civilian clothes, prior to execution.
Q. Did Dr. RAUSCHER or anyone else say anything to you about what had happened to prisoners in the chamber? A. No. Dr. RAUSCHER picked me up in an automobile and took me to the crematorium without saying a word. When we arrived at the chamber, he told me to go in and examine the men and report their condition to him.
Q. Was there any indication that disinfection of clothes or blankets had been carried out in this chamber? A. No, the room was perfectly clean, except for the prisoners who had been in the chamber when I entered.
Q. In your opinion as a physician and a medical man, were the two bodies that you found in the chamber executed by means of gas? A. Yes, I do believe so, because due to previous experiences in civilian life in observing and treating gassed patients. I saw three classes of individuals in this room. The first class were those that were semi-conscious, the second class were those who were unconscious and the third class were those who were dead – those dead having foam at the mouth and the skin had a bluish livid discoloration with the face slightly puffed. The pulse of those who were unconscious was slow, weak and averaged about 50 beats per minute. The pulse of those who were conscious was also slow, averaging about 60 beats per minute.
Q. Do you know of any further episodes of gassing which has occurred in this chamber either by direct or indirect knowledge? A. No, I only know of gas execution by hearsay and not by my own knowledge, except that I know numerous incidents in which there was a depopulation of certain rooms in the hospital of the insane patients, who I have seen transported to the crematorium area. To my knowledge those patients did not return to the hospital and following the transporting of that patients in the hospital. Discharge slips were made out for these insane patients who were taken away from the hospital.
Q. Have you known some of these patients who were insane and who were taken to the crematorium area? A. Yes.
Q. To your knowledge, have any of these patients ever returned to the hospital or been seen in the camp area? A. No.
Q. When did you observe these insane people being taken to the crematorium? A. Both before and after the episodes which I have described, in which I saw the seven individuals who were gassed. However, those taken before this episode which I observed were given injections and those taken afterwards were not given intervenous [sic] injections.
Testimony adjourned at 0930 hours on 18 May 1945.
Attested [signature] DAVID CHAVEZ, JR., Colonel, JAGD, Investigator-Examiner.
I certified that the above testimony was transcribed to the witness in his own language, prior to his signature which appears above.