Bedřich Blasko (* 1918) was born in Prague, the son of a trader dealing in export goods. His father and mother came from families professing the Jewish religion and cultural tradition. However, in the 1930s his father left the Jewish community. Bedřich Blasko did not maintain any contacts with the Jewish community and was not even a member of any church. After taking the final examination at a grammar school, he started studying at the Faculty of Natural Science of the Charles University in Prague and after Czech universities were closed in autumn 1939, he earned his living as a mason.
He spent the period from autumn 1940 to July 1941 in what was referred to as a labour camp for Jews in Lípa near the town of Havlíčkův Brod and after being released in November 1941, was interned in the Terezín ghetto. From February to December 1942, he was imprisoned in the Gestapo prison in Prague on the Charles Square and subsequently taken back to the Terezín ghetto. In autumn 1943, his name appeared on the list of prisoners to be transported to Auschwitz. Of the three thousand prisoners who went "east" together with him, only a few hundred survived. The others, including Mr. Blasko senior, were forced into gas chambers after arriving at the Auschwitz railway station.
During the process referred to as "selection", the life of Bedřich Blasko was probably saved by one "supervisor" (Kapo), an older man who was on duty on the platform on that day. When he looked at the newly arrived people and saw a young man with glasses, he remarked to him: "By tomorrow, none of you will be alive. And take off your glasses!"
"Luck" was with Mr. Blasko even later because after only three days he was transported to the Groß Rosen branch of the concentration camp in Lower Silesian Friedland where there was no longer the threat of immediate physical liquidation. When recalling the stay in Friedland, he remembered an absurd experience from the time when the camp was being liquidated in early May 1945: the camp commander ordered the prisoners to assemble in the outdoor area and asked them whether they had any complaints...
From the family of Mr. Blasko only his brother survived; the other fifteen relatives were murdered by the Nazis. As early as in 1945, Bedřich Blasko graduated from the Charles University; he worked as a chemist until 1971. During the period known as "normalization", following the suppression of the "Prague Spring" he was dismissed from his job and was only allowed to work as a labourer. Since he had knowledge of four foreign languages and had extensive knowledge of culture and politics, he worked as a journalist and photographer after the fall of Communism. He met his wife Eva in the Terezín ghetto. They married in August 1945.
On the topic of compensation for the years spent in prison, Mr. Blasko commented:
"I have received a lot various compensations. I think it is a very problematic matter. I think it is very difficult to compensate a human life financially... So, compensation, well. Probably nobody has not invented anything better yet. Nobody will make those people come back to life..."