Pfannenstiel's (tentative) late years curriculum...
Prof. Dr. Wihelm Pfannenstiel (NSDAP 2828629; SS-Nr. 273083. Oa.Arzt Fulda-Werra, z. Zt. SS-Führung Hauptamt. Promoted to SS-Staf. 9 Nov 1944).
After his long dealings with Odilo Globocnik and Aktion Reinhard, which lasted at least until Spring 1943 (attested by Max Cichotsky a.k.a Max Runhof), Prof. Wilhelm Pfannenstiel was apparently transferred as Hygiene consultant to the 6th Army and participated in the Ardennes onslaught in 1944. He was then sent on to the front in Hungary, and finally arrested by US troops in Austria.
At first nothing happened; he was neither identified, recognized by anyone, nor questioned to any depth. Finally, the U.N.W.C.C. first identified him in a POW camp in Darmstadt and interrogated him in 1947 in connection with the ‘Gerstein Report’ which, although discarded by the court, had been presented at Nuremberg (file PS 1553) and wherein his name was abundantly mentioned. At first Pfannenstiel admitted only to going to Lublin on a ‘hygiene’ mission, but denied visiting Belzec or ever witnessing a gassing operation. He was nearly released. Transferred to another POW camp in Garmisch. In 1948, following a request filed by Professor Von Drygalski (Head of the Hessian Health Bureau), Pfannenstiel was ordered to appear before a denazification court and placed under domiciliary arrest. Gerstein’s report being considered ‘exaggerated’ by the court, Pfannenstiel was released.
Interrogated again on 6th June 1950, Pfannenstiel finally admitted to having traveled to Belzec with Gerstein, to having met Globocnik, and to having witnessed a gassing. He however strongly denied having said a number of awful things Gerstein mentions him in his report as saying (such as ‘Sound just like a synagogue’ while the victims were sobbing inside the chambers during a C02 engine breakdown) but added ‘Even if I should have made such a remark, it was not in the sense imputed to me by Gerstein, as if to suggest that I was poking fun at the torments of the prisoners. The situation was much too dreadful for that’. A sort of half-admission to having said it, in my view. But Pfannenstiel is freed again.
Interrogated again in 1951, and 1959, he is released once more on grounds that his testimony provides no decisive elements concerning the gas chamber question. He appears again as a witness in a few Aktion Reinhard related cases (1960, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1966 – Belzec/Oberhauser – in Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt am Main) and is final discharged.
He finished up as a successful doctor in the Federal Republic, practising under his own name. He was allegedly in mail contact (or even met) with Paul Rassinier, ‘the Father of Revisionism’ in the mid-sixties, although the allegation is open to debate. The purpose of their exchange was – again – to discredit Gerstein’s version of the facts (i.e. Gerstein is ‘mad’ and his report is totally unreliable).
Pfannenstiel died in 1982 – in Stuttgart, if I’m not mistaken (I may be about the place, but the date is right).