Wilhelm Pfannenstiel

Dr. Hermann Wilhelm Pfannenstiel ( Breslau , Germany ; December as February as 1890 – Stuttgart , Germany ; 1 as November as 1982 ). Doctor of Medicine and Officer of the Nazi SS , participant in the Jewish Holocaust during World War II .

Participation in the Holocaust

Dr. Pfannenstiel joined the Nazi Party with the file number 2,828,629; And the SS with the number 273.083, being assigned to the Central Office of High Leaders of the SS (SS-Führung Hauptamt). Promoted to SS Standartenführer on November 9 , 1944 .

His work as a dependent of the SS Main Section of Hygiene was to inspect the SS Barracks as well as sanitary conditions of concentration camps throughout the Reich. He was a manager of Lebensborn and a member of the Racial Health Council of Marburg.

He participated as a specialist in Hygiene in an inspection of the extermination camp of Belzec in 1942 , as part of Operation Reinhard , where along with SS Obersturmführer Kurt Gerstein and SS General Odilo Globocnik witnessed an operation to exterminate Jews by gassing Of carbon monoxide .

After a long and constant working relationship with SS General Odilo Globocnik in the Reinhard Action, which lasted until at least the spring of 1943 (according to Max Cichotsky’s alias Max Runhof), Prof. Wilhelm Pfannenstiel was apparently transferred as a Consultant Of Hygiene of the Sixth German Army and participated in the offensive of the Ardennes in 1944. Later it was transferred to the Front of the East in Hungary and was finally stopped by American troops in Austria.

Prosecution after the war

At first nothing happened to him, he was not identified, not recognized by anyone or thoroughly questioned. He was finally identified by the United States authorities as a prisoner of war in the Darmstadt camp and interrogated in 1947 in connection with the “Gerstein Report,” which, despite being dismissed by the courts, had been presented at the Nuremberg, with the file number PS 1553, and where it was abundantly mentioned. For the first time Pfannenstiel admitted to having gone to Lublin for “hygiene” missions, but denied visiting the Belzec extermination camp or having witnessed a gasification of Jewish prisoners, so he was released but sent to another prison camp Of war in Garmish. In 1948, at the request of Professor Von Drygalski (Head of the Hesian Health Office), Pfannenstiel was placed before a Disenazification court and placed under house arrest. The Gerstein Report continued to appear “exaggerated” for justice, which is why it was soon released.

Questioned again on June 6, 1950, Pfannenstiel finally admitted to having traveled to Belzec with Gerstein, to have met with Globocnik and to have witnessed a gassing. However, he strongly denied having said the words that Gerstein attributes to him in the story, such as “sounding like a synagogue” in relation to the sound of victims when they absorbed the carbon monoxide inside the gas chambers, he even added that if he did Some comment would not be in the sense of Gerstein’s words but in relief of the suffering of the victims, the situation was much more horrifying than what was said by the story, he said. But Pfannenstiel was released again.

Questioned again in 1951 and 1959, he was released successively since his testimony was not provided with strong elements concerning the gas chambers. He appeared as a witness in a few cases related to the Reinhard Action, during the years 1960, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1966 – Belzec / Oberhauser – in Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt am Main.

He ended his life as a successful physician in the Federal Republic of Germany, practicing under his own name. It was pointed out that he had been in contact by letter – or even meeting – with Paul Rassinier, the ‘father of Revisionism’ in the mid-1960s, even though his allegations were open to debate. The purpose of this exchange was – again – to discredit Gerstein’s account of what had happened.

Pfannenstiel passed away in 1982 – in Stuttgart.


  • Kurt Quecke: «Die Geschichte der Medizinischen Fakultät der Universität Marburg» in «Das Gesundheitswesen in Hessen» Trautheim 1962.
  • NMT 01. «Doctor’s Trial» – USA v. Karl Brandt, et al., P. 10363 (26 June 1947).