Ernst Kaltenbrunner

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Kalten-fucker himself.
I do not feel guilty of any war crimes
—Kaltenbrunner denying responsibility for the Holocaust
A lunatic Chaplin imitator
and his greatest fans

Icon nazi.svg
First as tragedy
Then as farce

Ernst Kaltenbrunner (1903–1946) was a general in the Waffen-SS (Obergruppenführer) and the deputy to Heinrich Himmler. Following the end of the war he was the highest-ranking SS member to be captured. He was put on trial, found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging.

World War Two[edit]

Kaltenbrunner with Heinrich Himmler at Mauthausen concentration camp. At the Nuremberg Trials Kaltenbrunner would deny ever going to Mauthausen

Kaltenbrunner was a member of the Nazi Party since the age of 27, and became the Head of the SS Intelligence department following the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in 1942.

Kaltenbrunner was aware of the concentration camps and the extermination of the Jews during the war. He was present at meetings in which the extermination was openly discussed [1] and he had at least two visits to Mauthausen concentration camp, where he witnessed victims being shot, hanged and gassed. [2]

Following the 20 July 1944 assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, Kaltenbrunner was put in charge of tracking down those responsible. Not only did Kaltenbrunner track down and arrest the conspirators, he had many of their families, friends and individuals who had even the slightest connection to the conspirators arrested.

As the war came to a close and the Allies approached, Kaltenbrunner gave the order for concentation camp inmates to be shot rather than have them liberated by the approaching armies.

Trial and execution[edit]

In 1945 Kaltenbrunner was arrested following a brief stand-off with American soldiers. At the start of the trial, Kaltenbrunner suffered from a brain haemorrhage and came close to death. His defense council appealed for him to be released due to ill health but the request was denied by the International Military Tribunal.

Throughout the trial, Kaltenbrunner denied any knowledge of the Holocaust, claiming that he was just an unimportant figurehead. This was despite evidence being presented that Kaltenbrunner personally watched a gas chamber test on prisoners at Mauthausen concentration camp. Kaltenbrunner responded by getting Rudolf Hoss, the former Commandant of Auschwitz, to testify that he had never been to Auschwitz.

Needless to say this defense didn't work and Kaltenbrunner was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. He was executed along with the other defendants on 16 October 1946.