Obergruppenführer Ernst Kaltenbrunner (October 4, 1903 – October 16, 1946) was a senior Nazi official during World War II. He was Reinhard Heydrich's replacement as the Chief of Security Police and head of the Gestapo and SD (RSHA). He was also responsible for tracking down the people who tried to assassinate Hitler and prosecuting them. He was the highest ranking SS leader to face trial at Nuremberg. He was executed for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Born: October 4th, 1903
Died: October 16th, 1946
Quotes: 25 sourced quotes total (includes 1 about)
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I have loved my German people and my fatherland with a warm heart. I have done my duty by the laws of my people and I am sorry this time my people were led by men who were not soldiers and that crimes were committed of which I had no knowledge. Germany, good luck.
I do not feel guilty of any war crimes, I have only done my duty as an intelligence organ, and I refuse to serve as an ersatz for Himmler.
(While smiling, and jokingly) You haven't come to see me for three weeks. I wondered whether you had become disgusted with us war criminals - particularly me, the so-called archcriminal of them all.
All offices of the SD and the security police are to be informed that pogroms of the populace against English and American terror-fliers were not to be interfered with; on the contrary, this hostile mood is to be fostered.
There is no human law or law of God or national law that states that any healthy being has to permit the snake to eat the mouse - but on the other hand, it is perfectly justified to defend the mouse.
The colonel in charge of the London prison that I was in has told me that I would be hanged in any case, no matter what the outcome would be. Since I am fully aware of that, all I want to do is to clear up on the fundamental things that are wrong here.
When I saw the newspaper headline "Gas Chamber Expert Captured" and an American lieutenant explained it to me, I was pale in amazement. How can they say such things about me? I told you I was only in charge of the Intelligence Service from 1943 on. The British even admitted that they tried to assassinate me because of that, not because of having anything to do with atrocities, you can be sure of that.
Oppression is the essence of power.
Russia demanded Armenian territories, very cleverly using long-standing, bitter fights between Armenians and Turks.
Don't even step out of your garden gate until this matter has been clarified.
Ich bekenne mich nicht schuldig. (I do not believe that I have made myself guilty.)
(While playing solitaire and sipping cognac) It's all a lot of crap. The game is up.
Armenia was always a minority nation. The Armenians were annihilated by the Russians and then by the Turks.
The quicker humanity advances, the more important it is to be the one who deals the first blow.
I am thought of as another Himmler. I'm not. The papers make me out as a criminal. I never killed anyone.
I was appointed by Hitler to succeed Canaris because it was well known and proven that my abilities were greater than those of Canaris.
It is precisely the immediate and thorough eradication of the Jews in Italy which is the special interest of the present internal political situation and the general security in Italy.
Please report to RF SS and to the Fuehrer that all arrangements against Jews, political and concentration camp internees in the Protectorate have been taken care of by me personally today.
I have talked to you in the past but we have always exchanged pleasantries. And it has always been assumed that I am Kaltenbrunner, the big bad man next to Himmler and the successor of Himmler. But I think you can see by this time, after having treated my brain hemorrhages, both in the hospital and here in my cell, that I am not the disagreeable, uncouth fellow the public probably thinks because of all the atrocities committed under Himmler's rule, and of which I am totally innocent.
Where do you think I was today? I stood straight in front of him (Himmler) for a whole hour and talked, and he... he played with a puzzle the whole time – you know, this glass cube with three balls on the inside... When I finished, he took off his pince-nez, wiped it with a handkerchief – he has a skull even on his handkerchief – and said, "Listen, Ernst! Have you by any chance, ever had a dream, where you're riding in the back of a ragged truck to who knows where, and some monsters are sitting around you?" I didn’t say anything. Then he smiled and said, "Ernst, you know, I know as well as you that no astral exists. But what do you think, if you, and even Canaris, have your own people in 'Annenerbe', shouldn’t I have my own people there as well?" I did not understand what he meant. "Think Ernst, think!" he said. I kept silent. Then he smiled and asked, "Whose man do you think is Kröger?" …Yes, Emma... It seems I'm too simple for all these intrigues... But I know that while the Führer needs me, my heart will keep beating...You know, Emma... Sometimes it seems to me, that it's not me who is alive, but it's the Führer who is living inside me...
In the first place, I should like to state to the Tribunal that I am fully aware of the serious character of the charges against me. I know the hatred of the world is directed against me; that I particularly since Himmler, Müller, and Pohl are no longer alive, must here, alone, give an account to the world and the Tribunal. I realize that I shall have to tell the truth in this courtroom, in order to enable the Court and the world to fully recognize and understand what has been going on in Germany during this war and to judge it with fairness.
The Prosecution holds me responsible for the concentration camps, for the destruction of Jewish life, for Einsatzgruppen and other things. All of this is neither in accord with the evidence nor with the truth. The accusers as well as the accused are exposed to the dangers of a summary proceeding. It is correct that I had to take over the Reich Security Main Office. There was no guilt in that in itself. Such offices exist in governments of other nations too. However, the task and activity assigned to me in 1943 consisted almost exclusively in the reorganization of the German political and military intelligence service, though not as Heydrich's successor. Almost a year after his death I had to accept this post under orders and as an officer at a time when suspicion fell on Admiral Canaris of having collaborated with the enemy for years. In a short time I ascertained the treason of Canaris and his accomplices to the most frightful extent.
As early as January 1934, Dr. Kaltenbrunner was jailed by the Dollfuss Government on account of his Nazi views and sent with other leading National Socialists into the concentration camp Kaisersteinbruch. He caused and led a hunger strike and forced the government to dismiss 490 National Socialist prisoners. In the following year he was jailed again, because of suspicion of high treason, and committed to the court martial of Wels (Upper Danube). After an investigation of many months, the accusation of high treason collapsed; but he was sentenced to 6 months' imprisonment for subversive activities. After the spring of 1935, Dr. Kaltenbrunner was the leader of the Austrian SS, the right to practice his profession having been suspended because of his National Socialist views. It rebounds to his credit that in this important position he succeeded through energetic leadership in maintaining the unity of the Austrian SS, which he had built up, in spite of all persecution, and succeeded in committing it successfully at the right moment.
I know only that in my belief in Adolf Hitler I put all my strength at the disposal of my people. As a German soldier I could only put myself at the service of the defense against those destructive forces which had once brought Germany close to the abyss, and which today, after the collapse of the Reich, are still threatening the world. If I have made mistakes in my work through a false conception of obedience, if I carried out orders, all of which, insofar as they are alleged to be cardinal orders, were issued before my time of office, then they are part of a fate which is stronger than myself and which is carrying me along with it. I am accused here because substitutes are needed for the missing Himmler and other elements which were completely contrary to me. Whether my point of view and explanation are accepted or rejected, I ask you not to connect the fate and honor of hundreds of thousands of the living and dead of the General SS, of the Waffen-SS, and of the civil servants who, believing in their ideal, bravely defended, their Reich to the last, with your just curse against Himmler. Like myself, they believed that they were acting according to law.
Among the spiritual forces secretly working in the camp of Germany's enemies and their allies in this war, as in the last, stands Freemasonry, the danger of whose activities has been repeatedly stressed by the Fuehrer in his speeches. The present brochure, now made available to the German and European peoples in a 3rd edition, is intended to shed light on this enemy working in the shadows. Though an end has been put to the activities of Masonic organizations in most European countries, particular attention must still be paid to Freemasonry, and most particularly to its membership, as the implements of the political will of a supra-governmental power. The events of the summer of 1943 in Italy demonstrate once again the latent danger always represented by individual Freemasons, even after the destruction of their Masonic organizations. Although Freemasonry was prohibited in Italy as early as 1925, it has retained significant political influence in Italy through its membership, and has continued to exert that influence in secrecy. Freemasons thus stood in the first ranks of the Italian traitors who believed themselves capable of dealing Fascism a death blow at a critical juncture, shamelessly betraying the Italian nation. The intended object of the 3rd printing of this brochure is to provide a clearer knowledge of the danger of Masonic corruption, and to keep the will to self-defence alive.