Kaltenbrunner (1903-1946), Ernst

2 March, 2009
Bovy Daniel

Born in a small town of High-Austria, he was member of the NSDAP in 1930 and of the Austrian SS in 1931. As such, he was imprisoned several times. In 1937, he took the head of the Austrian SS. After the Anschluss, he was promoted as SS high officer. In 1940, he became HSSPF (higher SS leader) and in 1942 when Heydrich died, he replaced him at the head of the RSHA (Reich security service) till the end of war. With Himmler, he controlled not only the whole police but also the administration of the Final Solution. During the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto (1944), he refused to liberate some Jews and organized the deportation of 50,000 to 70,000 of them. He is responsible for the deportation of many Jews to Theresienstadt. His power grew at the end of war when Hitler was threatened by bomb attacks. After the events of July 20, 1944, Kaltenbrunner tried to let kill as many conspirators as possible. In 1944, he took over the intelligence service of the German High Command (OKW) and integrated it into the RSHA. During his trial, he declared that it was a pity that so many crimes had been committed but that he took no part in them.


Smelser, R., Syring, E., Zitelmann, R., 1999, “Ernst Kaltenbrunner – Chef des Reichssicherheitshauptamtes”, Die braune Elite 1, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, pp. 159-172.

Cite this item

Bovy Daniel, Kaltenbrunner (1903-1946), Ernst , Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 2 March, 2009, accessed 17/02/2021, http://bo-k2s.sciences-po.fr/mass-violence-war-massacre-resistance/en/document/kaltenbrunner-1903-1946-ernst, ISSN 1961-9898
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