Get to Know Ernest Kaltenbrunner
Ernest Kaltenbrunner, also known as Ernst, was an Austrian man who became a senior official in the Third Reich. During World War II, he held many high-ranking titles and eventually became the highest ranking official to actually face trial at the Nuremberg Trials. He was found guilty, of course, of crimes against humanity and war crimes. These were crimes that were punished with execution, which was carried out on May 12, 1945. His main role during the Nazi reign was as the Director of the Security Office, but he took on many positions throughout the Second World War.
Kaltenbrunner was born in Austria in 1903 and actually earned a law degree during his education. He worked as a lawyer for a few years, but eventually joined the Nazi party and then the SS in Austria in 1932. The beginning of his career was rocky, including an accusation of High Treason and a jail sentence for conspiracy, but things changed quickly as time went on. He was married in 1934 and had three children with his wife as well as two with his mistress. As the leader of the Austrian SS, Ernest Kaltenbrunner assisted in many operations and moved even further up the ladder in the Nazi party.
After becoming the leader of security, he also became the president of Interpol. At that time, however, it was known as the International Criminal Police Commission. He gained much power after the attack on Hitler in 1944, executing people who plotted against Hitler and trying those who were involved in conspiracy or treason. He was supposedly feared by Himmler, one of the most evil men of the Nazi party, and was involved in a variety of secret missions and duties.
After Hitler’s death, Kaltenbrunner fled to Altaussee. Here, he helped preserve the art collection that had been taken by the Nazis from various museums and private homes. They had been planned for destruction, but Kaltenbrunner helped remove the explosives from the storage area before it could be done. Shortly after that, he was captured by the U.S. patrol and took part in the Nuremberg Trials. Because he had direct knowledge of the events taking place during the Holocaust, he was charged with multiple crimes related to the mass murders that occurred at the hands of the Nazis. He was sentenced to be executed and was hanged on October 16, 1946, just 15 days after his sentencing.