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ernst kaltenbrunner Quotes

Ernst Kaltenbrunner Quotes

Birth Date: 1903-10-04 (Sunday, October 4th, 1903)



    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Oppression is the essence of power.
    • Armenia was always a minority nation. The Armenians were annihilated by the Russians and then by the Turks.
    • Russia demanded Armenian territories, very cleverly using long-standing, bitter fights between Armenians and Turks.
    • 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.
    • 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, Muller, 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • I am thought of as another Himmler. (Smiles.) I'm not. The papers make me out as a criminal. I never killed anyone.
    • 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 quicker humanity advances, the more important it is to be the one who deals the first blow.
    • I was appointed by Hitler to succeed Canaris because it was well known and proven that my abilities were greater than those of Canaris.
    • (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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Don't even step out of your garden gate until this matter has been clarified.
    • (While playing solitaire and sipping cognac) It's all a lot of crap. The game is up.
    • Ich bekenne mich nicht schuldig. (I do not believe that I have made myself guilty.)
    • 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 Kroger?' ...Yes, Emma... It seems I'm too simple for all these intrigues... But I know that while the Fuhrer 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 Fuhrer who is living inside me...
    • 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.
    • I noticed how many a tired father first conferred with his wife on whether he might go for a jug of beer for supper that evening. I witnessed blows of fate when a cow became ill or a suckling pig perished, or the hay could not be brought in from the single meadow, because it would not stop raining. I saw too how the old father carefully prepared the planks for his coffin, and while sharpening his scythe asked his neighbor whether he also had dry planks. Death held no horror for them, and they made no fuss about births. Mothers were not long absent from the housework and were inexhaustible in their love for their many children. However much they seemed to have to divide it, each little child had all of their love.
    • Priests could not communicate any more to me than that which I could decipher for myself, and the picture of the world which I constructed for myself over the years does not stem from them.
    • I was thus appointed in the year 1943, two years before the conclusion of the war, into office. I would like to explain however that from the beginning, I happened to gain the responsibility for everything that was committed since my appointment as the boss of the Central Reich Security Office in the context of this office, when it came to injustice and so on, it fell under my actual line of duty, thus I knew from the procedures or had to know, the responsibility that I took over.
    • My whole life long, I was ceaselessly in need of love and support, though I let this show as little as possible.
    • But how am I going to do that in regard to Kaltenbrunner? I shall then be completely at his mercy!
    • I know exactly what you've come here to say, Kaltenbrunner. But believe me, if I were not convinced that I'll build up Linz again with your help, as you see it in this model here, I would blow my brains out this very day. You must have faith. I still have ways and means of bringing the war to a victorious conclusion.
    • Few of those who stood on the defendants' dock at the trial of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1945 to 1946 inspired more revulsion than Ernst Kaltenbrunner. ...This tall, hulking, scarfaced lawyer joined the National Socialist German Worker's Party (NSDAP) in 1930 and the elite Schutzstaffel, in 1931. ...Author Evelyn Waugh noted in his diary that 'only Kaltenbrunner looked an obvious criminal.'
    • Can he safely be categorized either as an 'unhealthy' and 'abnormal' individual or as the characteristic product of German society, a phenomenon so distant from the 'solid American citizen' that he need be of no concern except as a historical or medical curiosity? Or must one go to the other extreme and search for 'banal evil-doers' under every bed? I hope that a 'humanization' of this callous creature of the Nazi system will, if not provide answers, at least provoke more thought on these questions.
    • Kaltenbrunner had discovered a world where he needed only to obey in order to become part of the historical progression of mankind. He had thus clarified his ideological commitment to the abstract, mythical German nation.
    • Kaltenbrunner's predecessor, Taus, did not exert enough authority over the Austrian SS. Kaltenbrunner, in addition to showing a fanatical loyalty to Himmler, apparently got the job done.
    • We have seen that Kaltenbrunner's right to practice law was revoked on account of his political activity. He was arrested several times and spent four months in an internment camp. Though such punishments were extraordinarily mild in comparison to those which Kaltenbrunner would mete out when his day arrived, they fed his hatred for the System.
    • No doubt Himmler brought in the scar-faced giant Kaltenbrunner because he was relatively unknown and outside the established circle of the Heydrichian chiefs.
    • From July 20, the scarred features of Kaltenbrunner had generally been visible at situation conferences. For the soldiers, especially those like Guderian and von Rundstedt, Supreme Commander in the west, who had toyed with treason earlier, probably even for Keitel and Jodl, Kaltenbrunner could only have been a dread reminder of the disgrace and agony of their fellows, whose judgment seemed to be confirmed with every passing day.
    • In his memoirs, Albert Speer told how, as he was about to turn in to the Bendlerstrasse, he was ordered to stop at the curb. Almost unrecognizable in the darkness were Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Gestapo chief, and Otto Skorzeny, surrounded by numerous subordinates. Speer expected the two to denounce the army, which they had always regarded as their rival, or at any rate to gloat over its defeat. But both replied in fairly indifferent tone that whatever happened was the army's business. 'We don't want to get involved,' they had said.
    • In some ways, Ernst Kaltenbrunner was the worst of the lot. He was a hulking ox of a man, tall and thin, with a thick neck and a scar running from the left side of his mouth to his nose. His long arms and oversized hands dangling from an elongated body gave him a kind of simian appearance. Even his Nazi colleagues took pleasure in referring to him as the 'Gorilla.' But many gorillas have the quality, at least, of being gentle animals. There was nothing soft about this ruthless killer.
    • While Hitler claimed that only a tiny clique was responsible, the investigations conducted by Kaltenbrunner resulted in 5,000 executions, and in addition thousands of others were sent to concentration camps. Reports of the interrogations were sent almost daily by Kaltenbrunner to Martin Bormann, head of the Party Chancellory, who was continuously at Hitler's side.
    • For him, Hitler's Mein Kampf, with its strong denunciation of Jews, was a bible and Hitler a personal hero.
    • No one, especially a man like Ernst Kaltenbrunner could be allowed to discover the truth behind the work Schellenberg was secretly undertaking on Himmler's behalf, for its revelation to Hitler, in whatever form, would lead inevitably to Himmler's political ruin.
    • Martin Bormann looked for an ally inside the SS aparatus and found him in the preposterous figure of Ernst Kaltenbrunner.
    • There was the tiger, for instance. That was Kaltenbrunner, the terrible successor to Heydrich, the man of burning hate, the man with the sharp lawyer's brain. Of the quartet, Ernst Kaltenbrunner will haunt our memories the longest. He was the perfect Hollywood Nazi, lean-faced, cold-eyed, harsh-voiced, always under perfect control. A stubborn man and a strong man. As he sat there before us in the interrogation room in the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, we were fascinated by the deliberate way in which he clamped his lower lip over his upper lip as if to make sure that no word should escape him except when he wished to speak.
    • If he (Himmler) needed a yes-man like Rudi Brandt, he could not expect to find one in this low intriguer, an excitable, self-indulgent, deceitful, and slightly daft Austrian, a man with scar-face and criminal's ears. It may be that Himmler chose Kaltenbrunner just because he knew him so little, but it is even more likely that he did so because he knew him so little, but it is even more likely that he did so because Kaltenbrunner, who had scarcely left Vienna since the Anschluss, knew no one 'in the office'.
    • I've seldom had such a tough, callous ox to examine as this fellow Kaltenbrunner. A block of wood would be more sensitive. He's coarse, hard-bitten, probably only capable of thinking when he's drunk. Naturally, he'll be the right man for Hitler. I gave Himmler a report on all this, but he still seems to think he's the right man.
    • The policeman of July 11.
    • Kaltenbrunner was a giant in stature, heavy in his movements -a real lumberjack. It was his square, heavy chin which expressed the character of the man. The thick neck, forming a straight line with the back of his head, increased the impression of rough-hewn coarseness. His small, penetrating, brown eyes were unpleasant; they looked at one fixedly, like the eyes of a viper seeking to petrify his prey. When one expected Kaltenbrunner to say something, his angular, wooden face would remain quite inexpressive; then, after several seconds of oppressive silence, he would bang the table and begin to speak. I always had the feeling that I was looking at the hands of an old gorilla. They were much too small, and the fingers were brown and discolored, for Kaltenbrunner smoked up to one hundred cigarettes a day.
    • Kaltenbrunner had great personal weaknesses; above all he drank, which in itself was enough to damn him in the eyes of Heydrich, who of course exploited this weakness in his usual effective way.
    • My having direct access to Himmler was the worst thorn in Kaltenbrunner's flesh. My limited interest in nicotine and alcohol was another thing which infuriated him. On several occasions, he tried to force me to exceed my quota of one or two glasses of wine. The more desperate the situation became toward the end of the war, the more Kaltenbrunner drank. I would find him in his office at eleven o'clock in the morning, having risen hardly more than half an hour earlier, his small eyes dull and empty. With the joviality of a drunkard he would reach under his desk, or bellow, 'Orderly!' and pour out a glass of champagne or brandy for me. Then, when he became too obstreperous, I would take a nip or two to pacify him and pour the rest onto the carpet. Usually he did not know this, but once when he did, the veins in his face became so swollen with rage that I thought he was about to have a stroke.
    • I know of no limitation placed on Kaltenbrunner's authority as Chief of the Security Police and SD (RSHA). He promptly entered upon the duties of the office and assumed direct charge of the office and control over the Amts. He made it very clear in his official relations with all of us who were his Amt Chiefs that he was the head of the office exercising full executive powers and deciding all matters of policy. He permitted us to issue directives within the organization in our own names pursuant to fixed policies established by him, but all important matters had to be submitted to him whether he signed them or we signed them. He was constantly informed of all matters of importance which went on in the entire organization.
    • If you knew my personal feelings about Himmler and Kaltenbrunner, or rather the feelings between us, you would know that I was glad to be through with my own work with them. I didn't trust them, and they didn't trust me.
    • Yes. Especially during the last phase of the war. Kaltenbrunner had more influence with Hitler - in practice, Kaltenbrunner was worse than Himmler.
    • Himmler was such a coward, he refused or was afraid to act because of Kaltenbrunner and Hitler.
    • Toward the end, about April 28, 1945, I saved Ravensbruck camp and two thousand French, two thousand Polish, and two thousand Jewish women from death. I evacuated them to Sweden by the Red Cross toward the last of April 1945. There was an order in the camp that all inmates of the camp were to be shot when the front broke. Whose order? Kaltenbrunner!
    • Himmler should not have left Kaltenbrunner and others to be responsible for his misdeeds.
    • I knew Seyss-Inquart, and it was clear to me from the very beginning that he should get the Chancellorship. Then I named Kaltenbrunner for Security. I did not know Kaltenbrunner, and that is one of the two instances where the Fuehrer himself lended a hand by giving me a few names.
    • I have no knowledge of Kaltenbrunner's becoming particularly prominent in the public eye. I heard the name Kaltenbrunner for the first time when he appeared as successor to General Canaris.
    • Indeed, it was not until after the assassination of Heydrich in 1942 and the appointment of the subservient Kaltenbrunner in his place as head of the RSHA, of which the Gestapo was a part, that Himmler felt that he had gained total control.
    • There was an excellent foreman in an iron foundry near Oranienburg. I spoke with him and told him I would get him out of the concentration camp. He is still around, and you can check with him about this story. I personally wrote to Kaltenbrunner to get approval for his release. Kaltenbrunner answered that it was impossible to release this man because he was a former Communist. That illustrates how hard it was to do anything.
    • As far as I remember, he was there two, three, or four times. At any rate, during the last months of the war I saw him two, three, or four times. Kaltenbrunner never said a word there. As far as I remember, he just listened and stood about.
    • Kaltenbrunner said that the western Nazis were less radical, but my opinion is that the Nazis of Austria were more radical. I always had to meet criticism from below in Austria, charges that I was not being active enough and not putting through National Socialist ideas.
    • Ernst Kaltenbrunner was heading in the same direction, disguised as an International Red Cross doctor, if disguise was possible for a man nearly seven feet tall with a face slashed with scars. He knew of plans to use escape routes through the Alps, but he was not sure if his old friend Martin Bormann could help. He had a rendezvous with Adolf Eichmann, the bureaucrat who took the view that the subhuman breeds should be exterminated. His fellow Austrian Otto Skorzeny had already gone to earth in the region. Earlier when Kaltenbrunner had been asked what to do about syphilitic prostitutes, he had said (with all the majesty of the law behind him as Heydrich's successor): 'Bury them.'
    • SS Obergruppenfuhrer Dr. Kaltenbrunner attended personally conferences with SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, Chief of the SS Wirtschaft and Verwaltungshauptamt and Chief of the concentration camps. Due to these conferences and through talks with the Chief of Office Gruppenfuehrer Mueller of Amt IV and Gruppenfuehrer Nebe of Amt V, the Chief of the Security Police and SD, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Dr. Kaltenbrunner, must have known the state of affairs in the concentration camps.
    • I'm sure that Kaltenbrunner would not misuse the SD or Gestapo as Himmler and Heydrich did. Kaltenbrunner loves women and wine. He does not like police activity any more than I do.
    • The execution of all so-called resettlement actions, that is, the sending away of Polish, Jewish, and people of non-German blood, inhabitants of a territory in Poland destined for Germanization was in the hands of the Chief of the RSHA, Heydrich, and, since the end of 1942, Kaltenbrunner.
    • In the courtroom, the defendants were at their best. They had to be, because the whole world was watching this trial. When they came back to the cells, then they acted normal; they were normal people. Some of them cried in there. As a matter of fact, Ernst Kaltenbrunner... a notorious man, he was probably... big, tall fellow, about six foot seven, with scars on his face. We gave him a nickname, Scarface. But he was probably the biggest crybaby in there. We caught him many times, quite a few times, crying.
    • Himmler regarded the accused Ernst Kaltenbrunner as the most suitable successor of the deceased Heydrich, who was executed by Czech Patriots. On January 30, 1943, he was appointed the boss of the Central Reich Security Office and the SD. By numerous documentary vouchers, in particular by the instructions to the Massendeportierung (Mass Deporting) of humans in concentration camps, and by the statements of the former boss of the principal message office (office VI), Walter Schellenberg, and the boss of the internal secret service (office III or SD), Otto Ohlendorf, Kaltenbrunner was transferred into its realm. Statements were signed by Kaltenbrunner, under which, in its entirety, propagated the heaviest crimes. In the negotiation from April 12, 1946 with Kaltenbrunner, the statement of the earlier Mauthausen prisoner Johann Kandutor was read out loud. In its statement Kandutor tells how Kaltenbrunner at the time drove him out during its camp attendance. Kaltenbrunner entered laughing during the gas chamber exercises, then people from the barracks were brought in for the execution, and all three kinds of the executions were demonstrated - hanging, shooting and gassing!
    • 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.
    • The whole court case was a huge challenge. I was assigned to the case of Ernst Kaltenbrunner, meaning I had to investigate the murder of millions of Jews. Kaltenbrunner took over from Reinhard Heydrich as the head of Reich security and was in charge of tens of thousands of Gestapo agents, police and security forces. I did not have the slightest idea of the scale of genocide that had taken place in Germany.
    • A security chief who was of the impression that the policing functions of his Gestapo and SD were somewhat on the order of directing traffic.
    • Who would Hitler say deceived him about conditions in concentration camps if not Kaltenbrunner, even as he would deceive us?
    • Kaltenbrunner, the grand inquisitor, took up the bloody mantle of Heydrich to stifle opposition and terrorize compliance, and buttressed the power of National Socialism on a foundation of guiltless corpses.
    • The mass gassing of Jews did not begin until the summer of 1942, after Heydrich's death and it took place under the aegis of his successor, Kaltenbrunner, the Austrian lawyer who, at Nuremberg, did not know anything about anything.
    • Hitler remained in his closely-guarded suite. It was long after midnight when he left the Imperial Hotel in the company of Heinrich Himmler to make the long-awaited visit to the Weltliche Schatzkammer to claim the Spear of Destiny as his own personal possession. Awaiting him at the Hofburg were Wolfram von Sievers, head of the Nazi Occult Bureau, Major Walter Buch, Nazi legal expert and chief of the USCHLA, and Ernst Kaltenbrunner, SS Obergruppenfuhrer, Austria. All three, along with Reinhard Heydrich's Sicherheitspolizei, had played a separate role in helping to secure the Spear for him.
    • Ernst Kaltenbrunner entered the execution chamber at 1.36 a.m., wearing a sweater beneath his blue double-breasted coat. With his lean haggard face furrowed by old duelling scars, this terrible successor to Reinhard Heydrich had a frightening look as he glanced around the room. He wet his lips apparently in nervousness as he turned to mount the gallows, but he walked steadily. This was the man, one of whose agents - a man named Rudolf Hoess - confessed at a trial that under Kaltenbrunner's orders he gassed 3 million human beings at the Auschwitz concentration camp! As the black hood was raised over his head, Kaltenbrunner, still speaking in a low voice, used a German phrase which translated means, 'Germany, good luck.'
    • ernst kaltenbrunner

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