Ernst Kaltenbrunner

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Ernst Kaltenbrunner (4 October 1903 – 16 October 1946) was a senior Austrian official during World War II, holding the offices of Chief of the RSHA, and President of Interpol from 1943 to 1945. He was the highest-ranking SS leader to face trial at the first Nuremberg Trials, having the full rank of Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei und Waffen-SS. He was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and executed.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Born in Ried im Innkreis, Austria, Kaltenbrunner was the son of a lawyer, and was educated at the State Realgymnasium in Linz and at Graz University. He obtained a law degree in 1926, and briefly worked as a lawyer in Linz and Salzburg. He was a very tall man, standing just over 6' 7" (201 cm) tall,[citation needed] and had deep scars on his face from dueling in his student days.[1] However, according to some sources, these "dueling scars" were actually the result of an alcohol-linked driving accident.[2]

Early career

Kaltenbrunner joined the Nazi Party and the SS in Austria in 1932. He was the Gauredner (district speaker) and Rechtsberater (legal consultant) of the SS Division VIII. In January 1934, Kaltenbrunner was briefly jailed by the Engelbert Dollfuss government with other National Socialists at the Kaisersteinbruch concentration camp. In 1934, he was jailed again on suspicion of High Treason in the assassination of Dollfuss. This accusation was dropped, but he was sentenced to six months for conspiracy. In 1934, Kaltenbrunner married Elisabeth Eder (b. 1908) and they had three children. In addition to the children from his marriage, Kaltenbrunner had twins, Ursula and Wolfgang, (b. 1945) with his long-time mistress Gisela Gräfin von Westarp (née Wolf). All of his children survived the war.

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