Ernst Kaltenbrunner (4 October 1903 – 16 October 1946) was a high-ranking SS officer during World War II. On 30 January 1943, Kaltenbrunner was appointed Chief of the Reich Main Security Office, replacing Reinhard Heydrich, who had been assassinated in June 1942.
Kaltenbrunner was one of the highest ranking SS officers during the Nuremberg trials and the highest during the main trial, the International Military Tribunal (IMT). Oswald Pohl was equal in rank to Kaltenbrunner within the SS hierarchy, but initially avoided capture, and was tried at a later Nuremberg trial.
Kaltenbrunner's defense was essentially the same as that of many other accused National Socialists, the legal strategy of acknowledging the Holocaust while attempting to shift blame, which Holocaust revisionists argue was the only legal strategy having some small chance of success, since outright rejection of the Holocaust story was a political impossibility for the Allies. Kaltenbrunner thus argued that he had a much smaller role than Heydrich and was ordered to only concern himself with intelligence, that he had for a long time been unaware of the Holocaust, and that when he learned of it, he protested, and was instrumental in causing it to be stopped. This was rejected as falsehoods and Kaltenbrunner was executed in 1946.
There are no reports of Kaltenbrunner being tortured (unlike, for example, the SS officers Oswald Pohl and Rudolf Höss), but he was initially absent from the trial and ill when he appeared, allegedly due to strokes.
The Mauthausen camp commandant Franz Ziereis allegedly before his death accused Kaltenbrunner of ordering the entire Mauthausen camp to be killed upon the approach of the Americans. See the article on Franz Ziereis regarding criticisms.
The Holocaust revisionist Carlos Porter has written that "Another crime committed by Kaltenbrunner was responsibility for the so-called "Bullet Order". This is supposed to have been an order to shoot prisoners of war using a measuring contraption (probably inspired by the Paul Waldmann pedal-driven brain bashing machine, (Document USSR-52, VII 377[416-417]). The "Bullet Order", Document 1650-PS, if it is an authentic document, which it probably is not (XVIII 35-36 [43-44]) is a mistranslation: the sense of the order is that prisoners who attempt to escape should be chained to an iron ball (Kugel), and not that they should be shot with a "bullet" (also Kugel). The word "chained" appears in the document, but the word "shot" does not (III 506 ; XXI 514 ); Gestapo affidavit 75; XXI 299 ). The document is a "teletype" thus, without a signature (XXVII 424-428)."
- NOT GUILTY AT NUREMBERG: The German Defense Case - detailed descriptions and criticisms of the alleged evidence against each of the accused at the IMT
- Arthur R. Butz. The Hoax of the Twentieth Century—The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry. 4th, corrected and expanded edition. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=7
- NOT GUILTY AT NUREMBERG: The German Defense Case http://cwporter.com/innocent.htm