Eichmann in Jerusalem


Hannah Arendt

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Ernst Kaltenbrunner Character Analysis

A Nazi official who helped Eichmann join the S.S. and later took charge of the R.S.H.A. after Reinhardt Heydrich’s assassination. Eichmann and Kaltenbrunner’s fathers were friends, but during their entire relationship Kaltenbrunner looked down on Eichmann, to the latter’s chagrin. He was convicted and executed at the Nuremberg Trials, where he was the highest-ranking official made to answer for his crimes.

Ernst Kaltenbrunner Quotes in Eichmann in Jerusalem

The Eichmann in Jerusalem quotes below are all either spoken by Ernst Kaltenbrunner or refer to Ernst Kaltenbrunner. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Banality of Evil Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Eichmann in Jerusalem published in 1963.
Chapter 2 Quotes

From a humdrum life without significance and consequence the wind had blown him into History, as he understood it, namely, into a Movement that always kept moving and in which somebody like him—already a failure in the eyes of his social class, of his family, and hence in his own eyes as well—could start from scratch and still make a career.

Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ernst Kaltenbrunner Character Timeline in Eichmann in Jerusalem

The timeline below shows where the character Ernst Kaltenbrunner appears in Eichmann in Jerusalem. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: The Accused
The Banality of Evil Theme Icon
...fired soon thereafter. He joined the Nazi Party and S.S. in the same year. Ernst Kaltenbrunner invited him, as the two men’s fathers were friends—but Kaltenbrunner treated Eichmann as a social... (full context)
Chapter 5: The Second Solution: Concentration
The Banality of Evil Theme Icon
Conscience, Authority, and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Justice and Legal Responsibility Theme Icon
...into the Head Office for Reich Security (R.S.H.A.), headed by Reinhardt Heydrich (and later Ernst Kaltenbrunner), which became one of the S.S.’s twelve main offices. The Nazis were sure to talk... (full context)
The Banality of Evil Theme Icon
Conscience, Authority, and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
...directly for him in Subsection IV-B, dealing with Jewish matters. Müller answered to Heydrich (later Kaltenbrunner), who answered to Himmler, who directly carried out Hitler’s orders. Himmler also directed the separate... (full context)
Chapter 15: Judgment, Appeal, and Execution
The Banality of Evil Theme Icon
Conscience, Authority, and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Justice and Legal Responsibility Theme Icon
...Jews.” Himmler told him to pick prominent Jews as a bargaining chip in postwar negotiations. Kaltenbrunner had redirected Eichmann to build a commando force, but as soon as they were ready,... (full context)
The Banality of Evil Theme Icon
Eichmann first went to Kaltenbrunner, who rebuked him, and then was caught by Americans and interned. They could not figure... (full context)