Famous Austrian Men

What is that one common link that ties Sigmund Freud, Joseph Haydn, Mozart, Gottfried von Einem, Werner Berg, and Arnold Schwarzenegger together? It is their roots. That is right! Best known for its legendary festivals, modern architecture, unique exhibitions, and delightful landscapes, Austria is equally lauded for being home to exceptionally gifted men who have made their country extremely proud with their extraordinary accomplishments. From producing scores of legendary musicians, mathematicians and mavericks to multitude of painters, philosophers and playwrights, Austria has stamped its greatness across the world map, all thanks to its highly-abled sons. It is because of them that Austria is revered as one of the greatest talent-churning nations in the world. So whether you are looking for a dose of philosophy or wanting to soak up some lilting melodies, Austria has everything covered for you. Trail down the timeline, life stories, and interesting trivia and facts of some such famous Austrian men and explore their biographies here.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler.
Famous As: Nazi Leader, German Dictator and Chancellor of Germany
Birthdate: April 20, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Braunau am Inn
Died: April 30, 1945

One of the most powerful leaders of the 20th century, Adolf Hitler was a German dicator whose policies started the WWII that resulted in the death of millions of people. He had a visceral hatred for Jews and during his regime nearly six million Jews were killed in Holocaust.

 2 Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla.
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: July 10, 1856
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Smiljan, Croatia
Died: January 7, 1943

Inventor, engineer and futurist, Nikola Tesla, is best remembered for his contribution to the development of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. A prolific inventor, he had around 300 patents for his inventions. Even though he earned a considerable amount of money, he had poor money management skills and died a poor man.

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 3 Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven.
Famous As: Composer, Pianist
Birthdate: December 16, 1770
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bonn, Germany
Died: March 26, 1827

German composer and pianist, Ludwig van Beethoven, remains one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music even two centuries after his death. Born into a musical family, he was initially tutored by his father. He found success early as a pianist and went on to become an admired composer despite suffering from hearing-impairment.

 4 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Famous As: Composer, Pianist
Birthdate: January 27, 1756
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Died: December 5, 1791

A child prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is regarded as one of the greatest classical composers ever. A prolific composer, he had a profound influence on Western music. Many of his works are considered pinnacles of choral, symphonic, operatic, chamber, and concertante music. Before his death, at the age of 35, he had composed over 600 works.

 5 Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud.
Famous As: Neurologist
Birthdate: May 6, 1856
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Příbor, Czechia
Died: September 23, 1939

Regarded as the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud was a neurologist. Despite suffering criticism, psychoanalysis remains influential in the fields of psychology and psychiatry; such is the influence Freud has on humanities. Scholars believe that Freud is one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century and that his impact is comparable to that of Marxism and Darwinism.

 6 Niki Lauda

Niki Lauda.
Famous As: Former Formula One driver
Birthdate: February 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 20, 2019

Austrian Formula One driver and aviation entrepreneur Niki Lauda was a three-time F1 World Drivers' Champion. Considered to be one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time, he was once involved in a near-fatal accident. He founded and ran three airlines as an aviation entrepreneur and also served as the team manager of the Jaguar Formula One racing team.

 7 Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem.
Famous As: Tennis Player
Birthdate: September 3, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wiener Neustadt, Austria

The second-highest ranked Austrian tennis player of all time, Dominic Thiem became the first Austrian to win the singles title at a US Open when he came back from two sets down to beat Alexander Zverev in the 2020 US Open final. At the 2019 BNP Paribas Open, he defeated Roger Federer to win his first Masters 1000 title.

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 8 Christoph Waltz

Christoph Waltz.
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 4, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna
Christoph Waltz is best known for his Academy Award-winning performances as Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds and Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained, both by Quentin Tarantino. Waltz had begun as a stage and TV actor in Germany. Some of his other notable projects are Spectre and Big Eyes.

 9 Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka.
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 3, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Prague, Austria-Hungary
Died: June 3, 1924

Considered one of the major authors of the 20th century, Franz Kafka was a Bohemian short-story writer and novelist. Franz Kafka is credited for being one of the earliest German-speaking authors to explore themes like absurdity, existential anxiety, and alienation. The term Kafkaesque is now widely used in the English language to explain those situations experienced by his characters.

 10 Erwin Schrödinger

Erwin Schrödinger.
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: August 12, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: January 4, 1961
Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, is best known for the "Schrödinger's cat" experiment, or the Schrodinger equation. His book What Is Life? explored genetics through physics. The Nobel Prize winner also wrote on a variety of topics, such as color theory and thermodynamics, and tried to create a unified field theory.

 11 Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 26, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 29, 1951

Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is remembered for his works related to logic, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of mathematics, and the philosophy of language. He taught at the University of Cambridge for many years. He published only one book during his lifetime. Most of his manuscripts were collected later and published posthumously.

 12 Joseph Haydn

Joseph Haydn.
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: March 31, 1732
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rohrau, Austria
Died: May 31, 1809

Joseph Haydn was an Austrian composer who played a key role in the progression of chamber music during the Classical period. He is often referred to as the Father of the String Quartet and Father of the Symphony for his contributions to musical form. Joseph Haydn is also credited with mentoring and tutoring Mozart and Beethoven, respectively.

 13 Franz Peter Schubert

Franz Peter Schubert .
Famous As: Composer, Pianist
Birthdate: January 31, 1797
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Alsergrund, Vienna, Austria
Died: November 19, 1828

Austrian composer Franz Peter Schubert was one of the most prominent figures of the Viennese Classical and Romantic periods. He initially performed at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. His compositions include over 600 vocal works and several symphonies, operas, and piano sonatas. One of his most-talked-about works is the Unfinished Symphony.

 14 Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler.
Famous As: Composer, Conductor
Birthdate: July 7, 1860
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kaliste, Bohemia (now Czech Republic)
Died: May 18, 1911

Austro-Bohemian Romantic composer and conductor Gustav Mahler symbolized the transition of 19th-century Austro-German music to early-20th-century modernism. His music was banned during the Nazi era but was rediscovered later. Famous for his Eighth Symphony, he had also been the director of the Hofoper (Vienna Court Opera).

 15 Friedrich von Hayek

Friedrich von Hayek.
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: May 8, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: March 23, 1992

A winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Friedrich von Hayek, was an advocate of classical liberalism. The Austrian-British economist, who was also a political philosopher, co-founded the Mont Pelerin Society. He worked at the London School of Economics, the University of Chicago and the University of Freiburg and authored the popular book, The Road to Serfdom.

 16 Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel.
Birthdate: July 22, 1822
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Heinzendorf bei Odrau, Austrian Empire
Died: January 6, 1884

A scientist, meteorologist, mathematician, and biologist, Gregor Mendel is considered the founder of the modern science of genetics. He conducted a series of experiments on pea plants between 1856 and 1863, establishing many rules of heredity. Besides his work on pea plants, he also described novel plant species and conducted experiments with hawkweed and honeybees.

 17 Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Archduke Franz Ferdinand .
Famous As: The person whose assassination sparked the First World War
Birthdate: December 18, 1863
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: June 28, 1914
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the eldest son of Archduke Karl Ludwig, was the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. He was also the inspector general of the Austro-Hungarian army. His assassination by Young Bosnia member Gavrilo Princip triggered Austria’s conflict with Serbia, leading to World War I.

 18 Arnold Schoenberg

Arnold Schoenberg.
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: September 13, 1874
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria
Died: July 13, 1951
Austrian-born composer Arnold Schoenberg was part of the German Expressionist Movement and led the Second Viennese School. Being Jewish, he was banned by the Nazis and later became an American citizen. Known for his twelve-tone technique, he coined the term developing variation and formed motifs without a centralized melodic idea.

 19 Franz Joseph I of Austria

Franz Joseph I of Austria.
Famous As: Emperor of Austria
Birthdate: August 18, 1830
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Died: November 21, 1916

Franz Joseph I of Austria reigned as the Emperor of Austria from 1848 until his death in 1916. He also served as the King of Hungary, Bohemia, and Croatia and monarch of other states of Austria-Hungary. During his reign, Austria-Hungary decided to wage war against the Kingdom of Serbia, which eventually resulted in the First World War.

 20 Amon Goeth

Amon Goeth.
Famous As: World War II Nazi Officer
Birthdate: December 11, 1908
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 13, 1946

Amon Goeth was an Austrian war criminal and SS functionary. During World War II, Goeth served as the commandant of the Płaszów concentration camp operated by the SS. After the war, he was convicted of homicide and was executed by hanging. Amon Goeth was played by Ralph Fiennes in the 1993 epic historical drama film Schindler's List.

 21 Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt.
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 14, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baumgarten, Austrian Empire
Died: February 6, 1918

Austrian symbolist painter, Gustav Klimt, was one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. His primary subject was the female body, and he produced numerous paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. He was known for his deliberate painting style. He successfully avoided personal scandal despite having an active sex life.

 22 Boris Kodjoe

Boris Kodjoe.
Famous As: Actor, Former Model
Birthdate: March 8, 1973
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Boris Kodjoe is an Austrian-American former model, actor, and producer. Over the years, he has been part of several popular films and TV series, such as Brown Sugar, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and Station 19. Also known for his good looks, Boris Kodjoe was named in People magazine's list of 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 2002.

 23 Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff.
Famous As: Investor
Birthdate: January 12, 1972
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna
Former racing driver Toto Wolff is the CEO and 30% stakeholder of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport Formula One Team. He has been part of the Austrian and German Formula Ford championships. He later established the investment firms Marchfifteen and Marchsixteen. He supports underprivileged children through the Mary Bendet Foundation.

 24 David Alaba

David Alaba
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: June 24, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna

 25 Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl.
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: March 26, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria
Died: September 2, 1997

Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl founded logotherapy. He also authored several books, most notably his bestselling autobiographical depiction of his ordeal at various Nazi concentration camps, Man's Search for Meaning. He had lost his parents, brother, and wife in the Holocaust. He later won honors such as the Oskar Pfister Award.

 26 Rainer Maria Rilke

Rainer Maria Rilke.
Famous As: Poet & Novelist
Birthdate: December 4, 1875
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary
Died: December 29, 1926

Bohemian-Austrian poet and author Rainer Maria Rilke is best remembered for his numerous poetry collections and his only novel, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. His works contain metaphors, contradictions, and elements drawn from Greek mythology. Though most of his works were in German, he had also written in French.

 27 Sebastian Kurz

Sebastian Kurz.
Famous As: Chancellor of Austria
Birthdate: August 27, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Sebastian Kurz has been the Austrian chancellor since January 2020. He held the same position from 2017 to 2019, thus also becoming the youngest chancellor of Austria, at 31. He has also chaired the Austrian People's Party since 2017 and been the foreign affairs minister from 2013 to 2017.

 28 Simon Wiesenthal

Simon Wiesenthal.
Famous As: Nazi Hunter
Birthdate: December 31, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Buczacz
Died: September 20, 2005
Jewish Austrian Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal survived four Nazi concentration camps, including the notorious Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp. He later devoted his life to finding out information about Nazi war criminals to bring them to trial. He wrote several books on his experiences, such as The Sunflower and I Chased Eichmann.

 29 Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck.
Famous As: Chef, Restaurateur
Birthdate: July 8, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria

Wolfgang Puck is an Austrian-American restaurateur. In 1973, Puck moved to the US and opened a restaurant named Spago in 1982. He then established himself as a respected restaurateur by opening several other restaurants. In 2013, he was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame. Also an actor, Puck has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 30 Felix Baumgartner

Felix Baumgartner.
Famous As: Daredevil
Birthdate: April 20, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Salzburg

Felix Baumgartner is an Austrian skydiver, BASE jumper, and daredevil. He is best known for jumping from the stratosphere to the Earth as part of the Red Bull Stratos project. Baumgartner set the world record for gaining an estimated top speed of Mach 1.25, becoming the first person without vehicular power to break the sonic barrier relative to the surface.

 31 Alois Hitler

Alois Hitler.
Famous As: Adolf Hitler's Father
Birthdate: June 7, 1837
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Döllersheim, Austria
Died: January 3, 1903

Alois Hitler was an Austrian civil servant and father of Adolf Hitler. Alois Hitler became popular after his infamous son started hogging the limelight; he has been depicted in a couple of TV series, such as Hitler: The Rise of Evil and Tales of the Unexpected.

 32 Ignaz Semmelweis

Ignaz Semmelweis.
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: July 1, 1818
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Buda
Died: August 13, 1865

Almost 2 decades before germ theory was laid down, Ignaz Semmelweis became the first physician to suggest that hand-washing could prevent the spread of puerperal fever and related deaths. Ironically, after being ridiculed for his theory, he died in a mental asylum, due to an infection from a wound.

 33 Maximilian I of Mexico

Maximilian I of Mexico.
Famous As: Monarch
Birthdate: July 6, 1832
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: June 19, 1867
Austrian archduke Maximilian I ruled as the only emperor of the Second Mexican Empire, from 1864 to 1867. He had also been the commander-in-chief of the Imperial Austrian Navy. However, after the French withdrew their support, he was executed by Mexico’s Republican forces, led by Benito Juárez.

 34 Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny.
Famous As: Military Officer
Birthdate: June 12, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: July 6, 1975
Austrian-born German SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny served in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He led the Gran Sasso raid that rescued Benito Mussolini. He also headed Operation Greif that had German soldiers attacking Allied forces by using uniforms of their enemies. He later spent time in Egypt and Argentina.

 35 Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler.
Birthdate: February 7, 1870
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus
Died: May 28, 1937

Alfred Adler was an Austrian psychotherapist and medical doctor. He is credited with founding the school of individual psychology. He was also one of the founders of the psychoanalytic movement along with Sigmund Freud and Freud's colleagues. In 2002, a survey conducted by Review of General Psychology named Adler among the 20th century's most eminent psychologists.

 36 Joseph Schumpeter

Joseph Schumpeter.
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: February 8, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Třešť, Czechia
Died: January 8, 1950
Business students remember Austrian economist and sociologist Joseph Schumpeter for his contribution to the concepts of entrepreneurship, creative destruction, and business cycles. An academic, who had also taught at Harvard, Schumpeter believed capitalism would someday automatically give way to socialism, a thought he expressed in Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy

 37 Ferdinand Porsche

Ferdinand Porsche.
Famous As: Founder of Porsche Automobile Company
Birthdate: September 3, 1875
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vratislavice nad Nisou, Liberec, Czechia
Died: January 30, 1951

Ferdinand Porsche was an Austrian-German automotive engineer. He is credited with founding one of the most popular car companies in the world, Porsche AG. He is also credited with creating the Lohner-Porsche mixed hybrid, the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle. During World War II, Porsche was a prominent contributor to the German war effort.

 38 Wilhelm Reich

Wilhelm Reich.
Famous As: Psychoanalyst
Birthdate: March 24, 1897
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Austria-Hungary
Died: November 3, 1957

Wilhelm Reich was an Austrian psychoanalyst and doctor of medicine. He is credited with shaping innovations like body psychotherapy, primal therapy, and Gestalt therapy. Also a writer, Reich's books like The Sexual Revolution and The Mass Psychology of Fascism influenced generations of intellectuals. Also a controversial figure, some of Wilhelm Reich's practices caused a disturbance in the psychoanalytic community.

 39 Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor.
Famous As: Holy Roman Emperor
Birthdate: March 22, 1459
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wiener Neustadt
Died: January 12, 1519

Maximilian I  was Holy Roman Emperor from 1508 until his death in 1519. The son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, and Eleanor of Portugal, he ruled jointly with his father for the last years of the latter’s reign. During his reign, he expanded the influence of the House of Habsburg and established the Habsburg dynasty in Spain. 

 40 Gustav Schwarzenegger

Gustav Schwarzenegger.
Famous As: Father of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Birthdate: August 17, 1907
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Austria-Hungary
Died: December 13, 1972

Gustav Schwarzenegger was better known as actor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s father than as the police chief of Austria. He was a master sergeant in Wehrmacht after his country was annexed by Nazi Germany. He was made a postal inspector after injuries he suffered in Russia ruled him out of the armed forces. He returned to the Austrian police force in 1947.

 41 Falco

Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 19, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 6, 1998

The man behind iconic tracks such as Der Kommisar and Rock Me Amadeus, legendary Austrian singer Johann "Hans" Hölzel, better known as Falco, was one of the best-selling singers from his country. Unfortunately, his career was short-lived, as he died in a car accident shortly before his 41st birthday.

 42 Kurt Waldheim

Kurt Waldheim.
Famous As: Former President of Austria & UN Secretary General
Birthdate: December 21, 1918
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sankt Andrä-Wördern near Vienna, German Austria
Died: June 14, 2007

While he claimed he studied at the University of Vienna during World War II, documents recovered later suggested that Kurt Waldheim was in fact part of the German army in the Balkans. Waldheim later became the president of Austria and the secretary-general of the United Nations.

 43 Georg von Trapp

Georg von Trapp
Famous As: Naval officer
Birthdate: April 4, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zadar, Croatia
Died: May 30, 1947

 44 Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig.
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: November 28, 1881
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died: February 22, 1942

Stefan Zweig was an Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, and biographer. He was one of the most widely translated and most popular writers in the world at the height of his career. His best-known work is Sternstunden der Menschheit, in which he wrote about decisive historical events. His later years were very difficult and he died by suicide in 1942.

 45 Brian Laudrup

Brian Laudrup
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: February 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna

 46 Heinrich Harrer

Heinrich Harrer.
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: July 6, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hüttenberg, Austria
Died: January 7, 2006

Austrian mountaineer, sportsman, geographer, and author Heinrich Harrer was part of the climbing team that made the first ascent of the North Face of the Eiger. He took part in expeditions to Alaska, the Andes, and the Mountains of the Moon in central Africa in his later years. As a writer, he published Seven Years in Tibet. 

 47 Mick Blue

Mick Blue
Famous As: Adult Film Star
Birthdate: September 9, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Graz, Austria

 48 Wolfgang Pauli

Wolfgang Pauli.
Famous As: Nobel Laureate in Physics
Birthdate: April 25, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 15, 1958

Nobel Prize-winning Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli is remembered for his contribution to quantum physics and for laying down the Pauli principle. While he was initially married to a cabaret dancer, the marriage ended in a divorce after a year. His written works are considered classics in science.

 49 Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele .
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 12, 1890
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tulln an der Donau
Died: October 31, 1918

Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter whose work is well-known for its raw sexuality and intensity. An early exponent of Expressionism, Schiele was one of the early-20th century's most prominent figurative painters. His life and career inspired the 1980 biographical film Excess and Punishment, in which Schiele was played by German actor Mathieu Carrière. 

 50 Ernst Kaltenbrunner

Ernst Kaltenbrunner.
Famous As: Nazi Leader
Birthdate: October 4, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ried im Innkreis
Died: October 16, 1946

Ernst Kaltenbrunner was an SS official who played a major role in the Holocaust during the Nazi era. From 1943 to 1945, Kaltenbrunner served as chief of the Reich Main Security Office, which housed the offices of SD, Kripo, and Gestapo. His most influential period as an SS official coincided with the period during which the genocide of Jews intensified.