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Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-311-0926-08, Italien, italienische Soldaten, deutscher General

Generalleutnant Kurt Mälzer inspecting Italian troops of the X MAS in Piazza Bainsizza, Rome, around the time this unit was deployed to counter the Allied beachhead at Anzio. (February–March 1944.)

Kurt Mälzer (2 August 1894, Altenburg – 24 March 1952, Werl) was a General of the German Luftwaffe during World War II. In 1944, Mälzer was appointed the military commander of the city of Rome, subordinated to General Eberhard von Mackensen under the overall command of Field Marshal Albert Kesselring. Under his authority, Mälzer commanded not only the garrison Wehrmacht troops in Rome itself, but also indirectly the SS security forces assigned to maintain order in the city (although these troops were nominally under the authority of the SS and Police Leader of the region, Wilhelm Harster).

General Mälzer is perhaps best known as the highest ranking individual in Rome directly associated with the Ardeatine massacre. Mälzer, under orders from Adolf Hitler, ordered the massacre which was then planned and carried out by the SS, under Herbert Kappler.

After the war, Mälzer was put on trial by the Allies and sentenced to death. His death sentence was later commuted to a prison term. He died in prison in 1952.

Kurt Mälzer is a main character in the film Massacre in Rome, and is portrayed by actor Leo McKern.

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