Black and white portrait of Kurt Christian von Loeben: He is wearing his uniform without a cap. Von Loeben stands slightly to the right in profile and looks into the camera.
Christian von Loeben as a young officer-candidate in the 1930s © BArch PERS 6/51892

Kurt Christian von Loeben

* "30 September 1915" – Döbeln (Saxony)
† "24 March 1945" – Brantice, Moravian Silesia

Under the command of Kurt-Christian von Loeben, in the spring of 1944, the Reconnaissance battalion of the ‘Hermann Göring’ Parachute Panzer Division carried out a number of operations against partisans in the Apennines. In the course of these operations, appr. 300 civilians were killed, including many children. The battalion’s extreme brutality prompted a great deal of indignation from RSI-officials, so that the Wehrmacht was forced to initiate an investigation. This had no results, aside from the transfer of von Loeben and two other officers. Rittmeister von Loeben died in a field hospital on the Eastern Front after being wounded in March 1945.

Army branch
Joined the NSDAP
Armed force
‘Hermann Göring’ Parachute Panzer Division
Years of service
Rittmeister (cavalry)
France 1940
Occupation of Netherlands 1943(?)-44
Italy 1944
Eastern Front 1944-45
Confirmed Massacres

Monchio, Susano and Costrignano (Modena)
Cervarolo and Civago (Reggio Emilia)
Monte Morello (Florence)
Vallucciole and the area around Monte Falterona (Arezzo)
Mommio (Massa and Carrara)

Post war period

Killed in battle March 1945.

Training and experience in war

Participation in massacres of civilians

The brutality of the raids was so intense that it even prompted a negative reaction in German command centres. Following a complaint by Italian Social Republic officials, the battalion was investigated by the Wehrmacht in a court-martial framework.
In the course of his military career, von Loeben received a number of awards, the last one being the German Cross in Gold in 1945. In March of that year, he was gravely wounded and died in a field hospital in Bransdorf (presently Czech Republic).


Personnel files of Kurt Christian von Loeben in Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv (German Federal Archives), Freiburg, PERS 6/51892.


Carlo Gentile, Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Partisanenkrieg. Italien 1943–1945. Schöningh, Paderborn 2012, pp. 308, 311f., 319, 328, 332.

Carlo Gentile, Le stragi del 1944 in provincia di Arezzo ed i loro perpetratori (report on the preparation of the application of the Bucine, Cavriglia, Civitella in Val di Chiana and Stia communes to open an investigation), Cologne, 1998:

Authorship and translation

Author: Carlo Gentile

Translated from German by: Joel Golb

© Project ‘The Massacres in Occupied Italy (1943-1945): Integrating the Perpetrators’ Memories’


Text: CC BY NC SA 4.0