Operation Zauberflöte (ii)

magic flute

This was a German operation against so-called partisans in the area of Minsk and so threatening the lines of communication to Generalfeldmarschall Günther von Kluge’s Heeresgruppe ‘Mitte’ in the German-occupied western USSR (17/22 April 1943).

This undertaking was undertaken by a combined force of Sicherheitsdienst personnel, police and SS troops of the Kampfgruppe ‘von Gottberg’ under the command of SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS Curt von Gottberg against so-called 'bandits [largely Jews and other undesirables], Bolshevik terror and saboteur troops, operatives and helpers, signaller and deserters' in the Belorussian region of the German-occupied western USSR. The operation targeted the city of Minsk and its environs, which were to be cleared of all resistance elements, and also involved the arrest of German deserters and the mass deportation to Germany of forced labourers. The operation was complex, and involved the co-ordination of cordons sweeping simultaneously all six of the city’s districts, with an outer security encirclement moving toward an inner security ring.

The undertaking resulted in the deaths of two persons and the deportation of 1,012 persons as forced labourers.