Following the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany in March 1939, and the declaration of a Slovak republic on March 14, Hitler announced on March 15 the establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Between 1939 and 1941 the Nazi authorities in the Protectorate carried out various anti-Jewish measures, which included the harassment of Jews and of Jewish institutions and the confiscation of property.
On October 10, 1941, the newly appointed Reichsprotektor, Reinhard Heydrich, summoned several SS officers, among them Adolf Eichmann, to a meeting in Prague (Praha). Heydrich, who was also chief of the Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt, RSHA), revealed a plan to deport 5,000 Jews from the Protectorate to Eastern Europe and in addition to expel the remaining Jews of the Protectorate to an assembly camp in Bohemia. Theresienstadt, a garrison town built in the 18th century, located about 6 kilometers north of Prague, was chosen to serve as the place for concentrating the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia. Mass deportations of Jews from Prague and soon afterwards from other large cities began in late November 1941.
Transport S left Plzen for the Theresienstadt Ghetto on January 22, 1942. It was the second of three large transports, originating from Plzen to the Ghetto, that had been established in the Protectorate. The transport consisted of 1,000 Jews, some were residents from Plzen, others were from neighboring towns and villages. Among these were Kralovice (Kraltowitz), Blovice (Blowitz), Radnice (Radnitz) and Rokycany (Rokitzan) and Horovice (Horowitz).
Prior to the train’s departure, several staff members of the Prague Jewish community Transports Department arrived in Plzen to carry out administrative measures according to the orders they received from the Central Office for Jewish Immigration. They prepared a list of deportees, registered Jewish property, issued notices regarding the date of deportation, and assisted in packing and carrying luggage.
The Jews were transferred to the train station and put on a train. Upon arrival in Bohusovice, the deportees had to disembark, and were forced to march the remaining 3 km to Theresienstadt.