In January 1945, Nazi Germany faced military defeat. Allied forces liberated France, Belgium and most of the Netherlands. In Eastern Europe, the Red Army had advanced in to the Baltic States and Eastern Poland. On January 10, the Soviet forces launched a large scale offensive in East Prussia and Poland (Operation Vistula – Oder). On January 17, Soviet forces entered Warsaw. Following the German withdrawal, Heinrich Himmler, Head of the SS, ordered the evacuation of all camps in Poland. On Janu
ary 18 Auschwitz and its sub camps were evacuated. Many German cities were heavily bombed and destroyed during the Allied aerial attack. The German transportation system was thrown into chaos. However, the Gestapo continued to issue deportation announcements all across Germany. On January 19, the RSHA (Reich Security Main Office) informed all "Mischlinge" (who had been exempt from deportation) to prepare for deportation to Theresienstadt. This transport left Dresden for Theresienstadt on 2 February 1945. It consisted of one Jew. The transport was likely conducted by regular train under guard. The general guidelines prepared by the RSHA recommended that the local Gestapo notify those Jews selected for deportation in writing. The deportees were permitted to bring a sum of 50 Reichmarks, a suitcase, a full set of clothes, suitable shoes, bedding, tableware and food supplies for eight days. Additionally, those selected for deportation had to produce an inventory of all their properties. The deportees were normally detained in assembly sites for two days prior to deportation. The Gauleiter of Saxony, Martin Mutschmann, was a key figure in the execution of this transport. Henry Schmidt, the head of the Dresden Department for Jewish Affairs in the RSHA, was responsible for organizing and carrying it out. Schmidt was also present in the assembly camps and even accompanied two or three transports to Theresienstadt. The transport arrived at Theresienstadt on 2 February 1945. The transport was given the reference V/10 Ez 7, where the Roman numeral V refers to Dresden. Ez were the German initials given to special transports of individuals (Einzelreisende Sondertransport).