In an official meeting on January 30, 1940, Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), declared that the Jews of the city of Stettin in Pomerania were to be evacuated from their homes for what he claimed where reasons pertaining to the war effort. What followed was a particularly brutal deportation of the majority of the remaining Jewish population of that area to ghettos in the Lublin district. Only a handful of Jews remained in the province thereafter.
On May 21, 1943, Rolf Günther, Adolf Eichmann’s deputy in Department IVB4 of the RSHA, informed all local police headquarters that Heinrich Himmler had ordered the completion of all deportations of Jews from the Greater Reich and the Protectorate to the East and to the Theresienstadt ghetto by June 30, 1943. The new orders included several groups of Jews whose deportation had been postponed until then. These included sick and infirm Jews, Jews who were still enrolled in slave labor for the war industry, and employees of the Reichsvereinigung der Juden (Reich Association of Jews in Germany). The only exemptions were Jews who were married to non-Jews. The regulations also gave guidelines regarding the procedure of the deportations. In cases of smaller deportations that held up to 400 Jews, special cars connected to regular trains were to be used.
This transport departed from the city of Stettin (Szczecin) in Pomerania on July 5 or 6, 1943, and arrived in Theresienstadt on July 7, 1943. It was classified as a transport of individuals (Einzeltransport) and consisted of two deportees who were residents of small communities in northern Pomerania: 63 year-old Margarethe Kurtzig of Glasow, and 71 year-old Josef Richard Sommerfeld of Barth.
The deportees were probably arrested at their homes or ordered to report to the Gestapo offices in Stettin. They were registered and forced to sign a declaration, relinquishing their entire property to the State. They were presumably put under guard on a regular passenger train that went to Theresienstadt via Posen or Berlin.
The train arrived at Theresienstadt on 7 July 1943. A month prior, the Jewish prisoners in Theresienstadt had finished the construction of a new train station in the ghetto. The transport was given the reference XIV/1 Ez 2 in the Theresienstadt ghetto listings where the Roman numeral XIV refers to all transports originating from the provinces of East Prussia and Pomerania, and the letters “Ez” signify transports of individuals..
Conditions in Theresienstadt were harsh: in addition to hunger and disease there was the constant threat of being deported to the killing sites in the east. Such was the fate of Margarethe Kurtzig and Josef Richard Sommefeld: on May 16, 1944 they were deported on transport number Ea to the extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau where they were murdered.