During the fall-winter months of 1942-1943 Nazi Germany suffered its first major military defeats in several theaters of the war: The defeat at El Alamein, followed by the landing of Allied forces in North- Africa (Operation Torch) and the encircling of the Sixth Army at Stalingrad signaled a possible shift in the course of the war. However, despite these setbacks the Nazis proceeded with the extermination policies. On February 7, 1943, several days after the German surrender at Stalingrad, Hitler addressed a group of Gauleiters (district party leaders) assembled at Rastenburg. He repeated his threat that Jewry must be eliminated from Europe.
From January 1943 onwards, Auschwitz- Birkenau and Theresienstadt were the main destination of transports from the German Reich. The Gestapo increased its efforts to seize and deport the Jews remaining in Germany.
After the mass deportations of 1942, 8,000 Jews remained in Vienna (Wien). On October 10, 1942, Alois Brunner, head of Central office for Jewish Immigration, informed Dr. Löwenherz that the Jewish Community, which still had formal legal status, would be dissolved. The Jewish population would be represented by a Jewish Council (“Ältestenrat der Juden in Wien”). All Jews residing in Vienna, including Christians of Jewish origin referred to this council.
The Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna gradually began to narrow its activity. On July 6 1942, it moved its headquarters to the Jewish community’s building on Castellezgasse 35, which previously served as a collection point for deportees. At that time, the majority of personnel of the central office had been sent to other European countries to arrange deportations of Jews from these areas to extermination camps. In October 1942, its name was altered to Abwicklungstelle für jüdische Auswanderung. In the beginning of 1943 the Central Office for Jewish Emigration was dissolved, and the local Gestapo was assigned to supervise the remaining Jews in Vienna. The Gestapo deported about 3,000 Jews between 1943 and 1945.
Transport No. 46g left Vienna’s Nordbahnhof (Northern Railway Station) on April 1, 1943, and arrived at Theresienstadt on April 2. It consisted of 72 Jews. The average age of the deportees was 48. 23 of the deportees were over 61 years old.
Four armed policemen were assigned to guard the deportees throughout the journey. According to available archival records these were Hironym Geier, Karl Lahner and Stefan Stoiber and Meister der Schutzpolizei Anton Berger. They received their orders by telephone from the Gestapo. The guards reported at the station’s postal ramp at 3 PM and awaited the Jewish deportees.
Due to the small number of deportees, the security police (Sipo) in Vienna ordered only a few cars. They were attached to passenger train no. 723 that left daily at 6 PM from Nordbahnhof in Vienna. It went via Breclav (Lundenburg), to Brno (Brünn). In Brno, the cars were disengaged and reattached to a train of the "Protektoratsbahnen" (the company that operated trains in the so called "Protektorat") destined for Prague (Praha). From Prague it went to Bohusovice (Bauschowitz). At the station in Bohusovice, the Jews were taken off the train and forced to walk about three kilometers to Theresienstadt.
On its arrival the transport was listed in the ghetto records as IV/14g, the Roman numeral IV represented Vienna as city of origin.
At the end of World War II, around 5,000 Jews remained in Vienna.