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 Jews.
On May 21, 1943, Rolf Günther, Adolf Eichmann’s deputy in Department IVB4, informed all local police headquarters that Heinrich Himmler had ordered to complete all deportations of Jews from the Greater Reich and the Protectorate to the East (Auschwitz-Birkenau) and to Theresienstadt by June 30, 1943. The new regulations permitted the deportation of ill and handicapped Jews, as well Jews who were still employed by the war industry, and employees of the Reichsvereinigung der Juden (Reich's Association of the Jews in Germany) and of its representatives in various communities. Jews married to non-Jews were exempt from deportation.
Transport No. 46h left Linz on June 16, 1943, and arrived in Theresienstadt on June 17. This transport was listed with the same number as a previous transport, that had traveled to Theresienstadt on May 25. The transport consisted of three Jews from Linz, who were apparently transferred to Vienna and subsequently deported to Theresienstadt.
Due to the small number of deportees, the security police (Sipo) put the deportees on passenger train No. 723 that left daily at 6 PM from Nordbahnhof (Northern Railway Station) in Vienna and traveled via Breclav (Lundenburg) to Brno (Brünn). In Brno, they were transferred to a train of the "Protektoratsbahnen" (the company that operated trains in the so called "Protektorat") destined for Prague (Praha). From there, the journey continued to Theresienstadt.
On its arrival in Theresienstadt, the transport was listed in the ghetto register as IV/14h Ez. The Roman number IV represented Vienna as city of origin.
At the end of World War II, around 5,000 Jews remained in Vienna.