During the spring-summer months of 1943, Nazi Germany suffered a series of defeats in several theaters of war: in May, German forces in North Africa surrendered. In July, Following the failure of "Operation Citadel" (Battle of Kursk), the Soviet counteroffensive on the Eastern Front began. Almost, simultaneously, an allied force landed in Sicily. Over the course of the summer, the Allied aerial attack on the German home front and industrial centers intensified. Despite these events, German authorities continued to deport the Jews who still resided in the Reich to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz Birkenau.
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. From November 1, 1942, the Jewish population was 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 "Abwicklungsstelle für jüdische Auswanderung" (the former Central Office for Jewish Emigration) in Vienna had been closed in March and the local Gestapo office assigned to supervise the remaining Jews in Vienna. It continued the transports. About 3,000 Jews were deported by the Gestapo between 1943 and 1945.
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 46j left from Vienna’s Nordbahnhof (Northern Railway Station) on July 15, 1943 and arrived in Theresienstadt on July 16. It consisted of 14 Jews. The average age of the deportees was 43. Two of them were over 61 years old.
An SS-Untersturmführer named Becher led the deportees to the train station. At the Station the Jews were put on a train together with one policeman, who was assigned to guard the deportees throughout the journey.
Due to the small number of deportees, the security police (Sipo) in Vienna put the deportees on passenger train No. 723 that left daily at 6 PM from Nordbahnhof in Vienna, via Breclav (Lundenburg), to Brno (Brünn). In Brno, the car was disengaged and reattached to a train of the "Protektoratsbahnen" (the company operating trains in the so called "Protektorat") destined for Prague (Praha). From there, the journey continued to Theresienstadt. On its arrival the transport was listed in the ghetto records as IV/14k. The Roman numeral IV represented Vienna as city of origin.
Ar the end of World War II, around 5,000 Jews remained in Vienna.