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 and Benito Mussolini, the leader of fascist Italy, Germany’s ally, was dismissed. 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. 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. 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. 46k left Vienna’s Nordbahnhof (Northern Rail Station) on September 2, 1943, and arrived in Theresienstadt on September 3. It consisted of 20 Jews. The average age of the deportees was 45. One of them was 71 years old. Among the group were several deportees linked to the Wehrmacht and to the Austrian military. One of them was Rudolf Stiassnie, who lost both sons from his first marriage in combat in France and the USSR. Rosa Bololanik’s son, a soldier in the Wehrmacht, was killed on September 18, 1939. Johann Georg Franz Hugo Friedländer, who had held the rank Feldmarschalleutnant (the equivalent of a major general) in the Austrian military, arrived in Theresienstadt with his wife. Following his wife’s death, he was subsequently deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and shot by a guard during the Death March in 1945. On its arrival in Theresienstadt, the transport was listed in the ghetto records as IV/14l. The Roman numeral IV represented Vienna as city of origin. At the end of World War II, around 5,000 Jews remained in Vienna.