Despite the German withdrawal on the Eastern front and the heavy aerial bombardment of German cities, the deportation of Jews from German cities did not stop. On December 18, 1943, a circular signed by Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller was sent out to all Sipo (Security Police) local headquarters. It permitted the deportation of Jews, whose marriage to non-Jews had terminated due to divorce or death of the non-Jewish spouse. Transport No. 48a left Vienna’s Nordbahnhof (Northern Railway Station) o
n March 10, 1944 and arrived in Theresienstadt on March 11. It consisted of 84 Jews. The average age of the deportees was 51; 33 of them were over 61. Due to the relatively small number of deportees, the security police (Sipo) in Vienna ordered only a few rail cars, which were attached to passenger train No. 723, that left daily at 6 PM from Nordbahnhof and travelled 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 there, the journey continued to Theresienstadt. On arrival, the transport was listed in the ghetto records as IV/15. The Roman numeral IV represented Vienna as city of origin. Excerpts from Friedrike Ulrik’s Testimony: One day, in 1942, I was picked up and brought to a camp in Sperlgasse. It was very bad, a kind of hell. We were 25 people in one room, many of the people were common, not to say ordinary. We slept on straw mattresses and suffered from bugs […] Three weeks later, my son arrived from Holland and freed me […] however the possibility of being arrested hung over me like the Sword of Damocles. Yet, when they came on March 18, 1944, I was completely unprepared, I was not affiliated with the Jewish faith, and I was related by means of marriage to Aryans and already above eighty. The journey to Theresienstadt was tolerable. We were orderly placed in third-class passenger cars, and arrived at the destination after 24 hours. Upon our arrival we were immediately sent to the showers, where we were not only washed but completely shaved.