In an attempt to halt the Red Army’s advance towards Vienna (Wien), the German military began to construct a defense line along the Austrian- Hungarian border in the fall of 1944. It was known as the “South- East Wall” (also known as the Reich's Defensive Line, Reichsschutzstellung) and included a system of fortifications and anti-tank trenches. In November, thousands of Hungarian Jews were marched to the Austrian border. They were taken from Budapest, along with Jews who had been previously conscripted to forced labor details of the Hungarian army. Many perished along the way due to the brutality of the guards. On their arrival, they were forced to take part in the construction of the batteries.
In March 1945, the Germans began evacuating the remaining forced laborers by train, and by foot, in an attempt to prevent their release by the Soviet forces. Some arrived in Theresientadt, others reached the Mauthausen concentration camp. These death marches were caried out in accordance with Nazi determination to prevent the liberation of enemies of the Reich by the Allies. In Nazi Germany, all inmates of concentration camps were classfied as enemies.
The transport left Amtstetten on April 14 1945, and arrived in Theresienstadt on April 15. It consisted of 77 Jewish men and women. They were Hungarian Jews form Budapest who had participated in the death march of November 1944. On its arrival in Theresienstadt, the transport was listed in the Ghetto records as IV/16a. The Roman numeral IV represented Vienna.
Dr. Weisz, a doctor in Theresienatdt Ghetto, wrote a medical report about the deportees: Today at 11:45 a transport from Amtstetten arrived in Theresinstad. The people were in a poor state of health due to the rough journey and were placed in quarantine because they were infected with lice.
Excerpts from Isacck Wolster memoirs […] I jumped up and started running towards the tracks […] they didn’t even chase me, because they knew I had nowhere to run. They simply practiced shooting. I continued running and reached cattle cars […] despite my efforts to reach the car it seemed like it was moving with me […] then I realized that the train was in motion. I lifted up my head and stopped running. Suddenly, I saw hands reaching out of the car, without hesitating I caught one of the hands and leaped towards the car […] they pulled me inside, the gunfire stopped and the train picked up its speed. When I opened my eyes I was surprised to see people in the familiar “striped Pajama” surrounding me, their eyes were shining as they stared at me […] Jews who were released from concentration camps […] towards the end of the war, the Germans didn’t always shut the rail cars. They simply followed order to transfer the Jews to several places […] the train entered Theresienstadt. Barbed wire fences surrounded the station. Trains came and left through a special gate. When we stepped out of the train there wasn’t any “reception process”, we simply found our selves within the city. No one received us, we poured out of the cars and saw all kinds of Jews: dressed in what appeared as pajamas, dressed in rags, with a yellow star on their clothes […] most of the people leaned against the building walls and stared without moving.