After the liberation of Austria from the National Socialist regime, troops of the four allied powers occupied the country for a decade and established a network of military administrative structures. As early as April 1945 the Soviet City Kommandantura for Vienna set up its headquarters at Palais Epstein, which seemed particularly suitable, both politically and strategically, on account of its vicinity to some of the newly created Austrian government institutions.

It was at Palais Epstein where some of the most important steps towards the re-establishment of the Austrian state were taken in spring 1945, such as the registration of the three anti-fascist political parties. But since the palace was, for the next ten years, to become the starting point of the suffering of many deportees on their road to Siberia, it was at the same time a place dreaded by many Viennese.