However, with the continuing economic decline of the city, the community also dwindled: in 1931 there were 1,814 members, but by the time of the race laws in 1938 the population had dropped to 1,200. The situation then deteriorated considerably with the fall of fascism and the arrival of the German occupation troops: from 8 September 1943 to April 1945 around two hundred people - including the elderly and almost blind chief rabbi, Adolfo Ottolenghi, were deported and murdered. He had not wanted to abandon his old charges as is recorded on the stone mounted on the façade of the Community Centre.
From here in two successive raids (the night between the 5th and 6th of December 1943 and on 17th August 1944) almost all the inmates and numerous Venetian Jews who had found refuge there were deported. The stone on the facade of the Rest Home commemorates Giuseppe Jona, the famous doctor who witnessed the trials of the Community during the years of the Nazi persecution but who «was unable to withstand the ruin of Italy and the fresh martyrdom of the Jews». At the end of 1945 the community numbered 1,050, but was destined to shrink even more.