Friedrich Deutsch trained as a bank clerk and from 1926 managed a small fish shop at Servitengasse 9 in Vienna's 9th district. On 3 June 1919 he married Berta, née Hermann, and lived with her and their daughter Friederike, born in 1922, at Elisabethstraße 26 in the 1st district. After the annexation of Austria to the Nazi German Reich he faced increasing persecution by the Nazi regime on account of his Jewish origins. The Property Transaction Office (VVSt) blocked the supplies necessary for Deutsch and his family to run the business. After the VVSt also forbade Deutsch from selling the business to his "Aryan" wife for 1,000 Reichsmarks, the couple divorced on 5 December 1938 in the belief that they could save the shop in that way. They were unsuccessful in this endeavour, and Deutsch was also stopped at the Swiss border while attempting to flee the country.
Berta Deutsch, who was working as a carer for the hemiplegic doctor Sigmund Stiassny, passed on this job to her divorced husband, who was unable to find paid work elsewhere. On 29 June 1939, Friedrich Deutsch reported to Stiassny at Bösendorferstraße 6 in Vienna's 1st district. Just a few months later, he was obliged to move, together with Stiassny, who also had Jewish origins, to a collective apartment at Nibelungengasse 8 in the 1st district, where he was registered until 26 January 1942. Until Stiassny's death he supported him not only in his daily life but also in the sale of his art collection. On 10 January 1942 the Gestapo arrested Deutsch, and on 26 January he was deported to Riga, where he was either put in the ghetto or forced to work in the nearby Salaspils camp. At Berta Deutsch's request, the provincial court for civil law matters in Vienna issued a death certificate on 13 April 1950 stating that Friedrich was no longer living on 8 May 1945.
On 25 January 1954, the Victim Welfare section of Vienna Municipal Department 12 turned down an application by Berta Deutsch for recognition under the Victim Welfare Act, stating that because of the divorce it could not be demonstrated that "she behaved irreproachably with regard to the victim before and during the period of persecution". In March 1960, the Victim Welfare Commission also rejected an application for special relief. It was only after a claim under the War and Persecution Compensation Act that the Provincial Tax Office for Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland paid a small amount of compensation for the liquidated interior of her husband's fish shop.