Concentration camp survivor
Rudolf Gelbard is a holocaust survivor. He is still active today as an eyewitness and freedom fighter.
At only 12 years old, in October 1942 Rudolf Gelbard was deported with his parents to Theresienstadt due to his Jewish descent. In several testimonials, Rudolf Gelbard describes life in Theresienstadt: Most horrible were the continuous transports of many persons to the death camps: some 88,000 inmates, of whom only 3300 survived. After some time the camp held mainly younger prisoners; they had to receive the return transports from the east at the train station, where many people were already dead in the trains due to cold and hunger. Rudolf Gelbard survived these trying years in Theresienstadt and was finally liberated in 1945. In all, some 15,000 children were deported to Theresienstadt, and only 200 of them survived.
From 1975 and until his retirement in 1990, Rudolf Gelbard worked at the Austrian daily newspaper Kurier. Since retirement he has served as an active member of the Alliance of Social Democratic Freedom Fighters, remains committed to raising awareness about the Nazi crimes, he is also actively engaged for democracy, and he continues his active participation in demonstrations for human rights.
Again and again, he serves as a speaker at schools and in various courses and symposia to relate his experiences in that time.
For his various activities and in addition to other awards, Rudolf Gelbard was awarded the title of Professor by the Republic of Austria. The documentary film "The Man on the Balcony" depicts excerpts and locations from Gelbards childhood, when he had to withstand the much humiliation and degradation due to his Jewish identity. The film received the television award for adult education in the category documentation in 2008.