Fest der Freude


On 8th May 2018 at 8pm at Vienna’s Heldenplatz, the Austrian Mauthausen Committee (MKÖ), in cooperation with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, will be holding the 6th Festival of Joy to commemorate and celebrate the 73nd anniversary of the liberation from National Socialism.

The Wiener Symphoniker will be conducted by Lahav Shani and perform works by Ernest Bloch and Leonard Bernstein. They will also present with violinist Julian Rachlin parts from Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowskis Violin Concerto. The concert will begin with a work by the Austrian composer, Kurt Schwertisk, specially composed for the Festival of Joy, called “Here & Now” and end with “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

This year the festival will also be framed by speeches, including from Rudi Gelbard who experienced the events. In October 1942 he was deported with his parents to Theresienstadt. He survived these trying years and was finally liberated in 1945. This year he will stand on the Heldenplatz to celebrate the day of liberation from the national socialist terror regime.

Program details

Rudolf Gelbard

Rudolf Gelbard

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. 

More about Rudolf Gelbard

Wiener Symphoniker

Cultural ambassador

Program 2018

Everything at a glance
MKÖ/Sebastian Philipp
MKÖ/Sebastian Philipp
Tag der Befreiung

Über 51.000 BesucherInnen beim Fest der Freude!

Lahav Shani (c) Marco Borggreve klein

Lahav Shani

Heldenplatz klein


Highly symbolic square


Mauthausen Committee Austria

The Mauthausen Committee Austria (MKÖ) has organised the Festival of Joy since 2013 to celebrate the day of liberation.


Visitor information

The concert begins at 8.00 PM and is planned to end at around 9.15 PM.

The 8 May

End of II World War

May 8th is the date of the unconditional capitulation of the German Wehrmacht and the official end of World War Two in Europe.

Further dates

Other dates for your calendar

The Mauthausen Committee Austria – in cooperation with partners – will be organising more than 90 international memorial and liberation events around 8th May.