8 May 2023 is the 78th anniversary of the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht. On this day, already for the eleventh time, Mauthausen Committee Austria (MKÖ) is organising the Festival of Joy to commemorate the victims and to celebrate the liberation from the NS reign of terror. The 2023 Festival of Joy will take place on 8 May 2023 at 7:30 pm at Vienna Heldenplatz. Once again this year, the Festival of Joy will be streamed internationally and with English subtitles on the online platforms of Mauthausen Committee Austria and broadcast throughout Austria by ORF III. In 2023, the theme of the Festival of Joy will focus on "Civil Courage".
A speech by contemporary witness Anna Hackl will be the highlight of this year's Festival of Joy. In the Nazi era, Anna Hackl and her family saved two people’s lives at great danger to themselves during the "Mühlviertler Manhunt"; they hid two prisoners of the concentration camp at their home. To this day, Anna Hackl practises civil courage.
As the musical programme for 2022, with Konstantin Wecker, was postponed to 2023, there will be an international musical programme for the first time in 2023. The Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Konstantin Wecker as well as Mark Mast have already agreed to play at this year’s Festival of Joy. Once again this year, actress Katharina Stemberger will moderate the Festival of Joy, which will conclude with a festive performance of "Ode to Joy" by Ludwig van Beethoven.