Festival of Joy 2024

View of concert

8 May 2024 marks the 79th anniversary of the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht. On this day, the Mauthausen Committee Austria (MKÖ) is organising the Festival of Joy for the twelfth time in memory of the victims and the joy of liberation from the Nazi reign of terror.

We are delighted that Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, as the highest representative of the Republic of Austria, will be opening the Festival of Joy 2024.

The Festival of Joy 2024 will take place on May 8, 2024 at 7:30 pm at Heldenplatz in Vienna. This year's Festival of Joy will once again be streamed internationally and with English subtitles on the online platforms of the Mauthausen Committee Austria and broadcast throughout Austria by ORF. In 2024, the Festival of Joy will be dedicated to the thematic focus "Law and Justice in National Socialism".

The highlight of the Festival of Joy will be the speech by contemporary witness Rosa Schneeberger.

The Wiener Symphoniker will enrich the Festival of Joy 2024 with music. Actress Katharina Stemberger will once again accompany the Festival of Joy, which will come to a festive conclusion with Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ode to Joy".

Anna Hackl

Portrait Contemporary witness Anna Hackl

A speech by contemporary witness Anna Hackl was the highlight of this year's Festival of Joy.

Anna Hackl, maiden name Anna Langthaler, was born in Schwertberg in Upper Austria in 1931. She and her family took in two Soviet soldiers that had escaped their imprisonment at the concentration camp and sheltered them at their home from the SS until the war ended. Risking their own lives, Anna Hackl’s family provided for Nikolai Zimkolo and Michail Rybtschin at their farm and thus saved the soldiers’ lives.

To this day, Anna Hackl practises civil courage and regularly visits schools and other educational institutions to talk about her experience, thus actively contributing to preserving the Nazis’ atrocities in collective memory. Her aim is to convey the significance of civil courage to young people and to encourage them to help when help is needed. For her and for her mother’s work, Anna Hackl received, among others, the human rights award of Upper Austria and the Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria.

Subject Festival of Joy Program 2023

Program 2023

Everything at a glance


Mauthausen Committee Austria

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

More about the MKÖ

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.

More about the day of liberation

Further dates

Other dates for your calendar

A large number of commemoration and liberation ceremonies will take place across Austria at sites of former concentration camps and at other sites of National Socialist terror in 2024.

Further memorial events