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.
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.