Program 2021

Time Program  
PIPPA Dystopia
With Dystopia, PIPPA takes a look at a world that’s rapidly changing, politically, socially, and technologically, and yet the promise of a happy and peaceful future for everyone seems to recede further and further into the distance.
  Willi Mernyi Welcome words by Willi Mernyi - chairman of the Mauthausen Committee Austria
  Wladigeroff Brothers & Violinist
Alexander Nantschev

Countless Roma and Sinti became victims of the Nazis’ racist politics. More than 90% of the Austrian Roman and Sinti were murdered. Musicians Alexander and Konstantin Wladigeroff and Alexander Nantschev have arranged the "Tzigane-Medley" specially for the virtual Festival of Joy. An arrangement of the pieces "Tzigane" by Maurice Ravel, "Bingyol" (Trad. Armenian-Klezmer-Yiddish), "Sa o, Roma! Ederlezi" (Trad. piece of the Roma from Eastern Europe) and "Balkan Song" by the Wladigeroff Brothers.

  Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen Speech by Federal President Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen
  Orchester Divertimento Viennese "Over the rainbow" - Harold Arlen
"Sing, sing, sing" - Louis Prima
Homosexuals were also persecuted by the Nazis. Being categorised "Antisocial" by the SS was easy: Youths who listened to Swing music instead of marching music, for instance, were persecuted as "Antisocials" and often deported to concentration camps. "Over the rainbow", written by Jewish-American composer Harold Arlen in 1939, became the anthem for many oppressed and marginalised people, especially for the LGBTQ movement.
The swing piece "Sing, sing, sing", written in 1936 by Louis Prima is considered one of the most famous swing compositions ever. The Orchester Divertimento Viennese will focus on works by composers who were ostracized and forced into exile.
  Katja Sturm-Schnabl

Speech by contemporary witness Katja Sturm-Schnabl
The racist persecution of the Nazis also included Slavs and other ethnic groups. Katja Sturm-Schnabl’s family were Carinthian Slovenes, and where persecuted by the Nazis due to that fact.

  Short film "Destroyed Diversity"

The short film "Destroyed Diversity" deals with diversity today and in the past. Ambassadors of the liberating nations tell their stories, as well as Ceija Stoijka’s granddaughter and representatives of victims’ organisations and of civil society - they all explain what diversity means to them.

Contributors: Embassador Dmitrij Ljubiskij - Embassy of the Russian Federation, Embassador Robert Leigh Turner - Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassador Gilles Pécout - French Embassy in Vienna, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Robin Dunnigan - U.S. Embassy in Austria, President Oskar Deutsch - Jewish Community Vienna, Managing Director Christa Bauer - Mauthausen Committee Austria, President Rudolf Edlinger - Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance, Chairman Matthias Spadinger - Verein Gedenkdienst, Member of parliament Petra Bayr - National Council SPÖ, Bündnis "Jetzt Zeichen Setzen", Landtag-delegate Niki Kunrath - Bündnis "Jetzt Zeichen Setzen", Waltraud Eberharter - Mauthausen Guide of MKÖ, Katrin Baminger - "denk mal wien" intermediary of MKÖ, Sonja Schachinger - "denk mal wien" intermediary of MKÖ, Mona Anozie - granddaughter of contemporary witness Ceija Stojka.

  Wiener Symphoniker under concuctor
Ingo Metzmacher

Wiener Symphoniker and conductor Ingo Metzmacher perform Miserae by Karl Amadeus Hartmann.

"Miserae" - Karl Amadeus Hartmann

The Nazis’ killing machinery claimed numerous victims, for reasons ranging from political to war-related, or religious conviction, or sometimes also due to other racist principles that the Nazis applied. About two thirds of the Jewish population living in Europe before World War II was murdered by the Nazis. German composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann wrote the symphonic poem "Miserae" in 1933/34, an artistic declaration to oppose the Nazis’ reign of terror. The Vienna Symphony Orchestra will perform "Miserae" under conductor Ingo Metzmacher.

Wiener Symphoniker
under conductor
Ingo Metzmacher

"Ode to Joy" - Ludwig van Beethoven

Once again, the conclusion of this year’s Festival of Joy will be celebrated with the "Ode to Joy" from Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th symphony.
Performed by the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra with conductor Ingo Metzmacher.

Willi Mernyi

Chair of the Mauthausen Committee Austria

Has been the honorary chair of the Austrian Mauthausen Committee since 2000 and, since 2011, the vice chair of the Camp Community Mauthausen as well as board member of the Documentation Centre of the Austrian Resistance.

He has written publications on a range of topics, with a particular emphasis on political education (including the Handbook of Simulation Games, 2005, and "Our (?) America – Austro-American snapshots in context of the US Election 2012") and communication strategies against right-wing extremism (Demystifying Demagogues, 2010, Far-Right Extremism: Symbols. Codes. Music. Laws, 2011, Stopping Right-wing Agitators – Audio CD 2013).

In acknowledgement of his on-going engagement, Mernyi received a medal (Bundesehrenverdienstzeichen) from the Federal Government for services to tolerance and human rights as well as the Marietta and Friedrich Torberg Medal in 2014.

More about Willi Mernyi

Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen


Alexander Van der Bellen (born in 1944) took office as the Federal President of the Republic of Austria on 26 January 2017.

From 1994 to 2012, Alexander Van der Bellen was a member of the Austrian National Assembly, and from 1999 to 2008 Chairman of the Greens’ Parliamentary Group. From 1997 to 2008, he served as Federal Spokesperson for the Austrian Greens.

Apart from being a politician, Van der Bellen also pursued an academic career. From 1980 to 2009, he was appointed as Full Professor of Economics at the University of Vienna, and from 1990 to 1994, Deputy Dean and then Dean of the University of Vienna School of Social and Economic Sciences.

More about President Alexander Van der Bellen

Katja Sturm-Schnabl

Contemporary witness

The highlight of the ceremony will be the speech by contemporary witness Erika Kosnar. Erika Kosnar comes from a Viennese working-class family of Jewish faith. Her mother converted in 1931 to Judaism. From 1938, Erika had to suffer abuse, harassment and atrocities. Thanks in part to her mother's civil courage, she survived the Nazi terror in Vienna.

For decades, Erika Kosnar did not speak publicly about her experiences. She has been speaking at events since 2000, especially at schools. Even today she is well informed about the political situation and is committed to civil courage and humanity. Solidarity in the small everyday situations is also important to her. "Often only the first person has to dare", she says.

More about Katja Sturm-Schnabl

Katharina Stemberger


Katharina Stemberger is an Austrian actress, professor, producer and civil society activist.

Her acting repertoire ranges from light television entertainment to tragic heroines on stage. She has appeared in numerous theater productions and TV and cinema films. She also regularly appears in Jaqueline Kornmüller's "Ganymed" series in the "Kunsthistorisches Museum".

Since 2018 she has been chairwoman of the board of directors of the Integrationshaus Vienna and artistic director of the theater festival HIN & WEG. Days for contemporary theater entertainment in Litschau (together with director Zeno Stanek and Ernst Molden).

More about Katharina Stemberger