Fest der Freude

Today, the “Fest der Freude” (Celebration of Joy) was held on Heldenplatz, a central square in Vienna. A free concert of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 was the setting for the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the liberation of Austria.

Of course, there were also some speeches by politicians. The most touching report, though, was given by a contemporary witness who told of the imprisonment of her family (including herself at the age of just under 16, and her twelve-year-old sister), and the murder of her mother by the Gestapo after they had helped to hide some Wehrmacht deserters.

All in all, a very dignified evening – and much more fitting than the so-called “Totengedenken” of the right-wing Burschenschafter that dominated Heldenplatz on May 8 until a few years ago.

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