Commemoration of Victory in Europe Day and Liberation Day in Austria

PeopleOther ♦ Published: May 8, 2023; 23:11 ♦ (Vindobona)

The government commemorated the liberation from National Socialism in a ceremony. The diplomatic community in Vienna also commemorated the end of the Second World War and the Liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp.

Together with contemporary witnesses, government officials, and diplomats from all over the world, the liberation of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp was celebrated at the Concentration Camp Memorial. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons,Dnalor 01, CC BY-SA 3.0

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer spoke at a commemorative event at the Federal Chancellery to mark the end of one of the darkest chapters in Austrian history. Millions of people were murdered, tortured, and humiliated during World War II. The event was attended by researchers, politicians, and an ensemble from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Nehammer stressed the importance of remembering the atrocities committed during the war. He stated that the National Socialists had the goal of erasing people's memories by assigning them numbers. Only then have the National Socialists truly failed. The Chancellor emphasized that the purpose of the culture of remembrance is to restore the dignity of those who had it taken away. He also stated that it is our "common and valuable task" to remember.

Nehammer also spoke about the need to restructure the culture of remembrance in Gusen. The concentration camp in Gusen was the site of countless murders, tyrannies, and enslavement of people from many countries. The Austrian government has established a fund to allow all school classes to visit the memorial sites in Mauthausen and Gusen. Furthermore, police and military personnel will be trained there to reflect on the atrocities and draw lessons from them.

The Chancellor also addressed Austria's participation in the war and the country's responsibility for the crimes committed during that time. He stated that many Austrians were actively involved in war crimes, and it is necessary to recognize and acknowledge that fact. Only then can we pass on the responsibility to future generations to prevent such horrors from happening again, he added.

Nehammer emphasized the importance of creating a resilient democracy that can resist ideologies that promote radicalization, racism, and antisemitism. He stated that we must explain how these extremist ideologies poisoned people's souls and led to the horrors of the past. Only then can we work to prevent such atrocities from happening again.

The Chancellor's speech highlighted the importance of remembering the past to build a better future. By acknowledging our past mistakes and taking responsibility for them, we can ensure that such atrocities never happen again.

Diplomats in Vienna commemorate

Diplomats in Vienna, including U.S. Ambassador Victoria Kennedy, commemorated the 78th anniversary of the liberation from National Socialism at the Mauthausen concentration camp.

Finish Counsellor Sebastian Gahnström attended a commemoration ceremony in honor of the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp. The camp, located in Austria, was one of the largest and deadliest Nazi concentration camps, where over 100,000 prisoners lost their lives during the Holocaust.

The ceremony was held to pay tribute to the victims and to remind the world of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. Counsellor Gahnström represented Finland at the event and joined other diplomats in Vienna to remember those who suffered and died at Mauthausen.

The ceremony included a private commemoration by Paul Kosiek, son of Mauthausen and Gusen liberator Albert Kosiek, who played taps to honor his father's memory. U.S. Defense Attache Col. Erik Bauer's remarks set the moving tone of the ceremony. The U.S. Army 1st Squadron 2dCavalryRegt and VCorps traveled from Germany to join the commemoration and honor the bravery and sacrifice of the inmates and liberators. The message emphasized the importance of combating hate wherever it is encountered and never forgetting the victims from over 40 nations who were held in Mauthausen.

Federal Chancellery of Austria